Who Do I Call If I Lost My Social Security Card?

By Steven Shaw on 7/22/2015
Identity Theft

Who Do I Call If I Lost My Social Security Card?

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Recently my teenage daughter landed her first official job, and her employer needed to see a copy of her Social Security card. But I have no idea where I’ve stored it. It wasn’t in our safe deposit box, and a search of all the other places I may have put it turned up nothing. We needed to get a replacement card fast — but how? 

If you lose your Social Security card you will have to order a replacement card from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Unfortunately, a simple phone call will not do the trick. Instead you will have to supply verification of your identity, either in person at a Social Security office, or by mail. 

Documents must show your name, identifying information (date of birth or age) and preferably a recent photograph. Examples of acceptable documents include a U.S. driver’s license; state-issued non-driver identification card; or a U.S. passport. (There are alternatives if you don’t have any of those.)

If you were not born in the U.S. and have not established citizenship with SSA, you’ll need to provide acceptable proof of citizenship as well. 

My daughter already has a driver’s license, but a year ago she didn’t. Nor does she have a passport yet. That’s probably the case with many children. So for them, the documentation requirements are a little different. A birth certificate may prove age or citizenship, but as the SSA states, “Social Security needs evidence that shows the child continues to exist beyond the date of birth.” Therefore, you’ll have to produce with documentation showing the “child’s name, identifying information (i.e., age, date of birth, or parents’ names) and preferably a recent photograph.” Medical records or a school ID are a couple of examples they provide.

In addition, a parent must provide their own proof of identity, and, if required, proof of citizenship or a current Department of Homeland Security document such as a green card. 

You’ll find complete information about the documents you’ll need on the Social Security Administration website here. 

Don’t Forget The Next Step

If you’ve lost your Social Security card, replacing it is just one step. That number can make you an easy target for identity theft, so you should take additional steps to protect your identity, especially if you suspect the card may have fallen into the wrong hands. Here’s what to do: 

Note that monitoring your credit is an ongoing task. Once your information is compromised it could be at risk for years to come.

How Long Does It Take?

We opted to go to the local SSA office to request my daughter’s replacement card. Arriving when the office opened, we were seen and out of there in about 15 minutes. She was given a letter indicating that a card had been requested, which she was able to show her employer. A week later her new card arrived.

This time it is going into the safe deposit box for safekeeping.

More Money-Saving Reads:

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Gerri Detweiler is Credit.com's Director of Consumer Education. She focuses on helping people understand their credit and debt, and writes about those issues, as well as financial legislation, budgeting, debt recovery and savings strategies. She is also the co-author of Debt Collection Answers: How to Use Debt Collection Laws to Protect Your Rights, and Reduce Stress: Real-Life Solutions for Solving Your Credit Crisis as well as host of TalkCreditRadio.com. More by Gerri Detweiler

identity theft
Social Security Administration
Social Security card