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  • Writer's pictureChris Stein, CFP®

Getting a New Social Security Card

Everyone who has recently gotten a new job knows that part of the hiring process involves digging up that Social Security card you may have not touched in many years.  Hopefully it was in a safe place, but what if you cannot find it?  Occasionally you may need to request a new card.  Here is what you need to know to get one:

  1. Be aware that you are limited to 3 replacement cards in a year or 10 in your lifetime. While I don’t know what they will do if you hit this limit, I would not recommend finding out.  Sounds like a bureaucratic nightmare.  Bottom line… keep your card safe.

  2. Make an appointment at your local Social Security office or you can just drop in. Wait times will vary greatly depending on your location.  You must request a new card in person or by mail.  Since this involves documents I would not feel comfortable mailing I recommend the live office visit.  This is not something you can process online or over the phone.

  3. Bring the proper documents. These will need to be original or certified copies.

Proof of Citizenship – Common acceptable documents are; U.S. Birth Certificate U.S. Passport

Proof of identity – Common acceptable documents are; U.S. Driver’s License State Issued I.D. Card U.S. Passport

If any of these are unavailable they may ask for; U.S. Military ID School ID Card Health Insurance Card Employee ID

You will generally receive the new card in the mail within 10-14 days from when Social Security has verified all your information.  Also, name changes as a result of marriage do not count towards your limit on replacement cards.  If you cannot wait for the new card, the Social Security office can supply you a letter on their letterhead confirming that your Social Security number is in fact yours.  This may work for you while you wait for the official card to show up in the mail.

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