Millions of people request replacement Social Security cards every year. Social Security has recently changed the rules for accepting applications for these cards. Here is what you need to know to get your Social Security card replaced.
In order to replace your Social Security card you will need to fill out an application; the application is Social Security form SS-5. You must sign and date the form. If you are a US citizen you will need to prove your identity for the application to be processed. You need to provide your original driver’s license, State ID card, or US passport to have the application processed. Social Security does not accept photocopies and you will be required to present original documents for the replacement Social Security card. If you are a non US citizen you will be required to show current immigration documents, the unexpired passport from your country of origin, or the work permit issued to you by Homeland Security.
It is possible to submit the application through the mail; however, you will need to mail the original identification documents to Social Security for them to process the application. The local Social Security office will mail your identification back to you when they finish. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of mailing your identification your best bet is to visit your local Social Security office and submit the application in person.
If you are changing your name due to a marriage or divorce you will need to show proof of the name change. This proof could be your marriage license or marriage certificate, or your divorce decree or court order authorizing the name change. You will generally be required to show proof of identity in both names before Social Security will approve the change.
Social Security has also placed limits this year on the number of replacement cards you can request. The limit on replacement cards are three per year and a lifetime limit of ten. If you receive a replacement card due to a name change, that card is not counted towards your annual or lifetime limit. Social Security states they are imposing these limits to make it more difficult for criminals to exploit Social Security numbers with false identification or immigration papers.