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Social Security Q&A: New Card May Not Be Necessary

Question : I lost my Social Security card, but I remember my number. Do I really need a new card?

Answer : No, probably not — but it is important to know your number. The only time you may need the Social Security card is if your employer asks for it when you get a new job. If you do decide to get a new card or your lost one turns up, don’t carry it with you.

Keep it with your other important documents. Generally, you are limited to three replacement cards a year and 10 cards during your lifetime. Legal name changes and other exceptions do not count toward these limits.

Keep in mind this is a free service. Learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.

Q: I noticed that my date of birth in Social Security’s records is wrong. How do I get that corrected?

A: To change the date of birth shown on Social Security’s records, take the following steps:

1. Complete a www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.html Application for A Social Security Card (Form SS-5);

2. Provide documents proving U.S. citizenship (if you have not previously established your citizenship), age and identity.

3. Take (or mail) your completed application and documents to your local Social Security office.

Note that all documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. Social Security cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. For details on the documents you’ll need, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ss5doc.

This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at 800-772-1213 or visit www.socialsecurity.gov.