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  • Your Social Security number is a valuable piece of information. You will need it when you are applying for a job, to collect Social Security benefits and other services from the government and to apply for credit. The Social Security Administration gives individuals blue cards with the person's number and name on them. Although the cards can be used in conjunction with other forms of identification in some cases, the cards themselves are basically useless. The key is to memorize your Social Security number and to write it down in a safe place.

    Application

    The easiest way to obtain a new Social Security card is to fill out the form online and bring it to the nearest Social Security office (see Resources for link to form). The form asks basic questions such as your full name, birth date, place of birth and your race. This application takes about 10 minutes to fill out.

    Identification

    You will need a few documents to prove you are the person you say you are. First, you will need proof of your age. This could be your original birth certificate, a passport, a final adoption decree or a religious record showing your age or date of birth. For proof of your identity, you can use a valid U.S. driver's license, U.S. state-issued identification card or a U.S. passport. You can also use items that show your legal name and biographical information such as a military identification card, certificate of naturalization or a Medicaid card. Medical records and school documents can also be used for evidence of identification. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must provide immigration documents and your passport.

    Local office

    Residents of New York City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Fla., Phoenix, Sacramento, Calif., or Minneapolis must apply at their local office are not able to send the application through the mail. If you are mailing the application elsewhere, you must mail the original documents to prove your age and identity. If you are bringing the application and your documents to an office, you should be prepared to wait, especially in urban areas. A replacement card is free.

    Once you receive your card

    You will receive your new card within 14 days after applying. Do not carry your new card in your wallet or purse. You are limited to three replacements a year and 10 in a lifetime. Also it is a good idea to memorize your Social Security number. The Social Security Administration does not take action on a lost or stolen card.

    Source:

    SSA.gov: Replacing a Social Security card

    More Information:

    Socialsecurity.gov: Online form

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