Social Security Cards - Everything you need to know

Social Security card featuring name John Q Public. By: Social Security Administration

Social Security Cards

Many options exist regarding your Social Security card. You can request your first one, or replace a lost or stolen card, as well as update your card information such as a legally changed name. Three options exist; online, by mail or delivered personally to your local Social Security Office.  

Get Your Card

Getting your Social Security card is simple either by mail or utilizing Social Security Administration’s website. There is no charge for a Social Security card, the service is free. If for some reason you need to replace a lost or stolen card, here’s the breakdown. (One thing to remember is that it generally takes 10 to 14 business days from the date your application is processed.) 

Online:

You can use your ‘my Social Security’ account to obtain a replacement Social security card as long as you are a U.S citizen 18 years or older with a valid U.S mailing address, are not requesting a name change or any other change to your card, and have a valid driver’s license/state-issued I.D. (Currently residents of 10 States are not eligible for this service, and have to submit the request via mail. These states are: Alabama, Connecticut, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, and West Virginia.)

  • Log in or create your “my Social Security” account.
  • Click on “Replacement Documents” on the right side of the screen and click “Request Replacement Card”. 
  • Verify your address, select your location where your driver’s license/I.D card was issued from, and confirm your background info, then click “Next”. 
  • Enter the information under “Identity Verification”: name, Social Security number, date of birth, D.L or I.D information, address and phone number. 
  • Once your identity is verified. You’re done. 

By Mail or In-Person:

Requesting a new or lost/stolen card can be done by mail, by filling out and printing an Application for a Social Security Card. You can use this application to change or correct information on your Social Security number record. To obtain an original card, you must provide at least two documents to prove your age, identity, and U.S. citizenship. If you are over the age of 12 and have never received your original, you must apply in person. 

Accepted Documentation

 (All documents submitted must be originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. Photo copied or notarized documents are not accepted. Documents will be sent back once the application is processed. If you need to get a certified document showing birth, marriage or divorce, click here)  

TypePurpose
U.S. hospital record of birth. Proof of Age
Religious record f before the age of fiveProof of Age
PassportProof of Age
Final Adoption DecreeProof of Age
U.S. Driver’s LicenseProof of Identity
State-issued I.D CardProof of Identity
U.S. PassportProof of Identity

Once you fill out the necessary information pertaining to you via the application instructions, you can take or mail the signed application to any Social Security office. You can find you local Social Security office here, by typing in your zip code, clicking “Locate”. 

Update and Correct Card Information

If you have your name legally changed because of marriage, divorce, a court order or any other reason, you must tell Social Security so you can get a corrected card. Here’s how to do it.  

You can change your address by logging into your my Social Security account. Go to the My Profile Tab on my Social Security. (The service is not available to those receiving Social Security Income (SSI), or do not have a U.S. Mailing address.) 

If you’re unable to change your address online, or you get SSI, or do not have a U.S mailing address, you can call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; or contact local Social Security office.

Other Social Security Benefit Guides

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Survivor BenefitsWhat happens when a family member dies
Social Security ApplicationHelp applying for social security
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Social Security AccountTips & advice with your social security account
Social Security CardsRead the GuideThe current article you are reading
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