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I Need A New Card: My Trip to the Social Security Administration

Updated on October 24, 2010

How do you get a new social security card once you have lost yours? I don't know about anywhere else, but in the Washington DC area it is not easy! Somehow, when I moved back east, I lost my son's and daughter's social security cards. I thought I would have brought these important papers, but I guess I didn't. At least, I cannot find them.

When I was younger and I needed a social security card replaced, I called the Social Security Administration Office and requested a new one. I told them my number and they sent me a new card. However, this is no longer the case. Obtaining a new social security card for my daughter was like a bad dream. We even saw aliens!

She had researched what types of ID were needed. We thought we had it covered. We arrived at the Social Security Administration Building. After standing in line to check in for about 15 minutes we got to the front of the line. The woman in front of us was yelling at the person checking people in. "When are you going to call a 'C'! I've been here for hours, I haven't heard one 'C' called!"

At the front of the line, we told the woman why we were there. My daughter asked what type of ID would be acceptable. We thought we had brought every type available, we had birth certificates, school ID, all my IDs, our lease, and I forget what else. Lucky she had thought to ask, the woman said they would want her insurance card.

"Insurance card," I thought, "That's easy." I always had my insurance card in my wallet. I looked in my wallet...wait a minute, where was that insurance card. That's right, I needed to sign into my account and it was sitting by my computer at home. I told my daughter I didn't have it. The nice woman behind the counter must have seen her look. "Don't worry," she said, "You have time to run home and get it. There are 40 people in front of you."

She gave us our number "B336". 

The place was packed!
The place was packed!

As we walked back out to the car, I thought about how nice the woman was to tell us we had time to run home.  Hopefully we could make it home and back before they called our number.  My daughter asked, "How will we know if they called our number while we are gone?"  I told her we would just listen to the numbers when we came back.  If they were less than our number we would be OK.

We rushed home, got the card and hurried back.  We were gone for about 50 minutes.  The place was packed when we got back.  We went to an empty spot on the far wall to wait.  A woman came out of a door and said, "B223".  We had made it back in time!  Suddenly we heard, "Are you ever going to call a C!"  It was the same woman from before.  She was sitting in the front row of seats.  "I haven't heard a C yet!  Are you ever going to call a C!"  She sounded very annoyed.

He could have been one of the boys!
He could have been one of the boys!
The little girl was as cute as these two, in a pretty pink dress.
The little girl was as cute as these two, in a pretty pink dress.

We noticed some children playing. Three little boys and one little girl, seeming to range between the ages of 3 to 5. They amused us for a while. They found a spider which gave them worlds of amazement. None wanted to touch it or get to close, but they kept going back. The spider was in a corner next to the door to the only bathroom. The littlest one, the girl, started dancing in front of anyone going to the bathroom singing, "bug, bug, bug bug bug bug."

One of the boys finally got brave enough to step on the spider. There was a round of congratulations and celebration between the kids. Then they saw the fly. Suddenly it was "fly fly fly fly fly fly..." You get the gist. The boys started running around buzzing. The girl changed her song. At one point I smiled at one of the boys. He stopped dead in his tracks and told me "I'm a fly, don't smile! Fly, Fly, I'm a fly!" Then went back to buzzing around.

We had been there about 2 hours when a "C" number was called. Prior to this all numbers were "B's". The "C" woman was visibly amazed that her time had come. She stood slowly as if doubting what her ears had heard. You could see the realization come to her and she gained confidence. By the time she was on her feet she had her swagger back.

Suddenly the numbers called were preceded by "A", "C", "F" and "D". Needless to say we saw our wait increase. Where did all these other letters come from??!!

Later the boys started playing Transformers. Things got slightly rough, and Moms arrived to make the kids sit down. Oh no, what do we do now. We talked for a while, when suddenly a woman walked by with a very small, slinky red dress, red sling back heels, red purse, red toenail, red fingernails, lipstick and dark hair.

Her's was more of a tube, and more red, but you get the idea!
Her's was more of a tube, and more red, but you get the idea!

We watched the ripples as this woman walked towards the door.  Little looks lead to double takes and full out stares.  It seemed as if everyone was thinking the same thing, "where did SHE come from," and "what is she doing in Social Security dressed like that?"  This woman was decked out for a weekend hot date, but was stolling along in the Social Security Administration Office. 

We watched as heads turned and men stopped in their tracks, the looks up and down, and the open gasps of amazement.  Then Red Riding had left the building.  People looked back down to the floor and conversation resumed.  We wondered where she had come from and how she came to be there!  We decided she must have seen all the people entering and exiting and thought it was a bar.  She left because it was too boring, no-one was talking to anyone.

Things got a little boring when suddenly guess who showed up.  Red Riding was back!  Conversation dimmed and glances glazed.  She walked along the front of the chairs then took a seat on the far side in the back.  My daughter and I wondered how she came to be there in the first place.  Neither of us had noticed her when we came in.

Imagine a pea green shirt and glasses.  You see him?
Imagine a pea green shirt and glasses. You see him?

About five minutes later, this very geeky guy came in. He looked like a bad '80's movie...pea green short-sleeved sweat shirt, red gym shorts, black socks and those silver velcro sandals. He went and sat next to Ms. Red Riding. Seems they knew each other and were friends. The extremely hot woman and the extremely geeky geek.

My daughter and I decided they were aliens. He had watched movies from the wrong era and she had watched "Pretty Woman". This premise entertained us for a while. Suddenly we heard out number, "B336". Hurray!! We went to our assigned window. I was pleasantly surprised. The woman here was also very nice.

So often you go to places where people deal with the public needing something all day and they seem very cynical. The woman at the window was very helpful and nice. What a pleasant surprise! I expected her to laugh at our insurance card, but she was happy. She took care of both of us at the same time, not even getting upset that she had to do the paperwork for two.

All in all, it was an interesting experience. We still wonder what the two aliens wanted. They were still talking when we left. It may have taken a long bit of time, but at least we had entertainment. I guess if you like people watching, you can have entertainment anywhere. All I can advise is if you need to go to get a new Social Security card, make sure you have someone you can laugh with while you wait.


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    • brennawelker profile image


      8 years ago

      Fantastic tips!

    • Katharella profile image


      9 years ago from Lost in America

      Hi, I realize this is about the SS office! I think I am a bit taken about the actions of the children. Nobody seems to notice or care that, yes, while they are bored, I understand that. But if people are going to take their children into a long time boring place, whey do they not bring something for them to do. Why don't people make their children behave. I know, I, nor my child was ever allowed to act like that. I was told, there are seats there for a reason, use them. And when my son was that age, I brought him coloring books or just books or something to keep him busy, and even if there wasn't anything to keep him busy, I too, told him, there are seats for a reason, use them! At no time did he ever run around "bug bug bug" or "fly fly" etc. I told him, sometimes in life, we have to be at boring places, but it's just a "time" and it too shall pass, and playtime will be at an appropriate place, but in public you will be a little gentleman. And that he was. His reward was not "ice cream or candy" it was "Thank you for being such a good boy, I'm proud of you." I guess I'm in awe at the people who just don't care that children need to learn ethics of being in public. The "oddly" dressed people, why are they of any concern, they didn't appear to be bothersome, just a distraction from unattended children. My son is now grown and takes care of a family, and instilling values, and raising children with manners. -No disrespect for your hub, just stating a fact! :) But in response to it, I'm sure it's due to the overwhelming number of identity theft, so hopefully your going home to get the insurance card was helpful to make sure you, were you! :)

    • joinphp profile image


      9 years ago from Tunisia

      Nice trip you leaded us to it, and thankls for the pretty photos joined to this article. May I add that you can extract a replacement birth cerificate at any serious online site that offers such service. The following can redirect you to official records to get delivred a replacement birth certificate or death, marriage, divorce decrees. Certificates are authentic and officials:

      Hope that will help

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      9 years ago from Ohio

      osci, No, you don't need to tell me...I love the most wonderful one! I couldn't believe that our trip only took 3 seconds, you must be my good luck charm.

    • oscillationatend profile image


      9 years ago from a recovering narcissist.

      Aliens are everywhere...not like I need to tell you that, though. ;)

      Wow, glad our trip took three seconds.

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      OpinionDuck, Thanks! Life is what you make of it. :D

    • OpinionDuck profile image


      10 years ago

      Nice prose describing the story.

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      crazybeanrider, Thanks! I always say life is what you make it. We can decide to have fun or be frustrated, but it is always our decision. I just like fun better. :D

    • crazybeanrider profile image

      Boo McCourt 

      10 years ago from Washington MI

      You turned the experience into something entertaining when it could have been a horrific adventure. Great Hub!

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      myra, I hate them both, but we must make the best of what we are handed! :D

      ethel, LOL, Look at all you are missing out on.

      Laughing Mom, When I'm with my daughter, we can always amuse ourselves. Sometimes we get many strange looks for inappropriate laughing, but we like to laugh. Much better than whining! I bet we would laugh twice as much if you were with us! I love your sense of the world.

    • Laughing Mom profile image

      Laughing Mom 

      10 years ago

      At least you knew how to entertain yourself. Dealing with any gov't office can't be any fun. But leave it to you, kari!! :-)

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      10 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      England no longer has nat ins cards just numbers. Still it sounds a riot of a day :)

    • myra636 profile image


      10 years ago from Viginia

      I don't know which I hate most going to ss or dmv they both can take forever

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      R Burow, Thank you!

      Teresa, We had a good time! :D Let us know about your driver's license renewal! I can't wait to read it!

    • Teresa McGurk profile image


      10 years ago from The Other Bangor

      Great entertainment! When did the machinery of bureaucracy get so freakin' demented? However -- you've given me an idea for a hub (thanks!) about my attempts to get my driver's license renewed. . . .

    • R Burow profile image

      R Burow 

      10 years ago from Florida, United States


    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      Everyday Miracles, Maybe I need to move! We were there for 4-5 hours (not counting the ride back home). It was a fun day.

      dori, My daughter and I can stay entertained almost anywhere. It's the good company, I think. :D

      VioletSun, So you've seen an alien also? After the little kids, speculating about what planet they came from and why they were here kept us occupied.

    • VioletSun profile image


      10 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      I was chuckling at your stories, especially the Lady in Red and the geeky guy.  Reminds me when I first moved to Oregon and went to have a coffee at the mall, an impeccably groomed woman, meaning not a hair was out place sat in front of me, all dressed in yellow. She had a yellow dress, yellow shoes, a yellow hair accessory, yellowish earrings, and a yellow bag, her lipstick was in a reddish color, thank goodness!   Wonder why she didn't think of adding white or another color to the mix. LOL!

      Enjoyed reading you!

    • fortunerep profile image

      Dori S Matte 

      10 years ago from Hillsborough

      Wow, never had that much fun at the Social Security Administration. Ha! Atleast you were entertained! Great Story.


    • Everyday Miracles profile image

      Becki Rizzuti 

      10 years ago from Indiana, USA

      I had to get a replacement social security card for me recently. We live in Indianapolis and the whole process took about eight minutes. I've never seen anything like it. The BMV is the same way! In and out in fifteen minutes or less!

      Go Mitch! :D

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      Tom, There was a while that I thought we were there in limbo for life, but we survived! Thanks!

      mike, I'm glad you liked it. It was amusing, although tedious at times. :D

    • profile image

      mike the salesman 

      10 years ago

      very funny..... i feel i was there! good writing!

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom rubenoff 

      10 years ago from United States

      This was clearly a great adventure. Glad you returned to tell us the tale.


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