Having a social security card and the number is of utmost importance in these days and times. It is a means of identification and if stolen or lost can be a big issue when it falls into the wrong hands.
If your social security card has been stolen or lost, you can get a new social security card or replace it for free either online or at a social security administration (SSA) office within or around your area.
As a person, you are limited to get three replacement social security cards annually and ten throughout your life time but there are some exceptions.
Would you like to figure out these exceptions, know how to get a new social security card, what to do in cases of identity theft?
Then this article will enlighten you. As you read, you get to know more about social security cards and numbers. Sit tight!
What is a Social Security Card (SSC)?
Social security card is an official verification of your social security number (SSN) which is assigned to you by the Social Security Administration (SSA) with your name boldly written on the card.
Having a new social security card doesn’t prove your identity or citizenship/non-citizenship status. It has no transaction or data storage about you.
When recording their employees’ information for pay reporting purposes, employers of large and small businesses should utilize the social security card to get the correct details such as their employees’ names and social security numbers.
An employer has no legal right or authority under the Social Security Act (SSA) to ask their employees to show their social security cards to them.
Also, neither the social security act nor social security regulations require the use of the social security card to carry out business with the SSA.
For Further Understanding, Check-Out: What is Social Security and How Does it Work?
How Does Social Security Card Works?
The modern-day social security card is capable of operating according to how it’s intended to operate throughout the number holder’s lifetime.
When the social security card has moderate use or handling, it is expected to last up to 35 to 150 years. However, a banknote paper social security card with little use is expected to last at least 50 years.
SSA issues nearly ten million replacement social security cards yearly. This amount is a result of damaged or lost cards by their holders or the need for the cardholders to change the name that appears on the card.
Social security cards issued to some noncitizens bear the legend, “Valid for work only with INS authorization”. While some other noncitizens have cards bearing the legend “not valid for employment”.
These legends are sometimes impact printed during the process of card issuance and are applicable to a particular social security card.
You will notice that the back of the card contains information about the social security number, where to mail lost cards, a card stock sequence number, a card’s official form number, and, where and how to get information from the SSA.
Check Also: How To Apply For A New Social Security Card
How to Get a New Social Security Card in 2022
If you lost or got your social security card stolen, you easily replace it for free through the website of the social security administration, by visiting a nearby local SSA office, or through the mail.
A person is limited to three replacement cards in a year and a total of ten replacement cards during your lifetime, but there are some exceptions. For instance, having a legal name change doesn’t count toward the limit.
Also, changes in immigration status that require card updates don’t count.
To get a new social security card, there are basically three steps involved:
Step 1: Gather Documentation
To get started, you will need to gather some vital authentic documents or copies that have been certified by the issuing agency.
You should be aware that photocopies or notarized copies are not accepted by the social security administration. The documents needed are essential to prove the following:
- Identity: You need to prove your identity through showing a U.S. driver’s license, passport or employee ID card, school ID card, military ID card, health insurance ID card or state issued ID card.
- Citizenship: A proof of your citizenship such as a birth certificate or a passport is needed
- Age: You have to show a proof of your age with a hospital birth record, passport or religious record made before the age of 5 displaying your date of birth or birth certificate.
Note: All of the documents required must be up to date, because the SSA will not condone expired documents or receipts.
Step 2: Apply Online
To apply online, visit the Social Security Administration’s website and fill out the social security card application using an updated form of the documents listed above, or create an SSA account to fill out an online application.
Step 3: Visit the Local SSA office
You can visit a nearby SSA office, print out, and give them your application and original documents.
If finding a local SSA office close to you seems difficult, then you can try filling out the online application and the site will direct you to a page where you can find the closest SSA office in your area.
How to Get a Replacement Social Security Card Online
To request a replacement social security card, you have to be a U.S. citizen age 18 or above with a mailing address.
Also, you must have a driver’s license or a state-issued form of identification. When you have all the necessary documents and meet these requirements, you can go ahead and set up your account on the SSA website to apply for a replacement card.
Signs That Your Social Security May Have Been Stolen
The IRS can play a vital role in enabling you to be aware of any identity theft. You should be alerted if:
- There’s a notice from the IRS that you owe extra tax or refund offset, or that collection action has been taken against you for a year, but you didn’t file a tax return.
- You did not request an employer identification number, but you have been assigned one.
- If there are IRS records indicating that you received wages or other income from an employer that you didn’t work for.
- You got a letter from the IRS inquiring about a suspicious tax return that you didn’t file.
- There’s an IRS notice indicating that you created an online account when you didn’t.
- You are unable to e-file your tax return because of a duplicate social security number.
- You receive a tax transcript you didn’t request in your mail.
What If My Social Security Card Was Stolen?
If the reason you are replacing or asking for a new social security card is that it was stolen, there are various measures you should take rapidly to mitigate your risk of identity theft.
These measures are necessary to avoid the use of your social security number to open new credit accounts in your name without your knowledge if it falls into the wrong hands. These measures include:
- Replace your card: When you obtain a new social security card, it becomes easier to prove your identity in the future. Again, safeguard your new social security card to prevent it from being stolen in the future and avoid carrying your SSC with you all the time.
- Check your credit: After your social security card has been stolen, it is important you monitor your credit in case of irregular activities like the identity thief trying to take out a credit card or loan in your name.
- Freeze your account: Once you noticed that your social security card has been stolen, you can freeze your credit immediately. Doing that prevents the identity thief from getting access to your credits.
- Alert the authorities: Quickly contact local law enforcement to file a report on your stolen social security card. This will be of use later on when you alert other agencies and take the necessary steps to restrict access to your credit file.
- Fraud alert: When you add a fraud alert to your credit files, creditors will be aware that you have been a victim of fraud or might be a victim in the future. This alert instructs creditors to be aware when granting new credits in your name. It also makes them to ensure taking extra steps to check your identity when granting credit in your name.
What is Social Security Number?
Social security number (SSN) is a numerical identifier assigned to various U.S. citizens and other residents in order to track their income and determine their benefits.
It was created in 1935 as part of what was termed the “new deal,” primarily to provide for retirement and disability benefits.
Nowadays, it’s used for several purposes such as tracking credit reports and identifying individuals for tax purposes.
Residents of the United States are required to provide their social security number to open bank accounts, obtain government benefits, obtain credit and carry out major purchases.
How do Social Security Numbers Work?
Social security numbers are used by almost all U.S. citizens, permanent residents, temporary or working residents, and even non-working residents due to their usefulness to businesses, organizations, and government entities.
The social security administration (SSA) is responsible for issuing social security numbers.
In 2011, social security numbers were not random streams of digits like they are now. Then, the first three digits represented the location or area in which you were born or came from. The next set of numbers represents the year or month of your birth.
During this time, there was concern about this method being falsified. The social security administration, therefore, voted to have it represent a group of numbers.
As of now, there’s no record of any social security numbers being reused, although, there have been instances in which two persons were issued the same number.
How to Get a Social Security Number?
You can get your social security number and card by filling out a form for your social security number issued by the SSA.
The form covers obtaining a new social security card and number, replacing the SSC, correcting or changing your social security number record.
You can also decide to change your social security number even if it was not stolen. Obtaining a new social security card or number doesn’t come with any fee.
How Long Does it Take to Get a New Social Security Number?
Getting a new social security number or card can be as long as two to four weeks, especially when the social security administration is facing delays.
Normally, the social security administration mails the SSN and cards to the individuals that requested it once it receives all the required and necessary documents and information needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is getting a new social security card free of charge?
Getting a new social security card or a replacement social security card is free. You need to fill out and print an online application for a social security card, and then contact your local social security office for further assistance.
Can I get a replacement social security card online for my child?
Yes, you can get a replacement social security card for your child online
Can I put a pin on my child’s social security number?
You can put a pin on your child’s SSN if they can pass the identity verification process.
How do I lock my social security number?
You can lock your social security number by calling the national 800 number (toll free: 1-800-772-1213 or the TTY number at 1-800-325-0778). Once initiated, they will block any automated telephone and security access to your social security record.
Is having two social security numbers illegal?
No, having two to three social security numbers is not illegal. There are legal reasons that allow having a second SSN.
Do social security numbers and cards expire?
No, once it has been issued and assigned to you, it becomes your unique number for the rest of your life.
Does the expiration of work authorization invalidate an SSN?
It doesn’t invalidate a social security number but it does mean that you can’t continue to work at your place of work until it is renewed.
Social security cards are issued by the Social Security Administration to provide for retirement and disability benefits, but that has changed to tracking of credit reports and identifying individuals for tax purposes.
You can get a new social security card or replace it if it was stolen or lost, provided you have the required documents and follow the processes.
- ssa.gov – SSN Reports
- experian.com – How to Replace a Social Security Card
- investopedia.com – How to Get a Social Security Number
- irs.gov – Guide to Identity Theft