Should your social security card be lost or stolen, you will want to apply for a social security card replacement. You won’t need the card very often, as for most social security benefits only the number is necessary, but it is still good to have an actual card. During your lifetime, you may receive up to ten replacement cards, or as many as three in one year, both generous numbers as it is highly unlikely that you will need that many.
When you have filled out the application for a replacement card, you will need to take that, and proofs of identity and citizenship to your local Social Security office. You can mail it, but as only originals will be accepted, it is more secure to hand-deliver. Don’t be concerned that a deceased loved one will have a social security card replacement re-issued to them by the agency, the Social Security Death Index exists to prevent such fraud.
Social Security offices are Federally run, meaning you will want to plan extra time for waiting and expect to check in with security when you arrive. Otherwise, your application if filled out correctly will be handled quickly, you can expect your replacement card within ten days in the mail. Your social security card should not be carried on your person at all times, but kept with other important papers in a secure place.