How to Replace a Social Security Card

How to Replace a Social Security Card

Akin to your birth certificate, your social security card is one of those documents that’s technically essential, but often goes unused for months, even years, at a time. So, when it’s finally required—whether it’s to apply for a mortgage or a new job—the dreaded statement can cause groans and headaches: “I lost my social security number card.”

Whether it’s been stolen or has simply disappeared into the void of papers and keepsakes, knowing how to replace social security number cards is essential. 

Can I order a new Social Security card online? There are many ways to go about this process—you can replace your SSN card in person or you can save time by filling out a painless social security card application online.

Let’s discuss the process in detail.

Replace Your Social Security Card: 3 Step Process

Obtaining a social security replacement card involves three simple steps, two of which can be undertaken from the comfort of your home.

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Documentation

First up: digging through all those important documents (birth certificate, passport) that you threw into a drawer and forgot about until now. 

Here are the documents you’ll need for a new card:

  • Proof of citizenship – This means a U.S. birth certificate or a U.S. passport. 
  • Proof of age – While your birth certificate is the common route for verification here, a religious record showing your date of birth (and made before your fifth birthday) will also suffice. So too will a U.S. hospital record of your birth.
  • Proof of identity – Include your U.S. driver's license, a state-issued ID card, your passport, employee ID card, or U.S. military ID card.

Note: Just as you wouldn’t trek to the National Archives to view a phony Declaration of Independence, so too will the SSA be dissatisfied with photocopies and printed screenshots of your documents. In other words: Only original documents will suffice.

Expired documents will not be accepted, either.

Step 2: Apply Online to Skip the Line

For this next step, simply print and fill out the social security card replacement application through the Social Security Administration portal. Alternatively, you can fill this out through a streamlined application, such as GOV+, removing the time and headache required in the next step. 

(Optional) Step 3: Visit A Nearby Office

If you’re someone who enjoys long lines and visiting government offices—perfect. You can locate the closest Social Security office on their website. 

Alternatively, using GOV+ for step two will save you time on the application process, and you’ll avoid the in-person visit.

Stolen Card? Look For Signs of Identity Theft

A stolen social security card or a conspicuous SSN-sized gap in your personal records can leave you vulnerable to identity theft or fraud. Once you’ve obtained your replacement card, protect yourself by storing it in a safe place at home or in a bank. Don’t carry it in your wallet or purse—you won’t need it for usual business transactions and identity checks.

Learn to recognize the warning signs of identity theft, too. These include:

  • Unexplained withdrawals from your bank account or credit card
  • Unexplained medical bills
  • Debt collector calls about items you didn’t buy

You can also maintain vigilance by running regular credit reports, which will turn up indications of fraud. Here's how to report a lost Social Security card.

Save Time and Headache with GOV+

If you’re unsure whether your documents will satisfy the SSA, or you simply want to save time standing in line, there’s GOV+. Here at GOV+, we’ve created a pain-free portal to replace your social security card, right from your favorite fireside armchair. Just fill out our simple form one time and we’ll take care of the rest. 

We also offer other related online services that can cut through red tape and headaches, such as:

  • Changing your name on your SSN
  • Acquiring your first SSN
  • Updating an incorrect date of birth on your SSN

Replacing a government ID card is important, and our secure and simple process will have that item crossed off your to-do list in a flash. Head to our SSN page to learn more.

Social Security Card Replacement FAQ’s

Still have Qs? We’re here with the As. 

Is It Possible to Replace a Social Security Card the Same Day You Lost It?

Yes, you can. Just visit your local social security office with all the required paperwork and documents, and you should walk out of there with your snazzy social security replacement card in hand.

You can also apply for a card online and save a trip to the  local social security office. If you can wait ten to fourteen business days to receive your SSN card in the mail, then this is the preferred option.

What Should I Do if I Can’t Apply Online?

If you can’t apply for a replacement social security card online, you’ll need to visit a local SSA office. Alternatively, skip the line with GOV+’s SSN solutions.

What are My Next Steps When My Social Security Card is Stolen?

If your lost Social Security card has been stolen, do a quick scan for identity theft by checking out our handy resource list. We’ll walk you through steps you can take to prevent fraud as well as a list of action items to complete if your identity has been compromised.

How Can I Obtain a Social Security Card Replacement For a Child?

The process of obtaining a replacement social security card for a minor is nearly identical to that of an adult. All you’ll need to do is provide relevant documentation for that child. This includes:

  • Proof of citizenship
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of immigration status (if the child is not from the U.S.)

You’ll also need to provide evidence to prove your custody or relationship to the child, as well as your own identity and authority to sign on the child’s behalf. 

Sources: 

1. GOV+. Save A Trip To The Social Security Office. https://govplus.com/solutions/social-security-card 

2. Social Security Administration. Application for a Social Security Card. https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf 

3. Social Security Administration. How do I replace a Social Security number (SSN) card for a child? https://faq.ssa.gov/en-us/Topic/article/KA-02723 

Social Security Card

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