Social Security Card Replacement Process

What is social security number and its importance?

The U.S. government issues a 9-digit number called the Social Security Number (SSN) to all the U.S. citizens. Through this number the government can keep a track of the number of year worked and your lifetime earnings. Social security number is required by the employer when you get hired for a new job, for opening a bank account, while applying for a loan, passport or to even get your driver’s license. Hence losing your social security card is a serious matter. Not only will it make you ineligible to apply for a new job, take a loan and avail such services, it also raises security concerns like theft of your identity. Thus one should be prompt in communicating the loss of Social Security Number, and take immediate steps to get it replaced to protect the identity, start at

When is the Social Security Number changed for a replacement request?

1) Identity Theft – It refers to the cases in which SSN and personal details are stolen. If one gets hold of the SSN, other information such as birthday, name, credit information can be easily obtained and misused.

2) Victims of Harassment and Abuse can also used the replacement option to leave their previous identity and get a new one.

3) Lesser serious reasons can include change of SSN due to identical numbers issued by mistake or due to some religious objections to the sequence of numbers.

When is the Social Security Number not changed for a replacement request?

Apart from the reasons specified above sometimes there is no need for a new Social Security Number to be issued in a replacement request. This happens in cases of damaged Social Security Card, where a card with the same SSN is issued to the requester.

How to get Social Security Card replaced and how long does it take to get a social security card?

1) Visit a local social security office – The SSA (Social Security Administration) usually recommends people to visit their local social security office to request for a replacement. The major reason many people for not opting this is the fear of wasting time in just applying a request for card replacement. But the benefit of directly visiting the local office is that you get the card issued right away. The process is also hassle free as there are no to and fros between the offices and people concerned due to mistakes in the form. Issue of card through this process hardly takes 5-10 minutes.

2) Third-party Social Security Card replacement agency – Nowadays there are numerous third-party sites which help you prepare the necessary forms and also guide you through the application filing process. It takes a maximum of 2 weeks or 14 days for the replaced Social Security Card to be mailed by USPS.

One should be careful about safe-keeping the SSN document. Unlike the birth certificate one can get copies of Social Security Card only a certain number of times. For all the cards issued after 17 December, 2005 there is a lifetime limit of 10 replacements.