You’ll need your Social Security number for a variety of things, including applying for a credit card or getting a car loan. However, you won’t be asked to present your physical card too often.
That isn’t to say you shouldn’t maintain your card information up to current or wait to replace it if you lose it. In reality, it’s still required in some situations, such as when starting a new work or receiving a new driver’s license (in some states).
You can receive a new Social Security card if you’ve misplaced it or if you’ve recently changed your name for any reason. However, whether you need a new one with updated information or merely a replacement with no changes will determine how you go about doing it.
In either case, we’ll explain everything you’ll need to receive a new Social Security card. For further information, see When Is It OK to Give Out My Social Security Number? Check out these identity theft prevention and monitoring services while you’re here.
You have three options for requesting a new Social Security card from the Social Security Administration.
Requesting a new card can be done in person, online, or through the mail. If you match the requirements, applying online may be the simplest option. If you must apply by mail, the administration advises against sending original primary papers that you should keep on hand, such as your driver’s license, passport, or immigration paperwork.
Documents must also be originals or certified copies from the issuing agency. Photocopies or notarized copies will not be accepted by the administration.
Make sure to fill out Form SS-5 if you’re acquiring a new card in person or sending your documentation by mail (PDF).
To receive a new Social Security card, what documents do I need?
You’ll need documents to establish your citizenship, age, and identity no matter how you do it: online, in person at a Social Security office, or by mail.
A birth certificate or a US passport can be used as proof of citizenship in the United States. If you haven’t already established citizenship with the Social Security Administration, you’ll need this documentation.
Proof of age: A birth certificate is preferred, but if you don’t have one, the Social Security Administration may accept a religious record from before the age of five, a birth certificate from a US hospital, or a US passport.
Your driver’s license, passport, or state-issued non-driver ID card are all acceptable forms of identification.
If you don’t have any of these documents, you might be able to get by with one of the following:
1. Identification card for employees
2. Identification card for school
3. Card for health insurance (but not a Medicare card)
4. ID card for US military personnel
How to get a new Social Security card without having to make any modifications
If you don’t live near a Social Security office, the best approach is to request a replacement card online.
To get started, you’ll need to create a My Social Security account. Once you’ve signed in, you should notice a link at the top of the page that says Replace your Social Security Card.
You’ll be asked a series of questions after clicking the link to see if you’re eligible to get a replacement card online. Finally, you’ll need to authenticate your identification by answering a few more questions before signing your name electronically and submitting your request.
Who isn’t eligible to apply for a card online?
Alaskans, New Hampshire residents, Oklahoma residents, and West Virginia residents.
Those who want to change their name or make any other changes on their card.
Those who have a driver’s license or identification card issued by a US territory, such as American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the United States Virgin Islands.
If you want to request a new card in person, go here to discover a location where you can make an appointment. If you’d prefer send your request via letter, here’s how to find your local office’s mailing address.
Whether you’re visiting an office in person or sending your request, you’ll need to fill out and submit this form.
If you’ve changed your name or other information on your Social Security card, here’s how to receive a replacement.
If you’ve legally changed your name for whatever reason, such as marriage, divorce, or a court order, you must notify Social Security so that a corrected card can be issued. You have the option of taking the appropriate documents to a Social Security office near you or mailing them in. It is not possible to request a new card with alterations over the internet.
You’ll need to present proof of US citizenship, proof of your legal name change, and a form of identification, just as you would for a new card with no alterations.
Your old Social Security number will appear on your new card, along with your new name.
How long will your new Social Security card take to arrive?
If you applied online or in person, the Social Security Administration estimates that you will receive your new card in seven to ten business days. It may take two to four weeks for the administration to process and return your documents if you filed your request by mail.