If your social security card has been stolen, it is imperative to get a new one as soon as possible. You should also report the card as stolen at your local police station. Any person can use your stolen card to open accounts, take out loans, access your bank accounts or even steal your identity. You should also report the card as stolen to the Social Security Administration as soon as you can.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can apply for and receive a replacement card, quickly and conveniently:
- Local Social Security Authority Office
You can visit the local Social Security Authority Office in your area. You will need to take proof of identity and age with you in the form of a birth certificate and a U.S. passport. If you do not have these two documents, you may need to present other proof in the form of past school attendance or a photo ID such as your driver’s license. You should contact the Social Security Agency in order to ensure that the documentation that you do have will suffice to apply for a replacement.
You will then need to complete Form SS-5. Make sure that you fill-in as much detail as possible and to give your reason for application as stolen card. You can then submit the form as well as your supporting documents. Replacing your Social Security Card is free of charge unless you have replaced it more than 3 times in the space of a year or 10 times in your life.
Your application for a replacement card will be processed while you wait (it should take about 5 minutes) and the card will be mailed to you. It can take up to 2 weeks to receive your card through the mail. If it hasn’t arrived within the 2 week period, you should contact your local Social Security Authority Office.
- By Mail
If there is not Social Security Office near you or you simply cannot spare the time to go to an office during working hours, you can mail Form SS-5 to the Social Security Authority. Remember to include certified copies of the documents that prove your age and your identity. Without these documents, your application cannot be processed and you will not be issued with a new card.
You can download and print a copy of the Application For Social Security Card Form SS-5 at the official Social Security Authority Website. The application is for new as well as replacement cards due to loss, theft or damage. Once again, there is no cost associated with applying for a replacement social security card.
Upon receiving your application, processing may take a few days. The replacement card will then be mailed to you. It can take up to 2 weeks for you to receive the card. However, it is necessary to take into account time taken for your application to arrive at the Social Security Authority office as well as processing time. It can therefore take more than 4 weeks to receive a card if you have mailed your application.
If you have not received your replacement card within 4 weeks, you should contact the Social Security Authority. The Authority may require additional documentation in order for your application to be processed or it may have been lost in the mail.
- Online Application
It is possible to apply for a social security card online if you meet with the necessary criteria. First, you will need a “my Social Security” account. You can create a new account at the official Social Security Authority website.
You will also need to be in possession of a valid, photo ID driver’s licence or a state issued Identification Card. Please note that not all states participate in the online application process or issue state identification cards at this time. Visit the official SSA website to find out if you live in a participating state.
Children or minors cannot apply for a social security card online. You must be over the age of 18 years. You will also need to provide a valid mailing address within the United States. The online application service is as of yet not available to citizens living in U.S. territories.
If you are making any changes to your existing personal information while applying for a replacement card, you will not be able to apply online. So if you put off changing your name with the SSA, say after getting married, and would like to do so now, you will not be able to apply online. There is no cost associated with applying for a social security card online.
Your application should be processed within a few hours or a couple of days. The replacement card will then be mailed to you at the address that you provided. You should receive the card within 2 weeks of being mailed. However, it is recommended to keep checking up on the progress in order to determine that you are eligible, that your form is being processed and that it is in the mail.
While online application is the most convenient and fastest way to apply for a replacement social security card, it is very important to ensure that you are eligible before making an application. The second easiest route is to visit and SSA office near you. Because the application is processed while you wait, you can rest assured that you will not have to provide additional documentation or that the issuing process has been halted due to a lack of information. You also have the benefit of making any changes you need while applying to replace your stolen social security card.
Mailing your application is by far the slowest means of getting a new SS card. It also requires that you will need to provide certified copies of your supporting documents from the issuing government department rather than supplying originals as you would if you visited an SSA office. However, mailing does allow you to make any necessary changes to your personal information.