Your Social Security number is used for a variety of purposes, such as when applying for a credit card or a car loan. However, in most cases, you are not required to present the physical card. However, if your name changes, you should keep the information on the card updated and replace it as soon as possible if you lose it: It is required in situations such as starting a new job or obtaining a new driver’s license (in some states).
If you have misplaced your Social Security card or recently changed your name, you can obtain a replacement. However, how you go about it depends on whether you require a new one with updated information or a replacement with no changes.
We’ll tell you what you need to do to get a new Social Security card in either case. For more information, see When to Give Your Social Security Number. Check out these identity theft protection and monitoring services while you’re here.
The Social Security Administration provides three options for requesting a new Social Security card.
There are three ways to request a new card: in person, online, or by mail. If you meet the requirements, applying online may be the simplest option; however, if you must apply by mail, the administration advises against sending original primary documents that you should keep in your possession, such as your driver’s license, passport, or immigration documents.
Documents must also be originals or certified copies from the agency that issued them. Photocopies or notarized copies will not be accepted by the administration.
Fill out Form SS-5 if you’re getting a new card in person or sending your documents by mail (PDF).
What documentation do I need to obtain a new Social Security card?
You’ll need documents to prove your citizenship, age, and identity regardless of how you apply (online, in person at a Social Security office, or by mail).
Proof of US citizenship: Your birth certificate or a US passport will suffice. If you haven’t already established citizenship with the Social Security Administration, you’ll need to provide this documentation.
Proof of age: A birth certificate is preferred, but if you don’t have one, the Social Security Administration may accept a religious record made before the age of 5, a US hospital record of your birth, or a US passport as proof of age.
Identification can be in the form of a US driver’s license, a US passport, or a state-issued non-driver ID card.
If none of these documents are available, the Social Security Administration may accept one of the following:
- Identification card for employees
- Identification card for school
- Medical insurance card (but not a Medicare card)
- US military identification card
How to Get a New Social Security Card Without Making Any Changes
If you don’t live near a Social Security office, the simplest option is to request a new card online.
To get started, you must first create a My Social Security account. Once you’ve signed in, you should see a link at the top that says Replace your Social Security Card.
When you click the link, you’ll be prompted with a series of questions to determine whether you’re eligible to request a replacement card online. Finally, before submitting your request, you must verify your identity by answering several other questions and electronically signing your name.
Who is not eligible to apply for a card online?
Alaskans, New Hampshirens, Oklahomans, and West Virginians
Those who want to change the name on their card or make any other changes.
Those who have a driver’s license or identification card issued by a US territory, such as American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands.
If you prefer to request a new card in person, click here to find a local office and make an appointment. If you prefer to mail your request, here’s how to locate the mailing address for your local office.
Whether you’re visiting an office in person or mailing in your request, you’ll need to fill out and submit this form.
How to obtain a replacement Social Security card if your name or other information has changed.
If you legally changed your name for any reason, such as marriage, divorce, or a court order, you must notify Social Security so that you can receive a corrected card. You can either bring the required documents to a Social Security office near you or mail them in. Online, you cannot request a new card with changes.
You’ll need to show proof of US citizenship, proof of your legal name change, and a form of identification, just like when you apply for a new card with no changes.
When you receive your new card, it will include your old Social Security number as well as your new name.
How long will it take for your new Social Security card to arrive?
If you applied online or in person, the Social Security Administration estimates that you will receive your new Social Security card within seven to ten business days. If you mailed your request, it could take two to four weeks for the administration to process and return your documents.