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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1,504 thoughts on “So You’ve Lost Your Social Security Card

    • Thanks for letting us know. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  1. I need to replace my ss card so if someone could give me a call back like at 1 oclock on Friday 24th so I can get a card and I need help to set up my direct deposit acct to please thank you for your time and help

    • Hi Tammie, 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. Use our Social Security Office Locator to find your local office address. We hope this helps.

    • Hi, Kiri. First, realize that you may not need a replacement card. You will rarely need to show it. Knowing the Social Security number is what is important. 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 please visit our Social Security Number and Card page. If you choose to mail the application, you can send to your local office. Keep in mind all submitted documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency and must (unless otherwise indicated) have been issued within the last two years. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. Once you’ve submitted all the needed documents, it can take up to 10 business days from the date we received the application to mail a replacement card. We hope this helps.

  2. Your online system won’t let me replace my lost card, your office is closed until who knows when, and I was told that I would need to mail you my ORIGINAL photo ID to get a replacement through the mail. How is it possible that I’m supposed to send you my driver’s license and be without it for two months or more while I’m waiting for you to do whatever it is you do? That’s insane.

    • Hi Michael, 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. I really do need my social security card I been trying to get get online but having trouble getting it so can y’all please help me

    • Hi Ambrell, 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.

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