You can replace your card or your child’s card for free if it is lost or stolen. However, you are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime. Legal name changes and other exceptions do not count toward these limits. For example, changes in noncitizen status that require card updates may not count toward these limits. Also, you may not be affected by these limits if you can prove you need the card to prevent a significant hardship.
To get a replacement card, you will need to:
If your immigration status changed or you became a U.S. citizen, you should tell Social Security so your records can be updated. To get your immigration status or citizenship corrected, you need to show documents that prove your new status or citizenship. Only certain documents can be accepted as proof of citizenship for new and replacement cards. These include your U.S. passport, a Certificate of Naturalization or a Certificate of Citizenship. If you are not a U.S. citizen, Social Security will ask to see your current immigration documents.
Each year your employer sends a copy of your W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) to Social Security. they compare your name and Social Security number on the W-2 with the information in our files. they add the earnings shown on the W-2 to your Social Security record.
If you legally change your name because of marriage, divorce, court order or any other reason, you need to tell Social Security so that you can get a corrected card. If you are working, also tell your employer. If you do not tell them when your name changes, it may:
It is a good idea to get the number when your child is born. You can apply for a Social Security number for your baby when you apply for your baby’s birth certificate. The state agency that issues birth certificates will share your child’s information with us. they will mail the Social Security card to you.
The SSA issues three types of Social Security cards. All cards show your name and Social Security number.
There is no charge for a Social Security number and card. If someone contacts you and wants to charge you for getting a number or card, or for any Social Security service, please remember that Social Security services are free. You can report anyone attempting to charge you by calling the Office of the Inspector General hotline at 1-800-269-0271.
To apply for a Social Security number and card: