Social Security is a significant part of American society. When an American is employed, he or she pays into a system called Social Security. When the American retires, he or she will receive benefits from the Social Security pot that they have contributed to. Every American who adds to Social Security gets a number that is unique to the individual. The number is used to track Social Security benefits and allows the Internal Revenue Services or IRS to keep track for tax purposes. Each card features a person’s number, name, and signature. It is an important document that should be kept in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box, home safe, or other secure place.

Besides having a Social Security number to track contributions, an American needs the actual card for a variety of reasons. For examples: When a person applies for certain jobs, the person may be required to show their Social Security card to their potential employer as proof that the person is allowed to work legally in the United States. When a person visits a doctor’s office for the first time, in some cases the person may be required to show their Social Security card for insurance and billing purposes. Or, when a person is opening a bank account, the bank may need the person to show their Social Security card.

Of course, in most cases, the number alone will be enough to show that you have a Social Security card, but because there are instances when you will have to show proof of the card, what happens when you lose this important card? Can you get a replacement? How do you get a replacement? How long does it take to get a replacement? Can you get one on the same day?

Can You Get a New Social Security Card on the Same Day?

The answer is – not exactly. When you apply for an actual Social Security card, it will not come immediately. You’ll need to give it time. Furthermore, you can’t print a Social Security card and use it immediately. In fact, it will take about ten business days for a new Social Security card to arrive at your residence.

Replacement SS Card

However, when you visit a Social Security office to make a social security card, you’ll be given a printout with your Social Security number on it. You can use this printout until your card arrives in your home. The printout is valid only for one month.

Just like with your actual Social Security card, you’ll need to protect the printout carefully to avoid the potential of identity theft. You don’t want someone to take your name and number and use it for nefarious purposes. If you haven’t received your card within ten days, you’ll need to return to the Social Security office to inquire.

To Apply, You’ll Need to Prove Your Identity

Identity theft is a major problem in the United States. It is the act of fraudulently acquiring a person’s identifying info, such as their Social Security card, to gain financially or otherwise. So a person can’t just get a new Social Security card without showing proof of who they are. Otherwise, the door for potential identity theft would be wide open.

Therefore to get a replacement card, a person must show that they are who they say they are and that they are a U.S. citizen. A driver’s license, state I.D. or a United State’s passport would suffice. Only original documents are accepted.

Replacement SS Card

You’ll Need to Fill Out the Application for a Social Security Card.

After you have the necessary identifying documents, you’ll need to visit the U.S. Social Security Administration’s web page and print out the application. Once you’ve printed it out, you’ll need to fill it out. Bring the application and the documents to your local Social Security office.

Can You Do it for Free?

Replacing your social security card is free if you have lost it or if it is stolen. Even though replacing your card is free, you are limited to three replacement cards in a year and only ten during your entire lifetime. If your name changes, that does not qualify under the replacement rules. Changes in immigration may not qualify, either. Furthermore, if you can prove hardship, the limits may not apply.

Other Precautions

If you have lost your social security number, you should immediately contact credit reporting agencies to freeze your credit reports so that a person may not open a credit card under your name. You’ll need to check your bank accounts to ensure everything is still the way it was. After you take action, continue to monitor credit reports and your bank accounts to ensure you have not been a victim of identity theft.