Consider whether you really need to get a replacement card. Knowing your number is what’s important, after all. You’ll rarely need the card itself — perhaps only when you get a new job and have to show it to your employer. If you really must replace your card, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber before visiting your local Social Security office.
The first step is to learn what documents you need. The Social Security Administration requires a U.S. driver’s license, a state issued non-driver identification card, or a U.S. passport to prove your identity. Sometimes you may also need to prove your current U.S. citizenship or lawful noncitizen status with a birth certificate or passport.
All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. The Social Security office won’t accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. They also can’t accept a receipt showing you applied for the document.
Once you’re clear on what documents you’ll need, the second step is to print and fill out the Application for a Social Security Card. Finally, the third step is to bring or mail your application and original documents to a Social Security office. Then, the online process will take you to a screen where you can find the address of your local office.
In some areas, you can request a replacement Social Security card using your online my Social Security account if you meet certain requirements. Simply access your account and follow the instructions to replace your Social Security card. It’s safe, convenient and secure.
You can replace your Social Security card for free if it’s lost or stolen. Avoid service providers who charge you a fee to get your replacement card. You’re limited to three replacement cards in a year, and 10 during your lifetime. Legal name changes and other exceptions don’t count toward these limits. Changes in immigration status that require card updates may not count toward these limits. Also, you aren’t affected by these limits if you can prove you need the card to prevent a significant hardship.
The Social Security office will mail your card as soon as all of your information has been verified. Your replacement card will have the same name and number as your previous card.
For more information, go to:
- Ask students if anyone has lost his/her Social Security card. If so, did they replace it? Why or why not?
- Under what circumstances should you replace your lost Social Security card? Explain.
- What steps must be taken to replace a Social Security card?
- Why must all documents be original to be submitted to Social Security?