When you are born you are issued a Social Security card from the Social Security Administration. On your card is a nine-digit number individual to only you and used for identification purposes. While your Social Security card is among the most important documents you have, you should keep it in a safe place -- never in your wallet. Because your Social Security number is used for so many identification purposes in addition to financial acquisitions, it makes identity theft much easier for thieves when they obtain your number. If you lose your Social Security card or need to obtain a new one due to a name change, contact your local Social Security Administration office.
Visit your local Social Security office to apply for a replacement card. Locate your local SSA office by entering your zip code in the search box on the SSA's office search link; a list of every SSA office in and around your city will appear.
Complete an application for a replacement Social Security card, form SS-5. You can pick this form up at any SSA office or you can print it straight from the SSA website. You must fill out the information completely; the SSA does not process incomplete forms.
Enter your name as it appears on your birth certificate and as it needs to appear on your replacement card -- this is only necessary if you are changing your name due to marriage, divorce, adoption or court order. Fill in the lines with your address, Social Security number, date of birth, place of birth and the names of your parents as listed on your birth certificate. If you have your parents' Social Security numbers you can enter them, but they are not required.
Sign and date your application and give it to an agent at your local SSA office. Provide the agent with your photo identification and any supporting documents you need to document a name change. Only certified or original copies of photo identification and supporting documents are accepted. Your Social Security card is mailed to you one to two weeks after your submit your application.
- As an alternative to visiting a Social Security office, you may also mail your application and supporting documents to your local office. You must mail all original or certified copies of your supporting documents, which the office will return to you. Your new card arrives in the mail one to two weeks after your application is received.
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