How to Replace Your Social Security Card
Your Social Security number (SSN) is a vital component of your life. It’s something you typically need for things like applying for a loan, starting a new job or filing taxes. In some cases, you might need to present a physical copy of your Social Security card to complete these kinds of tasks. That means if your Social Security card gets lost, you may want to apply for a new one.
Where Can I Get a Replacement Social Security Card?
You can apply for a replacement Social Security card online through the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, the following states are not eligible for online SSN card replacement requests, notes the SSA:
- New Hampshire
- West Virginia
If you cannot apply for a replacement card online, you will need to visit your local Social Security office and bring along some personal documents to complete the process, says the SSA.
What Documents Do I Need to Get a Replacement Social Security Card?
The SSA says you’ll need to provide original or certified copies of the following documents when applying for a replacement card:
- Birth certificate or passport (to prove citizenship)
- Driver’s license or state-issued identification card (to prove your identity)
- Employee or school identification card (in place of a driver’s license or state ID card, for example)
Depending on your situation, there may be different or additional paperwork you’ll need to provide. Be sure to call your local Social Security office before your visit if you have any questions.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Replacement Social Security Card?
Keep in mind that there are also limitations to how many replacement cards you can apply for. According to the SSA, you can get up to three replacement Social Security cards per year and a maximum of 10 replacement cards over your lifetime. If you’re concerned about the replacement card limit, you may want to consider your personal situation and what you’d need the card for before applying for a replacement. This is because the SSA says simply knowing your Social Security number may be sufficient in many cases.
It’s a good idea to keep your Social Security card in a safe place to help prevent it from getting lost. But if your card is lost or stolen, in addition to applying for a replacement, you may want to take steps to help protect your identity or learn what to do if your identity is stolen as a result. And, know that depending on your situation, the Federal Trade Commission notes the government may assign you a new SSN.