What You Need To Know If Your Social Security Card Is Lost Or Stolen

A lost social security card can be an alarming and upsetting event. Your social security card and number are used as a sort of identification process that helps you to engage in legitimate financial endeavors such as obtaining a bank account or applying for a loan, applying for a job, or filing for taxes. Your social security number is how the government helps keep track of your legal activities, and while there are plenty of alternatives for you if your card is lost or stolen, you can – and should – replace a lost social security card as soon as possible.

What A Stolen Number Might Mean

It might be momentarily vexing as to what someone might want with your lost or stolen social security card. However it’s important to remember that your social security number is perhaps the best key when it comes to identity theft. While there are a plethora of alternative identification numbers offered, your missing card might be a good warning sign to watch your finances and other legal ties with a much keener eye than normal.

Apply For A Replacement

The process to apply for a replacement card is relatively simple. The official social security website (www.ssa.gov) offers two application routes: online and hard copy. You can choose the route that fits you best. Some businesses might offer cards for a fee, but Social Security provides the service – among others – for free.

Applying Online

By signing up for a my Social Security account, you can easily start to process to apply online for a replacement social security card. If you are a U.S. citizen age 18 or older with a U.S. mailing address (which is including APO, FPO, and DPO addresses), are not requesting a name change or any other change to your card, and have a driver’s license or state-issued identification card from one of the many participating states or the District of Columbia then you’re in good shape to use the online application process. While Social Security services are working to expand this service, there are a few hangups still – like the fact that Delaware and Wisconsin require a driver’s license to take advantage of this option rather than offering the option of an identification card. You can not use the online application process if your driver’s license or identification card was issued by a U.S. territory (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands) or one of the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • West Virgina

Applying The Old Fashioned Way

Of course, you may want to lean towards more tried and true methods of applying for a replacement social security card.

  1. Collect Your Documents

Documents will vary based on whether you’re a U.S. Born Citizen, a Foreign Born U.S. citizen, or a noncitizen and on whether the replacement card is for an adult or a child. A noncitizen must provide proof of U.S. immigration status such as a Lawful Permanent Resident card or a Employment Authorization Document, proof of work or student eligibility, and a current DHS document as proof of identification.

On the other hand, both adult and child citizens – whether foreign born or U.S. born – will need to present proof of citizenship such as a passport or a birth certificate and a proof of identity like a U.S. driver’s license, state-issued non-driver identification card, or U.S. passport. Your proof of identity must be current and unexpired, and show your full name, identifying information such as your age or date of birth, and a recent photograph. If you do not have one of those items for proof of identity then you may present an employee identification card, a school identification card, a health insurance card that is not a Medicare card, or a U.S. military identification card provided that its recent or unexpired, shows your name, identifying information such as a date of birth or age, and a recent photograph. One document, such as a U.S. passport, may be used as both proof of citizenship and identity.

All of the documents you submit must either be the original documents or copies of the originals. Photocopies or notarized copies of documents will not be accepted. You can get a certified copy of a document that shows a birth, marriage or divorce that took place in the United States. If you’re filing on behalf of another person, you’ll be expected to provide evidence of your relationship to or responsibility for that individual as well as providing proof of your identity.

  1. Fill Out An Application

You can find the correct application through the Social Security website with relative ease. The application is straight forward and requires information such as your name, age, date of birth, and some familial information like the social security numbers of the applicant’s mother and father. The application is about four pages in total, comprising of three pages of important information and only one page that needs to be filled out by the applicant.

  1. Send or Take To The Office

You can send your application by mail to your local social security office or take it in yourself if you have the time. Either way, the social security website makes it easy to locate an office or get in touch with them through a toll free number. Ultimately, the Social Security Administration wants to make it easy for you to replace a lost social security card.