Social Security Card

Quick Tips to Replace Your Lost Social Security Card

You need your Social Security card (or at least your Social Security number) to apply for a job, get insurance benefits, file income taxes, and to open up a bank account or seek credit.

If you’ve lost your Social Security Card or damage it in some way, you can request a replacement card directly through the U.S. Social Security Administration.

Keep in mind that the process for requesting a replacement card is different than that of issuing a new card. Only some people are eligible to receive a completely new card and new Social Security number. And those who do need a new card and number will need to provide extensive evidence that they are being disadvantaged because someone is misusing their number in some way.

You can replace your Social Security card for free if it is lost or stolen.

The U.S. Social Security Administration allows you to request up to three replacement cards in any given year, and up to 10 during your entire lifetime.

Any name changes do not count towards these limits.

Here’s what you need to do if you need to replace your Social Security card that has not been stolen or misused in any way:

Gather original documents.

You will need to show proof of U.S. Citizenship and some proof of your identity. Proof of U.S. Citizenship includes a U.S. birth certificate or a U.S. passport. Proof of identity documents include, a U.S. driver’s license, a state-issued non-driver identification card, or a U.S. passport. In some cases, your identity can also be proved with an employee ID card, a school ID card, a health insurance card, or a U.S. military ID card.

Complete Form SS-5.

You will need to print and fill out the Application for a Social Security Card, Form SS-5 completely.

Failing to fill out this document accurately and completely could mean your application gets denied and the office will send back your documents and application.

The Social Security Administration can only accept original documents, so don’t attach notarized copies or photocopies that have not been certified by a custodian.  Make sure you write legibly and only use blue or black ink when filling out this document.

Take or mail your documents to your local Social Security office.

Use this Social Security Office Locater tool to find the closest Social Security office in your area.

You can visit the office in-person to file your application or just send it by mail. Make sure you have applied adequate postage, and consider getting tracking or delivery confirmation on the package to ensure it gets to the office within a reasonable amount of time.

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