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How to get a replacement Social Security card

You can replace a lost or stolen Social Security card up to three times in a year and up to 10 times during your lifetime. Getting a new card because of a change in your legal name or citizenship status does not count toward the limits. 

You can request a replacement card online if you:

  • Have a My Social Security account.
  • Are 18 or older.
  • Are not changing the name on the card.
  • Have a U.S. mailing address (military and diplomatic addresses count).
  • Live in a state that shares its computer data with Social Security. (Several states do not; the list is updated frequently.) 

If you don’t have an online account or don’t meet any one of the other criteria, you’ll have to fill out an application form and either mail it or take it to your local Social Security office. You’ll need to provide a government-issued photo ID — either a passport, a driver’s license or a state-issued ID card. 

If you don’t have any of those, Social Security will ask to see another form of current ID that shows your name; identifying information such as age or date of birth; and, preferably, a recent photograph — for example, an employee, student or U.S. military ID or a health insurance card (but not a Medicare card). 

Your new Social Security card will come in the mail in 10 to 14 days. There is no charge. 

Keep in mind

  • For mail requests, Social Security requires that you send in original documents or copies certified by the agency that issued the document. Photocopies, even if notarized, are not accepted. Social Security will return your documents once they process your new card.
  • To change the name on your Social Security card, you will need to provide (by mail or at your local office) proof of your new name — for example, a marriage certificate, adoption papers or a court order granting the change — and proof of identity and citizenship. Again, these must be originals or certified copies. If you don’t have any of those documents, Social Security may accept an unexpired, state-issued identity document in your new name, provided they can match it to your old name in their records. 

Published October 10, 2018

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