A Social Security card is an important document that you are required to have as a United States citizen. While knowing your number is the most important factor, you may need to use this card to apply for a new job or enroll in college classes. Like any other important document, it should be kept in a safe place. However, “things” happen in life and aren’t always perfect. If you’ve misplaced your Social Security card or had it stolen and need a duplicate card, there are some steps you can take to obtain a replacement.
Required Documents For A Replacement Social Security Card
The first step is to obtain a few documents. In about half of the 50 states, you’ll be required to identify yourself by using a drivers license. If you don’t drive, you will need an identification card issued by the state where you currently reside. You can also use a United States passport in place of either document. In some cases, it may also be necessary to prove your status as a United States citizen by providing proof with a birth certificate, marriage license or divorce papers.
These documents must be originals. If you do use copies, they must be certified by the issuing agency. The Social Security Administration is not able to accept notarized copies or photocopies of any documents. Nor are they able to accept a receipt pertaining to your application for any of the required documents. If you don’t have a US drivers license, state issued non-driver identification card or United States passport, you can use a few other options that include the following:
– United States military identification card
– School identification card
– Employee identification card
– Health insurance card (non-Medicare)
These alternative documents must include your name and age or date of birth. They must be current as the Social Security Administration does not accept expired documents, and it is preferred that you use IDs with a recent photograph.
Obtain An Application
If you meet certain requirements, you can request your replacement Social Security card by going online and using a “my Social Security” account. This is offered through the www.SSA.gov website. Otherwise, after you’ve gathered the required documents that you will need, you must obtain an application that will allow you to apply for a duplicate Social Security Card. You can print this application online at https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf.
Once you’ve completed the application, you can take it to a local Social Security office and have it processed in just a few minutes. You can also mail your application and original documents to the Social Security Administration. However, this option is not as safe as completing the task in person due to the possibility of identity theft and stolen mail.
Totally Free Service
Don’t be tricked by service providers who want to charge you a fee so that you can obtain a replacement Social Security card. There is no fee. After applying for your replacement card, it should take about 10 to 14 business days to receive your card in the mail after your application has been processed.
Be aware that there are limits on the number of replacement Social Security cards that you can receive. The limit is a maximum of 10 replacement cards during your lifetime and no more than three in any one year.