A Social Security card is a crucial document that is needed for many everyday transactions, such as opening a bank account, getting a job, and receiving government benefits. However, what happens when you lose your card or it is stolen? Getting a new Social Security card can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we’ll go over the step-by-step process of how to get a new Social Security card, including the necessary documents required, the application process, and how long it takes to receive your new card.
Step 1: Gather the Necessary Documents
Before you can request a new Social Security card, you’ll need to gather the necessary documents. The most important document you’ll need is proof of your identity, which can be in the form of a driver’s license, state-issued ID, or passport. If you are applying for a child, you’ll need to provide proof of the child’s identity and proof of the child’s age. You may also need to provide proof of U.S. citizenship or legal immigration status if you were not born in the United States.
Step 2: Fill out Your Application
The next step is to fill out the application form. The form you’ll need to fill out is Form SS-5, which you can find on the Social Security Administration’s website. You can also request the form to be mailed to you by calling the Social Security Administration’s toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213.
Step 3: Submit the Application
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary documents and filled out the form, you can submit the application. There are three different ways to do this:
- Online: You can submit an application online if you are over 18 years old (for a replacement Social Security card), have a valid US mailing address, and can verify your identity with a driver’s license or state-issued ID from one of the select states in which this service is available.
- By Mail: You can mail your application, along with the required documents, to the Social Security Administration office.
- In Person: You can also submit your application in person at a Social Security Administration office. This is particularly useful if you have additional documents that need to be reviewed by the officer or if you prefer to discuss your application in person.
Step 4: Wait for Your New Card
After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll need to wait for the new card. The Social Security Administration estimates that it takes about two weeks to process a replacement Social Security card request. However, the processing time can vary depending on the workload and location of the office where you submitted your application.
If you need your card quickly, you can ask the Social Security Administration to expedite the process, but it’s worth noting that not all requests for expedited processing are granted.
6 Times you Need to Show your Social Security Card
A Social Security card, like your birth certificate, is an essential document that you may need to present in a number of situations, including:
- Starting a new job: Employers will typically ask to see your Social Security card as proof of your identity and as a requirement for completing the Form I-9, which is used to verify your eligibility to work in the United States.
- Opening a bank account: Financial institutions may require you to show your Social Security card as proof of your identity when you open an account.
- Applying for government benefits: If you plan to apply for government benefits such as Social Security retirement, disability, or Medicare, you’ll need to provide your Social Security card as proof of your identity.
- Applying for a state-issued ID or driver’s license: Some states may require you to show your Social Security card as proof of your identity when you apply for a state-issued ID card or driver’s license.
- Filing taxes: You’ll need to provide your Social Security number when you file your federal and state income taxes.
- Applying for government services: You may be asked to show your Social Security card when you apply for government services such as a passport, veterans’ benefits, or Medicaid.
Social Security Card FAQs
Here are the most common questions regarding Social Security replacement cards.
How many Social Security card replacements am I allowed?
You are allowed to request a replacement Social Security card up to three times in one year and ten times in your lifetime.
Can I apply for a Social Security card for my child?
Yes, you are allowed to apply for a Social Security card for your child. You’ll need to provide proof of your child’s identity and proof of your relationship with the child, such as a birth certificate.
Do I need to provide proof of my address when applying for a new Social Security card?
It depends on how you choose to apply for a new Social Security card. If you are applying online, you will need to provide a valid US mailing address. If you are applying by mail or in person, you might not be asked for proof of address.
Do you need a new social security card when you get married or divorced?
If your name changes due to marriage or divorce, you will need to update your Social Security card to reflect your new name.
When you get married, you can apply for a new Social Security card with your updated last name by providing your marriage certificate as proof of your name change.
When you get divorced, the name on your social security card will not change automatically, and your ex-spouse’s name is not removed from it, so if you want to change your name, you will need to provide your divorce decree as proof of your name change and request a new Social Security card with your new name.
Can I change the name on my Social Security card at the same time I get a replacement?
Yes, you can change the name on your Social Security card when you request a replacement. You will need to provide documentation to prove the name change, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order.
Can I get a Social Security card if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Non-U.S. citizens who are authorized to work in the U.S. may be eligible for a Social Security card. You’ll need to provide proof of your legal immigration status and an I-94 or I-766 Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Getting a new Social Security card is a simple process that can be done online, by mail or in person at a local Social Security office. The most important step is to gather all the necessary documents, fill out the application form and submit it. Although it might take a couple of weeks to receive your new card, you can expedite the process if you need it sooner. Remember, you may only request a new card three times in a year and ten times in your lifetime.
Getting A New Social Security Card Doesn’t Have To Be Intimidating
If the idea of getting a replacement or updated Social Security card is intimidating, you’re not alone. Luckily, the process has become straightforward and versatile, with options for online, in-person, and mail-in applications. Simply gather your necessary documents, fill out the application, submit it, and wait up to two weeks for your new card.
You might also be interested in: What Age Is Retirement For Social Security Benefits?