Initially, social security cards were introduced by the government to be used as proof of identification and tracking purposes in the national social security system. Every American citizen must have one, regardless of how they attain their citizenship. In most cases, people keep their cards throughout their entire adult lives.
Why Do I Need A Social Security Card?
Today, social security cards are used in many different situations, making them even more important than they were at the beginning. If you have committed your social security number to memory, you might be able to get by without the card, even after losing it; however, you will be required to produce the card in a number of situations.
Before we look at how to get a social security card replacement, let’s take a moment to look at some of the situations in which you would be required to produce one.
First and foremost, having a social security card is a great way to ensure that you don’t forget your social security number. Although memorizing your number may seem like the best way of ensuring that you never lose it; you cannot be sure of how your memory will hold up in the years to come.
You will be required to produce your social security card when starting a new job. The card is used for tax purposes by your new employer. It may also be used to verify your eligibility to work in the US.
High school and college students may be required to produce their social security cards as a way of proving their identity when moving to a new school. College students need to produce their social security cards when filling out financial aid forms.
It’s normal for banks to ask their new customers to produce social security cards when applying for a new account. The card is used as a proof of identity; and producing it assists in minimizing the risk of fraud associated with identity theft. Credit card companies also require individuals to produce their social security cards, as proof of identity, when applying for a new credit card.
Some health insurance companies may require applicants to produce their social security cards, even though their social security number is usually enough. Doctors may also ask for your social security card for billing purposes, as well as a proof of identity before sharing your confidential medical information.
As you can see, having a social security card in hand can help speed up all the processes in which you would be required to produce it.
When Would I Need To Replace My Social Security Card?
It is worth noting that there are many different circumstances that may call for the replacement of your social security card. The most obvious one is when you lose the card. You may also have to replace your card when you officially change your name or your immigration status.
Now let’s take a look at the procedure followed in getting a social security card replacement. Note that there are three main steps involved in having a social security card replaced.
Compiling The Necessary Documents
The first step in getting a social security card replacement involves putting all the necessary documents together. This will help speed up the process as you will not be forced to waste time going back and forth, in search of any missing documents.
The first and most important rule, when it comes to compiling the documents needed in the replacement of your social security card is that only originals are accepted. Copies that have been certified by the issuing agency, at the place of issue are also accepted. However, the Social Security Administration does not accept photocopies or notarized copies of the documents when it comes to applying for a social security card replacement.
To prove your age, you can use your US hospital birth record, birth certificate, passport or religious record made when you were below the age of five years.
A US birth certificate or US Passport can be used to verify your status as a Unite States of America citizen.
Use your US passport, US driver’s license, state Identification Card, Military ID card, Student ID card, employee ID or Medical insurance card to prove that you are who you say you are i.e. your identity.
Once you have compiled all the documents listed above, make sure that they are all up to date as the Social Security Administration does not accept expired documents. Furthermore, using receipts to prove that you have applied for renewals is also not acceptable; you must be in possession of the document itself.
Filling Out The Application
Once you have all the necessary documents in hand, visit the Social Security Administration (SSA) website and download the social security card form. Fill out the relevant details and then mail the form; or deliver it to your local SSA office. You can look up the local SSA offices’ address on their website. While there, you can even enquire about the time it will take to have the new card sent to you.
Alternatively, you may opt to take a more convenient route by applying with an online application form. All you need to do is create an account, and then follow the laid-out process in replacing your social security card. This process is safe and secure, so don’t worry about filling in your personal information.
It is important to note that the online application process is not available to all. Be sure to check whether your state is included in the list of areas where the service is available. In case it is not, just follow the previously described procedure.
Important Facts That You Should Know About Social Security Card Replacement
At this point it is important to mention the fact that this entire process is free of charge. The SSA does not charge any fees to replace your card.
Every individual is only entitled to apply for three security card replacements per year; and a maximum of ten in their lifetime. As such it is important that you keep your card safely locked away, especially considering the fact you do not need to produce it on a daily basis. Replacements necessitated by a change of name or immigration status do not count against these limits.