If you were born in the United States, you were issued a Social Security number. While most individuals keep that same number throughout their life, there are certain cases when you need to change your Social Security number. It is allowed. However, you must meet specific requirements.
Why Change Your Social Security Number?
Every year, a certain percentage of individuals in the United States fall victim to identity fraud. This occurs when a criminal steals the identity of another person and uses the stolen information to commit a crime. If someone steals your Social Security card number and starts using it to purchase items, the Social Security Administration will allow you to apply for a new Social Security number. However, you must be able to prove that you are suffering. The signal for this would include phone calls from debt collectors or unrecognizable bills. Unfortunately, you cannot apply for a new Social Security number if your card has been stolen or lost.
Changing Your Social Security Number
If you need to change your Social Security number, you can do this by using Form SS-5. This is the same form used when applying for an original Social Security number. This can be obtained online at https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf or by calling the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. The Social Security Administration will require you to prove your citizenship, age, identity or status of immigration. You must provide certified copies of original documents or the original documents. If you are applying through the mail, you should never send original documents.
Specific items will be required to change your Social Security card number. To verify your personal identity, you’ll need to use a United States drivers license, state identification card or have a valid passport. You can prove your current age by using your passport or your birth certificate. If you were born in the United States, you can use your birth certificate as proof that you are a United States citizen. A Permanent Resident Card will be required by the Social Security Administration to show your legal status as a resident in the US.
Other Required Evidence
In addition to applying for a new Social Security number, you must also be able to prove that current circumstances deem it necessary for you to obtain a new number. This must be completed according to guidelines set by the Federal Trade Commission. Evidence must show that “the number is being misused, and that the misuse is causing you significant continuing harm.”
New Credit File
When you obtain a new Social Security number, you will receive a new credit file. However, government agencies may keep records on you that contain your original Social Security number. This is not a way to try and avoid bad marks on your credit file.
If your identity is stolen and someone starts using your Social Security card number, it can be a long, arduous amount of work to remedy the situation. Stay diligent in keeping your card number and other personal information private.