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. Lyn

    My children Immigration status change from Permanent resident to US Citizen how do I update there Immigration status?

    • Vonda

      Thank you for your question, Lyn, and for reading our blog. You cannot update citizenship status with Social Security online. You will need to update your children’s Social Security records by showing us their Certificate of Naturalization and completing an application for a corrected Social Security card. All submitted documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. Please visit our Social Security and Coronavirus web page. If you believe you qualify for an in-office appointment, call your local office. You’ll find the contact information using our online Social Security Office Locator.

  2. Christine

    How do I get a replacement card for my child?

  3. Alexis M.

    I’ve lost my social security card during a pandemic and I’m under 18… I need the physical card to get my driver’s license. I don’t know what to do, please help.

  4. Maria

    I have been trying to request a social security replacement card for my father (he lost it) but the SSA website tells me that he is not able to do it on line even though he meets all the requirements. I have called 800-772-1213 but haven’t been able to be helped, and all the SS offices are closed.

    • Vonda

      Hi Maria, thank you for your question. First, realize your father may not need a replacement card. He will rarely need to show it. Knowing his Social Security number is what is important. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for details on getting help with a Social Security replacement card. We hope this helps!

  5. Isaac J.

    Hi I have exceeded the amount for ss cards. I have had 10. How might I receive one as of now? Can I receive a print out maybe? Please let me know.

    • Sue

      Hi, Isaac, and thanks 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’s important. Second, if you cannot request a replacement card online, call your local office and request that we mail you an SSN printout. We hope this helps.

  6. Bob

    I’ve been on your website for 2 1/2 hrs an still can’t set up an account as it keeps asking me to exit to check availability of a password when setting up a new account and it won’t accept anything I put in.

    • Vonda

      Hi Bob, thanks for using our blog. Sorry to hear you are having difficulties creating a my Social Security account. For assistance with your account, you may call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or you can contact 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.

  7. Tammy a.

    I still have not received my replacement card and my original documents back. My next door neighbor as been getting in my mailbox and throwing mail away or sending it back.

    • Vonda

      Hi Tammy, 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.

  8. Sherry N.

    I have lost my Medicare card. Would you please mail me replacement car?

    • Vonda

      Hi Sherry, thanks for using our blog to ask your question. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to get a replacement Medicare card.

  9. Madeline

    Hello,
    I lost the original copy of my social security card a certication of naturalization. What can I do ?I really need it for this job .

    • Alice S.

      I lost my social security card

      • Vonda

        Hi Alice, 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!

  10. Miranda D.

    My wallet was stolen and ALL my information was in it. I don’t have any ID currently to be able to get my SSN Card. The SS office is closed due to the pandemic. I don’t know what to do. Please help..

    • Vonda

      Hi Miranda, 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!

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