What To Do If You Need A New Social Security Card


There are a few reasons why you may need a new Social Security card. Maybe you lost your old one. Perhaps it was stolen, or maybe your name has changed, and you need an updated card. The reason doesn’t matter so much. What matters is that you need a new card.

So, what do you do? Will you need time off work, or is there an easier way of applying for a new card? In this post, we’ll walk you through the steps you need to take and how you might be able to make a shortcut.

Can I File Online?

There are circumstances where you can file online. If your application is a simpler one, you can submit it online. The government accepts online applications if:

  • You’re a U.S. citizen with an address in the States that the Social Security Administration can mail the card to.
  • The application is simple, and the card doesn’t involve changes. So, if you’ve changed your name because you got married, you cannot apply online.
  • You are at least 18 years of age.
  • If your state participates in the program, and if you have either an identification card or a driver’s license issued in that state for the Social Security Department to verify your name against.
  • It’s a replacement card, not a new one.

What If I’m Not Sure?

If you’re not sure, check with the Social Security Administration, or use one of the application-filing services to see if you qualify. Application Filing service will ask a series of questions aimed at determining which way to file your application.

You’ll answer questions to complete the form, and from there the service will let you know if they can file it for you. If they can’t, you’ll at least end up with the document correctly completed and a full list of instructions about what to do next.

Do I Need to Send in Any Documents?

If you’re filing your application manually, yes, you’ll need at least two forms of identification, one of which must have your current address on it. Both IDs must be valid, and you must attach the originals to the application.

Certified copies won’t cut it. You must have the originals or a copy issued by the same department that issued your ID.  

You’ll also need to prove that you are a citizen. You can prove citizenship by attaching your United States passport or your naturalization papers.

You can double-check on the department’s website to see a list of acceptable documents. The aim here, though, is to:

  • Prove that you are who you say you are.
  • Show that you are entitled to the benefits.
  • Prove what your address is.

Once you have completed your application and rustled up all supporting documents, you need to file them. You can submit the papers in person at the nearest office, or you can mail them.

The administration will mail your card to you when it’s ready.