The conventional wisdom is that you should keep your social security card in a safe place. However, there are many situations that require you to carry it on your person, like when applying for jobs or other official documentation. These scenarios open you up to the risk of losing your card. And even if it is in safekeeping, other risks beyond your control, like the possibility of burglary or fire, mean that you can never totally guarantee the safety of your card.
Stuff happens, and people lose their cards. If you’ve lost yours, first you will want to report the lost social security card. Next, you’ll need to get a new one. While you can certainly find a social security office near you, you’re likely wondering, “can I order a new social security card online?”
Luckily, the answer is yes. As long as you’re a US citizen aged 18 or older with a license or government-issued ID from a participating state, and you have a US mailing address, you can request a replacement social security card online.
This guide will make the process even easier by walking you through everything you need to know about how to order a new social security card online.
With the right online social security application, you can:
All of this without waiting in any long SSA (Social Security Administration) line.
Online application for social security cards is streamlined. It doesn’t require you to physically show up, nor actually present any original copies of documents. That said, you will need to have access to a certified copy of each important document (or at least the information on them) throughout the process.
Let’s take a look at the steps required to apply online.
Preparation is key. Even though you won’t need to actually produce or submit your official documents for your online application, you’ll still need to provide information to prove your identity.
The information required for all of your online processing is similar to what you’d need in person. Namely, you need to be able to produce:
This information will be needed for any online social security card service and for the application itself.
Next, you’ll need to identify a secure method of filing this personal information for the SSA. While it’s possible to go through the SSA website portal directly, this involves registering a social security account, building the application, and wait times where they review the information for accuracy.
Any inaccuracy means you need to start the process from square one, and unfortunately, there are no checks along the way.
That’s why secure services, like E-Records, are becoming more popular. It takes away the hassle of in-person and online government inefficiencies and streamlines the entire process.
The application form will require you to:
Once that’s all done, the rest of the process is easy as pie.
The last and easiest step involves nothing but a little patience. Shortly after you finish your application with an E-Records service, a package with all the appropriate social security documents (filled out) will arrive at your home. From there, you can review for accuracy and ship it using the pre-paid stamp.
With this step complete, your social security card will be mailed directly to you.
Now that you know what the online application process for a replacement social security card entails, let’s go over what it looks like offline.
If you’re in one of the states or other locations that’s ineligible for online application, you’ll need to apply offline. This option is also open to anyone who lives in a state that offers online application but would prefer the offline, in-person option.
The process is similar to online.
You will need to fill out an application for replacement or bring the following official, certified documents to your local social security office:
If you can’t produce these documents, you’ll be asked to produce some combination of the following:
One acceptable document can be used to cover both the citizenship and identity requirements (i.e. a passport covering both).
lso, note that there’s a limit to how many times you can apply for a replacement card, online or off. You can apply for up to three replacement cards in a calendar year and up to ten replacement cards over the span of your life. After you hit that limit, you’re out of luck unless you’re able to prove that the social security card replacement will help you avoid a significant hardship.
And, any and all updates and corrections won’t count toward that limit.
If you’re not replacing a lost or stolen card, but are instead looking to correct or update your existing one, you’ll also need to apply offline. This is a common process that many people need to do after a name change, gender confirmation, or correction to date of birth. For example, you will need a new social security card after marriage.
Failing to correct your social security card after a name change can have serious consequences over the short and long term:
You may experience delays when filing taxes, potentially leading to fees
Your earning may not be posted to your social security record, which can impact both your eligibility for benefits and the scale of your benefits in the future
Applying for a correction works much in the same way as a regular replacement application. However, you will need to produce additional documentation for your change of name, such as:
Now, you might be wondering whether getting a new card is even necessary.
It’s true that some processes that require your social security number can be undergone without the physical card itself. However, it’s extremely important to have the card for the processes that do require it, including but not limited to:
So, yes. If you’ve lost your SS card, you should replace it as soon as possible. And here at NotYourSocialSecurity, we’re here to help.
Our mission at NotYourSocialSecurity is to simplify everything that has to do with social security. From understanding how to order a social security card online to empowering you to apply for the right documentation, we’re here to help you navigate the various application processes.
By utilizing our simple online tools and resources, we save you time, headaches, and help you avoid any mistakes that often arise during the process. With us, social security is as easy as it can be.
Social Security Administration. How to Request Your Social Security Card Online. https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/assets/materials/EN-05-10674.pdf
Social Security Administration. Learn What Documents You Will Need to Get a Social Security Card. https://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/ss5doc.htm
Social Security Administration. My Social Security. https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/
Social Security Administration. Replacement Card. https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/replacement-card.html