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Social Security: What to do if yours is lost

It happens to the best of us, we lose our Social Security card. What do we do when that happens?

six social security cards stacked together

The Social Security Administration has implemented an online system for requesting a lost card.

Six states have not adopted the service for their residents yet.

Social Security cards are used for various events in life, like getting a job or using benefits offered by the SSA.

If you have your number memorized, that will usually suffice, but having the physical card can be useful.

The process for replacing it differs in each state.


Social Security number for newborns

Replacing a lost Social Security card

The SSA now offers an online portal specifically for replacing your lost cards.

Most states allow you to use this service.

The service can be used for anyone wishing to order a new card even if you do not need to change any of your details.

In order to use the portal you must be 18, a U.S. citizen, have the ability to receive mail at a U.S. address, and have valid ID from a state that allows this service.


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Steps to apply for a new Social Security card online

  • Login to your My Social Security account
  • Select Replacement Documents link on the right side of the page
  • Choose Request a Replacement Card link
  • Verify your details before choosing next
  • Enter personal details under Identity Verification

The process should take 14 days start to finish, ending with you getting your new card in the mail.


Some states do not allow the online service for replacing a card

While this process has been proven to be easier, faster, and efficient, some states have not adopted it.

States not allowing the use of the service include Alaska, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.

If you reside in these states you’ll need to go to your local Social Security office to get a new card.

If your license was issued in the American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands you’ll need to visit a physical office for a new card.

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