Personal Finance 

Don’t Carry Your Social Security Card

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Every month, go through you wallet or purse and ensure that everything in it has a reason for being there.

The other day, while standing in line at the DMV to take a photo for my driver’s license renewal, I saw a man pull his Social Security Card out of his wallet. As we all know, the Social Security card is no more than a regular piece of paper that, given years in a wallet, is bound to disintegrate. This guy’s Social Security card was in such sorry shape that it looked like it was torn from the Constitution. Years of sitting in his back pocket, for no good reason, had his card about a year away from being dust and there was little reason for him to carry it every day (in fact, new Social Security cards instruct you not to carry it on you).

Besides deterioration, another good reason not to carry the card, or anything you don’t use on a daily basis, is that you could lose your wallet or purse. If that unfortunate event happens, you have the burden of replacing or canceling cards that had no reason being in your wallet or purse in the first place. Added headache without any reason whatsoever.

So once a month, clean out your wallet or purse so Constanza doesn’t mistake it for his.

{ 6 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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6 Responses to “Don’t Carry Your Social Security Card”

  1. As usual, there’s also a positive to carrying your Social Security card with you, at least for me. Whenever I don’t carry it with me, I am always risking it to lose it at home, since I move to a new place to live every year or so ( I’ve been doing this for the past 5-6 years).
    Whenever I go to the DMV for example, or start a new job, having my SS card comes in handy. In todays “anti-immigrants” environment, it is wise to not only carry your SS card, but your passport as well..

    • imagefirms says:

      Instead of carrying your original Social Security card in your wallet and beating it up because of so many years sitting there doing almost nothing, wouldn´t it be smart for you to make a copy of the original SSCard and have this copy in your wallet and keep the original safe at home? What´s the downside of following this procedure?

  2. ReddH says:

    I have always been told that as an international, I must keep my card on me. I wonder if my Green Card would now suffice instead. It does worry me that I would be completely screwed if I ever lost my wallet.

  3. Oh man, i freak out when i accidently bring it with me anywhere! I recently went to the Caribbean and *thought* i only brought my passport – turns out my social security card was INSIDE my wallet the entire trip!!

    This means that when Customs AND Immigration (on both countries) opened it up up each time check around, it could have easily slipped out without anyone’s notice!

    Luckily, it didn’t and I caught it 🙂 The point is, I agree w/ not carrying it around with ya. It only *needs* to be on you when going to DMV, etc.

  4. mobody says:

    Wanted to add: I just recently got married and had to get a SS card with my new name on it. There are some things to remember if your card is lost or stolen, this from the SS website really stood out to me:

    “You are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime. Legal name changes and other exceptions do not count toward these limits. For example, changes in noncitizen status that require card updates may not count toward these limits. Also, you may not be affected by these limits if you can prove you need the card to prevent a significant hardship. ”

    Be careful if you lose it, because there are limits on how many times you can get a copy.

  5. Actually I do think that if you are careless you are much more likely to lose your social security card even if you keep it at home. What happens if you move out to a new home/place to live? You mostly likely will just put it somewhere and forget about it.

    I have had roommates who always lost their keys to the house, no matter where they put them. They even lost them when they put their keys on their necK (no kidding).

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