If you need a new or replacement Social Security (SS) card, or you’ve already ordered one, you may be wondering how long it will take to receive your card. Processing times vary depending on your situation and on how you applied for your card. Your SS card may also be delayed due to errors in your application or missing documents.
Read on to find out when to expect your new Social Security card or replacement, how to get it as fast as possible, and tips to avoid delays.
Social Security Card Processing Times
If you need to apply for a new Social Security card, you can do so by mailing in a completed application and all of the necessary supporting documents. Or, you can visit your local Social Security Administration office and apply in person. So, how long does it take to get a new Social Security card?
Processing times for new and replacement Social Security cards are generally the same whether you apply in person or by mail. After the SSA receives your application, it usually takes about 14 business days to get your new card. But keep in mind that errors or incorrect documents can delay the process significantly.
For security purposes, the SSA will send your documents and/or IDs separately from your new card. So don’t be alarmed if you get your driver’s license or birth certificate in the mail and there’s no Social Security card in the package. Your supporting documents are typically returned between 7 and 10 business days. So you can expect your new card to arrive about a week later,
Where do new Social Security cards come from?
When you order a new or replacement Social Security card, your application goes to your local SSA office. They review your application and verify your identity using your provided ID. As soon as they validate it, they will return your provided ID by separate mail.
However, your new SS card will be created at the main regional facility, which may be outside of your state. Then the SSA processing agency is responsible for sending the card to you. Unfortunately, they do not use trackable mailing methods, but it usually takes about 14 business days from the day your local SSA receives your application.
But, if you opt for our premium shipping solution, you will be able to track the progress of your application. So you will be able to have a good idea of when the SSA will return your ID. That process usually takes 7 to 10 business days, depending on how busy the local SSA office is.
How much time does it take to replace an SS Card in person?
If you don’t mind waiting in a long line, you can go directly to your local SSA to apply for an SS card. You’ll save a few days, since the local SSA will get your application immediately, instead of waiting a few days for it to come in the mail. However, keep in mind that it will still take about two weeks to receive your new card.
But applying in person may be necessary if you do not have an acceptable form of ID that you can part with for a week. You will also have to visit the SSA in person to apply if you are 13 years old or older and are applying for your first Social Security card.
If you apply at your local SSA, you will be able to show your ID directly to the agent for validation, rather than sending it in with your application. After they approve your application form and ID, the process is exactly the same as it would be if you applied by mail.
Use our Social Security office locator to find your nearest SSA office location.
Please note that most SSA offices now require appointments for in-person visits.
How long does it take to get your Social Security card at birth?
If you recently had a baby and are waiting for their new Social Security card to arrive, you should know that it will take quite a bit longer than a replacement card. Typically, new parents complete the Social Security card application form when they register their baby’s birth at the hospital. After this form has been submitted, it takes around 4 to 5 weeks to receive the child’s new Social Security card in the mail.
Sometimes the SSA has a higher caseload, resulting in short delays. However, if you have not received your child’s new SS card after six weeks, you should visit or call your local SSA office. Make sure you bring a certified copy of your baby’s birth certificate to prove their citizenship, age, and identity. You will also need your own identification documents.
Three Tips to Avoid Social Security Card Delays
While you can’t avoid the two-week processing time for a new SS card or replacement, you can prevent long delays or rejection of your application. If you need your Social Security card fast, it’s important to avoid these common issues that will result in delays or rejection.
1. Make sure there are no mistakes on your application form.
The key to a successful Social Security card replacement is filling out the SS-5 form correctly. This is the application document you will need to submit to the SSA. Before you start, check our detailed article about the SS-5 form.
If you make any mistakes on the form or leave out any required information, your application will be denied. Then you will have to wait several days to receive the denial letter and resubmit your application, adding unnecessary time and expenses.
So, how do you know if there is an issue with your application? If there is an error on your SS-5 or missing supporting documents, your application will be flagged as “Investigate” or “NOT COMPLETED” and the status will change to “pending for 365 days.” You will not be able to submit a new application until these issues are corrected.
If this is the case, you will have to visit your local SSA office in person to see what the issues are and fix them. You should bring proof of your identity and citizenship with you when you go, along with any other supporting documents that may be required.
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2. Use the correct ID for your situation.
You will also experience delays or rejection if you do not provide the correct form of identification. The SSA must verify your identity, citizenship, and age in order to deliver your SS card. So they require specific forms of ID for different situations.
For example, if you are requesting a new SS card, you will have to provide additional identification documents other than the ones you would need for a replacement of your SS card, such as your U.S birth certificate. If you are changing the name on your Social Security card, you will also have to provide proof of your legal name change, such as a marriage certificate or court order.
It is important to remember that the SSA ONLY accepts ORIGINAL documents or certified copies. They do not accept photocopies or notarized documents. In addition, documents with expiration dates must be valid. The SSA will not accept expired IDs.
Sometimes, citizenship or immigration documents must be verified by the USCIS or another issuing agency. If this is the case, it can take several additional weeks or even months to process your application. However, once your application is approved, you will get your SS card within two weeks.
Fortunately, our experts can determine exactly which information the SSA requires from you and will let you know which IDs the SSA will accept with your application. You can review our detailed list of acceptable IDs for each type of application here (Link to ID required).
3. Opt for our premium shipping option.
Our premium home delivery package provides you with a secure and trackable envelope to send in your application, ID, and any other documents required. Thanks to our advanced, user-friendly website, you will be able to track your application every step of the way in your customer account.
New SS Card Delays That Apply Only to Non-Citizens
If you are requesting a new SS Card as an immigrant to the United States, there are some additional documents you will need to include with your application. Specifically, you’ll need to make sure you provide the correct documents verifying your immigration status.
If you did not request an SSN and card on your I-765 “Application for Employment Authorization” or I-485 “Application for Lawful Permanent Residency or to adjust Status”, your application may be delayed up to two weeks while your immigration status is verified.
For more information, please refer to our dedicated article about document requirements for immigrants. There, you’ll be able to review the additional documents you may have to provide regarding your immigration status.
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As you’ve seen, making a mistake in your application or failing to provide the correct ID or supporting documents can result in significant delays or even rejection. But when you use our service, we will make sure your application is complete and accurate and will be approved by the SSA the first time. And, most importantly, we will save you a trip to the SSA office and hours wasted by standing in line. We also provide a secure, trackable envelope to submit your application, so you’ll know where your documents are every step of the way.
Don’t risk delays when trying to get such an important document. Start your application now and get a complete, error-free application today.