General, Online Services, Social Security Number and Card

So You’ve Lost Your Social Security Card

July 25, 2016 • By

Last Updated: July 29, 2021

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

Comments

  1. Fernando D.

    I never received my child’s social from the hospital, because I changed my child’s name a day after the paperwork was submitted. Now I have know idea what to do because I never received any paperwork with a social, does anyone know what I should do. Pluss covid is really making this hard on us!!!

    • Vonda

      Hi Fernando, thanks for using our blog. You can call your local Social Security office. Please 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.

  2. Pablo E.

    How do I know if I ever had a social security number?? Please help

    • Vonda

      Hi Pablo, thanks for using our blog. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can call your local Social Security office. Please 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.

  3. Scott M.

    I lost my wallet with my social security number in it. How can I prevent fraud?

    • Vonda

      Hi Scott, 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!

  4. Brittany T.

    Will a U.S. Passport Card suffice for a replacement social security card?

    • Vonda

      Hi Brittany, 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. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for details on getting help with your Social Security number. We hope this helps!

  5. Ryan B.

    I lost my social security card and Id in my wallet but I don’t have my birth certificate how can I get my documents or id with out birth certificate

  6. Alwine b.

    Lost my di number

    • Vonda

      Hi Alwine, 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.

  7. Katz

    Hi, I mailed my father’s birth certificate and green card together to the SSI office because they requested his original documents to process Medicare. The office received both documents and only returned the birth certificate. I made several calls to inquire about the green card. They said they lost my father’s green card. My father tried to get a new green card from USCIS. However, he needs to pay $540 fee. It’s very difficult for him to pay that much. I think the SSI office is responsible for it. Please advise!

    • Vonda

      Hi Katz, thanks for using our blog. Please call 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.

  8. Jonathan m.

    I lost my birth certificate and ss card in a fire and i have no ID im 19 turning 20 what do i do

    • Vonda

      Hi Jonathan, thanks for using our blog. If you need 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.

  9. Greg D.

    I lost my ID,I need to get social card but all I have is birth certificate,I just moved to Colorado,do you know how I can get social security card without an ID?

    • Sue

      Hi, Greg, thanks for using our blog. We’re sorry, but we can’t accept a birth certificate as proof of identity for a replacement Social Security card. Please see our Learn What Documents You Need for details on the documentation requirements. Under the heading, “Type of Card,” select “Replacement” for a list of the documents needed. For complete instructions, go to the Social Security Number and Card webpage. You can also call your local office and request that we mail you an SSN printout instead of a replacement Social Security card. We hope this helps.

  10. Alexis K.

    my social security card had recently been lost and i need a replacement. i’m 18 but work everyday so can’t go up to the office and i tried to get a replacement online but i don’t have a credit card or tax return to prove my identity. can my mom go and get me a replacement card from the social security office or is there another way i can do it?

    • Delilah L.

      What do I do if I had to many social security cards how do I go about getting a card

      • Vonda

        Hi Delilah, thanks for using our blog. Please call 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.

Comments are closed.