Social Security cards are issued at different times and as determined by the individual, but there is one question that many people ask, and that is whether Social Security cards expire. The answer is in this article, so read on to learn more about the expiration of these cards.
As we said, the Social Security card will be issued according to the citizen’s situation. For example, it is most common for the parents of a newborn to apply for the SSN, so most people have their SSN from birth. On the other hand, foreign nationals residing in the United States must apply for theirs.
What Social Security cards are for
Social Security numbers are non-transferable and unique to each citizen. This nine-digit series is used for filing taxes, applying for credit cards or loans with banks, and for any other procedure you are asked to complete, such as getting a new job, accessing retirement benefits or Medicare.
Now that you know if the Social Security Cards expire or not, you must know that they contains the social security number and full name (first, middle and last name).
RECOMENDATION: You will need to take care of this card like gold, so it is recommended that you only carry it with you if you know you will need it.
Do social security cards expire?
The most frequently asked question about the cards is whether social security cards expire. Well, you don’t have to worry about renewing or applying for a new one after a certain date, because Social Security cards do NOT expire and the SSN is the same for life.
However, there are times when you will need to renew your card, not because your Social Security Cards expire, but because of other circumstances. Among the most common situations in which you must renew your card, is because it is worn out, it was stolen, the personal information was changed or if it needs to be corrected. We will talk about this later, but, first, let’s see what are the most important facts to keep in mind about the social security card.
Duration of Social Security Numbers
The answer to the question “Do Social Security cards expire?” has already been answered, and it is “NO”, since Social Security numbers are infinite, that is, they last for the entire life of the citizen.
So, Social Security cards do not expire even after the death of the individual, since it will not be assigned to someone else, as stated by the Social Security Administration (SSA). It could be said that we take nothing with us to the grave, except for the Social Security Number.
Mistakes when applying for a Social Security Card
As in almost every situation in life, there is always an exception to the rule, and so it is with the Social Security card. While it is the same for life, external factors can happen that force you to apply for or renew your card.
The following are examples of some of the most common mistakes that have been made when registering the card, going back to the early years when these numbers were first issued. Let’s look at some of these mistakes:
- Some people received duplicate account numbers, i.e., that had been issued previously to another citizen.
- Several workers believed that they had to apply for a new SSN when they changed jobs.
- Many citizens thought that the more cards they had, the more benefits they would get.
- Some thieves would forge and steal other citizens’ identities (and it still happens today). By adapting a number as one’s own, there were, for example, 5,755 people using the same SSN in 1943.
If a citizen is a victim of this identity theft, he or she can apply for a new SSN. In total, there are approximately one billion possible nine-digit combinations, of which, to date, less than half have been used.
This means that, for the time being and at least for a long time to come, the social security number will be unique and unrepeatable, so if you were wondering whether social security cards expire, you now know that, for several more years, they will not.
CONCLUSION: If you thought Social Security cards expire, you were wrong.
When should I replace my Social Security card?
As we said at the beginning of the article, the social security card may need to be replaced in different occasions, such as illegibility, a change of personal information, if it needs to be corrected or if it is lost or stolen.
IMPORTANT: These changes are exclusively to the physical card, this does not include a modification to your Social Security Number.
Let’s look at each of these situations in detail below.
If your card has been used several times, and your information cannot be seen correctly due to illegibility, you will need to replace it. This may be due to different reasons, such as, for example, those mentioned below.
- Sunlight fading.
- Spills and marks.
- Tears or scratches.
If you do not renew your card, which has suffered any of the reasons mentioned above, you will probably be rejected and this could cost you a job, since, being an employee, the SSN is one of the fundamental documents that you must present.
Alteration of personal information
If the card suffers any alteration or scratches or marks where your personal information appears, such as your name or SSN, it will be difficult to prove your identity, so you will have to request a replacement card.
TIP: Do not attempt to tamper with the card if you do not want to request a replacement card.
The card needs to be corrected
In the event that changes are made to your personal information, you should request an updated replacement card. The most common changes, for which you will have to get another card, may be for the following reasons:
- Change of address.
- Gender confirmation.
- Corrected date of birth.
- Change of official name of marriage.
Stolen or lost card
If you lost your card, or it was stolen, you should apply for a new one as soon as possible, as you may regret the consequences, so you have to take security measures.
When lost or stolen, the card must be replaced to avoid fraud or identity theft. In addition, by applying for a new one, you will have to be careful that it is not stolen or lost again.