Guard Your Card: Protect What’s Important to YouReading Time: 1 Minute
Last Updated: November 18, 2021
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.