Personal Finance 

Replacing A Lost Social Security Card

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Luckily I’ve never lost my social security card (which is good because I have a lot of money saved up in it!) but the key to being prepared is to be educated before a crisis strikes, so today I’m just going to review what you should do if you lose your social security card and how to get a replacement.

Unfortunately, when you lose your card there is no one you can report it to in order to prevent any sort of identity theft or other shenanigans. If you were to tell the Social Security Administration, they unfortunately will do nothing because there isn’t anything they can do. Most of the time you only need the card itself when you apply for something like a job, driver’s license, etc. and need proof of identification; but when you’re applying for something like a credit card, you only need the number (the card is meaningless). So, the first thing you should do if you lose a card is to put steps into place to prevent identity theft like freezing credit reports.

How do you replace the card? You’re allowed three per year and ten lifetime, excluding name changes and a few other exceptions. If you haven’t met your maximum limit, first you want to fill out this application, and then prepare all your identification documents. You will need:

  1. U.S. driver’s license;
  2. State-issued nondriver identity card; or
  3. U.S. passport.

If you don’t have those, there are some other replacements you can use instead.

You can either mail the documents in (I doubt this is a good idea) or go to a social security card center and submit the application.

Hopefully you’ll never need this information (don’t carry your card around in your purse or wallet, you’ll never need it!) but in case you do, I hope it has helped.

{ 46 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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46 Responses to “Replacing A Lost Social Security Card”

  1. lloyd says:

    If I get another one with a new number, is all my data transfered to the new one?

    • Kristina says:

      You can get a new social security card but the number stays the same it never changes no matter how many replacements you need so yes everything switches over. I hope that helped.

  2. AnneWParker says:

    I have been receiving Social Security checks since Jan., 1996. My checks have been deposited to my checking account since 1996. [redacted]

  3. ted says:

    its been six weeks since I applied for a replacement social security card and nothing in the mail

  4. Miguel says:

    So how to u get a replacement if u loose all ur id cards

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have a social security number i just dont no it…wat do i do?

  6. liz says:


    First off – there is no money built up on your social security card. No one has their own social security accounts. The money that is taken out of your paycheck goes to pay people who are currently on social security / disability / ssi TODAY. That is why there is a big crisis now saying they aren’t goingg to be able to pay ppl in the future.

    Second _ don’t post ur ss number or anyone else’s or your bank account on here that is stupid And dangerous.

    Third – if u believe ur ss card was stolen – sign up for credit monitoring. I love and suggest ZEN DOUGH. it gives u all 3 reports plus ur score. Be sure to monitor all accounts opened AND the jobs it says u have held/do hold. Report any inconsistencies.

    Hope that helps.

  7. Trish says:

    Is there a way to know what limit you are at? And are they able to tell you?

  8. Lisa says:

    I never lost my daughter’s ssn card. I lost one last year and it was replaced with new number. I found out someone used it for as work and my daughter was only 14 at that time. yesterday I went to DES to apply health insurance for my daughter shes 16 now and the case worker said that my daughter is making too much money I told her she never worked. she showed me the paper someone used her ssn for work from last yr to now. I was so furious and went to ss office and talked with them theres nothing they can do. They suggested me to report to police and get credit report for my daughter. I told them it wasnt fair for my daughter. They said oh well. Wondering if I threw away the ssn card now she has and Can I report to SS office that she lost it and will they give me new card with new number for her????

  9. Makayla says:

    I’m sixteen, i don’t know my social security number, i dont have my birth certificate, or my social security card, or any other form of identification for that matter, And my father reuses to send me either. how would i go about getting a new one, so i can get out onn my own in four months?

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