How long does it take to get a social security card replaced?

It can be a stressful experience to lose your social security card. After all, it is the single most important government-issued document in your possession and is required for almost all legal purposes, right from purchasing a car to obtaining bank loans. Employers need the SSN for submitting important information to the IRS. Stealth of an SSN is a sensitive matter and can lead to identity theft and other criminal activities.

We try to answer how long does it take to get a social security card replaced at

Knowing your card number
It will be smooth sailing if you happen to remember your card number. So, before paying a visit to the Social Security Office, go to the official site and log in with your account. You can then apply for a replacement card if you are:

  • Above 18 years of age and a legal resident of USA with a US mailing address
  • Are not requesting a name change with the card.
  • Have a state issued driving license. (the list of states is provided on the social security website)

If for any of the above reasons, you are unable to file for a replacement online, you can visit your local Social Security Office with other valid identification documents and file for a replacement.
The card will then be mailed to you in 14 days via USPS. Sounds easy, right?
What to do if you don’t remember your card number?

Keep in mind that you should be careful with your identification number. If, for some reason you forget, you can still visit the social security office with a US driving license or a US passport. If for some reason you don’t have these two documents in your possession, or can’t present a replacement in 10 days, you can present any of the following documentation:

  • Health Insurance Card
  • Employee Identification Card
  • US Military Identification Card
  • School Identification Card

Additionally, you should have your birth certificate handy. Do keep in mind that the social security card can only be replaced 10 times in your lifetime. In a year, you can have a maximum of 3 replacements.

If your card is stolen
It can be a situation of crisis if your card is stolen. Any number of illegal activities can be performed in your name if your SSN gets into the wrong hands. Remember, you can close your card if it’s compromised, but you can’t close your SSN.

If you find yourself in such a situation, first contact one of the three credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Transunion, or Experion – and log a fraud-alert. Then, report the theft to the IRS, while also filing it with the Federal Trade Commission. Also, file an identity theft report with your local police and keep a track record of any fraudulent activities and keep your credit as clean as possible.
You can get a new SSN by following the same steps as outlined above. Collect the necessary documents, fill out a fresh form, and present it to the Social Security Center. However, be prepared to answer any tough questions posed to you. Also remember that a fresh SSN will be a blank slate, and with a new credit history.

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