Why do i need a social security card??

The social security card is an important document for all employees. No work without social security number! But where do you get the ID card and what does it say? And do you actually have to carry it around with you all the time? Career Matters has the answers – and tells you which occupational groups don't need a social security card at all..

What is in the social security card?

The social security card contains this information:

  • First name, last name, maiden name
  • Academic title (if available)
  • Social security number
  • Issuing pension insurance institution
  • date of issue
  • Serial number

The social security number consists of the area number of the respective pension insurance agency, your date of birth, the first letter of your last name, a serial number for your gender, and the check digit. When you receive your SV ID card, be sure to check that the information matches.

Since 2017, the social security card also contains a QR code. For example, employees can also use a smartphone to read out the information and transfer it to their payroll program. However, the ID cards issued earlier remain valid.

It is up to you to decide whether a photo is included in the ID card. It has been voluntary since 2009.

How do I get a social security card?

The social security card is automatically sent to you when you start your first job – whether it's full-time, part-time, apprenticeship, internship or mini-job. In concrete terms, the German pension insurance sends a letter on which the social insurance card is printed with your social insurance number.

So you don't have to do anything but wait for your ID card to be sent to you. But keep it in a safe place once you have it.

Why do I need a social insurance card?

The social security card identifies you as a member of the social security system. You are thus insured against occupational disability and pension insurance. The social security number will later be used to calculate your pension.

You'll need the Social Security card if you…

  • take up employment
  • Applying for social benefits such as unemployment benefits or Hartz IV

As soon as you start working, present your social security card to your employer. The employer registers you with the health insurance fund or the mini-job center, stating your social security number. This is to ensure that it correctly accounts for social contributions.

Do I always have to carry my social security card with me??

No, you do not have to carry your social security card with you at all times. The so-called carry-on requirement that used to exist no longer exists.

It was replaced by a general obligation to show identification – but only in certain industries. Accordingly, you must always be able to identify yourself either with your identity card, passport or ID card or a passport substitute. ID card requirement aims to prevent moonlighting.

The ID card is required in resp. for:

  • Construction
  • Restaurants and lodging establishments
  • Passenger transport (z.B. cabs)
  • Forwarding, transport and related logistics industries
  • Showman
  • Meat Industry
  • Forestry
  • Building Cleaning
  • Setting up and dismantling trade fairs and exhibitions
  • Prostitution trade

How to apply for a new social security card?

If you have lost your social security card, you can apply for a new one free of charge. The best way to do this is to contact your health insurance company. She applies for the identity card for you at the German pension insurance. Processing, however, can take several weeks.

If your social security number, surname or first name changes, tell your employer or a social security agency about it. It forwards the changes to the statutory pension insurance company. This issues a new SV card.

You can, of course, apply for a new social security card yourself at the German Pension Insurance Office.

Do I need a social security card as a foreign employee??

Yes. If you are a foreigner employed in Germany, you are subject to German social security law and receive a social security card.

This is not the case if a foreign employee employs you in Germany on a temporary basis. Instead of the SV card, you will then need your residence permit or the certificate of applicable legislation, also known as a certificate of posting.

Different regulations also apply to foreign employees who are self-employed, come from a non-EU country or additionally work professionally in other countries.