Stolen Social Security Card: Things You Need to Do


Your Social Security Number is one of your most important documents and a stolen Social Security Card prohibits you from doing a lot of things.  Your Social Security Number is highly confidential. The Social Security Administration does not release your Social Security Number to anyone except for valid reasons covered by the law. For your protection, you should not give your Social Security Number to anyone except again for valid reasons. When ask for your Social Security Number, you should always ask why it is needed.

Why Do You Need a Social Security Number?

Your nine digit Social Security number (SSN) is extremely important. Before you start your first job, you need to apply for a SSN. Your SSN is permanent. Once you are given one, it will be your number for life. Although you are not aware of it, you use your SSN almost every day. You do not need to physically present your Social Security Card though, you will only need to give your SSN, thus do not go around carrying your Social Security Card with you. Keep it in a safe place together with your other important documents because a stolen Social Security Card exposes you to a lot of risks.

  • When you apply for a job, you will be asked for your SSN.
  • When you need Social Security benefits, you will be asked for your SSN.
  • When you need to avail of any of the services of the government, you will be asked for your SSN.
  • When you need to transact business with banks and credit card companies, you will often be asked for your SSN.

What Happens When Your Social Security Card Is Stolen?

A stolen Social Security Card, not only requires a lot of things to be done, it also exposes you to a lot of possibilities. A thief can use your Social Security Number to avail of government services, apply for a credit card or apply for a mortgage in your name. When you lose or when your Social Security Card gets stolen, you can apply for a replacement. You are entitled to three replacement cards in a year and 10 replacement cards for life. You do not need to have your card replaced though if you memorize or have a copy of your stolen Social Security Card Number.

How Do You Report a Stolen Social Security Card?

You do not need to report a stolen Social Security Card or apply for a new one if you know your SSN. It is when someone starts to use your SSN that you need to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. That is to protect you from identity theft. When your SSN gets into the wrong hands, it can be used for a lot of fraudulent activities. These fraudulent activities will be traced to your name and you will be held accountable.


How Do I Replace a Stolen Social Security Card For Myself?

When you have your stolen Social Security Card replaced, your card will have the same name and number as your previous card.  Here is how you can get your Card replaced:

  1. Secure a copy of the “Application for Social Security Card” from the website of the Social Security Administration.
  2. Compile all original documents that show proof of your identity, age U.S. citizenship or legal immigration status as the case may be. These documents can either be your birth certificate, passport, driver’s license or other types of document including any state issued I.D., employee ID card, health insurance card or school ID card.
  3. If you are a foreign-born U.S. citizen, show your U.S. Birth Certificate, U.S. Consular Report of Birth, your U.S. passport or your Certificate of Naturalization. If you are not a U.S. citizen, show proofs your work eligibility or immigration status. If you are a U.S. citizen born in the United States, you do not need to show any additional documents.
  4. Bring your completed “Application for Social Security Card” as well as all your original documents to your local Social Security Office. You need to apply in person.
  5. Your replacement card will be delivered through the mail.

How Do I Replace a Stolen Social Security Card For My Child?

Applying for a replacement of the stolen Social Security Card of your child has the same process as when you are applying for your own replacement card.  You also need to show proof of your child’s identity (Birth Certificate, school ID or Baptismal Record) as well as your own identity. Some of the documents you need to present though may vary.

  • If the child is not a U.S. citizen, the current I-94 Arrival/ Departure Record issued upon the child’s arrival in the United States needs to be presented.
  • If your child is an exchange student or visitor, child’s DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor status has to be presented.
  • Foreign students applying for a replacement card needs to present her I-20 Certificate of Nonimmigrant Student Status.

Applying for a replacement card is almost similar to applying for a new Social Security Card except that you will have the same Social Security Number as your previous one. Remember though that you do not need to apply for a replacement of your stolen Social Security Card if you memorize your SSN.