Lost Your Social Security Card?
Okay, first of all, don’t panic!
You do need a social security number to get a job, collect social security benefits and receive some other government services. Fortunately, however, because you don’t usually need to present your social security card, having lost the card itself usually won’t have an impact on that process –provided you are able to present alternative valid documents when filling out an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification. Otherwise, it’s probably best if you don’t always carry your social security card with you; instead, keep it in a safe place with your other important papers. However, if you happen to lose your card and want a replacement, here’s what you need to know.
You are limited to three replacement cards in a year and ten during your lifetime. Legal name changes and other exceptions do not count toward these limits. For example, changes in immigration status, which require a card update, 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.
When requesting a new card, you’ll need certain documents to prove your citizenship and your identity. To prove your citizenship, you can present your U.S. birth certificate or U.S. passport. To prove your identity, you can present your U.S. driver’s license, state-issued nondriver identification card or U.S. passport. You may use one document for two purposes. For example, you may show your U.S. passport as proof of both citizenship and identity. All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. The Social Security Administration cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents, nor can they accept a receipt showing you applied for the document.
The Social Security Administration will mail your card as soon as they have all of your information and have verified your documents. Your replacement card will have the same name and number as your previous card.†