10/20/2014

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Getting A Replacement Card

An Excerpt from the Social Security Administration Pamphlet: Understanding The Benefits

To get a Social Security number or a replacement card, you must complete an application and prove your U.S. citizenship or immigration status, age and identity. For a replacement card, proof of your U.S. citizenship and age are not required if they are already in our records.

Under the new law, only certain documents can be accepted as proof of U.S. citizenship. These include your U.S. birth certificate, a U.S. passport, a Certificate of Naturalization or a Certificate of Citizenship. If you are not a U.S. citizen, different rules apply for proving your immigration status, and those rules have not changed.

Also under the new law, only certain documents can be accepted as proof of identity. An acceptable document must show your name, identifying information about you and preferably a recent photograph.

If you are a U.S. citizen, Social Security must see your:

  • U.S. driver’s license;
  • State-issued nondriver identity card; or
  • U.S. passport.

If you do not have these specific documents or cannot get a replacement for them within 10 days, we will ask to see other documents, including:

  • Employee ID card;
  • School ID card;
  • Health insurance card (not a Medicare card); or
  • U.S. military ID card.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, Social Security must see your current U.S. immigration documents. Acceptable documents from the Department of Homeland Security include your:

  • Form I-551 (includes machine-readable immigrant visa with your unexpired foreign passport);
  • I-94 with your unexpired foreign passport; or
  • Work permit card (I-766 or I-688B).

Limits to replacement cards

You can replace your Social Security card if it is lost or stolen. You are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime. Legal name changes and changes in noncitizen status that require card updates may not count toward these limits. Also, you may not be affected by these limits if you can prove you need the card to prevent a significant hardship.

Note:  Contact your local Social Security Administration Office for all the latest updates on benefits and filing requirements.

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