Free Social Security Card Replacement: Step-By-Step Guide

Stack of social security cards.

Need a new Social Security Card? Then you will appreciate this. It is free to replace your social security card if it has been lost or stolen. You are limited to 3 replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime. Legal name changes and other exceptions may not count toward these limits, including changes in immigration status that require a card update. If you have lost your card and need a replacement, be sure that your Social Security Information is protected before you continue. Failure in doing this could potentially lead to fraud.

Method 1: Visiting Your Local Social Security Office

Traveling to your local SSA office in person may seem like the slowest method of submitting your application, but the safety, certainty, and peace of mind that it provides often makes it the best method. Not only do you avoid the risk of identity theft by not transmitting any sensitive documentation, but you get to keep all of your documents rather than having to mail them in. And when you apply in person, you can be sure that your application and documents were properly received.

Step 1

Print out the official Application for a new Social Security Card using the button below, and fill it out with the appropriate information. You will need your Social Security Number to complete this form.

View the Application

Step 2

Gather the necessary documentation to bring with you when you visit the Social Security Administration office. Use the button below to view eligible documents.

View Eligible Documents

Step 3

Use our website to locate your nearest Social Security Administration office and to verify the office hours. Remember to arrive early and to bring your application and all necessary documentation with you in order to make your trip easier.

Find Your Local SSA Office

Method 2: Mailing Your Application

Mailing in your application can be more convenient than visiting your local SSA office in person, since you don’t have to leave the house. The trade-off is that you don’t get to keep your documentation in-hand. Remember, photocopies of eligible documents aren’t accepted.

Step 1

Print out the official Application for a Social Security Card using the button below, and fill it out with the appropriate information. You will need your Social Security Number to complete this form.

View the Application

Step 2

Gather the necessary documentation to mail in to the Social Security Administration office. Use the button below to view eligible documents.

View Eligible Documents

Step 3

Use our website to locate your nearest Social Security Administration office and to verify its address. This is where you’ll mail your application along with the required documentation.

Find Your Local SSA Office

Method 3: Submitting Your Request Online

Replacing your Social Security card can also be done online. This option may the the fastest and most convenient, but it also provides the least peace of mind insofar as your sensitive information is concerned.

Step 1

Once you have set up your online Social Security account, you will be able to apply for a replacement card online. Create your account by clicking the button below.

Create Your Account

Step 2

Once your account is created, sign in using the credentials that you provided during registration and submit the new Social Security Card Application via the My Social Security website.

More Information About How to Get a New Social Security Card & Replacing a Social Security Card

Replacement cards will arrive within 10 business days of submitting your application, and a temporary social security card printout can be requested from your local office. In order to get a replacement social security card you will need to provide documentation that proves you are a US citizen and your identity. All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. The social security office will not accept photocopies, notarized copies of documents or receipts showing you applied for the document. Social Security may use one document for two purposes, such as using your US passport as proof of both citizenship and identity. However you are still required to provide at least two separate documents. This page assumes you are an adult and a US citizen.

Acceptable Documents For Your Social Security Card Application

When you submit your application, either in person or by mail, you must also submit documentation proving three things: Age, Citizenship, and Identity. You must use at least one document from each category. If you use a document that covers multiple categories, you must use at least two total documents.

Original documents or certified copies are required. Photocopies are not acceptable.


Age
  • You must present a U.S. Birth Certificate or foreign born birth certificate
  • If a U.S. Birth Certificate doesn’t exist, you may be able to provide:
    • Religious record made before the age of 5, showing date of birth
    • U.S. hospital record of birth
    • U.S. Passport
  • If you’re a foreign born U.S. citizen and a foreign born birth certificate doesn’t exist, you may be able to provide:
    • A current or previous passport
    • School and/or employment records
    • Any other record showing long-term residence outside the Unitd States
Citizenship
  • U.S. Birth Certificate
  • U.S. Passport
  • If you’re a foreign born U.S. citizen you may also use:
    • Certificate of Naturalization
    • Certificate of Citizenship
    • Certificate of Report of Birth
    • Consular Report of Birth Abroad
Identity
  • U.S. Driver’s License
  • State ID
  • U.S. Passport
  • If these don’t exist, alternatives may be acceptable:
    • Employee ID with photo
    • Student ID with photo
    • Health insurance card with photo
    • Military ID with photo

How to Get a New Social Security Card or Replacement Social Security Card for Non-Citizens

Non-citizens that have already received a Social Security card will need to prove their immigration status, work eligibility, and identity. Acceptable documents include:

Immigration Status
  • Form I-551 )Lawful Permanent Resident Card)
  • I-766 (Employment Authorization Document)
  • I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record)
Work Eligibility
  • I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) or admission stamp in the unexpired foreign passport showing a class of admission permitting work.
  • Some foreign workers must show I-766 (Employment Authorization Document)
  • F-1 Students: F-1 students eligible to work on campus must provide a letter from your designated school oficial that identifies you, confirms your current school stauts, and identifies your employer and the type of work you are doing along with evidence of employment. A pay-stub or letter from employer, signed and dated, must show your job, employment start date, number of hours working, and your supervisor’s name and telephone number. Forms I-20 and I-766 must be presented when they exist.
  • J-1 Students: J-1 students must provide a letter from your sponsor on sponsor letterhead with an original signature that authorizes employment.
Identity
  • I-551 Permanent Resident Card
  • I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
  • I-766 Employment Authorization Document from DHS
Elliot Marks

Elliot Marks

Elliot has spent years providing clear and concise information to help navigate the complex nuances of social security and many other government services in the United States. Elliot has a passion for helping those in need of these services to be able to find timely access to news and information that is relevant and helpful to their daily lives.