How Do You Get a Replacement Social Security Card?

To obtain a replacement Social Security card, simply fill out an application for another card with the Social Security Administration. Along with self-identifying supporting documents, the applicant must walk or mail the application into a local Social Security office.

It is not possible to apply for a new Social Security card online because supplementary documents are required to prove identity. These documents include a birth certificate and government-issued photo identification, such as a driver's license, a state-issued non-driver identification card or U.S. passport. At least two self-identifying documents must be supplied. If a birth certificate is not available, any certified document showing a birth, marriage or divorce that took place in the United States is acceptable. All documents must be original or certified by the agency that issued them. Copies are not accepted, even if notarized.

Applying for a new Social Security card is free. The Social Security Administration mails the replacement card as soon as they have verified the original documents. A person is limited to three replacement Social Security cards in a year, and 10 in a lifetime. Certain scenarios do not count toward these limits, such as legal name changes. Other scenarios that might not count toward these limits include changes in immigration status or demonstrable significant hardship.