If you have lost your social security card or believe that it has been stolen, you may want to replace it. Before you do this, you need to consider if you actually need to replace the card and what steps you need to take to prevent any identity fraud. If you determine that you need a new card, you need to know what steps you should be taking to replace your lost one.
Do You Need To Replace Your Social Security Card?
Before you start the process of replacing your lost, stolen social security card or ssa name change online, you need to consider if you actually need to replace it. According to the Social Security Administration, it is more important to know your social security number than to have the card with you at all times. This means that if you know your social security number, you will not have to actually replace your card.
In most cases, you will need to know your number to fill out certain forms. There are very few occasions when you will need to show someone your social security card. You will not even need a card when you are applying for Social Security benefits.
Take Steps To Guard Against Identity Theft
If your social security card has been stolen or lost, you need to take some steps to prevent identity theft. Your social security card could be found by someone who will illegally use it and you need to protect yourself against this. It is better to take these steps whether your card has been lost or stolen.
The first step you need to take is to place a fraud alert on your credit file which will prevent thieves from using your social security number to open new accounts or access your bank accounts. To do this, you will need to call the toll-free number of one of the consumer reporting companies. You only need to contact one of these companies as federal law states that they will need to contact the other companies for you. Once your alert has been placed, you can request a free credit report from all of the reporting companies.
When you get these reports, you need to look for any credit accounts that you did not open. You should also look for charges on your accounts that you have not made. You should also close any accounts that you think have been used or created illegally. It is also important that you file a report with your local police department and most police stations will have specific departments for identity theft reports.
Replacing Your Social Security Card
If you need to have a new social security card, you should note that there is no charge for replacing your lost or stolen card. This is important because there are scam companies that offer to replace your card for you for a fee and you need to avoid them. You should also note that there is a limit on the number of replacement cards that you are able to get. You can get 3 replacement cards in a year and only 10 within your lifetime. In terms of these limits, updated cards with a name change or change in naturalization status will not count toward the limit.
To require a replacement card, you will need to start with form SS-5 which is the Application for a Social Security Card form. This form is used for new applications, updating your card and replacing it. You will need to complete this form legibly and in blue or black ink.
You will also need to provide an unexpired proof of identity. This could be your driver’s license, your passport or an ID card. The document will need to have your full name, your date of birth and a photograph of you.
You may also be required to show proof of US citizenship if you were born outside of the United States. You will also need to provide this documentation if you were not asked for it when you applied for the original social security card. If you are not a US citizen, you need to provide documentation that proves your immigration status in the country.