How to Replace Your Social Security Card

Woman asking how to replace her social security card

If your Social Security card has been lost, stolen, or damaged, don’t panic! Replacing your Social Security card is pretty simple. You can actually get one for free online, if you visit the Social Security Administration website. In addition, you can apply in person or through the mail, if you prefer.

However you choose to apply, you will need the correct documents to prove your identity and citizenship.

Requirements to replace a Social Security card

To apply online for a replacement Social Security card, you must:

  • B a U.S. citizen
  • Be 18 or older
  • Have a Social Security number
  • Have a U.S. mailing address
  • Be requesting only a replacement (not requesting a name change or any other change)
  • Have a U.S. driver’s license or state-issued ID card
  • Live in a state that offers online replacement (currently Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and West Virginia do not)

If you don’t meet these requirements, you can also apply for a replacement Social Security Card in-person at your local SSA office, or request one by mail. Keep in mind that you will need some additional documents if you apply in-person or by mail.

Replacements are free, however, you can only get 3 replacement cards a year and 10 in your lifetime. But, if you have changed your name and need to update your card, the new Social Security card will not count toward your replacement limit.

Documents required to replace your Social Security card

If you are not eligible to apply for a Social Security card online, you will need some additional documents to apply in-person or by mail. All  documents have to be unexpired originals or certified copies, not photocopies.

You will need documents to prove your:

  • U.S. citizenship (U.S. birth certificate or a U.S. passport)
  • Date of birth (US birth certificate, US hospital birth record, US passport, or religious record made before the age of 5)
  • Identity (U.S. driver’s license, U.S. passport, state-issued ID card, school or employee ID card, military ID or health insurance card)

Applying for a new Social Security Card

The fastest and simplest way to apply for a replacement Social Security Card is to set up an SSA account and complete the online Social Security Card replacement application.

However, if you are not eligible to apply online, you can visit your local SSA office or apply by mail.

To apply for a Social Security Card at the SSA office or by mail, you will need to complete a Social Security card replacement application. You can download the Social Security card application form online and print it off, or just go pick one up from the SSA office.

Then, you’ll need to submit the application at an SSA office or by mail, along with original or certified documents showing proof of your identity and citizenship. On the SSA website, you can find the location and mailing address of the nearest office.

Replacing a minor’s Social Security card

There are different requirements and processes to replace a minor child’s Social Security Card. The SSA has more information, and you can also contact your local SSA office to determine the best way to get a replacement card for your child.

You can also check out: How to get your newborn’s Social Security Number and Card

What if my Social Security card was stolen?

If your Social Security Card was stolen, it’s important to take some additional steps to protect yourself and your identity. You should immediately:

  • Contact your local police department to file a report.
  • Monitor your credit report in case of identity theft.
  • Report the theft to the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 1-800-772-1213

Unfortunately, if your Social Security card is lost or stolen, you are at a significant risk for fraud or identity theft. To protect yourself and your credit, you will need to take some precautions. You can request an annual credit report from each credit bureau for free, once per year. Go over all of the accounts and make sure that they all belong to you. In addition, you can put a freeze on your credit. This will help prevent anyone from opening up a line of credit in your name. Finally, you can sign up for a credit monitoring service. You may already have access to this type of service for free, or for a reduced price, through one of your credit cards or banks. They will watch your credit and let you know if they find anything suspicious.

How long does it take to get a replacement Social Security Card?

Once your application has been processed by the SSA, it usually takes between 10 and 14 business days to get your new Social Security Card. To ensure that you get your card as soon as possible, be sure to verify that your application is correct and carefully follow the instructions when applying. This will help you avoid delays and rejection.

You may also be interested in reading: What can I do if I lost all my IDs?

Can I replace my Social Security Card the same day?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to get same-day service for a replacement Social Security card, even if you go to the SSA office in-person. The quickest method to get a replacement Social Security Card is to apply online, but you will still have to wait up to 2 weeks to get your card in the mail.

However, if it is a true emergency and you need a Social Security Card the same day, there is an another option.

  • Fill out the Social Security card replacement application online
  • Print and sign the application
  • Visit your local Social Security Office and bring along with all required documents
  • Submit your application and ask them to provide you with a temporary printout of your Social Security Card.

To ensure the security of U.S. citizens’ important data, the SSA will not issue temporary printouts online, so you must go in person to get a temporary card.

This is your best option if you need your Social Security card right away, in order to apply for a job, enroll in school, sign up for health insurance, etc.

Treat the temporary printout just like you would your regular Social Security card, and keep it safe and secure. Keep in mind, however, that you can only use the printout at places where Social Security card copies are accepted, and the printout is only valid for 30 days.

You may also find this article helpful: How to get an ID without a birth certificate or Social Security Card

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