Your social security card is an important piece of identification that is given to you by the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you are born a United States citizen, you receive your social security number (SSN) and card at birth. If not, they are assigned to you after you gain citizenship. Most people have their SSN memorized, so you may be wondering why you would ever need a physical social security card. However, there are many instances where you may be required to show your card and prove your identity, and just knowing your SSN might not be enough. You will likely need a social security card for . . .
There are strict privacy laws surrounding healthcare, and you will likely need to show your social security card at the doctor’s office or hospital to verify that you actually are who you say you are. Some health insurance providers may want to see your card as well before they will approve you for healthcare coverage.
Applying for a Job
Your new employer might not be worried about confirming your identity, but they will need a copy of your social security card for tax purposes. They may also want to verify your SSN in order to run a background check on you. Not having your card will slow down the hiring process, and it may also make you look unprofessional.
Getting an Education
Colleges and even many high schools will need to see your social security card before you can be enrolled. You will also need your SSN, and possibly your card as well, to apply for financial aid. If you don’t have a physical card, you may run into problems trying to continue your education.
Applying for a Credit Card or Loan
Some creditors may be content with just your SSN, but others may require a copy of your card for extra security. If you are applying for a credit card, auto loan, or mortgage, it’s a good idea to have your card on hand.
Opening a Bank Account
For security purposes, many banks now require that you show your social security card when you open a new account. This helps protect against identity theft and ensures that they correctly report your financial information to the IRS.
Obtaining a Driver’s License or Passport
You will likely need to show two or more forms of identification to apply for a driver’s license, passport, or even a recreational license, such as a hunting, fishing, or boating license. There are only a few official forms of identification that are acceptable, and your social security card is one of them.
You will use your social security card and number throughout your life to verify your identity and ensure that your debt and income is correctly reported. This helps guarantee that you receive all of the social security benefits that you have earned when it is time to retire. If your social security card has been lost or damaged, it is important to get it replaced as soon as possible. You can apply for a replacement card for free at your local social security office. Just make sure that you bring alternate forms of official identification with you, such as your driver’s license and birth certificate.