Your Social Security Card is Lost, Now What?

Having your social security card lost or stolen can be a frightening experience. After all, every piece of our human existence is tied to that nine digit number. Most of the time, if you have your social security number memorized or written down, the card is not needed. There is no law requiring one to have an actual social security card. But what happens when it is needed, say for applying for a drivers license or passport, and you do not have the card anymore? Getting a replacement card is not as daunting a task as you might think.

Where to Start on Finding Social Security Card

To begin, you will need to fill out an application for a new social security card. Applications are available at your local social security office. The application can also be printed from the social security website by visiting The link for replacing a social security card is on the left side of the page under the “more information” heading. By clicking that link, it will take you to the page with instructions for applying for a new card, and the link for the printable Application for a Social Security Card (form SS-5).

Supporting Documents

Once you have completed the application for a social security card, you will need to gather some information about yourself. There are two required pieces of information that you must prove in order to apply for a new card. The first bit of information required is to prove your identity, and the second is to prove your US Citizenship.

Identity Information

In order to prove your identity you must show a document that includes specific information about yourself. The information needed is your name, age or birth date, and a photo. The document must be current. Some examples of acceptable documentation include: drivers license, non-drivers id card, or passport. Whatever you choose to use, must be the original documents. Copies are not accepted.

Citizenship Information

The second bit of information you need to provide is something to show that you are a US citizen and therefore able to apply for a social security card. Acceptable documents include but are not limited to, a US passport, a US birth certificate, or a certificate of citizenship. For a full list of acceptable documentation, you can visit the website at or contact your local social security office. Again, whichever form of identification you provide, must be the original, not a copy.

How to Apply For a New Social Security Card

Once you have filled out the required application and found all of the necessary documents, you can now apply for a new social security card. This can be done in one of two ways. One, visit your local social security office and apply in person. Two, mail all of your documents and application to your local social security office. Any documents you send, will be mailed back to you once verified.

To find your local social security office, again visit and click on the link to find your local office. Enter your zip code and the closest office will be displayed.

Once everything is approved, you can expect to receive your new card in about two weeks.


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