How to Get a Social Security Card

You may just be asking the question, “Why do I even need a Social Security number?”. Well, we are going to unpack what this means for you and your future, as well as help you understand the dynamics of Social Security and how they affect you both now and when you are looking to retire. Here in the United States, your identity is summed up into nine separate digits, meaning your Social Security number. This number keeps an accurate record of your covered wages or self-employed earnings through work, as well as to monitor your record once you are eligible to receive Social Security Benefits upon retiring or health related issues.


Why do I need a Social Security card?

The Social Security office gives out a single number to each individual person who is a United States citizen, and that number belongs to you and you alone. With your identity and record keeping being contained in this nine-digit number, this card will have one single place to keep that number centrally located for your own personal records. You will need a Social Security number to retain a job, collect Social Security benefits, along with securing other government services. In the majority of cases you will simply need to bring this card in addition to any applications, and a copy will be made. You do not want to carry this card on your person, but keep it safe with other important documentation.


Can I apply for a Social Security Card online?

The most common way of applying for a Social Security card replacement is online. However, if you do not qualify for an online application for either a new or replacement card, or any changes you need made on your Social Security card, you will need to follow the process as outlined below:

  • Original birth certificate
  • Proof of United States Citizenship, or at the very least you are a legal resident
  • Valid and current United States mailing address (including APO, FPO, and DPO addresses)
  • Valid Driver’s License or State-issued ID card
  • Printed application filled out
  • Mail or bring to your Social Security Office

It will also be important to note:

  • all documents submitted must be originals or copies certified by the issuing agency, as no photocopies or notarized copies will be accepted
  • must have a certified copy of a document showing a birth, marriage, or divorce that took place in the United States

Other things to consider when applying for a Social Security card

If you are filling out an application on behalf of someone else, you will also need to show evidence of your relationship to, or responsibility for, that person. You will equally need to show proof of your identity, and all in original documentation. There are some businesses that offer to get you your Social Security card through them at a fee, and it is not recommended by the government to acquire your documentation this way because the government offers you the same services for free. It is important to remember that you alone are the one with your identity number, no two people have the same. Your financial security upon retirement will rest solely upon this number, as well as your job security and identity security. You will need to keep all documentations safe, and never share your number for another person for any reason.