HomeCardWhat To Do When You Lose Your Social Security Card

What To Do When You Lose Your Social Security Card

Replacing Your Card By Mail Or In Person

What to Do if You Lose Your Social Security Card

If you dont have an online account or dont meet any one of the other criteria listed above, youll have to fill out an application form and either mail it or take it to your local Social Security office.

Local offices fully reopened April 7 after being closed to walk-in traffic for more than two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Social Security Administration recommends calling in advance and scheduling an appointment to avoid long waits.

Youll need to provide what the SSA calls “primary” proof of identity either a passport, a drivers license or a state-issued photo ID card. If you dont have any of those, Social Security will ask to see a current, secondary ID that shows your name identifying information such as age or date of birth and, preferably, a recent photograph for example, an employee, student or U.S. military ID or a health insurance card .

Social Security typically requires the original of your primary ID document, or a copy certified by the agency that issued it. Photocopies, even if notarized, are not accepted.

However, the SSA advises against mailing original primary documents that should be kept secure in your possession. As an alternative, you may send secondary evidence of identity, or contact your local office about dropping off your evidence or making an appointment. Social Security will return any documents you do submit once they process your new card.

Keep in mind

I Lost My Social Security Card

Your Social Security card is an extremely important document, and you should do everything you can to keep it safe. However, accidents sometimes still happen. So, what happens if you lose your Social Security card? There are some things that you need to do to keep yourself safe after losing your card, but thankfully, the process of getting a Social Security replacement card is usually quick and easy. As long as you know the process for getting a replacement card, you can have your new card within a couple of weeks in most cases. Keep reading as we tell you exactly what you need to do if you lose your card.

What Is A Social Security Card

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 Can A Scammer Do With My Social Security Number

A stolen Social Security number may be used for five different purposes. Make a new account. Someone who possesses your Social Security number may create new accounts in your name. Prepare false tax returns. In most circumstances, your Social Security number is also needed to submit your taxes. Obtain medical attention. Steal your advantages. Commit criminal acts.

Can You Change Your Ssn


Your Social Security number cannot be changed just because your card was misplaced or stolen, to avoid bankruptcy, or to settle valid obligations. Social Security will only take the following into account when choosing a new number: Your family members sequential numbers are making things difficult.

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Applying For A New Social Security Number

Persons wishing to request a new Social Security number must apply in person at a Social Security office and complete an application.

Applicants must also provide a statement explaining the reasons for needing a new number along with current, credible, third-party evidence documenting the reasons for needing a new number.

Finally, applicants must provide original documents establishing:

  • Evidence of a legal name change, if appropriate.

For more information about changing your Social Security number in cases of domestic violence, see New Numbers for Domestic Violence Victims.

To find an SSA office near you, visit the Social Security Office Locator or call 1-800-772-1213. No appointment is necessary. Once the SSA has accepted their application, applicants can expect a new Social Security card in 10 to 14 days.

A new Social Security number is unlikely to solve all problems related to identity theft. Government agencies and some businesses may keep records under personsâ original Social Security numbers. In addition, because credit reporting companies use Social Security numbers and other personal information to identify a personâs credit file, using a new number doesnât guarantee a fresh start.

What Do I Do If My Social Security Card Or Number Is Stolen Or Lost

If your Social Security card or number is lost or stolen, you should immediately contact your local police department and the Social Security Administration to let them know about the incident. Once youve done that, there are a few other things that you can do to help mitigate the risks involved with losing your Social Security card.

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Download And Print An Application

There are several exceptions to being able to get a replacement card online. In Delaware and Wisconsin you must have a driver license, not just a state identification. And if your state ID was issued by Alabama, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon or West Virginia, the service is not yet available. Its also not available if your driver license or identification card was issued by a U.S. territory . If you cant get your card online, you can do so by mail. Gather the documents you need fill out and print an application deliveror mail the application to the Social Security office. You can find your local Social Security office here:

What To Do After You Lose Your Social Security Card

How to replace a lost or stolen social security card.

Most people understand how important it is to safeguard your Social Security number. That number plays a critical role in your life from both an identity standpoint and a financial standpoint. If your SSN falls into the wrong hands, a thief could do substantial damage to your personal finances using your SSN and other information. An identity thief could use your information to open credit cards, bank accounts, loans, and other fraudulent services in your name. You could be left spending months or even years trying to clean up the mess.

The first thing you need to do after losing your Social Security card is to place a fraud alert or credit freeze on your Social Security number. This will make it much more difficult for thieves to open accounts in your name. Next, you should get a copy of your credit report and closely examine it for accuracy. If you notice any suspicious items, then work with the credit bureaus to have any fraudulent items removed.

Go ahead and sign up for a credit monitoring service as well. This will immediately alert you to any changes in your credit report, and many of these services will provide assistance in removing fraudulent items or even insurance for financial damage. Once you have all that taken care of, then you can go ahead and request your new Social Security card. For most people, this process is quick and easy.

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What If I Can’t Apply For A Card Online

If you can’t apply for a Social Security card online, then you will need to show the required documents in person at your local SSA office. The documents needed will depend on your current citizenship status and your age.

Different documents are needed if you are an adult and a U.S.-born citizen, a foreign-born U.S. citizen, or a noncitizen. Also, if you are replacing a Social Security card for a child, you’ll want to check the SSA website to determine which documents you will need.

How Do Benefits Work And How Can I Qualify

While you work, you pay Social Security taxes. This tax money goes into a trust fund that pays benefits to:

  • Those who are currently retired
  • To people with disabilities
  • To the surviving spouses and children of workers who have died

Each year you work, youll get credits to help you become eligible for benefits when its time for you to retire. Find all the benefits Social Security Administration offers.

There are four main types of benefits that the SSA offers:

  • Learn about earning limits if you plan to work while receiving Social Security benefits

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What Are The First Signs Of Identity Theft

Identity Theft Warning Signs: 9 Unexpected withdrawals or expenses. Medical bills for practitioners youve never seen. You didnt apply for any new credit cards. Your credit report contains errors. collection calls or notifications for unidentified debt. Your credit card or credit application has been rejected. absence of mail or email.

Plus What To Do If Your Child Needs One

Need to Know How Do I Replace My Lost Social Security Card? Find out ...

You might not use your Social Security card every day, but you do need to use it occasionally. If you lost your card, youll need to request a replacement form for a Social Security card from the Social Security Administration . You can apply online by choosing the replacement tab for your lost security card. Requesting a replacement card is not eligible for all 50 states.

The service is also not available if your valid drivers license or passport was issued by U.S. territory. This includes American Samoa, Guam, Northern Islands, Puerto Rico or U.S. Virgin Islands.

How long does it take to get a replacement card?

If you can get to your local SSA office just before opening, you can get in and out in about 15 minutes. If you can only go later in the day, the wait time could vary.

After the SSA processes your application, theyll give you a letter indicating that a card has been requested. You can show this to anyone who requests a Social Security replacement card. Your new card will arrive within two weeks.

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For online or mail requests for a replacement card, the application process could take a little longer. However, after your application is processed, you can expect your new card within two weeks. Once you get your card be sure you keep it in a secure place, such as a safe or lockbox.

Need to replace your lost Social Security card? Apply online
Dont want to apply online for a Social Security card?


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And Now Replace Your Social Security Card

There is no charge for replacing a lost or stolen Social Security card, so watch out for scammers offering card replacement “services” for a fee. You can replace your own or your child’s card, but you are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime. Replacing a card because of legal name changes or changes in U.S. citizenship and naturalization status does not count against those limits.To get a replacement Social Security card you will need to:

  • Complete Form SS-5 – Application for a Social Security Card.
  • Present an unexpired original document, like a drivers’ license, with identifying information and preferably a recent photograph that proves your identity
  • Show evidence of your U.S. citizenship if you were born outside the United States and did not show proof of U.S. citizenship when you got your original card and
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, show evidence of your current naturalization or lawful noncitizen status.

Replacement Social Security cards cannot be applied for online. You must either take or mail the completed SS-5 application and all required documents to your local Social Security Office. To find your local Social Security service center, see the SSA’s Local Office Search website.

Closely Review Your Credit Reports And Accounts

If you ever notice unusual activity, report it immediately to the applicable creditor as well as to one of the three major credit bureaus. You must provide strong evidence to the Social Security Administration of fraud on your account to secure a new Social Security Number. An identity theft protection service can help you monitor and protect your accounts to help with this process.

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How To Protect Your Identity When Your Social Security Card Is Stolen

If your social security card has been stolen, youve lost important vital records that prove your identity. Taking steps to protect yourself will help prevent fiscal losses.

  • If you dont know your social security number, contact the Social Security Office first with a copy of your birth certificate or passport.
  • Then, report identity theft to the FTC. Visit IdentityTheft.Gov and fill out the wizard to make a report.
  • Also, call the IRS at 800-908-4490 to report the theft and to prevent someone from submitting a tax return in your name. You may have to prove your identity with your birth record.

Social Security Cards: Documents Required To Obtain A Social Security Number And Card Or A Replacement Card

Steps you should take if your social security numbers stolen

Local Social Security offices are offering more in-person appointments and have resumed in-person service for people without an appointment. It is strongly encouraged to continue to go online, call for help, and schedule appointments in advance.

For more information on How to Get Help from Social Security, visit the website:

Link to the Social Security Administration website: www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices.


To Obtain a New Social Security Number and Card you will need to provide at least two documents to prove age, identity, and U.S. citizenship or current immigration status.

The new online service allows individuals to get replacement Social Security cards through the Social Security Administration website at: www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber

To Obtain a Replacement Card, if lost or stolen, you must prove your identity and U.S. citizenship.

To prove identity: Social Security must see:

  • U.S. drivers license or
  • State-issued non-driver identity card or

If you do not have these specific documents or cannot get a replacement for them within ten days, Social Security will ask to see other documents, such as:

  • Employee ID card
  • Letter from doctor, with your name, address, social security number and doctors name, address, and signature

To Prove Age: Social Security must see:

To prove U.S. citizenship: Under recent changes in law, only certain documents can be accepted as proof of U.S. citizenship. These include:

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What Can A Scammer Do With My Name And Address

Scammers may access and deplete your bank account using your personal information. Open new bank accounts and take out loans or lines of credit in your name. Get rid of your phone and other contracts. buy high-priced items in your name Im going to take your superannuation. get online access to your governments services

Wills Or Other Estate Planning Documents

In Texas, if you have lost your original will, you should execute a new will. This is true even if you have a copy of the original will, because Texas law imposes many burdens on those trying to probate a lost original will. If there are no originals or copies, then a new will must be executed. As a practical matter, even if you have your original will, it may be necessary to draft a new will due to the dramatic change in property value/ownership due to a disaster. Certain gifts in the will may fail if property has been destroyed, or the prior will also may not adequately deal with insurance proceeds as a replacement for specific gifts.

If you do not have the original will for a recently deceased person but do have a copy, the copy can be submitted to probate. To probate a lost will, three things must be proved: due execution , reason why the original will cannot be produced , and the contents of the will, either with a copy or by a witness who is familiar with the contents. Under Texas law, if a person dies and their will cannot be proved, the person is considered to have died intestate and their estate will be distributed according to state law.

You may want to consider taking your will to your local county clerks records office. The office will keep the original will for safekeeping but will not make it public unless a formal probate action is filed.

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Guard Against Identity Theft First

Before you even start thinking about replacing your lost or stolen Social Security card, you need to take steps to protect yourself from identity theft.If your Social Security card has been lost or stolen, or if you suspect your Social Security number is being used illegally by someone else, the SSA and the Federal Trade Commission recommend that you take the following steps as soon as possible:

How To Get A Replacement Social Security Card

How to Replace a Lost or Stolen Social Security Card

To get a Social Security replacement card, visit the SSAs My Social Security account website. Youll be taken through the steps of requesting a replacement card. Keep in mind that you can use this online site to request a replacement card if you:

  • Are a U.S. citizen age 18 years or older with a U.S. mailing address
  • Are not requesting a name change or any other change to your card and
  • Have a valid, current driver’s license or a state-issued identification card from most U.S. states or the District of Columbia. The following states are not currently eligible:
  • Alabama

    To apply for a replacement Social Security card, either online or via mail, you’ll need one acceptable personal identification document. By and large, your birth certificate will suffice, although the SSA will also accept the following proof of identity:

    • A U.S. hospital record of your birth.
    • A religious record indicating your date of birth .
    • A current valid U.S. passport.
    • A final adoption decree .

    There are several exceptions if you cant get the needed identification documents, or dont have them at all. The SSA will accept other forms of identification that show your legal name and biographical data. Acceptable options include a U.S. military I.D. card, a U.S. Certificate of Naturalization, employee identity card, a certified copy of a medical record , a health insurance card, Medicaid card, or school identity card.

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