So You’ve Lost Your Social Security Card

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 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.


1,483 thoughts on “So You’ve Lost Your Social Security Card

  1. To Whom It may Concern:
    I need a replacement of my Social Security Card to prevent significant hardship. In or around the 1980’s my first Social Security Card that was issued to me in either San Francisco, California or in New York City, New York, was stolen. After this happened, I moved to Salt Lake City, Utah and reported the loss to you at the Social Security office.It says here that my replacement card should have had the same name and Social Security number as the previous one; nevertheless, the Social Security office in Salt Lake City, Utah issued a DIFFERENT NUMBER CARD to me then. I have a photo copy of that first card with the Social Security Number: XXXXXXXXX. The new card that they issued in Utah had the same name as the original card: Maria Teresa Noriega, but they changed my first Social Security number to:XXXXXXXX. I am now retired and I worked in New York, Chicago and New Orleans with my Social Security number: XXXXXXXX. Nevertheless, the Social Security office in Ogden, Utah called me some months ago and issued a new card that had the same second Social Security number and was issued in Utah. This last Social Security card that was issued to me in Ogden, Utah had my name as: Maria Teresa Noriega Gutierrez , (which is my full name). I do not know why they gave me this last card with both of my last names, because the first Social Security card issued to me only read: Maria Teresa Noriega. This last time they told me at the Social Security office to throw away the card that read: Maria Teresa Noriega because my full name is actually: Maria Teresa Noriega Gutierrez.
    I was never given an explanation as to why they issued a number different that my first number or to why they added Gutierrez (my mother’s maiden name) to my last Social Security card.
    Now, all my ID’s have been stolen several times: the first time my Social Security card was stolen was in the State of Louisiana where I worked as a Front Desk Clerk and ESL teacher for SER Jobs for Progress. I worked also in San Francisco at the Accounting Department of the Bank of America. They told me at the Social Security office in Ogden, Ut. that they have merged all my former jobs from the different states where I worked into my last Social S. number: XXXXXXXX. I just want to make sure nobody else is using any of my 2 Social Security numbers presently because of the stealing of all my ID’s . The last time I had my ID’s stolen was at Walmart in Layton, Utah. on February 1st, 2020 (this year). Officer: Porter from the Layton police took the report. Case # 20-01473 . I have the other case numbers of the other 2 times when my ID’s were stolen in Salt Lake City, Utah. I had my Driver’s Licence, my Medicare Card, and my passport re-issued. I recently sent an application to replace my Social Security card that was stolen on February 1st, 2020, along with other ID’s from the School Districts where I had worked before, A Westminster graduation ID card, my banks cards, some of my contacts cards, flash drives from my business, that had documents of much of my work at my school, and money.
    I just wanted to report this to you. I hope nobody is using my documents.
    I am the author of a book that is selling all over the world: ” The Links Method”, “The Best Way to Learn English”. I do not know if this is the reason for my loses. Thanks.
    You may reply to my email:
    Maria Teresa Noriega Gutierrez

    • Hi Julia, thanks for using our blog. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created a Self-Lock process. Locking an SSN helps stop individuals from using stolen SSNs to gain work authorization through E-Verify. Read more at To learn more about the steps individuals can take to prevent or resolve issues of identity theft, read our publication: “Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number”.

      We recommend you only obtain a replacement Social Security card if you need one. You will rarely need to show it. Knowing your Social Security number is what is important. However, if you must get a replacement card, you will need to gather documents proving both your identity and citizenship status. To see if you’re eligible to apply for a replacement Social Security card online or to learn more on the process and what documents you will need to get a card, visit our Social Security Number and Card web page. Thanks!

  2. Hello, Every form of identification was stolen from me DL/ID, SSC, everything. I have no way of proving who I am and cannot appear in person to request a replacement due to everything being closed due to Covid 19 keeping all in person visits non existent at the present moment. I’ve already had a paper application mailed and have received it. However, again I have no form of identification other than a copy of my DL/SSC (on paper), birth certificate, traffic ticket, and a W-2. All having my SSN, residence and so on. Will any of these be acceptable proof of identity to send in with the application?

    • Hi Douglas, thank you for your question. First, realize you may not need a replacement card. You will rarely need to show it. Knowing your Social Security number is what is important. However, if you must get a replacement card, you may be able to apply online. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to apply for a replacement Social Security card. If you are unable to apply online and you do not want to mail in your documents, which will be returned, you may need to wait for the offices to reopen. You can also call your local office and see if they will mail you an SSN printout instead of a replacement Social Security card. We are unable to process replacement Social Security card requests by phone at this time. Use our Social Security Office Locator to find your local office address. We hope this helps.

  3. i need a new Social Security Card immediately. please mail it to me immediately to David Carl James
    SS# *** – ** – ***
    720 Brisco Ave. #323
    BASTROP, LA 71220

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