General, Online Services

So You’ve Lost Your Social Security Card

July 25, 2016 • By

lost ss cardLosing important documents is frustrating, especially something as important as your Social Security card.

You’ll want to 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. You’ll need to show us 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.

Keep in mind that all documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. We can’t accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. We 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 the Application for a Social Security Card, so you can fill it out. Finally, the third step is to bring or mail your application and original documents to us, and 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 wanting to charge you a fee to get your replacement card. Keep in mind that 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.

We’ll mail your card as soon as we have all of your information and have verified your documents. Your replacement card will have the same name and number as your previous card.


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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Comments

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  1. Yu Guo

    Hi, I applied for my SSN along with my work authorization application (I-765). I’ve contacted agents at local SSO and learned that my SSN has been approved early last month, but I still haven’t recieved my card in mail, so I suspect it’s lost during delivery. Now I need my SSN urgently for work, what can I do?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Yu, thanks for using our blog. Please contact your local Social Security office. Look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  2. Richard Linn

    Texas DPS says that you must have a social security card or other documents with a social security number on it to get a state ID. But to get a replacement social security card, you must have a state ID. How can one break this deadlock?

    Reply
    • Sue

      Hi, Richard. Thank for your reading our blog and for your question. If you need proof of your Social Security number, please call your local office and ask the representative to mail you an SSN printout. You’ll find the phone number using our Office Locator. If you need more details, check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page. We hope this helps!

      Reply
  3. marisol irvin

    What should a do about possible identity pampering? like someone opening up a credit card with my social security number? what can I do about that?

    Reply
  4. Eden Ursin-Smith

    Did not receive email verification for my application and I need it for housing

    Reply
    • Sue

      Hi, Eden. Thank you for using our blog. Unfortunately, your question is a bit more complex than we can handle in this forum. For your security, we don’t have access to information about your application. We ask members of our Blog community to call your local office with specific questions. You’ll find the phone number with our Social Security Office Locator. Please be patient as our call volume and wait times are higher than normal. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  5. Corey Thomas Welton

    Hi I sent in a request for a replacement card on January 8th that I need for my unemployment and I am pretty sure it accidently went to my old address instead of my new one. The local office is closed, and the phone line is jammed up, I haven’t been able to figure out Where can I check what the current mailing address is on the website?

    Reply
    • Sue

      Hi, Corey, and thank you for reading our blog. For your security, we don’t have access to your application in this forum. Your servicing Social Security office is based on your zip code. Please use our Office Locator to find your office mailing address and phone number. If necessary, you can call the office to check the status of your replacement card. Our call volume and wait times are higher than normal, so please be patient. We hope this information is useful.

      Reply
  6. Ashley Benjamin

    Trying to help boyfriend get his social security card, and his id but, it seems like he cant get one without the other. I called the Social Security Office and they told the both of us that needs to get a copy of his medical records. Again, can’t do that without an id. He has his birth certificate and verification of address. We are completely stuck. Is there anyway around this? Thank you.

    Reply
  7. Anita Herrera

    I recently lost my debit card and when I called my bank to cancel that card and request a new one, everything seemed to go smoothly. The next day I received a text asking me to contact my bank as there was an issue with my account. According to my bank, they froze my account, for my best interest, until I could provide documents proving I am who I say I am. The documents in question are my driver’s license, utility bill and social security CARD. My SS card was lost when my wallet was lost a couple years ago and due to the COVID 19 pandemic my local SS office is closed to the general public. I have made an appointment which is weeks out and then it will be mailed to me within 10 to 14 business days. Use the online tool? Did that and apparently I answered something wrong while updating my address because I was locked out of there also and I’m being sent a code to unlock it in the US MAIL in two weeks. After that THEN I CAN REQUEST THE SS CARD. IN The mean time I am without any of my money in my bank account. They froze my account right after my SSDI check was deposited and I have been without any kind of money for almost 3 weeks. My car is being repossessed, various things like Netflix and Amazon music have cancelled because I’m way late and our car insurance has lapsed. My landlord is being somewhat understanding but not for very much longer. I’ve called socal security and they were really helpful and sent a letter saying I had applied for a replacement and that the number they printed on it was in fact my SSN. it wasn’t good enough for the bank. The ONLY thing they will accept is a pic of my card. My disability check is going to be deposited again and I won’t be able to touch it again. I have no money for groceries…. AT ALL. I don’t receive food assistance from my county nor do I qualify for other programs because technically I have money in the bank. I JUST CAN’T TOUCH IT. My question to you is is it legal for my bank to hold my money until I send them the pic of my SS Card? They have the number. I was always told to NEVER EVER send anyone pics of it through email or texts. Can they continue to hold my money or is it illegal/unethical to do this to me? I don’t know how much longer I can go without any kind of funds. My phone is getting ready to be cut off cause I can’t pay the bill and NSF charges are stacking up from bills that are bouncing. I’ve read horror stories about people in my position providing the pics and then later on having their identity stolen. I guess it couldn’t be much worse than what I’m going through now. Help!!

    Reply
    • Vonda

      For your security, Anita, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. Please call your local Social Security office. Maybe they can call your financial institution. Look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply

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