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What if my card is lost or stolen?

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:

  • Complete an Application For A Social Security Card (Form SS-5);
  • Present a recently issued document to show your identity;
  • Show evidence of your U.S. citizenship if you were born outside the United States and did not show proof of citizenship when you got your card; and
  • Show evidence of your current lawful noncitizen status if you are not a
    U.S. citizen.

Your replacement card will have the same name and number as your previous card.

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Broken link

February 15, 2011 by Guest

The application link above does not work, it says page not found.

Link to SS-5 form

February 15, 2011 by David Luhman

Thanks, the link has been fixed.


February 28, 2011 by Guest

I am step mom and need to get an original copy of my step sons social security card. We have custody of him. The documentation listings aren't very clear what I need to prove for his identity. What do I need to bring to the office to get copy of his ss card?

Documentation for Social Security card

February 28, 2011 by David Luhman

The SSA will accept only certain documents as proof of U.S. citizenship. These include a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. consular report of birth, U.S. passport, Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship.

The SSA will accept only certain documents as proof of identity. An acceptable document must be current (not expired) and show your name, identifying information and preferably a recent photograph. Social Security will ask to see a U.S. driver’s license, state-issued nondriver identification card or U.S. passport as proof of identity. If you do not have the specific documents we ask for, SSA will ask to see other documents including:

  • Employee ID card;
  • School ID card;
  • Health insurance card (not a Medicare card);
  • U.S. military ID card;
  • Adoption decree;
  • Life insurance policy; or
  • Marriage document (only in name change situations).

All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. The SSA cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. The SSA may use one document for two purposes. For example, they may use your U.S. passport as proof of both citizenship and identity. Or, they may use your U.S. birth certificate as proof of age and citizenship. However, you must provide at least two separate documents.


April 13, 2011 by Guest

When will I get the new card when I go into the office and fill everything out? Is it handed to me right there and then, or do they mail it to me? This is quite important to know, because if it is being mailed to me, I need this done like now.

How long to mail the card to your home?

April 27, 2011 by Guest

I would also like to know what is the time length. I was told it would be about 2 weeks and it's been a month and half. I've been checking my mail every day.

Time required to receive replacement card

April 27, 2011 by David Luhman

Sorry, we have been unable to uncover information regarding this. Perhaps community members can relate their experiences.

Lost SSN - Noncitizen

May 7, 2011 by Guest

Im a noncitizen and i lost my SSN, i dont have any records of it. How can i get the SSN ? Im currently outside US and have US consulate in my city, will they help in getting my SSN ?

Lost Social Security number for non-citizen

May 8, 2011 by David Luhman

Here is information on replacing a lost card for a non-citizen :

If you don't have the actual number itself, you may want to look for other documents (ex. old pay checks) that may have that information.

Here is a list of foreign offices around the world :

need replacement card

May 12, 2011 by Guest

I am visiting FL and lost my wallet with SS card and liscense i do have my NY origanal birthcertificate and my original driving record just got it from NY DMV can i apply 4 new card in FL and have it sent home to NY as i'm leaving in @ a week?i really need it would be nice to have when i get home

Carrying Social Security card in wallet

May 12, 2011 by David Luhman

Please contact the SSA directly to see if they can forward your replacement card as desired.

However, be advised that you should not carry your Social Security card in your wallet. Keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers.

Only carry it with you when you start a new job and need to show it to your employer. Do not routinely carry your card or any document that shows your Social Security number with you. Protect both your card and your number to prevent their misuse.

Stolen cards

May 27, 2011 by Guest

Can this be done by mail? If not, do minor children have to come in person, or can I just come in with all the required paper work?

Replacing Social Security card by mail

May 27, 2011 by David Luhman

Social Security says you can take or mail your completed application (SS-5) and documents to your local Social Security office. Any documents you mail to them will be returned to you.

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