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 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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1,531 thoughts on “So You’ve Lost Your Social Security Card

  1. I need a replacement ssc I keep trying to do it online and it keeps telling me it can’t verify my identity..i dont know what to do all the offices are closed..can someone pls help me ..thank you

    • Hi Ronald, thank you for using our blog. 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. If you cannot request a replacement card online, call your local office and request that we mail you an SSN printout instead of a replacement Social Security card. Unfortunately, we are unable to process replacement Social Security card requests by phone at this time.

    • Hi Joshua, 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 https://www.e-verify.gov/mye-verify/self-lock. 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. i lost my social and i cant find the problem is that i never memorized it either. Is it possible for me to still get a replacement card or a new ssn?

    • Hi Adrian, thank you for using our blog. 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. Visit our Social Security Number and Card page to learn how. If you cannot request a replacement card online, call your local office and request that we mail you an SSN printout instead of a replacement Social Security card. Unfortunately, we are unable to process replacement Social Security card requests by phone at this time.

  3. We need to get a social security card for our grandson. He does not know his number and his parents do not have the original card or number. We have applied for emergency custody of him and temporary custody. Please advise us on what steps need to be taken as he needs his ss number to apply for jobs , school drivers lisc etc.

  4. A student of mine lost her SS card and did not record the number. We are not in the U.S. at this time.

    Should she go to the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan or is there a site or email where she can be served.

  5. IT IS NOT SECURE AT ALL TO SEND ORIGINAL DOCUMENTATION!, I was directed by an official from SSC services in jamaica, NY( when I called for guidance), to send my documents since with the COVID situation they do not receive face to face documentation, they highlighted to me to write at to the manager and I sent my resident card with temporary SSC for update to de SS card center in jamaica, NY, and get lost/stoke by USPS, now I have a nightmare, even dough I send my documents by certificate mail the supervisors on the post office zip code 11432 has no answers to me, on the online tracking service said that arrive at the post office in Jamaica, NY and there is not more information. (it pass a month already)I am going in circles and nobody cares , no wondering USPS in JAMAICA, NY have 1star in reviews ,I don’t know what to do!

    • Hi Mercedes, thanks for using our blog. 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.

      If you think someone is using your Social Security number, check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on what you can do.

  6. A month ago I left it I went to social security administration and I left it with them and I went back and they were closed I couldn’t get a hold of them for the colon 19 that I they weren’t open so I may replace my social security card and I can’t find it here at home I turned the house upside down and I still can’t find it please I need another car please

  7. I tried multiple times to establish my account. Subsequently, I regularly was asked to use a provided activation code that I never was aware of receiving.
    Most of the process was friendly but that code was not obvious. Would appreciate help.

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