Tips to apply for your social security

Having a Social Security Number (SSN) is a must for collecting Social Security benefits and for availing other government services. This is an important piece of document, and it is recommended that it be kept safe and is not necessary to be carried in person always. To qualify for applying for a Social Security card replacement online:

  • Create ‘my Social Security’ account
  • Be a U.S. citizen, above 18 years of age with U.S. mailing address
  • Have a driver’s license or a state issued ID card (list of states is available in the website)

If you are requesting a name change or any other change in your card, online application is not for you. In case, you do not qualify to apply online; it is advised that you visit the local Social Security office along with the required paperwork to apply for your Social Security card replacement.

Smart Tip: While submitting the documents ensure that originals or copies certified by the issuing agency are only submitted. Photocopies or notarized copies are not accepted. Get a certified copy of birth, marriage or divorce that took place in the country.

Before applying for a replacement card, know that this service is provided free of cost by Social Security, stay away from frauds or agencies who claim to offer this service for a fee. Get all pertinent information from the Social Security website or local office.

Form SS-5 is used to apply for a replacement Social Security card. One document proving your identity has to be submitted along with form SS-5. If you were born outside the U.S., one document proving U.S. citizenship/ current work or resident status also has to be provided. If the replacement is sought as a result of a change in information (e.g., Citizenship or name change), then a document that supports the requested change also has to be submitted. There are no limits to the replacement cards issued that reflect a name change or changes to a work authorization legend.