How to Get a New Social Security Card

Social security card is a piece of paper having a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Social Security Administration. Every United States citizen, permanent resident, or temporary working resident is assigned his or her own social security card and number. You need social security number to get a job, collect social security benefits and for various other purposes. You have to obtain a new social security card if your original social security card is lost or stolen.

Key Areas Covered

1. Why Do You Need a Social Security Card
     – Purpose and Functions
2. How to Get a New Social Security Card
     – Step by Step Process
3. What are the Documents You Need to Get a Social Security Card
     – Proof of Citizenship, Identity, and Age

How to Get a New Social Security Card

Why Do You Need a Social Security Card

The nine-digit number on your social security card is your major link to Social Security. The primary purpose of a social security number is to track individuals for social security purposes. It is also considered as a de facto identification number for tax and other purposes. Thus, having a social security card helps you to obtain employment, collect social security benefits and other government services.

You don’t have to always carry your social security card with you since you will only need to know your social security card. But if you lose your social security card, it’s important to apply for a new one.How to Get a New Social Security Card

How to Get a New Social Security Card

Applying for a new social security card is a simple process. There is no charge for social security card – this service is completely free.

  1. Download the Application for Social Security Card
  2. Fill out and Print
  3. Get the necessary documents ready (described below)
  4. Take or mail to the application and the documents to the nearest Social Security Office (You can locate the nearest social security office through this).

You can also apply for a replacement card online using my Social Security Account if you are:

  • a U.S. citizen age 18 years or older with a U.S. mailing address;
  • Not applying for a name change or any other change to your card; and
  • Have a driver’s license or a state-issued identification card from one of the following states:




Delaware (driver’s license only)

South Dakota

District of Columbia
















North Dakota

New Mexico


Wisconsin (driver’s license only)

What are the Documents You Need to Get a Social Security Card

In order to apply for a new social security card and a number, you need to prove your age, identity, and U.S citizenship/current immigrant status.

  1. Proof of Citizenship

You can provide one of the following to prove your citizenship:

  • U.S. birth certificate
  • U.S. passport
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad 

If you are not a U.S. citizen, then you have to prove your current immigrant status. For this, you can the following:

  • I-94 Arrival/Departure Record or admission stamp in the unexpired foreign passport
  • I-766 Employment Authorization Document, EAD, work permit
  • Form I-551 with your unexpired foreign passport
  1. Proof of Age

Birth certificate is the most common way to prove your age. Some other documents such as those given below are also accepted.

  • U.S. Passport
  • U.S. hospital record of your birth
  • Religious record created before the age of 5 showing your date of birth
  1. Proof of Identity

Only certain documents are accepted as proof of identity. An acceptable document should be current (not expired) and should include the legal name of the applicant, identifying information and a recent photograph. The following documents are typically accepted as proof of identity:

  • U.S. Passport
  • U.S. driver’s license
  • State-issued non-driver identification card

How to Get a New Social Security Card_Figure 2

Note that you can submit one document for two purposes. For example, you can submit your passport as your proof of identity and citizenship. However, you have to provide at least two separate documents.

Furthermore, all your documents should be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. Social Security Administration does not accept photocopies or notarized copies.


1.“ Social Security.” Social Security Number and Card | Social Security Administration, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Social Security Card – Illustration” by DonkeyHotey (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
2. Identification Visa Passport Travel Flag Usa (CC0) via Max Pixel

About the Author: Hasa

Hasanthi is a seasoned content writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. Armed with a BA degree in English and a knack for digital marketing, she explores her passions for literature, history, culture, and food through her engaging and informative writing.

Leave a Reply