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Lost Social Security Number

Lost Social Security Number

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Social Security card lost or stolen? Apply online for free to get a replacement card.

Do you think someone else is using your Social Security number for work? Review your Social Security work history by creating an account at If you find errors, contact your local SSA office.

  • If a company responsible for exposing your information offers you free credit monitoring, take advantage of it.
  • Get your free credit reports often from Check for any accounts or charges you don’t recognize.
  • Consider placing a credit freeze. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name.
    • If you place a freeze, be ready to take a few extra steps the next time you apply for a new credit card or cell phone – or any service that requires a credit check.
    • If you decide not to place a credit freeze, at least consider placing a fraud alert.

  • Try to file your taxes early — before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.
  • Don’t believe anyone who calls and says you’ll be arrested unless you pay for taxes or debt — even if they have part or all of your Social Security number, or they say they’re from the IRS.

Do you need to show your Social Security Card?

Your Social Security card is not an identification document and, in many situations, you only need to know your Social Security number (you do not need to show the physical card).

Evidence for Work - Several documents can be used instead of your Social Security card. Other acceptable evidence includes:
  • Birth Certificate
  • Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt
  • Employment Authorization Document
  • Form I-94 or Form I-94A
For Other Benefits - You should not need to show your physical Social Security card to apply for certain benefits. You can simply provide your Social Security number for benefits like:
  • Housing
  • Health Insurance
  • Food Assistance
Evidence for Department of Motor Vehicles or Driver License (REAL ID) - The only state that requires you to show your physical Social Security card is Pennsylvania. For all other states, other acceptable evidence includes:
  • W-2 forms
  • Form SSA-1099
  • Non-SSA-1099 forms
  • Pay Stubs
For Tax Purposes - You do not need your Social Security card, you only need to know your Social Security number.

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