Replacing Social Security cards

Replacing a Social Security card is a relatively straightforward process. Here are the steps typically involved:

  1. Check Eligibility: You can request a replacement Social Security card online if you are a U.S. citizen age 18 or older with a U.S. mailing address and are not requesting any changes to your card details. If you meet these criteria, you can proceed with the online application process. Otherwise, you may need to apply in person at your local Social Security office.
  2. Gather Required Documents: Before applying for a replacement Social Security card, you’ll need to gather the necessary documents to prove your identity and citizenship or immigration status. Acceptable documents may include:
    • U.S. passport
    • U.S. driver’s license
    • State-issued identification card
    • U.S. birth certificate
    • Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship
    • Employment authorization document (for non-citizens)
  3. Complete Application: If applying online, visit the Social Security Administration’s website and navigate to the “Request a Replacement Card” page. Follow the instructions to complete the online application, providing accurate information and uploading any required documents.
  4. Submit Application: After completing the online application, review your information for accuracy and submit the application electronically. You should receive a confirmation number for your application.
  5. Wait for Processing: The Social Security Administration will process your request and mail your replacement Social Security card to the address provided in your application. Processing times may vary, but you can typically expect to receive your new card within a few weeks.
  6. Keep Card Secure: Once you receive your replacement Social Security card, be sure to keep it in a safe and secure location. Avoid carrying it in your wallet or purse unless absolutely necessary to reduce the risk of loss or theft.
  7. Update Records: After receiving your replacement Social Security card, it’s a good idea to update your records with any relevant institutions or organizations that may have your old Social Security number on file.

If you are unable to apply for a replacement Social Security card online or if you prefer to apply in person, you can visit your local Social Security office and complete the application process there. Be sure to bring the required documents with you when applying in person.


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