To sign up for Medicare, you need to provide specific documentation to prove your age and identity. Whether you’re applying online, over the phone, or in person, you should have this information ready ahead of time. 

What Paperwork Do You Need to Apply for Medicare?

You must sign up for Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) through Social Security. You’ll have three options: apply online, over the phone, or in person.

When applying for Medicare in person, you’ll need to bring the following documents with you:

  • Your Social Security card (or other proof of your SSN)
  • An original copy of a document proving your age, such as a birth certificate, census record, or vaccine record – if possible, it should be from before you turned five
  • Documentation proving legal residency, such as a U.S. passport (if you weren’t born in the United States)
  • Your original military service papers (if you served in the military before 1968)

Individuals who previously proved their age or residency status for a prior claim through Social Security or Medicare don’t need to submit the information again. Unless otherwise instructed, Social Security will return all original documents or photocopies.

When applying for Original Medicare on the phone or online, it helps to have the above documents in front of you. This way, you’ll have the information ready when you need it.

What Information Do I Need to Sign Up for Medicare Online?

Before you begin to apply for Original Medicare online, you’ll need to create a My Social Security account. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires the following to sign up for an account:

Email Address

Your Valid Email Address

Social Security Number

Social Security Number

Mailing Address

Primary Mailing Address

The SSA prohibits having someone else sign up for you, even if you give them written permission. Likewise, you can’t sign up for anyone but yourself.

Once you have your Social Security account, you can begin the Medicare application process and refer to the documents on the first bulleted list for the information you need. 

Do I Need Additional Documentation to Sign Up for Medicare Advantage or Part D?

When it comes time to sign up for a Medicare Advantage or Part D plan, you won’t need to provide any additional records or documentation proving your identity. You’ll need to sign up for Original Medicare (Parts A and B) before adding this extra coverage, so the vetting process through the SSA will occur when you first enroll.

What Documents Do I Need for Medicare

Jagger Esch

Medicare Expert

Jagger Esch is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ and the founder, president, and CEO of Elite Insurance Partners and Since the inception of his first company in 2012, he has been dedicated to helping those eligible for Medicare by providing them with resources to educate themselves on all their Medicare options. He is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare.