wikiHow to Get a Duplicate Social Security Card

Four Methods:Replacing a Lost or Stolen Social Security CardApplying for a Social Security Number for a Teen or AdultGetting a Social Security Card for a ChildGetting a Social Security Card for an Adopted Child

A Social Security card can be critical for everything from applying to jobs to paying taxes. If your card was lost or stolen, follow these steps and you'll be on your way to getting a new one. It is free to get a new or replacement social security card.

Method 1
Replacing a Lost or Stolen Social Security Card

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    Report your lost or stolen card to the proper authorities. If you think your card has been lost or stolen, immediately report it to the Social Security Office. If the card has been stolen, you should also contact the following offices:[1]
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    Print the Social Security Form SS-5. In order to get a duplicate social security card, you must print out Form SS-5: Application for a Social Security Card.[2] The U.S. Social Security Administration allows individuals to print Form SS-5 from its website.
    • To download Form SS-5, you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer and the ability to download PDF files. This program can be downloaded for free from Adobe's website.
    • Download and print Form SS-5 from the Social Security Administration’s website.
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    Fill out Form SS-5. Once you’ve printed out a hard copy of the form, fill it out with your information.
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    Gather proof of citizenship or immigration status. You must provide originals or copies of specific, certified documents proving your citizenship in order to get a new social security card.[3]
    • The only approved forms of citizenship include a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, U.S. consular report of birth, Certificate of Citizenship or a Certificate of Naturalization.
    • If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must provide immigration documents with your applications for replacement Social Security cards. The only acceptable documents are Form I-551, I-94 with an unexpired foreign passport, or a Department of Homeland Security work permit card.
    • Photocopies and notarized copies are not acceptable. They must either be originals or copies certified by the issuing agency.[4] These documents will be sent back to you.
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    Provide proof of identity. Individuals may prove their identity in one of several ways. All documents must be current and show name, identifying information and a recent photograph.[5]
    • The most common documents used to prove identity are a U.S. driver's license, a state-issued identification card or a U.S. passport.
    • If these documents are not available, you may use an employee identification card, a school identification card, a marriage document, adoption decree, life insurance policy or a U.S. military identification card.
    • The identification document needs to have a recent photograph of the applicant.
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    Find your local Social Security Office. You can either submit your application in person or you can mail it. Find your local Social Security Office by visiting the Social Security Administration website or calling 1-800-772-1213.
    • It may be preferable to visit the Social Security Office in person, since you need to bring the originals of your identification. Remember, if you need to mail in your driver’s license as proof of identity, you won’t be able to drive until you get it back.
    • Be sure to check the hours for the office. They may have limited hours on certain days of the week.
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    Submit your application to the Social Security Office. Mail or take the SS-5 form and all necessary documents to the proper Social Security office.
    • You must submit at least 2 of the qualifying documents: one to prove your identity and one to prove your citizenship.
    • If you mail your application to the Social Security Administration, it takes approximately 10-14 days after the Office receives your application.[6]
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    Wait for your card to arrive by mail. Once the Social Security Administration processes your application, you will be issued a new card. It will be sent to your house in the mail.

Method 2
Applying for a Social Security Number for a Teen or Adult

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    Print and fill out the SS-5 form. If you have never had a Social Security Number, you will need to apply for one. This process is the same for everyone over the age of 12.[7]
    • If you have immigrated to the United States and have become a citizen or are a permanent resident, you can qualify to receive a social security number.
    • If you are a United States citizen over the age of 12 and you have never had a Social Security number, you are entitled to obtain one.
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    Find your local Social Security Office. You must submit your application in person. Find your local Social Security Office by visiting the Social Security Administration website or calling 1-800-772-1213.
    • Be sure to check the hours for the office. They may have limited hours on certain days of the week.
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    Bring proof of identity. The Social Security Administration accepts only certain documents as proof of identity. An acceptable document must be current (not expired) and it must show your name, identifying information and preferably a recent photograph. Social Security will ask to see:
    • A U.S. driver’s license,
    • A state-issued non-driver identification card, or
    • A passport as proof of identity.
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    Bring proof of citizenship or immigration status. Social Security will want to determine that you are either a citizen or that you are in the U.S. as an immigrant. If you are not a U.S. citizen, Social Security will ask to see your current U.S. immigration documents. Acceptable documents include:
    • Form-551, Permanent Resident Card (green card, includes machine-readable immigrant visa with your unexpired foreign passport);
    • I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, with your unexpired foreign passport; or
    • I-766, Employment Authorization Card (EAD, work permit).
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    Bring proof of age. The individual’s birth certificate is the top choice for proving age. If a birth certificate exists, then you must submit it with the application. If a birth certificate does not exist, the Social Security Administration may be able to accept:
    • Religious record made before the age of 5 showing the individual’s date of birth
    • U.S. hospital record of birth
    • Passport
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    Submit your application to the Social Security Office. Take the SS-5 form and all necessary documents to the proper Social Security office. Be sure to bring proof of identity, age, and citizenship or immigration status.
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    Be ready for an interview. Additionally, when you appear at the Social Security office to apply for a card, you will be required to go through an “interview.” This will establish that you have not been assigned another Social Security Number.[8]
    • Call your local office for information on the interview process.

Method 3
Getting a Social Security Card for a Child

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    Request a Social Security Number when getting your infant’s birth certificate. When you have a baby, one of the things that should be on your to-do list is getting him or her a social security number. If you have your baby in a hospital, the hospital will have a process for you to apply for the number.
    • To apply for a social security card for your infant, simply check the “yes” box at your hospital when you are requesting your child’s birth certificate.
    • While you can wait to get your child a social security number, the process will be more involved and will require an in-person visit to the Social Security Office.
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    Print and fill out the SS-5 form. To fill out this application, you will be required to provide information about the parents of the child (social security number, address, and phone number).
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    Bring identification for your child. You must show original or certified copies of documents that prove your child’s U.S. citizenship, age and identity.[9]
    • Proof of citizenship: U.S. birth certificate, U.S. consular report of birth, U.S. passport, Certificate of Naturalization, or Certificate of Citizenship
    • Proof of age: U.S. birth certificate, foreign birth certificate, religious record made before the child turned 5, passport, or U.S. hospital record of birth
    • Proof of identity: U.S. passport, doctor or hospital record, religious record, daycare or school record, or school ID card. This document should have a recent photo on it. If you don’t have a document with a photo, you need to bring proof of identity that has enough information to identify the child (such as child’s name date of birth, and parents’ names).
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    Bring picture identification for the child’s parent or parents. The most common documents used to prove a parent’s identity are a U.S. driver's license, a state-issued identification card or a U.S. passport.
    • If these documents are not available, you may use an employee identification card, a school identification card, a marriage document, adoption decree, life insurance policy or a U.S. military identification card.
    • The identification document needs to have a recent photograph of the parent.
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    Find your local Social Security Office. You can either submit your application in person or you can mail it. Find your local Social Security Office by visiting the Social Security Administration website or calling 1-800-772-1213.
    • It may be preferable to visit the Social Security Office in person, since you need to bring the originals of your identification.
    • Be sure to check the hours for the office. They may have limited hours on certain days of the week.
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    Submit your application to the Social Security Office. Mail or take the SS-5 form and all necessary documents to the proper Social Security office.
    • The Social Security Office must verify your child’s birth record. Be aware that this can take up to 12 weeks before the card will be issued.[10]
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    Wait for your card to arrive by mail. Once the Social Security Administration processes your application, you will be issued a new card. It will be sent to your house in the mail.

Method 4
Getting a Social Security Card for an Adopted Child

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    Download and print the SS-5 application form. If you have adopted a child from outside of the United States, you will need to get him a social security number by applying to the Social Security Office.[11]
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    Fill out the form. To fill out this application, you will be required to provide information about the parents of the child (social security number, address, and phone number).
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    Provide an identity document for the child. You will need to show some proof of the child’s identity when applying for a Social Security Number. You can use one of the following documents for this purpose:[12]
    • An adoption record
    • A United States Department of Homeland Security immigration document
    • Hospital or doctor records
    • Daycare or school records
    • Religious records (such as a baptismal record)
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    Provide proof of age for the child. For an adopted child, you will also need an original copy of your child’s foreign or U.S. birth certificate and adoption decree. This will attest to the child’s age.
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    Bring picture identification for the child’s adoptive parent or parents. The most common documents used to prove identity are a U.S. driver's license, a state-issued identification card or a U.S. passport.
    • If these documents are not available, you may use an employee identification card, a school identification card, a marriage document, adoption decree, life insurance policy or a U.S. military identification card.
    • The identification document needs to have a recent photograph of the parent.
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    Find your local Social Security Office. You must submit your application in person. Find your local Social Security Office by visiting the Social Security Administration website or calling 1-800-772-1213.
    • Be sure to check the hours for the office. They may have limited hours on certain days of the week.
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    Submit your application to the Social Security Office. Take the SS-5 form and all necessary documents to the proper Social Security office.
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    Be sure to follow up with a Certificate of Citizenship. If you are in the middle of an international adoption, you do not need to have your child’s Certificate of Citizenship in order to obtain a Social Security Number. You must, however, provide this document to the Social Security Administration when you receive it.
    • It may be more convenient to wait to apply for a Social Security Number until you receive your child’s Certificate of Citizenship. If your taxes are due, however, it might make sense to apply immediately for the Social Security Number. Remember to show the Certificate of Citizenship to the Social Security Office when you receive it.
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    Wait for your card to arrive by mail. Once the Social Security Administration processes your application, you will be issued a new card. It will be sent to your house in the mail.

Tips

  • Do not carry your card with you. It is more liable to be stolen or lost this way. Keep it with important papers in a safe place.

Warnings

  • If you think your card has been lost or stolen, be sure to contact the Social Security Administration to report it. Read “How to Report a Stolen Social Security Card” for more information.[13]
  • If someone is fraudulently using your Social Security Number, you may be assigned a new number.[14]

Article Info

Categories: Social Security