Lost Social Security Card: The Complete Guide
ApplicationFiling.com is a unique service that helps thousands of Americans submit 100% accurate applications to replace their lost Social Security cards. In this guide, we will cover what to do in the event you have lost your card, how to apply for a replacement and avoid denial, and how to protect your identity from criminals who could ruin your credit.
Your Social Security number is vital for obtaining employment, applying for a job, filing your taxes, and a myriad of other everyday tasks that we normally take for granted. Most don’t realize how vital it is until they’ve lost their card. In the event of a lost Social Security card, you not only need a new one as soon as possible, but you also need to take immediate steps to secure your identity.
If you have experience navigating the Social Security Administration’s system, then replacing the card should be relatively straightforward (though time-consuming). Real problems only arise when your number falls into the wrong hands. Identity thieves can use your Social Security number to take out loans, open bank accounts, and apply for credit cards. When they don’t pay, the creditors will hold you responsible.
Did You Know?: According to a Javelin study, identity theft cost Americans $5.1 BILLION dollars in 2017. These numbers are only expected to rise in the coming years.
After you take steps to secure your identity (we explain this in detail below), you must apply to replace your lost Social Security card. Although this process is free through the Social Security Administration (SSA), Americans are quickly discovering the convenience and peace of mind offered by trusted 3rd party agents who are experts in the SSA’s bureaucracy. You should be able to complete the process alone within a few days or instantly with a 3rd-party service.
This guide contains everything you need to know.
I’ve Lost my Social Security Card: what do I do first?
Whether you have lost your purse or wallet, been the victim of theft, or simply misplaced your card, the first thing you must do is secure your identity. A criminal in possession of a card can do nearly all of the same things the card owner can (if they are in possession of your name, date of birth, and address, then the situation is even more critical).
Warning: What can a criminal do with my lost Social Security card?
As we mentioned previously, a criminal in possession of your card has nearly all of the same capabilities as you do (assuming they know what they are doing). If you have lost your wallet along with your card, then they now are in possession of your date of birth, address, full name, etc. This makes the situation even more lucrative for them. An identity thief can:
Apply for credit cards: With your Social Security number and other publicly accessible information, a thief can apply for credit cards, max them out, and leave you with the bill.
Access your bank account: Your number, DOB, and other information could allow a thief to get into your bank account, withdraw money, and leave with no evidence of fraud.
File fraudulent tax returns: With your number, a criminal can file a fraudulent tax return and take your refund. If there is fraud in regards to your taxes, this could prevent you from filing electronically in the future.
Keep in mind that this is not a fully exhaustive list. We don’t necessarily mean that all of these options will happen; your card may very well be lost where someone can’t find it. Still, any time personal information like your SSN goes missing, it opens up certain very uncomfortable possibilities. Download our identity theft protection eBook (included in our $39 fee) to learn more about protecting your finances.
Secure your credit and bank accounts before contacting the government!
While many recommend contacting the Social Security Administration first, it’s best to ensure your identity is safe and that no one else is using your number to ruin your good name. Only after that should you begin the application process.
Take these steps to protect your identity:
Search for your card: It might seem obvious, but please understand you are about to take several irreversible actions. If it turns your card was simply misplaced in your home, you’ll have caused a lot of trouble over nothing. Take a few minutes to cool down and calmly search the most plausible places. Make sure to check your car as well. Next time, please keep your card in a safe place and only carry it out when necessary.
Contact the credit bureaus: Contact the 3 major credit bureaus—Equifax, Transunion, and Experian—and ask them to put a fraud alert on your credit. Any suspicious activity will be halted.
Contact the Federal Trade Commission: Contacting the FTC will allow you to file a complaint. This information could prove vital to prosecuting identity thieves. This can be done first or after you contact the credit bureaus. Save your reference number and a copy of your complaint.
Contact the police: Contact your local police department with your FTC reference number and affidavit. Even if you have only lost your number accidentally, it can still be picked up thieves. In the event that someone steals your identity, this report will give you a leg up in catching who did it and help you prove you are not liable for fraudulent charges.
Closely monitor your credit: Keep a close eye on your bank accounts and credit. Set up alerts if you must. You must also check the reports of all 3 credit bureaus since information could appear on one report and not on another. As an exclusive service to our clients, we will help you take advantage of identity protection services that will do this for you.
How to Replace a Lost Social Security Card
To replace a lost Social Security card, you must contact the Social Security Administration. If you meet certain eligibility requirements, you may be able to do this online (we explain how further down).
If you understand the proper filing process and the supporting documents, then filing for a new card is relatively straightforward. However, be aware that your application must be 100% accurate and submitted with the right documents in the proper format or else your application will be denied.
Even though the process seems rather simple at first, thousands of Americans struggle each year and end up getting their applications denied. If you are unsure how to navigate the process or simply don’t have the time to go through all of the bureaucratic hoops, then you might want to consider using an agent to do it for you.
Here’s how to apply for a lost social security card.
Fill in the SS-5 form
Step 1 is to fill in the SS-5 form. You can get this form either from the SSA or online at the administration’s website.
You must provide:
Your Social Security number
Place of birth
Date of birth
Name shown on the previous card
The form must be filled in accurately and submitted with the proper documentation.
Note: This form can be a bit confusing for first-timers. Our automated application simplifies the process by filling the form in for you based on a series of questions.
Provide or Obtain the correct documents
Based on your situation, you need to support your identity with supporting documentation. In the event that you have lost your Social Security card, you must submit:
U.S Driver’s License
U.S State-Issued Identity Card
These are normally the only documents accepted. However, the administration may accept other documents in extenuating circumstances. If you do not have one of the documents, you must obtain them (download our resource guide to help you better understand supporting documentation).
Note: If you do not wish to go through the trouble of obtaining these documents, we can do that for you for a small additional fee.
Submit your application
In general, you can submit your application at any Social Security office. We can help you locate the one nearest you.
In certain circumstances, you may also submit online using your MySocialSecurity account. You need to sign up with the SSA and open your account. It is entirely free but could be a bit time-consuming and difficult if it’s your first time. If you’ve lost your card, you may use this service. However, please note that if this is your first Social Security card, you are not eligible to apply online.
Assuming you have completed all of the steps properly and filled in your application 100% accurately, you should receive your card within 14 days. Of course, that is also assuming you submit the proper supporting documents as well.
Which begs the question—if the process is relatively simple and straightforward, why do so many struggle every year to get their cards? Why does the SSA deny so many applications, wasting countless days of the applicants time?
Why do so Many Americans Struggle to Get their Replacement Cards?
Each year, thousands of Americans get their applications denied. The Social Security Administration’s website even clearly states that applications are routinely denied due to not following procedure.
The reason is that even though the process is 100% free and the steps are laid out by the administration, the steps must be followed exactly. This can be quite confusing, especially for first-time applicants.
The main reasons for denial include:
Inaccurate Applications: The SS-5 form may seem simple, but it isn’t if you’ve never used it before. Not only must you put in the right information, but it must also be in the right ink (the SSA recommends a blue pen!). Depending on why you are applying, the form’s requirements differ. If there are any mistakes, your application will be returned.
Incorrect Supporting Documents: There is no worse feeling than receiving a denial in the mail because you sent the wrong document. Not only do you need the correct documents, but they must also be in the proper format. No photocopies are accepted (we have a guide to documentation that is included in our package).
Not Filing Properly: Your application must be sent to the SSA, and many do not know where to go or where to send it via mail. It feels like it should be easy, but for some reason, thousands each year fail to get it right.
After going to the wrong office, sending the wrong documents, and having to refile with the SSA again, we decided there must be a better way. This experience led us to create a one-of-a-kind service that helps applicants fill in their applications 100% accurately and send them off with the correct supporting documents. It also provides unique value-added services that ensure your entire process is 100% stress-free. It even helps you protect your good name and credit in the event you’ve lost your card.
ApplicationFiling.com: the fastest, easiest way to get a new Social Security card
We have created this unique services to solve all of the issues that navigating the Social Security Administration’s confusing bureaucracy presents. Instead of stressing over how to fill out the form, which documents to send (and which format), and wondering where to take it, we have automated the entire process so there is 0 risk of denial and no stress on your end.
Instead of going it alone, you will now have access to a proprietary application that fills in your SS-5 form based on a series of easily answerable questions. Rather than searching for hours and wondering which documents need to be submitted with your lost Social Security card application, we will tell you exactly what you need to send in (we can even retrieve the documents for you if you don’t have them!).
No running around trying to find the right documents. No denials. No precious time wasted.
Why use this service?
While you can certainly fill in your application alone for free, there are several benefits exclusive to using a 3rd-party service such as ours.
For just a low, one-time fee of $39, gain access to all of this and more:
A completed SS-5 form in just a few clicks: Our proprietary application automatically fills in your SS-5 form 100% correctly based on your answers to automatic prompts. There is no easier way to fill in the form. Assuming your personal information is accurate, there is no chance your form has errors.
No chance of denial: There is nothing worse than waiting 2 weeks only to receive a denial letter in the mail. When you use our service, you never have to stress. You will receive your card within 2 weeks.
Your entire application made easy: No more struggling to understand the application, supporting documents, Social Security Administration office procedures, or anything else. Everything is either done for you or easily explained in plain English so you don’t have to worry.
World-class customer support: Trust us, you will have plenty of questions about the form if you’ve never done this before. We did, and thousands of others do too. That’s why we have fully trained customer support on call 24/7 by phone or email to answer all of your questions.
Stop identity theft before it happens: Filing the replacement application is a headache, but it’s the least of your problems. Identity theft has the possibility of ruining your credit. With our guide to understanding and preventing identity theft, you will have peace of mind knowing your good name is safe.
No running around to get documents: If you don’t feel like trying to obtain all of your supporting documentation, then leave that up to our experts.
This is a completely done-for-you service, so you will not have to stress about your application. Our $39 fee covers all of the difficult aspects. When you’re application is done, print it and send it off. In two weeks, your new card will arrive.
Who is this Service for?
If you have filed for your card before and understand how the process works, then you could very well navigate the application on your own.
However, for the thousands of Americans filing for replacement cards that don’t even know where to start, this service provides major value.
We have found that our most satisfied clients fall into one of 3 categories:
First-time applicants: This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re applying for your first card; it means this is your first time doing the application for a card. Most Americans get their SS card from their parents and therefore have little experience in navigating the system. If you don’t have prior experience, then the whole process can be a bit overwhelming. Between filling out the form, sending the documents, going to the office, researching on the web, etc., many applicants fail to get it right. That’s why they turn to experts to lend a helping hand.
Busy professionals with little time to spare: When every hour you work is valuable (and your downtime is even more valuable!), it can be a hassle to find a few hours out of your day to do all of the legwork required to get a new SS card. We find that many of our clients are happy to exchange $39 for the hours of free time. In fact, they could very well “save” a lot of money by working instead of running around and filling in their application.
Non-citizens: For immigrants, the Social Security Administration can be intimidating, to say the least, especially if English is not your first language. Our service is tailored to meet the needs of immigrants and other non-citizens so they can get their Social Security cards with no risk of denial. If you are not a natural citizen, the process is even more complex. Don’t risk your work status by going it alone!
If you’ve lost your Social Security card, you must take immediate measures to secure your identity and replace your card.
First – Protect your finances
Contact the FTC and file a report
Contact the police and file a report
Contact the credit bureaus and put a fraud alert out
Remember, with your SSN, a criminal can now access a line of credit in your name and leave you responsible for the bill. They could even open a new bank account.
Next – Report the lost Social Security card to the SSA
Report your card lost
Ask the SSA to check your earnings and make sure nobody has attempted any changes
See if you need to change your number due to fraud
Keep in mind that you should diligently monitor all of your accounts in the midst of this process, or, if you wish to have added protection and convenience, you can sign up for our service and learn how to protect your identity. We even offer our clients 30 free days of LifeLock, the world’s foremost identity protection service.
Finally – Begin filing your application
Obtain the SS-5 from the Social Security Administration
Fill it in correctly
Collect the proper documents
Bring the documents to the office and file for your new card
Losing your card is not the end of the world. Only in worst-case scenarios will there be serious repercussions.
Keep in mind that using our service not only helps you get a new card on your first try, but it also helps you protect your identity by giving you easy access to LifeLock’s 30-day free trial. LifeLock is the world’s leading identity protection service. It secures your identity by constantly monitoring your accounts for fraudulent activity and alerting you whenever something suspicious occurs.
If you wish to have your application to replace a lost Social Security card done for you so there is no risk of denial, begin your application process on ApplicationFiling.com. Our unique service will save you countless hours and stress for one low fee of $39.