An easy guide to getting a new social security card

It’s always annoying to find out you’ve lost your purse or your wallet – this only rises when you realise you need to replace all your lost cards. If this has recently happened to you, and your Social Security Card is missing, don’t worry: we’ve put together this quick and easy guide to help you get a new one fromĀ

The first piece of good news is that a replacement card is totally free – all you need to do is follow a few steps to get hold of a new one. This guide to replacing a lost Social Security Card is split into three sections depending on whether you’re a US-born citizen, a foreign-born citizen or a non-citizen allowed to work in the US.


a) Online

You may be able to order a card online via your “my Social Security” account, as long as you’re at least 18 years old and hold a driver’s license or ID card. If you don’t have an account, you can set one up via the Social Security website:

b) Mail

You can mail an application to your Social Security office – application forms are available via the Social Security website above. You’ll also need to send some documents along with the application, in order to prove i) citizenship and ii) identity. The following documents can be accepted:

i) US birth certificate OR US passport

ii) Driver’s license OR ID card OR US passport

Alternatively, if you don’t have one of these to prove your identity, you can use an employee, school or US military ID card, or a health insurance card (except Medicare). US passports can be used to prove both citizenship and identity.


a) Online via your “my Social Security” account.

b) Mail using the application form on the Social Security website. You’ll need to prove both i) your citizenship and ii) your identity, using the following documents:

i) US passport OR Certificate of NaturalizationlCitizenship/Report of Birth OR Consular Report of Birth Abroad

ii) Driver’s license OR ID card OR US passport. If you don’t have one of these, you can use any of the alternatives given above.


To replace a lost Social Security Card, non-citizens will need to mail or visit their Social Security office. Instead of proving citizenship, non-citizens must prove i) their immigration status, along with ii) their work eligibility and iii) their identity. The following documents can be used to support this:

i) Current US immigration document (Form I-551, I-766 or I-94). For students, this must be your Form I-20. For exchange visitors, send your Form DS-2019.

ii) Form I-94 OR valid foreign passport with work visa. You may also need your work permit from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Students can provide a letter from their school confirming their identity, school status and work status. Separately, students must provide a letter from their employer confirming their role, hours and start date, along with contact details.

iii) Form I-551 OR Form I-94 OR Form I-776 from DHS.

Mail applications have a processing and delivery timescale of 10-14 business days. REMEMBER: you must send original documents or certified copies: photocopies will not be accepted!