What You Need to Know to Replace a Lost Social Security Card
You need your Social Security number for a lot of things these days: when you start a new job, to file your tax return, and to receive Social Security benefits. So if you lose your number – or your card – it can be quite a hassle. So how do you replace a lost Social Security card?
Do You Need to Replace a Lost Social Security Card?
First of all, you may not need to replace your card if you still know (or have written down) your Social Security number. Even though you need your SSN for many things these days, you are rarely asked to provide a copy of your Social Security card. So if you know your SSN, you may not need to replace a lost Social Security card.
However, if you do need a replacement card, you’ll need to complete an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5). In order to get a new card you’ll need to prove that you are a U.S. citizen and that you are who you say you are.
Information You’ll Need to Provide to Get a Replacement Social Security Card
In order to prove your U.S. citizenship, you’ll need to provide either a U.S. birth certificate, a U.S. passport, a consular report of birth or a Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship.
How Many Times Can You Request a Social Security Card?
In order to prove your identity you’ll need to provide a current U.S. driver’s license, a state-issued identification card, or a U.S. passport. Note that whichever document you provide must be current; an expired document will not suffice. If none of these documents is available, the SSA may accept an employee ID card, a school ID card, a health insurance card, or a U.S. military card.
With the exception of a legal name change and a few other exceptions, you are limited to the number of replacement cards you can request.
You can only request a new Social Security card three times within the same year and 10 times during your life, so it’s important to keep your SS card in a safe place once you get a new one; you may not be able to replace a lost card again if you’ve already requested replacement cards in the past.
Replacing a Social Security Card for a Child
Getting a new card for a child is similar. You still have to prove the child’s identity and their US Citizenship (or immigration status), and complete an application for a Social Security card.
However, proving the child’s identity isn’t as easy since he/she probably doesn’t have a driver’s license or passport. The SSA requires a document showing the child’s name, date of birth, and if possible, a recent photograph. The following documents may be used to help prove your child’s identity:
- Health insurance card
- School ID card
- Certified school record or transcript
- US military dependent ID card
- Certificate of US citizenship, or certificate of naturalization
- Preschool record or certified child care facility record
- Adoption decree
- Life insurance policy
All of these documents must be current, and they must be originals or certified copies.
Once all of the requirements are met, whether you are replacing your own Social Security card or a child’s, you will receive a new card within 10 business days.