When I contacted you about an issue on my credit report, you asked me to mail in a document with my Social Security number, which I do not have. What should I do if I can't produce a copy of my Social Security card?
You can often find your Social Security number listed on tax documents or financial statements. You can also request a new Social Security card if yours is lost or stolen. Your Social Security number is needed in many instances, including when you are obtaining employment, filing taxes and receiving medical care. It is also an essential component of the personal identification information used when accessing and compiling your credit history information.
How Do I Find My Social Security Number?
For security reasons, there may be instances where you are asked to supply your Social Security card when contacting Experian or when applying for services or employment. If you are unsure of your Social Security number and don't have your card, you may be able to verify the number by looking at certain documents, such as your:
- Tax returns
- W-2 form
- 1099 form
- Bank or other financial statements
If you don't have a Social Security card, you can request a new one by contacting the Social Security Administration (SSA).
How to Request a New Social Security Card
You can request a replacement Social Security card online with the SSA by creating or logging in to your account. To be eligible for a new card, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen who is at least 18 years old and have a U.S. mailing address
- Not be requesting any changes to your card, such as a name change
- Have a state-issued driver's license or ID card (in Delaware, Nevada and Wisconsin, you must have a driver's license)
Online replacement is not available in Alaska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma or West Virginia at this time.
You can also call your local SSA office or 800-772-1213 for information on how to replace your card. If you go to your local office, the SSA may be able to issue you temporary documentation verifying your Social Security number, which you can keep on hand while you wait for your new card to come in the mail.
Once you have requested a replacement card, you may be able to submit a copy of the temporary document to Experian while you wait for the card to arrive.
What to Do if Your Social Security Number Has Been Stolen
If your Social Security card has been lost or stolen, or if you believe your Social Security number has been compromised, there are some steps you can take to help prevent someone from using your information to open accounts in your name:
- Add a security alert. Contact Experian and request an initial security alert, also called a fraud alert, to be added to your credit report. Experian will notify the other two credit reporting companies, Equifax and TransUnion, so that they can add alerts as well.
- Review your credit reports carefully. Take time to review all three credit reports to check for signs of identity theft and fraud. If you see information you believe may be fraud-related, you can begin the dispute process online.
- Notify the Social Security Administration. Contact the SSA to notify them if you believe your Social Security number was lost or stolen or that someone may be attempting to use it fraudulently.
- Monitor your credit going forward. Signing up for Experian's free credit monitoring service will ensure that you are alerted to any changes to your credit report right away. Experian also offers a separate identity theft monitoring service, which scans the dark web for your information and provides identity theft insurance.
- File a police report. If you believe your information was stolen or that someone is using your Social Security number without your permission, consider filing a police report.
Thanks for asking.
Jennifer White, Consumer Education Specialist