Get a Social Security Card

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How to Obtain a Social Security Card

If you need an official social security card it is important that you follow all of the correct steps to do so and present the required documents. The process is relatively simple but keep in mind that a social security number is required for government services, to get paid at a job, to receive benefits and more.

You can apply for a brand new social security card or also get a replacement card if yours has been lost or stolen. There is no charge whatsoever to obtain the card and the identification service is provided for free.

You may apply for a social security card online if you are 18 years of age or older with a US mailing address. You can also apply online if you do not have to make a change to your card such as a name or address info. Receiving a new card or getting a card is as easy as presenting your state drivers license.

Applications cannot be processed online if you cannot show the required documents or if you have to change your name. If you have to perform this action you need to mail your application or take your application directly to a local social security office.

The main documents required for a card include:

  • Citizenship information like a US passport or birth certificate.
  • Evidence of age on a birth certificate or passport.
  • Evidence you do not have a social security number if you are over the age of 12 without an assigned number. If you have lived outside of the states you may need to provide schooling info as well as a previous passport or employment record.
  • Identity information like presenting a drivers license, non driver identification card or passport.
  • You must also fill out an official application for a social security card if it is your first time applying.

How long does it take to receive the card and number?

Once you have presented the information or requested a replacement and your documents have been verified, the SSA will send you the card in the mail. The card usually takes 10+ business days to receive from the application date. Most of the time it takes around 15 business days to process and ship the card. Be sure to keep this in mind if you need to start a new job or apply for benefits.

Legal name change

If you are going to legally change your name because of marriage, court order, divorce or otherwise you will need a new Social security card. For this action you cannot apply online and you will have to print and fill in another application for a social security card. You may need to present documents like new address information from your license, a marriage certificate or divorce papers to proceed with these changes.

Overall, the process for receiving one of these cards is fairly standard for those applying on behalf of their children or as a new citizen. Replacement is also quite simple and easy to do online.


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