Issuing an EBT card


An applicant for SNAP benefits must be issued an EBT card as soon as s/he verifies identity, unless s/he already has an EBT card and is not requesting a new one. Identity must be verified before an EBT card is issued.

To issue an EBT card at application, you must do the following when completing the RFA:

Check the Request Primary EBT Card box; and


For Web applications, an EBT card is automatically requested once the Web application workflow is completed.


If an applicant indicates on the SNAP Benefits Application that s/he already has an EBT card, a new EBT card does not need to be issued unless the applicant requests a new card.


If a client reapplies for SNAP benefits after his/her case has been closed for less than 30 days and s/he requests a new EBT card, the card will be subject to the EBT Card Replacement procedures. For more information, see EBT Card Fees, Replacements and Notices.


Mailing an EBT Card

To send an EBT card by mail:

  1. from the EBT Client list, EBT Card Request page, select the record and fill out the required fields; and

  2. select Central Print from the Print Location dropdown list so the request is processed for an EBT card/PIN by mail.

If identity is not verified on Day 1 of the application process, you must check the Verifications tab on Day 2 to determine if the SSN has been validated through SVES.

Once the applicant’s SSN is validated through SVES:

  1. verify identity in the EBT Card Request window/EBT Client List by selecting Validated by SSA/SDX

  2. fill out the required fields; and

  3. select Central Print so the request is processed for an EBT card/PIN by mail.

EBT Procedures if SSN is Unverified

If no SSN is provided, or identity is questionable, you must request verification of identity before issuing an EBT card in person or by mail.  

When a client requests an EBT card in-person and the client’s SSN has not yet been verified by SVES on Day 1 of the application process, the issuance of the EBT card must not be denied if other verification of identity is available. Verification of identity includes – but is not limited to – a driver’s license or state issued I.D., passport, birth certificate or hospital birth record, court or other government documents, military service papers, employment papers, and wage stubs. Verification of identity cannot be restricted solely to a photo I.D.

If the client provides acceptable verification of identity, the EBT card must be issued.

Example: Tara comes into a TAO on 5/20 to apply for SNAP. During the application process, Tara verifies her identity with her birth certificate. The case manager processing her application submits a SVES request for Tara on 5/20. However, due to the time of the submission, SVES is not scheduled to return a result until 5/22. At the end of her application interview, the case manager marks identity as verified and refers Tara to the EBT clerk for her EBT card. Even though the SVES inquiry for Tara is pending, the EBT card must be issued to Tara.


EBT Procedures if Applicant Visits the TAO After the Card is Mailed

If you mail the EBT card to an applicant who qualifies for expedited benefits, but s/he comes to the TAO and requests an EBT card, you must:

  1. send the applicant to the CIS Clerk for a replacement EBT card/PIN to be issued immediately to the applicant

  2. tell the applicant that identification must be shown to the CIS clerk; and

  3. explain to the applicant that the EBT card/PIN that was previously mailed will be immediately deactivated and must be destroyed upon receipt.

SNAP Application Processing Policy and Procedures


  Last Update:  October 15, 2020