How to Get and Print a Temporary Social Security Card 

Your identity is crucial, and whether you are a U.S. citizen or not, you need a Social Security card. Often, when waiting for a new card or replacement card, people choose to obtain a temporary Social Security card.
You can procure a temporary card even if you are not an American citizen.
In this article, we will outline the process for obtaining a temporary Social Security card, including copies of documents and the procedure for a temporary printout. The process usually isn’t appreciably more difficult than obtaining a temporary driver’s license.

Why You Need a Temporary Social Security Card

You may need a temporary card from the Social Security Administration (SSA) because you could:

  • Be asked to prove your citizenship to get a job
  • Be required to show “two forms of ID” without carrying your birth certificate with you
  • Become detained by US Customs or other agency
  • Be asked for one to complete a university or other school application
  • Wish to open a bank account or apply for a loan

Simply knowing your Social Security number is not enough; a replacement Social Security card is a must and if you can’t get one quickly, a temporary card is prudent.

What If Your Card Is Lost or Stolen?

If you lose your Social Security card, it’s best to take proof of identity, proof of age, and any documents relating to immigration status directly to your local Social Security office. The SSA must be the issuing agency for your new card.
You can apply for a temporary Social Security card online, but because the SSA must print your temporary card, you may need to wait ten business days before receiving it.
The application for a Social Security card, whether brand new or temporary, is best accomplished at the local office.

What You’ll Need Before Applying

Below, we will list what you’ll need and the acceptable documents for proof.
Proof of identity:

  • driver’s license
  • U.S. state identification card
  • passport

Proof of U.S. citizen age or date of birth:

  • birth certificate
  • adoption record
  • religious record
  • hospital birth record
  • Social Security record or letter

Proof of United States citizenship and/or immigration status:

  • work permit
  • letter from employer or school official
  • unexpired foreign passport
  • form I-94 (Arrival and Departure Record)

If you’ve legally completed a name change you’ll need further proof of ID, including any documents you filed to change your name and any documents that show your name before and after you changed it.

Steps To Get Your Temporary Social Security Card

If you decide to apply online, you will need to complete a form SS-5. This process is no-cost, and can be completed on the SSA website. If you need assistance with the SS-5 form (or any forms), a Social Security disability attorney can usually help.
Getting your temporary Social Security card will not take a lot of time if you have your ID card, proof of U.S. citizenship and age, and/or proof of U.S. mailing address. In addition, official documentation from SSA, such as correspondence about Social Security benefits, is helpful.
This article does not cover details about how to get a new replacement card online (or a brand new Social Security card), but be aware that those processes are quite similar.

At Your Social Security Office

You will want to visit your local SSA field office for the fastest results. Bring all relevant documents to your nearest Social Security office, and make sure to bring a certified copy of each when possible.
You may call or go online to make an appointment at your local office, which saves time standing in line.
Your temporary card can only be printed by SSA for legal reasons.

Getting Your Temporary Card Online

Use My Social Security if you:

  1. Are a U.S. citizen who is 18 years of age or older,
  2. Have a driver’s license or a state-issued ID, and
  3. Are not requesting a name change

It may take up to ten business days to receive your temporary new card after completing your online application. We highly recommend obtaining a temporary Social Security card in person.

About The Author

Susan Dover

Susan is one of the leading Social Security experts in the country. She is driven by a passion for helping people access the benefits that they have earned.

17 thoughts on “How to Get and Print a Temporary Social Security Card 

  1. I just have a question. I was robbed last week. I only have a xerox copy of my ID. I do have the police report. Can I still apply for a replacement card in person?

  2. I am 80 years old so have had my SS card for a long time. However, the government has been sending out new cards, but I didn’t get one. I’ve been told by dr’s offices that I NEEDED A NEW CARD or I couldn’t apply for Medicare benefits. My husband called for a new card for me, but I still haven’t received one. Please help.

  3. According delay in getting the social security card within 2 weeks, I am writing to ask you how should I do because I and my friends applied to get the social security number at the Social Security Office on May 21th, 2019. Unfortunately, I am the only one who has not recieved any documents or the social security card from the office yet. Hence, I have been waiting for more than 2 weeks. However, I would like get some suggestions how I will get SSN as soon as possible.

  4. I miss placed my Social Security card and would like to get another social Security card Thanks Danny Lewis Tims

  5. hi.
    today i was at ss in portland but it was closed and i don’t know why? i’m a j1 student and i really need to have a SSN

  6. Hello,
    I am J1 program student. I have applied social security card at first of June in New Jersey. But still now I have not recieve social security car! Can you tell me please when take I ssc??
    Thank you

  7. My grandson is being sworn into the Navy next Tuesday (aug 6, 2019), but can’t find his SS card – which he’ll absolutely need before that day. He went to the Regional Office today and was told it takes 7 to 10 days to get a replacement card. How can he get a temporary social security card printout? Are only certain SSA offices able to do this?

  8. My father in law is in the nursing home, he needs a replacement card. His name & address is Rodolfo G. Garza 266 Union City Elroy Rd. Union City, Ohio 45390. He has lost his card needs a replacement my email is [email protected] Thanks

  9. UPDATE YOUR PAGE! I just wasted 3 hours in an SSA office for a rude, snarky worker to tell me that you can’t print out copies of a temporary social security card and haven’t been doing so since 2016. She was extremely rude and made a difficult situation, much more frustrating.

  10. Victim of armed robbery before Christmas 2019, good times. Been going on interviews, of course my wallet had DL, SS card, Debit card, check/savg acct info, Xmas gift cards, cash, & my 15 yr old mini HS laminated diploma. Plus my phone w simple pin lock, find my device shows last time turned on was that amazing day! I immediately called 911, filed a police report, new DL, checking, savings #s, Debit card, reached out to all bureaus and placed a credit freeze on all of them. So I was unable to complete the online replacement registration due to freeze. I am bringing what docs I can per list items to SSA office to verify identity. My credit is still frozen becuz I incorrectly answered most questions this rep asked based on my credit report…? I haven’t reached out to the other companies listed on this website as of yet. I’m about ready to begin filings w taxes, therefore I’m very hesitant about informing the irs that the poorest person in the neighborhood was robbed! Stolen SS card may delay my small return. I need funds yesterday, deadlines for bills are here .. little did these robbers know that my credit sucks currently and approval odds are non existent! Goodness, I could not ask for better luck that I’ve been given, may need my name changed to ” BadLuck Thats-Meeh” and yeah there is a question in there that I’ve called and waited for the answer. Dark humor

  11. Please DO NOT post confidential information such as your address, email, full name, or things of that nature on this site. This isn’t a way to speak with any representative about such private details. There are a number of excellent ways to get ahold of someone in person at any SSA building during business hours, on the phone toll free 800-772-1213, or by using the “contact us” option on the webpage which is actually government sponsored and maintained by a SSA associate.

  12. My social security card has expired valid for work only I have a green card but that also has expired I have a green card but that also has expired and I have been looking for my passports and other legal documents but cannot find them what do I do

    1. I have a SS Application filled out to change back to my maiden name (married female- separated.) I am beginning to use my maiden name everywhere. I get a Social Security check and want to change the name to it but I can’t do a thing until I get the name change done. I have the documents needed also. This cannot drag on. This is the 3rd time we have gone through this and last year I spent most of my time away. My doctor is worried he will hurt me as in the past. I am 64 and have 40 years of marriage know that I really need to have my own life. Now what? I have to wait until when since no offices are open. Plus I can’t go anywhere safe because I have a fractured knee. Please advise. I need help.

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