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Replacing A Lost Social Security Card

Posted By Jim On 05/02/2007 @ 3:02 pm In Personal Finance | 46 Comments

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 [3], 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.


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[3] application: http://www.ssa.gov/online/ss-5.pdf

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