Can I Replace My Social Security Card The Same Day
Unfortunately, you cannot replace your Social Security card the same day. You can, however, visit your local Social Security office and obtain a receipt serving as proof that you have submitted your application for a new card. This receipt can be used as evidence of a temporary card in some situations. It will take anywhere from 10-14 to process your application for a new card, but the quickest way to get the replacement is through your Social Security account online.
Can I Order A New Social Security Card Online
Lucky for you, the answer is yes! In some situations, you can request a replacement card online. Heres what you need to know about requesting a new card online. First, the service is completely free! Next, it is only available if you are only requesting a replacement with no other changes. So, no name changes or any other changes can be processed online.
You will need to sign up for a free account on the SSA website called a My Social Security Account. This only takes a few minutes, and then you can begin the process of requesting your replacement. Once you have your account created, you create the request online and upload your documentation right there on the website.
You will need a drivers license or state issued identification card to use the online service. However, you should know that Minnesota, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Nevada, and Oklahoma are not yet eligible to use this service. Also, if you live in Alaska, Delaware, or Wisconsin, you must have a drivers license because a non-drivers ID card will not work for these states.
How To Protect Your Identity Going Forward
Now that you have made your initial report and have a new card on the way, what do you need to do to protect yourself going forward? First, you should consider signing up for a credit monitoring service so that you can keep a close eye on your credit. This type of service will alert you immediately if anyone attempts to use your Social Security number to obtain a new line of credit like a loan or credit card.
You might even consider contacting the major credit reporting agencies like Experian, Equifax, and Transunion to place a lock on your Social Security number. This would prevent anyone from using your SSN to obtain credit without going through rigorous identification verification. Finally, make sure to keep a constant watch on your credit file for any suspicious activity. You can obtain a free copy of your report at annualcreditreport.com, and staying vigilant will help protect you from ID theft going forward.
Finally, you should keep your Social Security card safe and secure. There is really no reason to carry your card with you all the time. It is best stored in a safe location and only pulled out when absolutely necessary. This can help prevent both theft and accidental loss of your card.
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How To Find Out If Your Social Security Number Has Been Stolen
Thieves can operate under your identity for years without discovery, and some of these crimes are very difficult to detect. One of the best things you can do is regularly check a free credit report. Review your credit report thoroughly for unauthorized accounts or public records not related to you. These red flags could indicate clerical errors or identity theft. Either way, you want to watch out for it and act as soon as you see something suspicious. You can also check out these other ways you can find out if youre a victim of identity theft.
Christine DiGangi is the former Deputy Managing Editor – Engagement for Credit.com and covered a variety of personal finance topics. Her writing has beenfeatured on USA Today, MSN, Yahoo! Finance and The New York Times International Weekly, among other outlets. More by Christine DiGangi
is a USA TODAY content partner offering personal finance news and commentary. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.
How To Protect Your Social Security Number: 10 Ssn Tips
If you want to help protect yourself against identity theft, protecting your Social Security number is a good start. Your Social Security number is a high-value target for ID theft. Getting an identity theft protection plan is one step to consider.
Your Social Security number, or SSN, is a key piece of personally identifiable information. In the wrong hands like, in the hands of an identity thief your Social Security number might lead to various types of identity theft or fraud.
What can identity thieves do with your Social Security number? Heres a sample:
- Open bank accounts
- Open new credit cards or lines of credit to make purchases in your name
- File tax returns to obtain your refund
- Open new service accounts in your name, such as utilities or internet service
- Put you in major debt
- Destroy your credit score across all three credit bureaus
The Equifax data breach in 2017, which exposed Social Security numbers and other U.S.-consumer information, raised the risk for identity theft of more than 145 million Americans.
Although you cant do anything about a breach, its a good idea to learn what you can do to protect yourself following a breach, and before a subsequent breach. No matter how big or small, no business or industry is immune to cyberthieves who may have identity theft in mind.
Here are some tips for protecting your Social Security number and identity.
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What To Do If Your Social Security Card Was Lost Or Stolen
If your card is lost or stolen, then you need to act immediately to help protect yourself. As soon as you recognize that your card was stolen, you should file a report with your local police department. Notify the authorities so that they can begin working on finding the culprit, and that police report also serves as proof that your card really was stolen in case you need to work on repairing your credit later. A stolen Social Security card is typically more likely to cause you problems down the road, but a lost card can cause issues too. If you simply lost or misplaced your card, then you can skip this step and move on to the next one.
In addition to the police, you will want to go ahead and notify the Social Security Administration that your card is lost or stolen. You should go ahead and register for your MySocialSecurity account at SSA.gov also. This online portal allows you to request a replacement card, view your earnings statements, estimate your future benefits, and many more things. Make sure that you claim your account so that whoever has your SS card cannot claim it fraudulently.
Don’t Carry Spare Keys In Your Wallet
A lost wallet is bad enough. A lost wallet containing your spare house key along with your ID that shows your home address is an invitation for real-world thieves to easily break into your home. Security experts say don’t put your property, and your family, at risk.
The best move is to keep your spare key with a relative or friend. If you’re ever locked out, it may take a little bit longer to retrieve your backup key, but that’s a relatively minor inconvenience.
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Leave Your New Card At Home
To protect yourself, since you dont need your Social Security card itself for most transactions that rely on your Social Security number, you might be wise to keep it in a safe place at home, rather than in your wallet. Your Social Security account is designed to keep you safe and keep track of all your contributions so you may draw on the funds youve put in when you need them. Its a small paper card, but it can make a big difference in your future.
If You Think Your Card Was Stolen
Checking for suspicious activity is more than a good idea if your Medicare card is stolenit’s essential, particularly if thieves take an old-style card, which contains your Social Security number. One of those cards can be used to gain access to your credit history, and a criminal can use it to take out bogus loans and credit card accounts under your name.
In fact, if your old-style Medicare card is stolen, you should take the same steps you’d take if your Social Security card were stolen . These include:
- Reporting the theft to appropriate authorities.
- Having a security freeze placed on your credit files at the three national credit bureaus .
- Monitoring credit activity associated with your SSN to detect and thwart unauthorized credit applications or creation of new accounts.
Of course, in addition to taking these steps to protect your credit, you’ll also need to request a new Medicare card if you haven’t received it yet, via the steps described at the Medicare website.
If your new-style Medicare card is stolen, or lost under circumstances under which a criminal might discover it, the threat to your overall credit is less severe than the loss of your SSN, but you should still exercise caution.
Also, if your Medicare card has been lost or stolen, watch out for Medicare fraud:
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Request A Social Security Card Replacement The Old
If you cant replace your card online, youll need to do so by mail. Heres how:
Take or mail the documents and application to your local Social Security Administration office. To get your lost Social Security card replaced, the Administration requires certain documents to verify your citizenship, age and identity. Generally, your birth certificate and US passport or drivers license will be adequate for verification.
There are also a few substitute documents the SSA accepts. For example, if a birth certificate does not exist, they may be able to accept your:
- Religious record made before the age of 5 showing your date of birth
- A hospital record of your birth
If you dont have a drivers license or passport they may also accept:
- Employee identification card
- Health insurance card
- A military identification card
Its worth noting that the documents must be original or copies certified by the agency that issued them. The SSA website clearly states, We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies. All documents must be current . We cannot accept a receipt showing you applied for the document.
Once you have your proper verification documents in order, simply fill out the SSAs and visit your local SSA office. A processor will verify everything is in good order and youll have a new card in your mailbox within 3 weeks.
If You Have Been Victim Of Fraud
You can ask for a new SIN only if you can prove that your SIN was used fraudulently.
However, getting a new SIN will not necessarily protect you from fraud or identity theft. If someone else uses your old SIN as identification and the business does not check the person’s identity with the credit bureau, credit lenders may still ask you to pay the impostor’s debts. Each time, you will have to prove that you were not involved in the fraud.
If we issue you a new SIN, you will need to contact all your financial institutions, creditors, pension providers and employers to ask them to update your files.
Note: Service Canada cannot correct a credit file. It is up to you to contact your financial institution, report any discrepancies and have them resolved.
If you have proof that someone else is using your SIN, an investigation is required.
An indication that your SIN is being used fraudulently is when you receive a Notice of Reassessment from the Canada Revenue Agency concerning undeclared earnings. This means that another person has used your SIN for employment purposes or to receive other taxable income.
You must visit your nearest Service Canada Centre with your original proof of identity documents and provide proof that another person has used your SIN.
Here’s what you will need to provide to Service Canada if you suspect someone is using your SIN:
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What Happens When Someones Identity Is Stolen
Once an identity thief has your Social Security number, they can commit all sorts of financial fraud with it, potentially leaving you on the hook for their misconduct.
Look at it this way: Social Security numbers are wrapped up in most aspects of Americans lives employment, medical history, taxes, education, bank accounts, and so on. Below is a list of just a few things someone can do with your SSN if they get their hands on it.
1. Open financial accounts
Your Social Security number is the most important piece of personal information a bank needs when extending you credit or opening an account. With that number, a thief can get credit cards or loans, and when it comes time to repay them, they wont, damaging your credit in the process. Those missed payments are tied to your Social Security number, so theyll end up on your credit report and could impact your ability to apply for any type of loan or new account in the future.
Once you spot suspicious transactions, you can use your credit scores and credit reports to detect fraud and put an end to it. Unfortunately, it could take years for the fraudulent information to be removed from your credit report and, as a result, for your credit scores to recover.
2. Get medical care
3. File a fraudulent tax refund
4. Commit crimes
5. Steal your benefits
Replace Your Lost Drivers License
Depending on when your current drivers license expires, you might have the option to renew your driver’s license versus applying for a duplicate. This might be the easier route considering some states offer online license renewal. First, obtain a copy of your driving record to determine the current status of your drivers license and check when it expires. Its also a good idea to check your driving record periodically to ensure someone isnt getting traffic tickets and racking up points under your name.
If renewal isnt an option, youll likely have to apply for your replacement in person. Before you scramble to the DMV, be sure you:
- Collect all the required documents and acceptable forms of identification.
- Have a form of payment accepted by the DMV. Cash might not pose a problemunless of course you also lost your debit and credit cards, too.
- Get a ride.
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Things To Do If I Lost My Social Security Card
During the coronavirus lockdown, local Social Security offices have reduced hours and are only helping people with their most crucial issues. Generally speaking, getting a replacement card is not considered a crucial issue. So, if you have a lost Social Security card, its best to wait until the agency is up and running as usual to apply.
The fact is, as important identification documents go, the Social Security card gets little attention. Yourenot supposed to laminate it or carry it in your wallet, but those may be the most notable things about a Social Security card as a form of identification. Unlike a Passport or driver license, you rarely need to produce the card itself just knowing the number is enough for people to find you in many systems. Employers sometimes ask new employees to provide a copy of the card, butits seldom necessary. Keep in mind,you can only apply for a replacement card three times a year or 10 times in a lifetime. But if do lose your card and want to get a replacement or if you think it might be being used by someone else here are some steps you should take:
Why Service Canada Does Not Issue New Social Insurance Numbers For Those Affected By A Data Breach
A new Social Insurance Number is not a fresh start or protection from fraud or identity theft.
If someone else uses your old Social Insurance Number and the business does not check the persons identity, you may have to prove you were not involved in the fraud or pay the impostors debts.
The Government can only share your new Social Insurance Number with the federal departments and agencies that use your Social Insurance Number.
This means that it would be up to you to provide your new Social Insurance Number to all the financial institutions, creditors, pension providers, recent and current employers, and any other organizations with which you shared your old Social Insurance Number.
Not doing or failing to do so properly risks not receiving benefits or leaves the door open to subsequent fraud or identity theft.
A new Social Insurance Number does not erase your old Social Insurance Number. You would therefore need to monitor your accounts and credit reports for both Social Insurance Numbers on a regular and ongoing basis. This would put burden on you. Numerous Social Insurance Numbers multiply the risk of fraud.
The best way to protect yourself if you are affected by a data breach:
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How Can I Protect My Child Against Identity Theft
One of the best things you can do to provide identity theft protection for your child is to keep their Social Security card stored in a safe and secure place until it is needed. Do not carry the card around with you or allow the child to carry it. Also, you should obtain a free credit report for them each year to monitor their credit history and make sure that nothing suspicious appears on the report.