How To Apply For A New Social Security Card

Many companies will request your Social Security card number simply because it is a quick and easy way for them to identify clients.

Unfortunately, identity thieves can use your Social Security number to steal your identity. That is why it’s important you keep it safe and when stolen, you ensure you get a replacement. But in situations where you haven’t gotten one before, it is important you apply for one.

This article provides a full guide on how to apply for a new social security card. Carefully read!

What Is A Social Security Card?

A Social Security number (SSN) is a nine-digit number provided to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and temporary (working) residents in the United States under section 205(c)(2) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 405(c)) (2).

The Social Security Administration, an autonomous agency of the United States government, issues the number to an individual. Although the number was created to help the Social Security Administration monitor people, it has since evolved into a de facto national identification number for taxation and other purposes.

You can get a Social Security number by filling out Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Number Card. Note, Social Security cards come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

SEE ALSO: How To File For Unemployment Benefits In Colorado

What Are The Types Of Social Security Card?

SSA issues three types of Social Security cards:

1. The first type of card shows the individual’s name and Social Security number only. This is the card most people have and reflects the fact that the holder can work in the U.S. without restriction. They issue this card to:

  • U.S. citizens, or
  • Non-citizens who are lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence, or who have permission from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to work permanently in the U.S., such as refugees, asylees, and citizens of Compact of Free Association countries.

2. The second type of card bears, in addition to the individual’s name and Social Security number, the legend, “NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT.” This type of card is issued to non-citizens who:

  • don’t have DHS permission to work, but are receiving a federally-funded benefit; or
  • are legally in the U.S. and don’t have DHS permission to work but, are subject to a state or local law that requires them to provide an SSN to get general assistance benefits.

3. The third type of card bears, in addition to the individual’s name and Social Security number, the legend, “VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH INS AUTHORIZATION.” We issue this card to people who have DHS permission to work temporarily in the U.S.

If you’re a noncitizen, we must verify your documents with DHS before we issue an SSN card. We will issue the card within two days of receiving verification from DHS. Most of the time, we can quickly verify your documents online with DHS. If DHS can’t verify your documents online, it may take several weeks or up to three months to respond to Social Security’s request. For more details, please see the answer to the Frequently Asked Question, How is SSA protecting Social Security numbers?

Further, there are two sorts of Social Security cards that are restricted:

  • “Not valid for employment,” says one. These cards are not admissible as a List C document on the I-9 form and cannot be used as proof of work authorization.
  • “Valid for work only with DHS authorization,” or “valid for work only with INS authorization,” says the other.

The Department of Homeland Security, the country’s border department, issues these cards to people with temporary work permits in the United States.

If they are accompanied by a work authorization card, they can satisfy the I-9 requirement. And the name and number of the cardholder are usually displayed on the cards.

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What Is The Purpose Of A Social Security Card?

The initial function of this number was to keep track of people’s Social Security accounts. It has now been adopted as a means of identifying individuals in the United States, albeit uncommon errors do occur in cases when duplicates exist.

When prenumbered cards were mailed out to regional SSA offices and (initially) post offices, there were a few duplicates.

Social Security numbers are sometimes used to index employee, medical, student, and credit information.

What Are The Benefits of Having a Social Security Card?

You’ll need a Social Security number to find a job, get Social Security payments, and access some other government services.

Keep your Social Security card safe with your other vital papers and don’t give it out until absolutely necessary. Keep in mind that even if you misplaced your card, you may not require a replacement.

In the vast majority of circumstances, simply knowing your Social Security number is sufficient. However, if you do require a replacement, we make the process simple.

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When Do You Need A Social Security number?

Your employer will ask for your Social Security number if you start a new job. This number will be used by your employer’s accounting department to report your income to the IRS and to record your Social Security wages to the Social Security Administration.

Unless your state does not have an income tax, your employer will utilize it for state income tax reporting.

Employers who participate in E-Verify, a program that verifies that employees are authorized to work in the United States, must also collect your Social Security number before you can start working.

Other common instances in which you’ll need to supply your Social Security number are listed below.

1. When opening an account with any financial institution in the United States

Since 1970, banks have been required by the federal government to get customers’ Social Security numbers or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

Your Social Security number is used by financial institutions to check your credit, report interest and investment income or losses to the IRS, report tax-deductible mortgage interest to the IRS, and manage your account.

Some financial institutions will accept a taxpayer identification number (also known as an Employer Identification Number or EIN on some forms), which you must obtain from the IRS.

2. When applying for a federal loan

When you apply for a federal loan, such as a federal student loan, the government will check your Social Security number to make sure you’re eligible.

4 For example, you must not be in default on another federal loan, have suitable citizenship or visiting status, and most male candidates must have registered with the Selective Service to be eligible for federal student loans.

3. When Applying for Certain Types of Government Aid

Unemployment benefits and Social Security disability income are typically administered by federal or state government agencies, which use Social Security numbers to identify persons and ensure they are not seeking benefits to which they are not entitled.

4. When It Comes to Medicare Enrollment

In order to enroll people in Medicare, the Social Security Administration collaborates with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

SEE ALSO: 11 Cheapest Ways to Get Health Insurance

5. When Apply for a Passport in the United States

When applying for a passport in the United States, federal law requires you to supply your Social Security number if you have one. You must produce a sworn affidavit stating that you were never awarded an SSN if you don’t have one.

6. In Your Income Tax Return

This number is used by the IRS to match the income you report on your tax return to the income reported by your employer and financial institutions. You’ll also need your child’s SSN if you want to list them as dependent on your tax return.

7. When applying for a Driver’s License

Many states require you to supply your Social Security number when applying for a driver’s license.

Non-citizens without Social Security numbers are exempt from providing one in many situations where one is normally required, such as getting a driver’s license, registering for school, purchasing private health insurance, or applying for government assistance such as subsidized housing.

Non-citizens who are not authorized to work in the United States are not given Social Security numbers by the government. It says that if you don’t have a Social Security number, even banks and credit companies can’t force you to provide one.

Financial institutions will be unable to run a credit check on you without this number, making it difficult, if not impossible, to obtain a credit card or loan.

How To Apply For A New Social Security Card

If you do not qualify for an online request for a Social Security card must complete a paper application and mail or bring it to a Social Security office. You may also be asked to present documents proving your age, identity, citizenship, or immigration status in the United States.

The following documents are frequently asked for a new Social Security card:

  • Certificate of birth.
  • A valid driver’s license issued in the United States.
  • Non-driver identification card issued by a state in the United States.
  • A passport issued by the United States of America.

Other documents, such as a U.S. hospital record or religious record of your birth, a final adoption decree, a U.S. military identity card, a certificate of naturalization, an employee identity card, a certified copy of a medical record, a health insurance card, a Medicaid card, or a school identity card, may be accepted if you don’t have these forms of identification.

Original documentation or certified copies from the issuing agency must be provided to the Social Security Administration. As proof of identity, photocopies and notarized copies of documents are not acceptable. The Social Security Administration estimates that processing and returning the documents will take two to four weeks.

Individuals can now obtain replacement Social Security cards by visiting the Social Security Administration’s website at

Documents Needed When Applying For Social Security Card?

To apply for social security number card, the following documents are needed:

#1 Citizenship

We can only accept certain documents as proof of citizenship in the United States. A U.S. birth certificate or a U.S. passport are examples of these documents.

#2 Age

Your birth certificate must be presented. You must submit it if one exists. If you don’t have a birth certificate, we might be able to accept:

  • Before the age of five, keep a religious record that includes your date of birth.
  • Your birth certificate from a US hospital.
  • A passport issued by the United States of America.

Anyone over the age of 12 who wants an original Social Security number (SSN) must come in for an interview with proof that you don’t have a Social Security number.

Some papers that can be used to show that an SSN was never assigned:

  • A current or former passport
  • School and/or employment records, and any other record that would prove long-term residence outside the United States could be used to establish you do not have an SSN if you stayed outside the United States for a lengthy period of time.

If you have lived in the United States and are asking for an original Social Security number, we may ask you for information about the schools you attended or copies of tax records showing you were never granted an SSN.

READ ALSO: Lost EINz: How To Find Your Business Tax ID/EIN Number

#3 Identity

Only certain documents can be accepted as proof of identification. A valid document must be current (not expired) and include your name, identifying information (birthdate or age), and, preferably, a recent photograph. As an example, as proof of identification, we’ll need to see:

  • A valid driver’s license is issued in the United States.
  • Non-driver identification card issued by the state.
  • A passport issued by the United States of America.

We will ask you to examine other documents if you do not have one of these specified documents or if you cannot secure a substitute within 10 days.

Any documents you send must be current (not expired) and include your name, identifying information (date of birth or age), and, preferably, a recent photograph:

  • Identification card for employees.
  • Identification card from the school.
  • Card for health insurance (not a Medicare card).
  • Military identification card from the United States of America.

How To Replace Your Social Security Card Online?

If your card is lost or stolen, you must establish your identity and citizenship in the United States to get a replacement.

To verify your identity, Social Security will need to see:

  • A driver’s license issued by the United States;
  • a state-issued non-driver identity card;
  • Or a passport issued by the United States.

If you don’t have these documents or can’t receive a replacement within ten days, Social Security will request further documents, such as:

  • Employee identification card;
  • student identification card;
  • health insurance card (not a Medicare card);
  • Military ID card from the United States of America

Then, a doctor’s letter containing your name, address, social security number, and signature, as well as the doctor’s name, address, and signature

For Age

If you don’t have a birth certificate, you’ll need to get one. The following items may be accepted by Social Security:

  • Before the age of five, keep a religious record that includes your date of birth.
  • Your date of birth on a U.S. hospital record
  • Passport of the United States of America

Other records demonstrating long-term residence outside the United States if you lived outside the United States

To show that you are a citizen of the United States, you must: Only particular documents can now be accepted as proof of U.S. citizenship, thanks to recent revisions in the law.

Birth certificate from the United States; passport from the United States

To verify your immigrant status, you must: If you are a non-citizen of the United States, Social Security will need to view your current immigration documents. Documents that are acceptable include:

  • I-766 Employment Authorization Document
  • EAD
  • Work permit Form I-551 with your unexpired foreign passport I-94 Arrival/Departure Record or entrance stamp

If you are unable to apply for a card online, you must submit the appropriate documentation. Depending on your citizenship and the sort of card you want, we’ll need to examine different documentation. Fill out an Application for a Social Security Card and contact your local Social Security office with it. A Social Security card is free of charge. This is a free service.

How to Change Your Social Security Card Name

You must also fill out Form SS-5 to alter your name on your Social Security card. You must present recently issued documents that prove your legally changed name, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decision, court order for a name change, or certificate of Naturalization. Your new Social Security card will have your new name on it, but your old card’s number will remain the same.

Originals or certified copies of all papers must be provided by the issuing agency. Photocopies or notarized copies of documents or receipts proving you applied for a document will not be accepted by Social Security.

How Many Times Can You Replace A Missing Social Security Card?

You are only allowed three replacement Social Security cards each calendar year and a total of ten replacement cards in your lifetime.

These limits do not apply to cards requested owing to a name change or work authorization. If you can show that a Social Security card is required for an official reason, you may be allowed an exception to the card limits.

FAQs On How To Apply For A New Social Security Card

To Obtain a New Social Security Number and Card you will need to provide at least two documents to prove age, identity, and U.S. citizenship or current immigration status.
U.S. driver’s license; or State-issued non-driver identity card; or.
U.S. passport

There is no charge for a Social Security card. This service is free.

There are three types of Social Security cards depending on an individual’s citizen or non-citizen status and whether or not a non-citizen is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to work in the United States.

Getting a replacement Social Security number (SSN) card has never been easier. As long as you’re only requesting a replacement card and no other changes

For assistance call 1-800-772-1213 or visit their website at 


Over the years Social Security card numbers is been used to identify and track individuals. Currently, everything is demanded while opening a checking account to filling out a new patient form at the doctor’s office.


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