Submitted by chaos-born t3_xvbal8 in Pennsylvania

Stressed out. Neither of my parents are in my life. They weren't the best, and that's okay! I simply hoped they would have protected me less and helped me get ready for what I'm currently experiencing. I had no clue that something as simple as not possessing an ID would leave me at a loss and keep me away from opportunities. I believed that when I became eighteen, I would be able to handle these problems, but that is far from the truth.

I live in Philadelphia and have visited the social security office at least six times to ask for a replacement for my card. (My dad lost it and went off the map.) However, each time I was turned away because I lacked the necessary paperwork to proceed with the process – this also applied to getting a state ID card.

One of the acceptable forms of identification was a school identification card, which was never distributed on the first day of classes at my university. I also have a medical identification card, but that wasn't accepted either, due to it lacking an expiration date.

The Medical ID and my birth certificate are all that I have, So, I take to folks in the subreddit to ask is there any other way that I can get my documents? As much as my family would like to help, they can't because they also don't have their hands on the things that I would need for this. Thanks in advance.



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Bobtom42 t1_ir00hwd wrote

Find your congressional representative's office and write them an email explaining the situation. Their job is to help people in situations like this.

One email might not work, call and write until you get someone's attention. Be respectful but very clear about the situation and what you are asking for. You explained it pretty well here, but start with you need help obtaining a SS card.

You'd be amazed how much red tape can disappear with a call from a congressional office.


Kairenne t1_ir096n0 wrote

This is a good idea. Most representatives have local offices in their district. It might be a bus ride near to you.


chaos-born OP t1_ir02wgg wrote

Thank you!


crab_races t1_ir0736s wrote

That is the right suggestion! Also, even better than an email, you can make an appointment to go to their office in-person. That's what my mom did with an issue she had with her license being suspended, and she felt it made all the difference. Good luck!


alphalimahotel t1_ir1iob0 wrote

OP - do not email. CALL! I've worked in government for 11+ years, and can tell you that emails get lost all the time. Call or walk in. Your state rep or state senator can get you your state documents first and then you can get the federal ones through your member of Congress or US Senator.


EnnuiDeBlase t1_ir4y5uc wrote

I had an ongoing issue where the county thought I was responsible for a yard issue, but it was my neighbor. E-mail fixed nothing, a call delayed the problem, in-person got me an impromptu meeting with a supervisor and a direct contact number if there were any more issues (there were, but they were easily cleared up at that point).


BurghPuppies t1_ir2rdho wrote

And also… though you’re not going to want to hear this… take some responsibility. School IDs weren’t passed out on the first day of school; were they passed out on the second day? Does NO ONE in your school have an ID? Have you pursued getting one? There’s only one person who can be the driving force behind getting what you need.


chaos-born OP t1_ir2rue4 wrote

Nobody in my school has them. 💀 Staff started working on them today, it's the fifth week of school. Where do I fall short? I'm afraid of reaching out, but my family and friends also said that this seemed kind of weird.


BurghPuppies t1_ir2s51l wrote

Reach out. Attend a school board meeting and bring it up if you have to. Go to the office daily if you have to.


heili t1_ir59ceo wrote

He said university, so they probably don't have "school board meetings", although I've never heard of a university where ID cards were just '"passed out on the first day of class".

I had to go to to the university's ID center to get my picture taken and they produced and handed me the card there. If you don't know where to start, or you're not being helped, the university should have an ombudsman's office. Given that the university student ID card is almost always used for everything from registering for classes to public transportation, it seems unusual to go this long into a semester without one.


BurghPuppies t1_ir5ri9s wrote

Sorry, you’re right, he did say university. I don’t believe five weeks into classes they don’t have IDs, though. How are students getting in & out of dorms? Getting meals in cafeterias? Just doesn’t sound right.


heili t1_ir5v5ok wrote

Right. OP's story doesn't add up. I had my first university ID before the semester started. Got it when I went a couple of months before to register for classes. I couldn't do shit without it. Couldn't use the library, ride the bus, get into the dorm, eat at the cafeteria, register for a class, go to the laundry... nothing.


chaos-born OP t1_iriwq79 wrote

A friend of mine goes to the college across from mine, they got thiers during the first week of school. During my first week of school, I got my schedule and a key card, which is what we use to get in and out of the building, as well as around certain areas around the school, such as the office area where I could speak to the principal and what have you.


heili t1_iriwzid wrote

What the fuck kind of college has a principal?


chaos-born OP t1_irixi0x wrote

If they go by a different title of profession, I wouldn't know, but since I'm transitioning from high school and I'm used to how things were done then, that's what I call them. They're just someone who emails the students every once in a while to see how they are doing, also who students would come to if they missed a class.


chaos-born OP t1_iriwfts wrote

We use our key cards for that, which as teachers said, can't be used for identification. One girl mentioned how whenever she had to take care of things, like when she was looking for a job, she pulled out that card and couldn't use it for that reason.


ResidentBackground35 t1_ir0n3al wrote

>One email might not work, call and write until you get someone's attention.

Try and send a fax, most representatives have them because they used to be super important but no one has used one in decades because emails are a thing.

So the staff will hear noises from a machine they never use and your message will appear bypassing the SoP for email and letters.


RNDiva t1_ir11tlx wrote

I have several questions. You are enrolled in college correct. Do you have vaccine records? In some cases, that can be used to verify ID and usually colleges want that.

Also high school records. You had to produce those too for college enrollment. You should be pictured in the school yearbook. That should be proof of who you are.

I do not understand not having a student college ID. That makes no sense. That needs to be your first step.


chaos-born OP t1_ir14jiw wrote

They weren't made when we first started going, but one of the professors is going around and asking for pictures for us so they must be in the works.


TacoNomad t1_ir1bfk2 wrote

Go to your school's administrative office and ask where the ID card office is. Then go there and get one made.


Prometheus_303 t1_ir1ll1e wrote

Unless you go to an excessively small school, professors generally do not take pictures for nor distribute your school IDs during class.

You'll need to Google "where do I get my student ID at [name of school]" or ask at admissions or such.


TiberiusCornelius t1_irb39hq wrote

Find your school's ID office and get one made. You might be able to find out if they have digital IDs also. My school stopped issuing physical cards but has a space on the website to submit a picture of yourself and to pull up a digital ID, so you present or scan your phone just like you would a physical card.


Important-Pair-3553 t1_ir1d6md wrote

This ! But you may want to call and get their hours to go in person. Things done online tend to be processed in the order they're received, submit online and then go in and get the information pulled by the person in the office to handle asap.


Little_Noodles t1_ir003pp wrote

If a school ID would fulfill the requirement, that should be obtainable.

They’re generally not distributed, as they include a photo, which your school won’t automatically have. You have to physically go get one, generally from an office in the student center or the registrar’s office, or initiate the process online.

Not sure where you’re enrolled, but here’s a guide to getting one from Temple as an example


chaos-born OP t1_ir00zhg wrote

Unfortunately, from other students I heard we aren't given IDs like at all, but I will ask around.


Little_Noodles t1_ir01a8l wrote

Ask your school directly, not around to other students. They don’t know any more than you do.

The school should be able to work with you here and get you what you need. If you’re comfortable sharing, post the school.


IamSauerKraut t1_ir0hsnd wrote

How can you access your university's buildings?


chaos-born OP t1_ir0ijgh wrote

Key cards, timing is impeccable because I just got in and one of the staff asked if they could take a picture of me for IDs.


calicoskiies t1_ir0y638 wrote

When I went to penn state, I had to make an appointment to get one bc they had to take my picture.


PocketSpaghettios t1_ir1g0sv wrote

I went to IUP and every student got a photo ID. It was your key card, bus pass, and (apparently) legal photo identification. It's not like plastic cards with a magnet strip are expensive


Unique-Public-8594 t1_ir01gdo wrote

The good news is that instead of “little or no documentation,” you have your birth certificate.

Rather than going back to the social security office for a 7th time without the necessary identification, go to the university’s school office to find out their process for a school ID. If you can obtain a school ID take that to a passport office to get a passport.

Then take the birth certificate, the school id, and your passport to the social security office to request a duplicate/replacement social security card.

Don’t go back to the social security office until you have your school id and passport.

Best of luck.

(And start the process to get a drivers license?)


Lostscribe007 t1_ir13us4 wrote

Can't get a passport without a state ID or driver's license and OP has neither.


atsterism t1_ir1tpij wrote

You can absolutely get a passport with just a birth certificate. They take it for like eight weeks though, and it needs to be the original/certified, even though they do send it back at the end.


emersoncoe t1_ir2nyyw wrote

No, birth certificate is proof of citizenship. You need another form of id as proof of identity, separate from the citizenship.


Ghstfce t1_ir1v06l wrote

If not a driver's license, then a PA-issued State ID. Just be aware that come next March PA will be going over to Real ID, so it may benefit OP to try and get all the items together necessary before going to the DMV in order to just get a Real ID


chaos-born OP t1_ir01jd0 wrote

Before, I hadn't that either, the reasoning for my choice of wording is that hasn't helped me as they can't go on that alone.


Unique-Public-8594 t1_ir027dl wrote

Sounds very frustrating.


chaos-born OP t1_ir02egx wrote

It is. The first time I went to go get my birth certificate, I went by myself, I nearly cried at the office because I was denied service for the same reason I need my birth certificate, not having my ss card or an ID, around that time a family member stepped in as well.


rhodium32 t1_ir05aoc wrote

I work with at risk youth here in Philly and run into this problem all the time. It is extremely frustrating for the kids who are just trying to actually make some progress in life (like go to college) and can't because they don't have the necessary paperwork for the process (many don't even have a birth certificate). Trying to navigate the bureaucracies is a nightmare when you have no experience with such things, as it sounds like you've discovered. You've received some good suggestions already. I'll just add that for some kids I've worked with, getting a voter id card was a helpful form of id and actually easy to get. If I remember correctly you'll need to provide the social security office with an address where they can mail the card and that address has to match an address on your id. That's where something like a voter registration card can be helpful.


chaos-born OP t1_ir09g4x wrote

Thank you! My boyfriend has got me the registration forms for Voter IDs, I'll fill them out when I've the time haha.


BethKatzPA t1_ir3joog wrote

And then please vote preferably for the Democrats -Shapiro and Fetterman.


stjblair t1_ir02hzu wrote

The easiest thing to do for your social security card is to get a wet stamped/signed medical record with your birthday and name. The university doctor should be able to provide you with that. Just tell them you need it to get you social security card

A wet stamped/signed school record from this year with the same information should also work. The registrar should be able to help you with that


hoagiebreath t1_ir087in wrote

This is the real answer.


stjblair t1_ir09ahz wrote

I know this because I literally just had to go through all this with someone on my caseload


chaos-born OP t1_ir02s5e wrote

Medical Records are in the works, albeit, I contacted my care provider at the beginning of last month and it's been radio silence since then, should I just give them a call? If it needs to be from this year, I think I can call them up and ask if I can get a physical?? Jesus, I don't know how any of this works.


hoagiebreath t1_ir08a3v wrote

I had medical records from years ago that was acceptable. It’s a bit of a Karen move but put it on blast or instead of going to the SS office a 7th time. Go into your doctors office and tell them the situation and you will wait. You gotta do what you gotta do.


stjblair t1_ir098u5 wrote

With in 2 years for adults for medical records

Same school year for academic records

Both need a wet signature or stamp

I’d go in person and keep calling until they get back to you. I’d also pursue both options because one may come through quicker than the other. Both should know exactly what you need. I wish you luck


hoagiebreath t1_ir0a2gl wrote

Just to clarify also as I’m not sure I’d know what a wet signature or stamp is at 18.

They have to sign or stamp this by hand in person. Wet signature = ink from a pen in person. It can’t be something like a digital signature or stamp.


qwerty17201 t1_ir2ijba wrote

I had to do this when my son's ssn card was wrong.


B0MBOY t1_ir18cwu wrote

Get to a person in your local reps office. Even a secretary at the office can do a lot to help you. Show up in person, call phone, tge key is to reach an actual human being


hoagiebreath t1_ir084cr wrote

I believe. The social security office can issue you a card with a bill from a doctor from the past with your info on it. That’s how I got mine.

I was in the same boat. Lost my state ID and had my SS card in my wallet like an idiot.


TooOldToBeHere123 t1_ir0nb27 wrote

Try going online through the Social Security Administration's website and setting up an account. They have a service through which you can order a replacement card online.

I went through this recently, as I had lost my SS card and birth certificate, and my driver's license was expired. I was able to order a new birth certificate online, but you already have that, so that's not the problem. Go to the SSA's website and try to set up an account:

If it allows you to set one up, you can order a new SS card through it. I had mine within three days once it allowed me to set up the account. My problem was it kept giving me an error message when I tried to set up an account, but I kept trying until it finally accepted it.

Give it a try. I didn't have the necessary paperwork to go into a Social Security office and get a new SS card, but the SSA was somehow able to verify me online, after which I was able to get my state ID (though not for PA, as I live out of state now, but the SSA is national).

Good luck.


chaos-born OP t1_ir0niy4 wrote

Filled it out, have to go to the local office :(


Cynical_PotatoSword t1_ir1bwxj wrote

I work for a state Senator. Find your local office and contact them. We do this stuff all the time.


cllittlewood t1_ir0o9yq wrote

Often times utility bills with the current/correct address can serve as a form of ID to help you vouch for yourself. But as mentioned, contact your local PA state representative office. You may have to be persistent, but in my experience someone will get back to you. Good luck.


turfly1995 t1_ir12x99 wrote

Your school id. Didn’t you get one before the first day of class? Have you gotten one since?


chaos-born OP t1_ir1409l wrote

No, but apparently they're in the works.


turfly1995 t1_ir144vh wrote

What college do you go to? You should have had one before you even stepped onto campus


buon_natale t1_ir2gngw wrote

You should have received yours months ago. I went to LSU and we got ours during freshman orientation the spring before classes started…


Lostscribe007 t1_ir15s8h wrote

I moved to PA last year and it was quite a lot of hoop jumping despite the fact that I had a Real ID from another state. It's a process but people are dropping all kinds of craziness on here. You have your Birth certificate which is great. Of the acceptable docs listed on the website a school ID is going to be the easiest for you. You will have to go to your school admin office and see if they can get you an ID. If they don't do ID'S then tell them your situation and see what alternatives they can get you. Then go to the Social office with you birth certificate and your ID and you should be able to get your replacement Social card. After you get that take all those docs to DMV and try to get your ID. I also had to take my mail with me to dmv but not sure if that was because I had moved, still couldn't hurt to bring along to show residency. It's a process, good luck and be patient.


No-Setting9690 t1_ir1gjf3 wrote

I'm confused. Have you never worked? How does your school even know who you are? It's 2022, I do not know of a single college that would not have an ID. I highly doubt a university is not issuing IDs.


chaos-born OP t1_ir1gu04 wrote

I have not, and my college application and previous school records..? And I found out today that they are, we just haven't got them two months ago when we first started off.


No-Setting9690 t1_ir1jb01 wrote

I would see if they can expedite yours as you're in a bind. honest. Not sure how you got this far without one. Seems like it's always needed.


chaos-born OP t1_ir1jlbq wrote

Alot of kids in my course had the same problem too.


tuenthe463 t1_ir2lvtc wrote

You can get a Philadelphia identification, not a state ID or driver's license, in the city hall first floor Northeast corridor. Come into the courtyard from the Macy's side and turn right at the first hallway. Last door on your left. I don't know the fees or documents they require but it might be a good jumping off point if you are downtown with any regularity.


pineapple-pumpkin t1_ir3bwmk wrote

I don't think social security with accept these because they are not issued by a state or federal entity. They are easy to get though, particularly for situations like this.


themanchicken t1_iqzzzxf wrote

I don’t think any of us will be able to help you with this. Maybe a photo license center or something?


IamSauerKraut t1_ir0hpbg wrote

Your birth certificate should have been enough. Driver's license?


Mountain_Flow3472 t1_ir27ieg wrote

Can you go to id services or security for a school ID card? Also, your dean of students office might be able to help you navigate this too.


TemporaryUser10 t1_ir2xabi wrote

I found it easy to order a duplicate SS card from the website. Keep in mind that when you're requesting a replacement, people may think you're looking for a new number, which is a huge mess.

If I remember right, ordering a replacement is a matter of entering your known info and answering a series of public record questions


BKCNC t1_ir30ehd wrote

Say you want to vote Democrat...


BethKatzPA t1_ir3j5h1 wrote

Also Pennsylvania has the 2-1-1 service that might help connect you with resources. They should be able to help.


ctrovato t1_ir15n7l wrote

Sure, crossover through El Paso and you should be good to go!


rocky20817 t1_ir1rvg8 wrote

Go to Mexico and just cross back illegally. You’ll be good. You might even get a free phone out of it.


sx70forlifexx t1_ir01ynq wrote

Lol is this a right wing troll post


chaos-born OP t1_ir023hv wrote

Trying to decipher whatever you just said.


sx70forlifexx t1_ir025lc wrote

Ya I'm saying this is a troll post


chaos-born OP t1_ir027p1 wrote

I don't know what on earth would imply that it is, but no, no it's not, neither does that make sense.


Reynard1981 t1_ir1dsd4 wrote

You’ll find more left wing troll posts in this sub than anything. So more than likely if op were a troll, they’d be left wing.