How to Replace Your Social Security Card in California

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Your Social Security card is an important document needed for various identification purposes, such as when completing required paperwork for a new job, to obtain a bank account and for benefits from some U.S. agencies. The process of acquiring a replacement Social Security card in California is the same as replacing it in any other state. You are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime, according to Social Security Online.

Download and print out an application for a Social Security card (form SS-5). Use standard eight and one-half by eleven inch paper. The application can be found online at Social Security Administration website (see References section).

Complete and sign the application. Use only blue or black ink when filling it out.

Gather two documents that show proof of identity and citizenship. A U.S. driver's license or a California issued non-driver identity card shows valid proof identification. A U.S. birth certificate shows proof of citizenship and a U.S. passport provides proof of both.

Locate a Social Security office or a card center. Call the Social Security customer service number at 800-772-1213 to locate an office near you, look in your local phone book for offices in your area or use the office locator online search tool (see Resources section). If you live in Sacramento County, California, you must apply in person or by mail to a Social Security card center for replacement, explains the Social Security website.

Mail or take your completed application to your local Social Security office. Any documents mailed with your application will be returned to you.


  • Keep your Social Security card in a secure location and only take it with you when you need it. Don't carry it with you on a regular basis, advises the Social Security website.


About the Author

Stacey Price started writing for various websites in December 2009. She has an associate degree in public health administration from South Eastern University. She has spent many years working in a hospital setting in the human resource field. She also writes about travel, parenting and beauty/personal care, drawing from more than seven years experience as a licensed cosmetologist.

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