Chances are, you probably have your Social Security number memorized, so you may not have had to use your card in awhile. However, there are times when you may be required to show your actual card, such as when you start a new job or need to access certain government services. Fortunately, replacing a lost or stolen card is a relatively easy process.
In order to obtain a new card, you need to prove your citizenship or lawful noncitizen status, and your age and identity from a list of approved documentation (e.g., U.S. passport, driver’s license, birth certificate). All documentation provided must be either original or in certified form (notarized copies or photocopies will not be accepted).
Next, you need to fill out an Application for a Social Security Card and bring or mail the application, along with the approved documentation, to your local Social Security office. Once the Social Security Administration (SSA) has your information and verified your documents, you should receive a replacement card within 10 to 14 business days.
In certain circumstances, you may be able to apply for a replacement card online using a my Social Security online account. You can apply online for a replacement card if you:
- Are a U.S. citizen age 18 or older with a U.S. mailing address (this includes APO, FPO, and DPO addresses)
- Are not requesting a name change or any other change to your card
- Have a driver’s license or state-issued identification card from a participating state or the District of Columbia
Be wary of businesses that offer to replace your Social Security card for a fee. The SSA provides those services free of charge. Keep in mind that you are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime, although certain exceptions apply.
For more information on replacing a lost or stolen card, visit the Social Security Administration website at ssa.gov.
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