How to Get a Replacement Social Security Card For Your Child
Published May 17th, 2021
Normally, parents apply for their child’s social security card at birth. But most of the time, the child only gets to use it on their first job or when they’re applying for a driver’s license. In the intervening years, a lot of things can happen – migration, calamities, etcetera. As such, it’s very common for parents to lose their child’s social security card even before they get to use it.
If you’re having this dilemma, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll discuss how you can get a replacement social security card for your child.
What You Need to Get a Replacement Social Security Card For Your Child
If you’re a parent or guardian, you can never underestimate the importance of a social security card for your child.
For one, a social security number is the first identification document for your child. You’ll need it in many transactions such as:
- claiming benefits for your child
- adding your child to your health insurance plan
- claiming child-related tax breaks
- opening a bank account under your child’s name
- buying savings bonds for your child
If you lose your card and don’t get a replacement sooner, you’ll have a hard time doing the above.
Applying for a Replacement SSA Card
If you only lost the card but have a copy of your child’s social security number (SSN), getting a replacement will be a lot easier. In fact, you may not even need to replace the card. Simply knowing their SSN is enough.
But if you insist on getting a replacement card, you’ll need to request it in person or mail your request to the nearest SSA office.
The SSA offers online requests for social security card replacement. But the card owner must be 18 years or older to avail of this service which most likely isn’t the case if you’re making the request on your child’s behalf.
Aside from the application form, the SSA will require documents proving your child’s identity. To be valid, an identification document must show your child’s full legal name and biographical information (birthdate, name of parents, age).
If your child was born in the US, any of the following documents would suffice as proof of identity:
- medical records maintained by the medical provider
- final adoption decree
- school ID
- other school records maintained by the school
- US passport
- US state-issued non-driver’s identification card
For children born outside the US, you must provide evidence of US citizenship such as:
- US birth certificate
- US passport
- consular report of birth
- certificate of citizenship
- certificate of naturalization
For non-US citizens, just present a current unexpired document issued by the Department of Homeland Security showing your immigration status.
If the document doesn’t have an expiration date, it should have been issued within the past four years. All documents must be originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. The SSA won’t accept photocopies or even notarized copies. But no worries. All submitted documents will be returned to you together with your replacement card.
Can You Get a Replacement Card on the Same Day?
Most likely, no. If you’re applying online, you may get a print out of your card on the same day at your local SSA office. But as mentioned, if you’re making the request in behalf of your child, you most likely won’t qualify for SSA’s online service. So don’t expect to get a replacement card on the same day.
After submitting your application, the SSA will process it. Once they have all the necessary information, they’ll mail you your child’s new social security card. As per the SSA website, the total processing time can take around 2 to 4 weeks.
How Much Will It Cost?
Applying for a replacement social security card is free of charge. But if you don’t have the necessary documents on hand, you may have to pay for them. Some agencies may also require payment for certifying a copy of a document.
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About The Author
Judy Ponio is an expert in many fields an a professional author for Instant Vital Records. Her knowledge of US law helps inform her writing for our website. Friend her on Facebook to get to know her!