HomeFactsWhat Happens If I Change My Social Security Number

What Happens If I Change My Social Security Number

How Do I Apply For A New Social Security Number

What is my Social Security?

You can’t do it online — you must submit a new Form SS-5 in person at the nearest Social Security office. Applicants are asked to provide a statement explaining the reasons for needing a new number as well as “current, credible, third-party evidence documenting the reasons for needing a new number,” according to the Social Security Administration. If you’re a US citizen, you’ll also have to bring two original documents establishing your age, identity and citizenship status — like a passport, birth certificate or driver’s license — as well as evidence of a legal name change, if appropriate. Noncitizens must show current immigration documents, which could include an I-94, Arrival/Departure Record or Employment Authorization Document . Check with the Social Security Administration about adequate documentation before heading in. You can visit the agency website or call 800-772-1213.

Identity Theft Is One Major Reason Today

Your Social Security number, a unique identifier issued by the Social Security Administration , is meant to stay with you for life and never change. But there are instances where the SSA makes exceptions. These include times when your safety is endangered or you are a victim of identity theft. Here is why some people change their Social Security numbers and how to go about it if you wish to.

What Happens To My Credit Score If I Get A New Social Security Number

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the authors opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

If youve applied for a credit card or loan, filled out a rental application or tax forms, or had internet services installed at your home, youve used your Social Security number.

Since your Social Security number is so closely tied to your credit history, you may be wondering if changing the number would affect your credit score. In short it shouldnt. Thats because the old and new numbers are cross-referenced to ensure your earnings history and other financial information is not lost.

We explain what you need to know about changing your Social Security number, including if it can affect your credit score, what circumstances qualify you to get a new number, how to get a new number and more.

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Keep An Eye On Your Credit Score

Unexpected changes in your credit score could indicate unauthorized activity using your Social Security number. Most banks and credit card companies these days offer you your credit score as an added perk of doing business with them. Sign into their website and take note of what your score is.

Small changes of a few points up or down are normal, but if it suddenly jumps or plunges unexpectedly you should get a fresh copy of your credit report to see why it changed.

What Is A Social Security Card

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Your Social Security card is an important piece of identification. You’ll need one to get a job, collect Social Security, or receive other government benefits.

When you apply for a Social Security number , the Social Security Administration will assign you a nine-digit number. This is the same number that is printed on the Social Security card that SSA will issue you. If you change your name, you will need to get a corrected card.

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What Happens To Your Old Ssn After You Get A New One

Your old SSN doesnât disappear if youâre given a new one. Instead, the SSA connects the two while keeping your old number on file with agencies like the DMV and IRS.

Unfortunately, this means you’ll have to inform anyone who uses your SSN of the change. This includes banks, credit card and reporting companies, schools, and even employers. There’s a lot of logistical hurdles to changing your SSN. And there’s also no guarantee that a credit reporting agency will wipe your slate clean .

Changing your SSN can also make your life more complicated. It can be harder to get a passport, receive financial aid, and build your credit history. Some lenders may not want to grant you credit or loans due to an absence of credit history. You may have to explain your situation over the phone and in writing for years after the change.

How Can I Access My Social Security Account

When your new Social Security card arrives in the mail, register for your personal Social Security account online.

This account is an excellent tool that helps you plan for the future. It lets you verify your earnings on your personal Social Security Statement, change your address and phone number, and more all online.

To create a my Social Security account, you must be at least 18 years old and have a:

  • Valid email address
  • Social Security number
  • US mailing address

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What To Do If You Lose Your Social Security Card

Your Social Security number is valuable to identity thieves because its linked to your identity. Learn what to do if your Social Security card is stolen or lost and how to keep your personal information safe.

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  • Your Social Security number can be valuable information for identity thieves
  • Consider placing a security freeze or fraud alert on your credit reports if your Social Security card is lost
  • If you know your Social Security number has been stolen, there are some additional steps you can take

Your Social Security number is a valuable piece of information to identity thieves. Its a key element of your identity and is also linked to taxes and credit information. And except in limited circumstances, it cant be changed. Thats why its so worrisome to have your card lost or stolen.

Here are some steps to take for a lost or stolen Social Security card:

1. Consider placing a fraud alert or a security freeze on your credit reports or locking them. With an initial fraud alert, potential lenders and creditors are encouraged to take additional steps to verify your identity, such as contacting you by phone, before extending new credit. A fraud alert lasts for one year and can be renewed. Fraud alerts are free. Contact one of the three nationwide credit bureaus Equifax, Experian or TransUnion to request a fraud alert, and that bureau will notify the other two.

Twin Cities Card Center

Four times you shouldnt give out your Social Security number

As of April 7, 2022, the Twin Cities Card Center has reopened to drop-in applications. Applicants will be seen on a first-come, first-serve basis, and no appointments are available. While the SSA continues to implement social distancing guidelines, office capacity will be limited. Be prepared for a long wait to submit your application , and the possibility of having to wait in a line outside.

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Are You Eligible For A New Social Security Number

Unfortunately, just because someone has stolen or is using your SSN, doesnât always mean you can get a new one.

The SSA is cautious about changing your number as it can cause complications with your credit report and earnings history, and even make it more difficult to apply for passports, loans, and IDs.

The five situations where you can apply for a new SSN include:

  • Ongoing financial and identity fraud due to identity theft. Unfortunately, just being the victim of any of the types of identity theft isnât enough. You need to be able to prove that youâre dealing with ongoing fraud and have exhausted all other options. For example, if a family member is continually using your identity to open new credit cards and lines of credit.
  • Threat of personal harm, such as from harassment, stalking, or domestic violence. If someone is using your SSN to track where you work and live and wants to do you harm, you can change it. Again, youâll need to show proof of your situation like police reports.
  • Religious or cultural objections to the numbers. If a sequence of numbers in your SSN goes against your core beliefs, you may be able to request a change.
  • Someone else already has your SSN. In rare cases, the SSA might accidentally assign the same SSN to multiple people.
  • How Does Social Security Treat Marriages Involving Transgender People

    Social Security recognizes as valid any marriage that was recognized under state law as being a valid marriage when it was entered into. Social Security looks to state law and government-issued documents to determine marital status it is not based on the gender marker in your Social Security record. For this reason, changing your gender marker with Social Security will not affect your or your spouses right to Social Security benefits. Any marriage that was valid when it was entered continues to be valid regardless of a spouses transition.

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    How Long Will It Take To Receive A New Social Security Card

    If the SSA has all the information it needs, you could receive your new Social Security card in as little as one week, depending on your situation. Hereâs the typical timeline you should expect when applying for a new card or SSN:

    • When requesting a replacement Social Security card: 7 â 10 business days.
    • When applying to change your Social Security number: Within two weeks.
    • If the SSA needs to verify your legal status: Noncitizens who can legally work in the United States can get a SSN. Unfortunately, thereâs no specified timeline for situations where a government agency needs to verify your files relating to immigration documents, immigration status, U.S. citizen status, or your certificate of naturalization.

    Should I Report My Ssn When It Arrives

    Should You Claim Social Security at 70?

    Yes. Once your SSN has been issued, several updates may be necessary.

    Since the SSN is necessary for employment and tax purposes, you will need to supply the number to your employer. You may be asked to show the original card for verification. If you have bank accounts or plan to open a credit card, the SSN will likely be required.

    Within the University, please notify your hiring department and update your GLACIER and HRMS records as soon as your SSN is available. F-1 and J-1 students working on campus also need to update their student record through their registrar’s office.

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    Lost Or Stolen Federal Payments

    Report your lost, missing, or stolen federal check to the agency that issued the payment. It’s usually one of these paying agencies. If your documentation indicates it’s a different agency, and you need its contact information, look in the A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies.

    To get an update on your claim, contact the Treasury Department Philadelphia Financial Center at 1-855-868-0151, option 1.

    Request For Identity Verification From The Irs

    When the IRS stops a suspicious tax return filing, they may send a letter called “Letter 5071C” asking that you verify your identity. It will include a couple ways to verify it: via a phone number or through the IRS’s Identity Verification Service, .

    This online service is the quickest method and will ask you multiple-choice questions to verify whether or not the tax return flagged for further identity verification was filed by you or someone else. The IRS only sends such notices by mail. The IRS will not request that you verify your identity by contacting you by phone or through email. If you receive such calls or emails, they are likely a scam.

    If you can’t confirm your identity using the IRS’ online Identity Verification Service, you can call the IRS at the phone number included in the letter.

    When confirming your identity, you will need:

  • Your name, date of birth and contact information
  • Social security number or individual taxpayer identification number
  • Your prior year tax return along with supporting documents such as W-2s, 1099s, and Schedules A and C if you filed them
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    How To Change Your Social Security Number

    To change your SSN for any reason, you must apply in person at a local Social Security office. You can find its address and phone number using the Social Security Office Locator.

    Note that the SSA closed all of its offices for face-to-face business effective March 17, 2020. You can still reach the SSA online and by phone.

    After providing a statement explaining why you need a new number, you must provide credible, third-party documentation of your reason, including medical, legal, or police documents regarding identity theft, abuse, or harassment.

    You will need to fill out a new Form SS-5, the same one that you may have filled out to apply for a Social Security number and card in the first place. It asks a series of questions, including whether you or someone acting on your behalf ever filed for or received a Social Security number and card before and, if so, under what name.

    In addition, you must provide documentation of your U.S. citizenship or legal residency, age, identity, and current SSN. If you changed your name legally in the past, you’ll also need to provide supporting documentation of that.

    Getting A Social Security Number For A New Baby

    How Do You Replace Your Social Security Card?

    The easiest way to get a Social Security number for your child is at the hospital after they are born when you apply for your childs birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, there may be delays while SSA verifies your childs birth certificate.

    Your child will need their own Social Security number so you can:

    • Claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return
    • Open a bank account in their name
    • Get medical coverage for them
    • Apply for government services for them

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    Why Change A Social Security Number

    The SSA generally discourages people from changing their Social Security number . But like many other rules, there can be exceptions. For example, the SSA may issue a new SSN if you are able to prove that using your existing number will cause you harm, such as in cases of domestic abuse or harassment. The agency also reissues Social Security numbers in certain instances when someone is a victim of identity theft.

    One thing to keep in mind, though, is that even if you get a brand-new SSN, it doesn’t mean you have wiped the slate clean. The SSA normally keeps records under the original SSN, and other government agencies, such as your state department of motor vehicles and the Internal Revenue Service do, as well. That also applies to some businesses, such as credit card companies, that maintain files on you.

    How Can I Show That I Am Ineligible For An Ssn

    The Social Security Administration issues a letter of ineligibility for those individuals who are unable to apply for the SSN. This can be helpful to show government agencies that normally require an SSN. For example, you could show this letter to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles instead of a valid SSN card when applying for a New York State driver’s license.

    To request the letter, you need to take your immigration documents to a Social Security Administration office. For many purposes, the ineligibility letter is considered valid for only 30 days from the date it is printed.

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    How To Get A Social Security Card

  • Gather your documents. Learn what documents you’ll need to get a card. Select your situation:
  • Original, replacement, or corrected card
  • U.S. born citizen, foreign-born U.S. citizen, or noncitizen
  • Apply online for a replacement card. Apply online if youre not changing anything on your card and you are eligible. This option is available in most states. You will need to make a my Social Security account first. Or complete an application. If you can not apply online, fill out an application and return it to the SSA. Find out where to take it in person or mail it.
  • More Ways To Protect Your Social Security Number

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    Going forward, the name of the game will be monitoring and ongoing protection. For instance, to see if your Social Security number is being used by someone else for employment purposes, review your Social Security Statement to look for suspicious activity.

    Get in the habit of regularly checking your bank and credit card accounts online for suspicious activity. You should also monitor your credit report, driving records and insurance records.

    Here are a few ways you can continue to protect your Social Security number:

  • Don’t carry your Social Security card with you.
  • Don’t share your SSN unless you’ve verified the recipient, such as a lender or insurance provider.
  • Destroy and dispose of physical documents that contain your SSN.
  • Protect digital documents containing your SSN by using password-protected files.
  • Request free copies of your credit reports each year at AnnualCreditReport.com.
  • Consider using an identity protection service such as Experian IdentityWorksSM to help keep your information safe.
  • Remove your information from public websites with a privacy scan service.
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    California Law Limits The Public Display Of Social Security Numbers

    A California law bars organizations from publicly displaying SSNs2. The law prohibits:

    • Printing SSNs on ID cards or badges
    • Printing SSNs on documents mailed to customers, unless the law requires it or the document is a form or application
    • Printing SSNs on postcards or any other mailer where its visible without opening an envelope
    • Avoiding legal requirements by encoding or embedding SSNs in cards or documents, such as using a bar code, chip, or magnetic strip
    • Requiring people to send SSNs over the Internet, unless the connection is secure or the number is encrypted
    • Requiring people to use an SSN to log onto a web site, unless a password is also used
    • The law applies to businesses, government, and other entities.

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