Moving from one address to another can involve a lot of work and things to do. Just physically packing up all your things, putting them in a truck or van, getting to the next residence, and then unpacking and settling in is quite a bit of work. For that matter, finding a place to live is a lot to deal with, and top of all that, you have to get the power, water, and other utilities turned on. All your addresses have to be changed for those that send you mail, and if you're moving across municipalities or even to a new state, you might have to change your voter registration, driver's license, and the plates on your car.
As you go through your wallet, purse, or safe where you keep important documents and want to make sure all your addresses are up to date, you might come across your Social Security card and realize you need to get a new one because you moved. If you still have your old Social Security card, you're in luck. They're not address-dependent as a federal document, because they're not a form of picture or residential identification. Your address isn't on it, so moving doesn't mean you need a new one, except maybe in some cases where you've come back home from extended time overseas or living internationally. Even then, you should be able to just use your old card.
On the other hand, if you lost your card in the process of moving, or if you maybe just lost it a long time ago and are just now realizing it, you do need to get it replaced. Fortunately, you're allowed to do this for free here www.applicationfiling.com.
You have three ways of getting your Social Security card replaced if it is stolen or lost. You can do this through the Social Security Administration website, through the postal mail, or by visiting a local Social Security Administration office. It might be listed as an SSA office for short. One good thing to know is that if you don't actually need your card immediately and you know your individual number, you're not actually required by law in most cases to have a physical Social Security card. It's not mandatory to have or carry like a driver's license often is.
Just remember that you might need one to show to your new employer should you find new work in the future. There are also limits to these replacement cards too. You're allowed three in one calendar year, and there's a limit of 10 over the course of your lifetime. Some exceptions do exist. For instance, if you legally change your name, that would not count towards your limit, so if you're moving to a new state because you got married, and you're the spouse with a new last name, this Social Security card is not only on Uncle Sam's dime, it won't count against your lifetime total. Conversely, the same could be said of a divorce situation too. Changes in immigration status also don't count against the limit.
If you do decide to get yourself a new copy of your Social Security card, it only takes three easy steps. Moving was three easy steps, right? Pack, move, unpack? Don't worry, the three steps for replacing your Social Security card are far less stressful than the three steps of moving.
The first step is getting together the necessary documentation. You'll need some crucial original documents, although you might be able to use certified copies that are properly notarized. What's all this paperwork for? It's used to prove a number of things.
Citizenship is the first thing you have to demonstrate, but you can do this with a passport or birth certificate. The passport and birth certificate can also be used to be your proof of age, although you can also use a domestic hospital birth record or even a religious record made before you got to the age of 5 that lists your date of birth on it. You'll also need to confirm your identity using a domestic driver's license (if you have it yet), a state-issued identification card (again, if you've had time to get it yet), passport, or other forms of ID the SSA lists on its website.
Do note that all such documents must be up to date. The SSA isn't going to take expired documents, nor will receipts indicating applications for any documents prove useful substitutes.
The second thing you need to do is to do an online application. You can do this either using the documents you've assembled or by creating a new SSA account.
The third step is to print that application out and then take it along with your documents to the closest SSA office. The site will direct you towards a page that helps you find your area office.
Fortunately, in some circumstances, you can actually just skip the local SSA office visit and request your Social Security card replacement online. If you have a United States mailing address and are aged 18 or older, it can be sent to you through the mail, saving you a trip. You'll also need to have a state driver's license or identification card issued by the state you live in. Again, if you just moved, this might be an extra step. The cards from your old state might be considered out of date, but you can always call your local SSA office and ask before wasting a trip.
Even if you visit the local SSA office, you're probably not going to walk out with a replacement card right then and there, although it is sometimes possible. This is another way they differ from state DMV locations. The fastest route in online requests, which typically takes two to three weeks before your card is issued. Turnaround times at local SSA offices vary, so call to them directly to inquire what they can do if you need something faster.
As stated before, the process of moving from one address to another is cumbersome, but just because you have to change other documents doesn't mean you have to change your Social Security card. Still, if you find you lost it somehow anyway, the process of getting a replacement is laid out in this article and is the same for those who haven't moved.