Your Social Security card and number are extremely important pieces of your identification. In some cases, simply knowing your Social Security number is enough; however, there are times when you must present your card as proof of identification. If you start a new job, apply to a new school, or attempt to open a bank account, it is likely that you will be required to show your physical Social Security card. So, what happens if you cannot find your card or it has been lost? In that case, you need to obtain a replacement Social Security card, and you need to do it quickly. Thankfully, there is a way that you can get a temporary same-day replacement card. If you’re wondering how to replace a Social Security card, then keep reading below to learn how.
What is a Temporary Social Security Card?
As the name implies, a temporary card is one that only lasts a short period of time. Your actual card is permanent – meaning that it is supposed to last for your entire lifetime. A temporary card is only good for 30 days. There are a few other differences between a temporary card and your permanent card as well.
Your official Social Security card is issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA), and it serves as an official document showing proof of your ID. Your temporary card can only be issued by the SSA as well; however, it is not the same as your real card. Your temporary card only serves as evidence that your replacement card has been ordered, and it will only be accepted where copies of your original are accepted.
A temporary card can be especially helpful when enrolling in school or applying for a new job. But you should remember that a temporary card does not count as an original of the document. If an original is required, then you will have no choice but to wait until your replacement card arrives.
Can I Replace My Social Security Card the Same Day?
You can request a replacement Social Security card online the same day you gather your required documents. However, you will not receive your new card that day. Your new Social Security card will take some time to arrive in the mail. Same day replacements cannot be issued because your documents and application must be verified before the new card is issued in order to prevent identity theft.
If you require your Social Security card the same day, then you do have other options. You should complete your application for a replacement (SS-5 Form), and then visit your local Social Security office. The SSA office can review your application and issue you a receipt which serves as a temporary card on the same day.
While this temporary card will not suffice as an original document, it can be very helpful in a bind when you simply need to provide a copy of your Social Security card. You should also remember that the temporary card is only valid for 30 days, and it should be kept in a secure place. It is just as sensitive as your permanent card because it contains your SSN and other personal information.
What Forms & Documentation Do I Need to Replace My Social Security Card?
You’re probably wondering, “What documents do I need to get a replacement Social Security card?” Whether you complete your request online through the SSA.gov website or you visit your local SSA office, there is some documentation that you will need before completing your request. You will need to complete the application for a social security card (Form SS-5). This is the same form you will use whether you are requesting a brand new card or a replacement card. This form can be completed online or manually completed and returned to your local office.
Whether you complete the form online or in-person, you will also be required to have documentation that verifies your age, identity, and status as a U.S. citizen or lawful immigration status. Here are some of the most common acceptable documents used to verify each.
Proof of Age
- U.S. Birth Certificate
- U.S. Passport
- Religious record before age 5 showing your date of birth
Proof of Identity
- U.S. Driver’s license
- State issued ID card
- U.S. Passport
- Employee ID
- School identification card
- Military ID
- Health insurance card (Medicare cards not accepted)
Proof of Citizenship
- U.S. Birth Certificate
- U.S. Passport
You should note that the Social Security Administration will only accept original documents from the issuing agency that are not expired. Photocopies, expired documents, and even notarized copies will not be accepted. Receipts showing that these documents have been applied for will also not suffice. These documents will be mailed back to you along with your new Social Security card.
Visit The Local SSA Office
If you are in a bind and you just can’t wait on that replacement card in the mail, then it is time to head on down to your local office. While you can just drop in, you should expect that you will likely have to wait for hours. It is recommended that you make an appointment at the office before arriving. Currently, local offices are not accepting walk-ins due to COVID-19 restrictions, but you can make an in-person appointment in some cases.
First, you should find your local SSA office so that you know exactly where you need to go. Next, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment to try to minimize your wait time while at the office. Visiting your local office will get your application processed much quicker than mailing in your application. In addition, you can get a receipt showing proof of your application that will serve as a temporary copy of your Social Security card.
Finally, visiting your local office can be a better route than mailing your application because you will have access to a representative who can review the documents you plan to submit. They can advise you whether you have everything you need and whether the documents you are submitting are valid. If you mail your application and there are problems with your documentation, that can add weeks to the process of getting your new card.
How Do I Get a Temporary Card if My SSA Office Is Closed Due to COVID-19?
With local SSA offices being closed to walk-ins, your best option is to request your replacement card online. This is the fastest process so you can expect to receive your new card the quickest by requesting online. You can also print your application submission, and this will serve as a temporary card in some cases. However, you should note that the printout will not be considered an official card. If you cannot request your card online, then you will have to call the Social Security Administration. In very limited circumstances, they are allowing in-person appointments if you cannot complete your request online or over the phone.
What To Do If Your Social Security Card Is Lost or Stolen
The first thing you should do if your card is stolen is report it to the local police. Identity theft is a real concern, and you should notify the local authorities immediately. Your next steps would be the same whether your card was stolen or simply lost. Having your Social Security card find its way into the wrong hands could have extremely negative consequences for you and your financial future. Not only can people open new credit in your name, but they can also use your information to file fraudulent tax returns with the IRS.
You should immediately place a fraud alert on your Social Security number with the major credit bureaus. This makes the agencies aware that your number may be compromised, and they can take extra steps to verify your identity before issuing new credit in your name. In addition, you can even go so far as to place a lock on your credit so that no new credit can be opened without specific verification steps.
Lastly, you should obtain a copy of your credit report and examine it for anything that looks suspicious. Make sure that you review your report frequently so that you can take immediate action should anything show up that you did not initiate. It would be a good idea to sign up for a credit monitoring service so that you can be notified any time there is a change to your report.
How do I replace a lost Social Security card?
You will need to complete an application Form SS-5 and return by mail, in-person, or online. You will also need to provide proof of identification, age, and citizenship.
How can I get a copy of my SS card fast?
The quickest way to get a replacement card is to complete your application online and submit your verification through your Social Security account. If you simply need a copy, then you can submit your application in person and get a printed receipt which will act as a temporary card. However, note that the temporary card is not considered an original.
Can I get a new Social Security number?
Yes, under certain situations. If you have been assigned the same number as another person or if you continue to be disadvantaged due to identity theft, you can make an appointment at your local SSA office to request a new number.
Can I get a temporary Social Security card online?
No, a temporary card can only be obtained in person at your local office.
How can I order a replacement Social Security card online?
You can create an account on the SSA website and make your request there. You’ll complete the same SS-5 Form that is required in person and submit your verification documentation through the website.
How Long Will It Take to Replace My Social Security Card?
Many people want to know how long it takes to get a replacement Social Security card. If you request a new card online, you can expect to receive it within 10-14 business days. This is the quickest way to obtain your replacement. If you visit your local office in person to submit your application, you can expect your new card in about 3-4 weeks. Lastly, mailing in your application is the slowest method. It can take 4-6 weeks for your new card to arrive when you mail in your application.
Can I Get a Temporary Social Security Card Online?
No, a temporary card may only be obtained in person at your local office. The temporary card is simply a printout of a receipt showing that your application for a new card has been submitted. This can only be printed by the SSA, and it can only be obtained in person. If you need to know how to get a copy of your Social Security card quickly, the local SSA office is your best route.
How Long is the Wait for a Replacement Social Security Card?
The wait can range from a couple of weeks to 6 weeks or more depending on the method used to submit your application. Submitting online is the quickest way, and it usually takes 10-14 days to receive your replacement. If you need something immediately, you can visit your local office in person and obtain a printed receipt which will act as a temporary card. Mailing your application is the slowest way, and it can take 6 weeks or more to receive your new card.
Can I Rush My Application with the SSA?
Unfortunately, there is no way to put a rush on your application. If you need a card quickly, then your best bet is to submit your application online. Remember that you can make no other changes to make the request online, so your legal name must remain the same as no name changes are permitted through an online request. You must also have a current U.S. mailing address to complete your request online.
What is the Social Security Administration’s Phone Number?
The phone number to reach the SSA is 800-772-1213. Be aware that you are likely to experience long hold times before you are able to talk to anyone as they receive a high volume of calls on this line.
If you have lost your Social Security card and need a replacement, there are several ways to obtain one. Should you need your new card the same day, your options are limited. You will need to visit your local SSA office to submit your application and documentation in person. This will allow you to get a temporary printout showing that you have submitted the application. This can serve as a temporary copy of your card, although it does not count as an official, original document. It will take at least a couple of weeks to obtain a new original card.