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How To Get A Replacement Social Security Card

Updated on September 27, 2009

Five Easy Steps To A New Card

A social security card may be necessary to do several things. For example, opening a bank account, getting a job, or proving identity to get government benefits may require you to submit your card. When you lose your card, you can get a limited number of free replacement social security cards. The Social Security Administration ( or SSA ) website has all the information, but government websites make it somewhat hard to get information. I have summarized what you need to do to get a replacement social security card, but the SSA website does have a PDF that gives this information. You can see the link below.

First, note that you generally cannot replace a lost social security card more than 3 times in a year or 10 times throughout your life. So make sure you keep your card in a safe, easy-to-find place to avoid problems.

However, if you do lose your card, you can replace it either through the mail or at a local SSA office, depending on your personal situation. Note that you can also call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.

I will now summarize what you need to do to get a replacement card:

1. You need to fill out a Form SS-5. This form is available online in the PDF document linked to with the blue link you see in the line above. Note that you need Adobe Reader on your computer to open this document. Adobe is trustworthy, so don't worry about viruses when downloading the software. So download that document, which is actually on Page 5.

The rest of this information is explained in more detail on Pages 1 to 4 of the document, but I will summarize for you.

3. First, make sure you use an ink with blue or black pen when you fill out the form. The form is fairly self-explanatory, but you can get instructions on Page 2 of the PDF document if you have any questions.

4. In addition to filling out the form, you need to prove your age, identity, and citizenship status to get a replacement security card. The way you prove your identity depends on whether you are a citizen or non-citizen.

a. Additional Required Documents for a Citizen

For your age, a birth certificate is fine. If you do not have a birth certificate, there are some other documents that might be accepted. You can see those on Page 3 of the document.

For your identity, a driver's license is the best option, but a passport or other government-issued identity card will suffice. Other options are on Page 3 of the document.

For citizenship, the best options are a birth certificate or US passport. Page 3 also lists some other possible documents that might be accepted.

In short, the best way to get your application for a replacement security card is to provide a birth certificate and a driver's license (or a US passport if you have no license). These two documents will provide proof of age, identity, and citizenship.

b. Additional Required Documents For a Non-Citizen

Non-citizens of the US will need to provide everything that a citizen provides above in Paragraph A plus proof of immigration status from the Department of Homeland Security.

If the non-citizen is not allowed to work under his immigration status, he will need to supply documentation from another US government agency which proves that he needs a replacement social security card for government benefits or some other reason.

Note on Documents: Technically, only identity is required to get a replacement security card, but it is best to provide as many documents as possible to be on the safe side. There are multiple exceptions, and offices change policies from time to time, so proving age, identity, and citizenship is the best way to avoid delays in your application process.

Finally, the SSA requires either the original documents or certified copies of the proper custodian. Because getting certified copies requires its own red tape, using originals is the best option.

5. Once you have filled out the form and collected all the required documents, you can either mail them to a local SSA office or deliver them in person. Look in your local phone book to find the local office address or visit the main website at

Well, that's about it. These are the five steps you need to follow to get a replacement social security card.


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    • nortonfunneral profile image

      nortonfunneral 5 years ago

      it's ok. it is not such easy to get a new card, because i have to collect many documents and print them. however, the forms can be available here too -

      and then you need to send it to the Social Security Office.

    • profile image

      Jorge 5 years ago

      Don't listen to the person below. They still accept them and it is on the SSA.GOV website. Obama health reform act has nothing to do with getting a new social security card.

    • profile image

      Helen 7 years ago

      This is wrong the SS Office does not accept Birth Certificates any longer because of the Obama health reform act. Call the toll free number and listen to the recording 1800/772-1213

    • joinphp profile image

      joinphp 7 years ago from Tunisia

      Really very helpful steps on how to get delivred How To Get A Replacement Social Security Card.

      May I please suggest you a way to get delivred a replacement for all your CERTIFIED CERTIFIED LEGAL DOCUMENTS: