Social Security Card Replacement

Your social security card is an important part of your identity. Most social security numbers are issued at birth or for immigrants when they are awarded an official status. Your social security number is how you are able to stockpile benefits, pay taxes, receive paychecks and so much more.

As important as this number may be, it may surprise you just how often this little card gets lost. Thankfully, Social Security is relatively easy to replace if it happens to get lost or worse, stolen. There is no cost for replacing a Social Security card, and the entire process is much easier than you may think.

How Do I Replace My Social Security Card?

In most states, replacing a lost or stolen Social Security card is as easy as filling out an application online. In very rare cases, a person may have to visit a Social Security office near them in person to apply for a replacement Social Security card. You may apply for a replacement Social Security card online under the following conditions:

  • U.S. citizens that are at least 18 years of age who also have a valid mailing address in the U.S. may apply online for a Social Security card replacement. If you are not seeking to make changes to your card, such as a name change, you may also apply for a Social Security card replacement online.
  • Adults who have a legal state-issued identification card or driving license may also apply for a Social Security card replacement online. Though a great number of states offer online service, there are still a few that require an in-person visit for all Social Security related transactions. You can check the main Social Security website to confirm if your state allows online applications for Social Security card replacement.

Is it Hard to Replace a Social Security Card?

Most Social Security cards can be replaced online with no more than a few clicks, but even when a person needs to visit the Social Security office in person, the process is simple. It is easy to be in and out of the Social Security office in 20 minutes or less with a letter stating that your replacement card is on the way. Actual processing and issuing of a replacement card take about 10 days, but often it is much less.

It is very important to know how and when to get a new Social Security card. Replacing your Social Security card is just one important step towards protecting yourself from identity theft and protecting your Social Security benefits.

What to Do If A Social Security Card is Stolen or Lost

Even though your social security card may seem like a small piece of powerless paper, it can actually wreck a lot of havoc if it falls into the wrong hands. If thieves get ahold of your social security number, they have the ability to open credit cards in your name, apply for loans or even steal your Social Security benefits!

It is important to look for your actual card if you simply think that it has been lost in your home. For cards that you know are stolen, it is a good idea to start monitoring your credit or even placing an alert on your profile. This is one way to clue you in on any attempts to use your social security number for nefarious purposes. For seniors who are receiving disability payments, it is important to alert the Social Security office that your card has been lost or stolen. That way, no one will be able to make payment changes without an extra level of verification.

Should I Be Worried About a Stolen Social Security Number?

Your social security card is important, but it is the actual number that must be safeguarded. Thieves can gain access to your bank accounts and other private areas with nothing more than your birth date and your social security number. People can even use a Social Security number to gain access to your phone records and other devices, which basically gives them direct access to you.

Some of the worse case scenarios involve stolen Social Security cards that are later used to file fake tax returns. Not only will they deprive the actual owner of their money, but it can also cause hefty fines down the line.

Applying for a Social Security Card Replacement in Person

For those who are not able to apply online for a Social Security card replacement, you will need to go in person to the local Social Security office. During your in-person visit you will need to take along your original identification documents, citizenship information, and immigration papers, depending on the actual type of card that needs to be replaced.

The actual process is very simple. You will need to compile your documentation, fill out the replacement application, and send the application and your documents to the Social Security Administration. Yup, it really is that easy. We will go over what you need in more detail in the next section.

What You Need When You Apply for a Social Security replacement card

To request to have your Social Security card replaced, you will need to bring along a valid form of identification. The three most common options are:

  • A valid driver’s license issued in the U.S.
  • A valid U.S. passport
  • A valid state-issued non-driver identification card

You will also need to fill out the application form. This form can be filled out online and then printed, or you can print it and fill it out by hand. The “New or Replacement Social Security Number and Card” form can be located on the official Social Security website here.

Make sure to only use original documents when you apply, as notarized copies or photocopies are not considered valid. If you were not born in the U.S. or if you have a different citizenship status, you will need to provide all legal documentation that proves your status. Losing or having your Social Security card stolen is a bit of a hassle, but it is not the end of the world. The Social Security Administration has made it easy to replace your card and protect your future.