Losing your social security card is a big deal because your SSN is a valuable proof of identity, and one that can be used to steal your financial identity. If your social security card has been stolen, the issue becomes even more crucial, because many thieves will either actively steal your identity or will sell your social security card to those who will. Taking the right steps after your social security card has been stolen will prevent this problem. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps you need to take after your social security card is stolen, such as reporting the theft, using your birth certificate to request a new card, and taking steps to prevent identity theft.
How to Report a Stolen Social Security Card
Whether you’ve lost and suspect that it may be stolen or know that it has been stolen, reporting the theft of your social security card is an important first step. Call 311 to file a non-emergency police report in your area. While the police can’t help you get your card back, having a report on file will help you in case someone commits identity theft with your documents, as you’ll have a legal record of the theft.
Contact the Social Security Office directly to report the lost card. You can do so by making an appointment at your local Social Security Office or calling 1-800-772-1213. If you believe your identity is already being used, contact the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 800-269-0271
How to Protect Your Identity When Your Social Security Card is Stolen
If your social security card has been stolen, you’ve lost important vital records that prove your identity. Taking steps to protect yourself will help to prevent fiscal losses.
- Call your bank and credit card and place a fraud alert on your card. Most should consider calling a credit union such as TransUnion (phone number 800-680-7289) and place a fraud alert on your social security card. You will have to renew this every 90 days until the situation is resolved. If you don’t know your social security number, contact the Social Security Office first with a copy of your birth certificate or passport.
- Report identity theft to the FTC. Visit IdentityTheft.Gov and fill out the wizard to make a report
- Call the IRS at 800-908-4490 to report the theft and to prevent someone from submitting a tax return in your name. You may have to prove your identity with your birth record
How to Replace Your Social Security Card
Depending on your circumstance, you can typically choose to order a replacement social security card, which is often a quick and painless process or to request a new social security card, which is a much longer and more tedious process.
My Social Security – If you are 18 or older, are a U.S. citizen, and have a state issued driver’s license, you can apply for a replacement social security card via your “My Social Security” account. If you haven’t set one up, you will need your social security number to do so.
You Will Need:
- Original certified birth certificate or passport. If you don’t have either, you can apply for a birth certificate replacement online at VitalRecordsOnline
- Identification such as U.S. passport or state issued ID or driver’s license
In each case, you may be able to submit a combination of other certified vital records if you do not have these documents. You will have to submit a certified birth certificate, not a copy.
There is no fee for requesting a replacement copy of your social security card.
How Can You Get a New Social Security Card?
If your social security card has been stolen and your identity has been stolen, you may be able to request a new social security number. This process is much more difficult and will require that you have a full range of documents proving your identity including a certified birth certificate and photo ID.
To do so, make an appointment with your local social security office. Be sure to bring:
- Your certified birth certificate
- Your photo Identification issued by the state or federal government
- Proof of address (utility bills, etc.)
- Proof of hardship (police reports, identity theft reports, etc.)
The SSN office will always have final say on whether you get a new social security number or not. However, replacing your social security card won’t necessarily cause identity theft problems to go away. The old number will still be out there, and it will still be connected to your name. In most cases, you can easily request a replacement social security card, providing you have access to your passport, photo ID, or birth certificate.
What can you do if you’ve lost all of your IDs? Check our article here.