How to Find Your Social Security Number

Your Social Security number is an essential part of your financial life. You’ll need it to get a job, take out a loan, apply for a credit card or to complete many other financial transactions. If your Social Security card has been lost or stolen and you don’t remember the number, you will need to recover that number and have a new card issued.

You may be able to recover your Social Security number from your employer or other documents where it has been used as a form of identification. If you have no job and no appropriate documents, you will need to visit a Social Security office to get your number. You will need to provide other identifying documents. 

If your Social Security Number has been lost or stolen you may wish to take steps to protect yourself against identity theft.

Where to Find Your Social Security Number

If you have lost your Social Security card you will need to replace it, and that’s much easier to do if you know the number. Your Social Security number can be found on many of your financial documents. 

If you are employed, look at your pay stubs or W-2 forms. Your Social Security number should be there. Your tax return will include your social security number, as will many bank statements and credit card account statements. If you are a non-citizen employed in the US, your Social Security number will be listed on your USCIS documents. 

If you are employed, your employer should have a record of your Social Security number. You may be able to recover it by asking your employer’s Human Resources Department or another appropriate office. 

If You Still Can’t Find Your Social Security Number

If you know that you have a Social Security number but you are not employed and you do not have access to any document that contains your number, you will need to contact a Social Security office. You will also need to appear in person to get a new card, and you will need to present acceptable identification, such as a driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID. You may be required to present a birth certificate. All documents must be originals, not copies. 

Once your identity has been verified you will be able to apply for a replacement Social Security card. This process may seem cumbersome, but your Social Security number can be used for identity theft, so it needs to be secured. Your Social Security number cannot be given out by phone or in response to an email request. 

If you need a Social Security number immediately to get a job or complete a financial transaction, you may be tempted to use a fake number or use someone else’s number. This is illegal and the penalties can be severe, especially if you used a fake number to apply for government benefits. 

Why it Matters to Always Have Your Social Security Number

Your Social Security number is required for many financial transactions, including almost anything related to employment, taxes, or credit. You may need your Social Security Number to do many things, including: 

  • Get a Job.
  • File a Tax Return.
  • Get a Loan.
  • Apply for a Credit Card.
  • Apply for Government Benefits.
  • Any Transaction that Requires a Credit Check.
  • Apply for a Driver’s License.
  • Get Married 
  • Get a Hunting, Fishing, or Other Recreational License.

If you have lost your Social Security Card and don’t know the number, start the recovery process immediately. You will need the number eventually. It’s better to get it when you’re not under the pressure of needing it fast.

Consider Your Identity

If your Social Security Number has been lost or stolen you may wish to consider protecting yourself from identity theft. 

Your Social Security Number can be combined with other data to apply for a loan or credit card in your name, apply for government benefits in your name, file a fraudulent tax return and claim a refund in your name, get healthcare in your name and much more. 

If you think your Social Security number may have been stolen, review the FTC’s list of steps to take to protect yourself, and decide what steps fit your needs best. 

Can I Get a New Social Security Number if Mine is Stolen?

In most cases the Social Security Administration will replace a lost or stolen Social Security card with a new card bearing the same number. Under certain circumstances, they may issue a new number. You can get a new Social Security number if you fall into one of two categories.

  • Using your original number could lead to your being harassed, abused, or placed in danger.
  • Your number has been stolen and someone is using it in a way that causes you continuing harm.

You cannot get a new Social Security number because you believe that you may become a victim of identity theft. You will need to show that identity theft has taken place and is causing you harm. 

To apply for a new Social Security number you will need documents to prove several things.

  • Your Age.
  • Your Citizenship or Immigration Status.
  • Your Identity.
  • Your Reasons for Seeking a New Social Security Number.

The application process is straightforward and you do not need to pay anyone to apply for you or assist you. 


Your Social Security Number is a vital part of your financial identity. If you don’t have your Social Security card, replace it and keep the new card secure. If you’ve forgotten the number, try to recover it from other financial documents or from your employer. If that’s not possible, consult a Social Security office.

Your Social Security Number is important. You will need it to carry out many basic transactions. It can also be used for identity theft, so once you have a new Social Security Number it’s best to keep it in a secure place, along with any documents that contain it.

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