While You Are Working
Your link with Social Security is your
Social Security number. You need it to get
a job and pay taxes. We use your Social
Security number to track your earnings
while you’re working and to track your
benefits after you’re getting Social Security.
Don’t carry your Social Security card. You should
be careful about giving someone your Social Security
number. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes
today. Most of the time identity thieves use your Social
Security number and your good credit to apply for more
credit in your name. Then, they use the credit cards and
don’t pay the bills.
Your Social Security number and our records are
confidential. If someone else asks us for information we
have about you, we won’t give any information without
your written consent, unless the law requires or permits it.
Contact us if you need a Social Security number, if you
lose your card and need another one, or if you need to
change your name on your current card. We will ask you
to complete a simple application and ask to see certain
documents. We need to see originals or copies certified
by the issuing office. We can’t accept photocopies or
notarized copies of documents.
To get a Social Security number or a replacement card,
you must prove your U.S. citizenship or immigration
status, age, and identity. We don’t need proof of your
U.S. citizenship and age for a replacement card if they’re
already in our records. We only accept certain documents
as proof of U.S. citizenship. These include your U.S. birth
certificate, U.S. passport, Certificate of Naturalization,
or Certificate of Citizenship. If you aren’t a U.S. citizen,we must see your immigration document proving work
authorization. If you don’t have work authorization,
different rules apply.
For proof of identity, we accept current documents
showing your name, identifying information and
preferably, a recent photograph, such as a driver’s license or
other state-issued identification card, or a U.S. passport.
To apply for a change of name on your Social Security
card, you must show a recently issued document that
proves your name has been legally changed.
Be sure to safeguard your Social Security card. We limit
the number of replacement cards you can get to three in
a year and 10 during your lifetime. Legal name changes
and other exceptions don’t count toward these limits.
For example, changes in noncitizen status that require
card updates may not count toward these limits. These
limits may not apply if you can prove you need the card to
prevent a significant hardship.
For more information, read Your Social Security
Number And Card (Publication No. 05-10002). If you
aren’t a citizen, read Social Security Numbers For
Noncitizens (Publication No. 05-10096).
All of our card services are free. Social Security never
charges for the card services we provide.