How Long Does It Take To Get A Social Security Card?

Most probably, you will be carrying a Social Security Number (SSN) issued by the US government. The SSN is a 9-digit number issued for all citizens and certain residents. The number plays a critical role in Social Security services as government agencies use it for tracking your lifetime earnings and the number of an individual’s work years.

It is also critical for you because of its being an identifier to American citizens and some residents for the purpose of collecting Social Security benefits. Apart from Social Security benefits, the SSN may also be needed for various purposes like replacement getting credit, bank account opening, accessing government benefits, private insurance or even for purchasing a new motor vehicle.

Therefore, you must know how to apply for a new Social Security card or how to apply for a replacement card if you have lost the original one. In fact, it becomes an important document when you are required to provide some proof of your Social Security Number.

An experienced and knowledgeable Social Security benefits lawyer at Clauson Law can help you apply for a new or replacement Social Security card. In this blog post, we will explain the process to apply for a new or replacement Social Security card.

Why Do You Need A Social Security Number (SSN)?

The Social Security Number carries a lot of importance due to its intimate linking with future benefits given by the US government. Federal agencies also use your SSN to track your yearly earnings and your work record. This may help you prepare a plan and calculate your Social Security and other benefits accordingly.

In fact, when you start working as a professional, your employer may ask you to provide your Social Security Number as a part of the application process. They further make it available to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with details of salary credit against the number, and other information like deductions towards Social Security and Medicare. The employer also submits these details to the state administration if there is a provision for income tax.

 Who Is Eligible To Get A Social Security Card?

To get a Social Security card, you can use “my Social Security account” if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are an American citizen aged 18 or older with a postal address located in the U.S.
  • You have a valid driver’s license or a State-issued identification card from any of the participating states or the District of Columbia.

How To Apply For A Social Security Card?

You can apply for a Social Security card online or physically in person.

Applying Online

You can apply online for a Social Security card. It is the easiest way to get a Social Security card. To qualify for applying online, you must verify U.S. citizenship with the Social Security Administration (SSA). You are also required to create a my Social Security account and carry a valid State-issued driver’s license or identification card. Once the Social Security Administration verifies your information, you can continue with the application.

Applying In Person

If due to some reason, you are not able to apply for the Social Security card online, you can also apply in person. To do so, you only need a printout of the application and fill it out completely. Thereafter, you can mail the form and other required documents to your local SSA office. You can also drop it off at the SSA office in person. For finding your local SSA office, you will have to do a simple online search or visit

Documents Needed With Your Online Application

To file your application for a Social Security card, you must file the following documents with your application form:

  • Proof of your age
  • Proof of citizenship
  • Proof of your identity

Some common forms of identification include:

  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • State ID

However, if you do not have any of these documents, the SSA will also accept the following documents-

  • Work ID
  • School ID
  • U.S. military ID
  • Health Insurance Card (not Medicare).

The documents for your Social Security card application must either be the originals or copies certified by the issuing office. Photocopies, notarized paperwork, or expired documentation won’t be accepted with your application.

Applying For A Replacement Social Security Card

We advise you to keep your Social Security card carefully and cautiously. It contains sensitive financial details and personal information that can be misused by anti-social elements. Moreover, it is very difficult to find out if your Social Security card has been stolen and is being misused. This could lead to financial or personal hardships without you being aware of it.  

If you have lost your card, the Social Security Number itself should suffice for you. However, there may be cases where you need a replacement card, you can file an application in person or in online mode.

You can simply apply for a replacement Social Security card through your free Social Security account. However, if you are unable to apply through a personal Social Security account, you can always begin the process online and then complete the application in a Social Security office or card letter.

If you cannot complete the application online, you will need to provide the requisite documents, depending on your citizenship status and the type of card that you are requesting from the federal government.

On the other hand, if you do not begin the online process for getting a replacement Social Security card, you will need to fill up and print a Social Security card application and bring it to your local Social Security office.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Social Security Card?

Once you complete the process to apply for a Social Security card, the SSA will try to mail your SSN card as soon as possible. Ordinarily, you should receive the card within a period of 7 to 10 business days from the time of receiving all the necessary information. The SSA is experiencing slight delays in processing mail-in Social Security card applications. So, it may take the SSA 2-4 weeks to process a mail-in application and return the evidence.

In case, you are applying for a new or replacement Social Security card based on Form I-765 and/ or Form I-485, the SSA will issue it within 7 to 10 business days after approval of your work authorization or Permanent Residence application by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

How Do I Change My Name Or My SSN Number?

If you have formally changed your name because of marriage, divorce, court order, or any other reason, you must contact the Social Security Administration. This will help you in getting a Social Security Number (SSN) card with your correct credentials.

To correct a name on the SSN card, you will need an Application for a Social Security Card and provide the required documents to the SSA. For this purpose, you will need evidence to establish your identity, your new formal name, and the event leading to your name change. In other cases, you will also need to prove your American citizenship status or lawful noncitizen status.

What To Do If Your SSN Card Gets Stolen?

The SSN card contains sensitive details about you including your yearly earnings, number of work years, bank details, and other such personal/ financial details. As such you do not want such information to get compromised.  

Moreover, if your SSN card gets stolen, you must contact the credit reporting agencies and inform them about the issue. You can also get a security or fraud alert attached to your credit report. Apart from this, you must also contact the Social Security Administration and apprise it of the fraudulent use of your number. On losing your card, you can also contact the SSA and discuss the process to replace it.

Finally, you must not avoid filing a police report for an actual theft of your card or reporting misuse of your number. Similarly, you should monitor your credit reports to check for any unauthorized use of your credit accounts or unauthorized opening of bank accounts.

Contact Clauson Law For More Information Regarding Your Social Security Card

Your Social Security Number and card are important for you for collecting Social Security benefits. Even if you are not entitled to benefits, you may need them for availing several services and amenities. In any case, you cannot take your SSN card lightly.

Therefore, you must have all the necessary information at your disposal when applying for a new or replacement Social Security card. At our office, we have a team of experienced Social Security Disability (SSD) attorneys who understand the Social Security card application process. If you are facing any trouble applying for a new or replacement Social Security card, we could be of significant help to you. Contact Clauson Law today for a free consultation about your Social Security card application.

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Clauson Law has focused on representing the injured and disabled for over 10 years. We have handled thousands of cases. Each client is important to us and has a unique situation.

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