Frauds & Scams, Privacy & Identity, Social Security Number and Card

Guard Your Card: Protect What’s Important to You

November 18, 2021 • By

Reading Time: 1 Minute

Last Updated: November 18, 2021

Close-up of social security cards - We encourage you not to carry your Social Security card with you every day. The best way to “Guard Your Card” is to keep it in a safe place and share it only when required, which is rare. In fact, in most cases, just knowing the Social Security number should be enough. In 49 states and the District of Columbia, a Social Security card isn’t required to request a Real ID. Only Pennsylvania requires it.

Please be careful about sharing your number when asked for it. You should always ask why your number is needed, how it will be used, and what will happen if you refuse. Also, you shouldn’t carry documents that display your number.

If you need a replacement Social Security card, we make it easy. You may be able to use a personal my Social Security account to request a replacement on our website. If you live in one of 45 participating states or the District of Columbia, and are requesting a replacement card with no changes, like a name change, you can use our free online service.

Visit our Social Security Number and Card page to learn more about your Social Security card. Please read our factsheet, How You Can Help Us Protect Your Social Security Number and Keep Your Information Safe, for more information. Our Guard Your Card infographic is another great resource to understand whether you need to show your card.

Please share these resources with your friends, and family – and post them on social media.

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About the Author

Dawn Bystry, Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications


  1. James

    Great work. Thanks for the share.
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  2. Marsha B.

    Having tried to call SSI for the last four months as I cannot submit my earnings while I’m on SSI disability. Either the call is cut off or I’ve waited four times for an hours and twice it’s been answered but then I’m hung up on. What other option do I have?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Marsha. We are sorry to hear about your experience. Please be aware our call volume is higher than normal. Since you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you can also report your wages online by creating a personal my Social Security account. We hope this helps. 

  3. Chip


    My aunt has the wrong birthdate listed on her social security info. It is off by one day. How can I get this fixed to be the correct date? She is ineligible for health insurance until we can get this fixed. Thank you.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Chip. Thanks for your question. To correct your aunt’s date of birth, she will need to complete an Application for a Social Security Card along with supporting documentation including her birth certificate. She can mail the required information to her local Social Security office or she can contact her local office to determine her submission options. We hope this information is helpful. 

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  5. Mindy H.

    Thanks for valuable information from Mindy Harwood

  6. Thu N.

    Hi. I wanna update status citizenship for me. How can I do that? And how can I make appointment with the ssa local office ? Thanks

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Thu. Social Security offices are currently open only for in-person appointments for limited, critical situations. We are unable to accept walk-in visitors. If you feel you have a critical situation, please visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates page for more information. We hope this helps. 

  7. K.H.

    I just found out some used my Name, address, cell phone, and social security number to open up a credit card and who knows what else. I don’t know what to do now? Wish you had a number to speak with someone. Help?

  8. Trishcelia J.


    • Vonda

      Hi Trishcelia, thanks for using our blog. Generally, identity theft issues are handled by the Federal Trade Commission. Visit to report identity theft and get a recovery plan or call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338).

      Visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on what you can do if you think someone is using your Social Security number.

    • Lukasz P.

      ***-**-**** LUKAS PACHOLSKI 17.05.1984

      Lukasz Pacholski
      Blutentnahmen beim Labor Dr.Kramer (LADR)
      Lauenburger Strabe 67 , 21502 Geesthacht
      Tel.04152 / 885810 Fax.8858114
      BSNR 012070100

      • Ann C.

        Hi, Lukasz. Since you are living outside of the U.S., you can contact your local Federal Benefits Unit for any assistance related to Social Security benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. Just a reminder – please be cautious about posting personal information on social media. We hope this helps.

  9. F F.

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  10. H H.

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