It is not often that you are required to present your physical Social Security card. If you know the first nine digits of your Social Security number, you’ll rarely need to pull your card from its hiding place. However, in some cases, such as when applying for a new driver’s licence or starting a new job, you may be required to show it.
But what if you’ve misplaced it or if your name has recently changed? Don’t worry, a replacement is available. However, how you go about it depends on why you need a new one.
We’ll go over what you’ll need and how to get a new Social Security card, depending on whether you need a new one with updated information or just a replacement with no changes. For more information, see when it’s appropriate to reveal your Social Security number.
The Social Security Administration provides three options for requesting a new Social Security card.
A new card can be requested in person, online, or through the mail. If you meet the requirements, applying online may be the simplest option; however, if you need to request a new card through the mail, the administration advised not to send original primary documents that you should keep in your possession, such as your driver’s licence, 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 documents am I required to have in order to obtain a new Social Security card?
You’ll need documents to prove your citizenship, age, and identity whether 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 licence, a US passport, or a state-issued non-driver ID card.
In the absence of any of these documents, the Social Security Administration may accept one of the following:
- Identification card for employees
- Identification card for school
- Insurance card for health care (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’ll need to 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’ll need to verify your identity by answering a few more questions, and you’ll need to electronically sign your name.
Who isn’t eligible to apply for a card online?
- Alaskans, New Hampshirens, Oklahomans, and West Virginians.
- Those requesting a name change – or any other change – to their identification card.
- Those who have a driver’s licence or identification card issued by a US territory, such as American Samoa, Guam, the Northern
- Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the United States Virgin Islands.
If you prefer to request a new card in person, click here to find a location near you and make an appointment. If you’d rather send your request by mail, 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. It is not possible to request a new card with changes online.
You’ll need to show proof of US citizenship, proof of your legal name change, and a form of identification, just like if you’re requesting 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. Those who submitted their request by mail should expect it to take two to four weeks for the administration to process and return their documents.