Has your social security card been recently damaged, destroyed, lost, or stolen? Are you applying for the first time? Or do you need to correct your social security card to better reflect a change in immigration status? Maybe you need a new social security card after marriage for your legal name change.
If so, you’re probably wondering how long it takes to get a social security card. Keep in mind that if you’re replacing a social security card because you lost your original one, you’ll want to also report the lost social security card to save yourself from potential identity theft or financial fraud if it gets in the wrong hands.
While there may be factors that slow down the turnaround time to getting a social security card, generally speaking, you can expect to get your social security card within 10-14 business days after the date the application was processed. But wondering how to get a new social security card as fast as possible? Let’s find out.
The process for applying for a social security card may differ slightly depending upon whether you’re applying for the first time or simply replacing or updating an old or lost card. For first-timers, it will take longer because you’ll need to use a social security office locator to find an SSA office near you and apply in person. That said, once all of the proper documentation is in, the timeline should be the same.
According to the Social Security Administration, once all necessary information has been received, they will mail your social security card. For those utilizing Form I-765, your card will be issued immediately upon U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services approval of employment authorization. On average, you should expect to receive your card within 10-14 days from the date of application processing.
Once your completed application for a social security card has been received by the Social Security Administration, it generally takes between one and two weeks for the card to be mailed to you. The office will mail your new card to you at the mailing address you provide on the social security card application.
The Social Security Administration uses the same application whether you’re applying for a new, replacement, or corrected social security card. The SSN application is called a Form SS-5 and is available to download on the Social Security Administration’s website. You can print it out on standard letter-size white copy paper and fill it out legibly using blue or black ink.
For infants, the length of the first time social security number process depends upon the state—some can take as little as a week to process, while others take up to 6 weeks. Per the Social Security Administration the average time on a state-by-state basis.
While it’s voluntary to apply for a social security number for a newborn, it’s a smart decision to do so from the outset.
While the expected time to receive a social security number post-application remains the same for children, the process may take longer because there are more hoops you must jump through, especially if the child is 12 years or older. According to the Social Security Administration, if you are any person that is age 12 or older and are requesting a social security number, you must show up for an interview in-person. This is regardless if a parent or guardian will be the one signing the application on the child’s behalf.
The purpose of the interview is to demonstrate that the child doesn’t yet have a social security number. For example, if your family lived outside of the U.S. for an extended period, relevant documents that can prove long-term residence include:
If your family has lived in the U.S. and is just now applying for an original social security number the office may ask for:
Naturally, the requirement of an in-person interview will add days if not weeks to the timeline. After meeting for an interview and being approved, you will have to fill out the application, provide all the required paperwork and proof of identity documentation, and then wait the expected 10-14 days.
If you are seeking a replacement social security card, the timeline depends on the process you choose. Typically, you have one of three options:
Online is the fastest and easiest way to apply for a replacement social security card. It’s also the easiest method. In order to qualify to apply online, you must meet the following criteria:
That said, it’s not available in all states, including:
In addition, you can’t apply online if your ID card or Driver’s License is from a U.S. territory like:
If you are allowed to apply online and meet the standards, you can make the entire process easier and swifter by using a social security assistance service. This can help you skip the lines and apply online without worrying about any delays or incorrect forms. Within 5 minutes, you can answer all the questions online and then you’ll get all the necessary documents mailed right to you which you then can mail to the Social Security Office.
If you aren’t allowed to apply online or don’t prefer to, you may need to take the longer route of visiting a social security office in person. There are more than 1,300 offices in the states, so simply put your ZIP code into the social security office locator.
At your local SSA office, you must provide current documents showing your legal name and certificate of citizenship. You will need to show at least one of the following documents from each category:
As you might imagine, the wait time is contingent upon how quickly you can get in front of a processor. However, once all of that’s been completed, you can expect the same 10-14 business day shipment time.
If you are isolated and in a state where there is no local social security office nearby, you do have the option to download the application and then mail it in. But unless you are in a hurry and desperate to receive your social security card, this method is not advised. It lengthens the time it will take to receive the new card.
Fortunately, if you are ordering a SS card but need to immediately show acceptable proof of your social security number and benefits for employment authorization or other reasons, there’s a faster way to do this. The social security office can send you an instant verification letter online. To request this letter take one of the following paths:
The letter will include:
Upon completion, you can expect to receive the letter within 1-2 business days. With it, you will have the temporary proof you need to have on hand—that is, until your actual SS card can arrive.
While the Social Security Administration has made it accessible to apply for a new or replacement card, there are still long stretches of time with each method.
If you want to save time and avoid potential filing errors or waiting in long lines at the social security office, you can expedite this online process with us. We have tools to ease you along the process and ensure that you’re not dealing with delays or filing errors.
It’s convenient and easy-to-use—it’s how getting a social security card should be.