How to Get a Social Security Card Replacement

In most cases, you can start or complete a replacement card request online with a Social Security account.
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Written by Davin Dearth
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Edited by Claire Tsosie
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You can request a free Social Security card replacement online or by filling out Form SS-5 at a local Social Security office. Once the Social Security Administration (SSA) verifies your documents and approves your request, your Social Security card replacement should arrive within 14 business days

Social Security Administration. Use Our Online Service To Obtain A Social Security Number Card. Accessed Jul 10, 2023.

How to replace your Social Security card online

  1. Log on to your Social Security account. If you don’t have one, you can make one for free.

  2. At the top of your profile, select the header titled “Replace your Social Security Card.” From there, you’ll have to complete a short questionnaire to determine whether you can complete the full application online.

  3. Complete the form provided. If you can complete your request online, the site will take you to the online form. If you need to complete part of the request in person, you can follow the link to a different online form before visiting an office with the documentation needed to complete your request.

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How long does it take to get a replacement Social Security card?

After the Social Security Administration verifies your document(s) and completes your request, you should receive your Social Security card in the mail within 14 business days.

Can I get a replacement Social Security card at my local office?

For more complicated replacement card requests, it’s possible to start a request online, but you’ll need to finish the process by visiting a Social Security office with the necessary documents. Some examples of when an office visit is required include:

  • If you’re applying for a replacement card for your child.

  • If you’re not a U.S. citizen.

  • If you’re changing your name.

  • If you don’t have an unexpired driver’s license or non-driver’s state-issued ID.

In rare cases — for example, if you don’t have a U.S. mailing address — it’s not possible to start your request online. Instead, you’ll need to visit a Social Security office.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Find a nearby Social Security office. The SSA’s Office Locator tool can be helpful.

  2. Print and complete Social Security Form SS-5 (an application for a Social Security card).

  3. Bring the required documents. These vary depending on your citizenship status and the type of card you request. The Social Security Administration will accept only original documents or copies that were certified by the issuing agency. The SSA won’t accept notarized copies, photocopies or expired documents

    Social Security Administration. Learn what documents you will need to get a Social Security Card. Accessed Jul 10, 2023.

Documents you’ll need to replace a Social Security card

For a replacement Social Security card, you will need the following documents:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship. This could be a U.S. birth certificate or a U.S. passport.

  • Proof of identity. Acceptable proof of identification must be current and show your name, date of birth or age and a recent photograph. This could be a U.S. driver’s license, a state-issued non-driver identification card or a U.S. passport.

    • If you don’t have one of these three specific documents and you can’t get a replacement for one within 10 days, Social Security will ask to see other documents for secondary identification. These include employee identification cards, school identification cards, health insurance cards (not a Medicare card) or U.S. military identification cards.

  • Proof of immigration status if not a U.S. citizen. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must prove your U.S. immigration status via one of the following:

    • Form I-551 (lawful permanent resident card), also called a green card.

    • Form I-766 EAD (Employment Authorization Document), or work permit.

    • Form I-94 (arrival/departure record).

    • Admission stamp on an unexpired foreign passport.

  • The SSA notes that “generally, only noncitizens who have permission to work from DHS (Department of Homeland Security) can apply for a Social Security number."

    Social Security Administration. Social Security Numbers for Noncitizens. Accessed Jul 10, 2023.

Documents needed if you're changing or correcting your Social Security card

In addition to the documents that are always required, there are certain situations in which you will need secondary documentation to finish your application for a replacement card.

  • If you are changing your name because of marriage or divorce: You’ll need an original or certified copy of your marriage certificate or divorce decree.

  • If you’re changing your place of birth: You’ll need a birth certificate, federal or state census record, or religious record established before age five showing age or date of birth.

  • If you need to change the name of the parent listed on a child’s record: You’ll need a supporting document, like an amended birth certificate or a final adoption decree.

If you do not have any of the required documents listed above, you will need to visit your local Social Security office to ask about potential alternatives.

Frequently asked questions

You’re able to request a replacement Social Security card only three times in a year and 10 times during your lifetime.

You can speak with a Social Security employee by calling the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213. Employees are available in most U.S. time zones from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, in English and other languages. Call TTY 800-325-0778 if you’re deaf or hard of hearing. See our list of Social Security customer service phone numbers.

The Social Security Administration accepts only originals or certified copies of the required documents, which means you would have to mail an original form of identification like a U.S. driver’s license or U.S. passport. This is generally not a good idea because you risk losing these documents in the mail. That’s why the Social Security Administration tells people to finish the application process by visiting their local SSA office.

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