How to Get a Replacement Social Security Card

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Your Social Security number (SSN) is important information about you. Safeguard your Social Security card and don’t carry it with you. Losing a wallet or handbag is distressing, but replacing your Social Security card will require some effort on your part. You may also ask Social Security to replace your SS card if it’s damaged.

It’s possible to replace your Social Security card by completing and mailing an application found on the SSA website or via the Social Security My Account portal. Access Social Security My Account here if you’re a U.S. citizen with a U.S. mailing address (including APO/FPO/DPO addresses). You must be at least 18 years old. You’re allowed to request three replacement Social Security cards in any year and no more than 10 replacement Social Security cards in your lifetime.

Identification Needed to Replace a Social Security Card

You can request a replacement Social Security card online as long as you don’t require a name change or any other sort of change to the card. You must have a valid current state-issued driver license or ID card issued by a state government. You must have a valid driver’s license if you live in the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) or the state of Wisconsin. You may use a state-issued ID if you live in Washington State, Iowa, New Mexico, Kentucky, Nebraska, or Michigan to initiate the request a replacement Social Security card through the Social Security My Account portal. You may fill out the form online or print the form and then manually fill it out and sign it by hand.

How to Get a Replacement Social Security Card

Begin by filling out the SS-5 form on the SSA site (Application for a Social Security Form) after printing the form on 8.5 x 11-inch white paper. Fill out the application in black ink. Provide your legal name, assigned SSN, citizenship status, date of birth/birth place, mother/father names and their SSNs. Note that you’re requesting a replacement Social Security card. Provide the name shown on the Social Security card you want to replace, and provide your domestic mailing address. Date and sign the SS-5 application and provide your phone number.

  • If you’re requesting a replacement of your own Social Security card, you must prove your identity by presenting a state-issued driver license or U.S. passport. If you don’t have either of these available, SSA may accept other documents at their discretion, including an employee identification card, military ID, or U.S. Certificate of Naturalization (green card, Arrival/Departure records, Employment Authorization Document, student or exchange visitor documents, or a letter from a school or employer) may be presented.
  • If you’re requesting a replacement of your child’s Social Security card, you must prove your identity (as above) and state the relationship to the child. The child’s identity and verification of the child’s age must be demonstrated. If the child doesn’t have a state ID or U.S. passport, your identity options may be limited. In most cases, your local Social Security office will agree to accept a medical provider’s original documents, school ID/records, or certificate adoption document/decree in their stead. A birth certificate isn’t enough to prove the child’s identity but the original birth certificate can verify the child’s date of birth and your parental authorization to sign for the child.
  • Mail the SS-5 application with original documents to demonstrate legal immigration status or U.S. citizenship with your proof of identity.
  • You may also visit the local Social Security office. Use the Social Security Locator tool to identify the SSA office nearest you. Just enter your home zip code and the SSA Locator will bring up contact information about the closest Social Security office. You can hand-deliver the SS-5 application and documents with or without a Social Security office appointment. If you’re concerned about mailing original documents, request an in-person meeting and bring the required information to the appointment. Ask for the SSA representative to sign a receipt that you dropped off the required documents to put your mind at ease.

As you can see, the documentation required to replace your personal or child’s Social Security card may differ. You can’t get a replacement Social Security card without presenting the required documentation and identifications. As a rule of thumb, bring original documents if possible or obtain certified copies by the issuer. SSA doesn’t accept notarized copies or photocopies to prove identity. You may bring a U.S. driver’s license, state ID, original (or certified) birth certificate for the purpose. Legal aliens must bring documentation regarding their immigration states issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).