Replacing your Social Security card

A nine-digit number is issued to an individual by the Social Security Administration (SSA) whose intended purpose was to track individuals for Social Security purpose; now the SSN (Social Security Number) becomes integral for not only taxation but also acts as an identity number. Three different kinds of Social Security cards are provided, all of them carry the cardholder’s name and the SSN. These are issued to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

In case your original Social Security card is lost or stolen, you can apply for a replacement. This is done for free by the SSA. This facility is available for access online too; just keep your mailing address and driver’s license details handy. Having a valid my Social Security account is mandatory for this. It is straightforward to create this account, all you need to do is enter the personal information required, create a username and password that will let you access the account.

If you do not wish to avail this service online, visit your local Social Security office with the required paperwork to apply for a replacement card. Three replacement cards are permitted in a year and 10 in a lifetime.

  • Present original documents or copies supplied by the issuing agency.
  • The documents must be current.
  • If you are a citizen, documents such as birth certificate or passport will be accepted as proof of citizenship.
  • Documents that are accepted as proof of identity are; driver’s license, passport, any state issued a non-driver identification card, employee ID card or school ID card.
  • For now U.S. citizens, current DHS document needs to be provided. Accepted documents are I-551 Permanent Resident Card, I-94 record with a current passport and I-766 work permit.

Form SS-5 needs to be filled and duly submitted along with the necessary documents at the local Social Security office (or through email) to obtain your Social Security card replacement. The card is delivered with ten business days.

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