Losing your Social Security card is one of those gut wrenching things that no one wants to have to deal with. It happens more often than you think though, and it’s always smart to be aware of what happens when that card is lost.
You’re eligible for three card replacements per year, and a total of ten replacements in your lifetime. Assuming you haven’t hit that limit yet, here’s what you’ll need to do to try and get a replacement Social Security card through the mail:
First Up: Identify The Need For A New Card And Gather Documents
You don’t always need a Social Security card right away. Unless you’re doing something like getting a new job, there is no need to have a new card on hand. Patience may be the right play.
If you need a card quickly, then gathering the proper documents is going to be your next step. You’ll need a license/ID card and proof of US citizenship at the very least. These shouldn’t be hard to procure; but if you’re missing one or both pieces of information correcting that will be the first step.
Next: Print And Fill Out The Social Security Card Application
Once you have all of the information needed, you can go to the SSA website to print out an application. The information needed is pretty straightforward, so you should be able to fill out the application within a half hour or so.
With the application filled out, you’ve done all of the toughest work needed to get your new card! Since you’ve decided to go with the mail in route, your next task will be getting everything ready to be sent through the mail to the SSA.
Finally: Send In The Application And Watch The Mailbox
Before putting all of your paperwork in an envelope be sure to double check it. You’re looking at a delay of up to a month if you’ve made a mistake that requires the SSA to send your application back. You want to be absolutely certain that everything is squared away.
Once you feel confident, go ahead and mail off your application and then wait patiently. The amount of time it will take to receive your replace stolen social security card will depend largely on postal times. On the SSA’s end, it typically takes 10-14 days to process your application, print, and mail out the new card.
If you can fit it into your budget, it would be wise to send your application via certified mail. Doing so will keep your information more secure and put you on a faster timeline.
The good news is that the process for replacing your Social Security card is fairly simple. There’s quite a bit of work to do as far as collecting documents and whatnot; but as long as you keep fairly good records you should be fine.
It’ll take a couple of weeks to get a new card, so exercise some patience and you’ll be good to go before you know it.