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What to do if you’ve lost your child’s Social Security card

From a reader: I recently needed to get a Social Security card for my 6-month-old daughter. I lost her card and am very worried that someone might be able to use her Social Security number. What do I do?

Action Line: All you need to do is go to According to the Social Security Administration, you can set up a “MY Social Security Account” to request a replacement social security card online if you:

▪ Are a U.S. citizen age 18 years or older with a U.S. mailing address.

▪ Are not requesting a name change or any other change to your card.

▪ Have a valid driver’s license or a state-issued identification card – these cannot be expired.

If you cannot apply for a card online, you would need to present an original birth certificate or a copy certified by the agency from which it was issued. SSA does not accept photocopies or notarized copies of birth certificates or passports. While a birth certificate shows proof of age, it does not show proof of identity of your child. While SSA prefers a passport, they may accept these forms as proof of identity:

▪ State-issued non-driver’s identification card.

▪ Adoption decree.

▪ Doctor, clinic or hospital record.

▪ Religious record.

▪ School daycare center record.

▪ School identification card.

You, as the parent, also will be required to show proof of your identity. Here are some examples:

▪ Domestic driver’s license.

▪ State-issued non-driver’s identification card.

▪ U.S. passport.

If you have reason to be concerned about your daughter’s Social Security number being compromised, you can contact the credit reporting agencies and report your suspicions. You will need to supply each agency with the reason for your suspicions as well as your child’s complete name, address, date of birth and a copy of the minor child’s birth certificate and Social Security card. You will also need to provide a copy of your driver’s license or other government-issued documentation of your identity. The copy of your ID must contain your current address and you will also need to furnish a copy of a current utility bill showing your same name and address.

According to the free annual credit report site, credit agencies do not routinely or knowingly maintain credit files on minor children. If you need to notify an agency, I suggest you first refer to the FAQ entitled How do I request a credit report as a Legal Guardian?

Some basic reminders:

Don’t carry your child’s Social Security card with you. Memorize the number and keep the original documents in a safe place.

With older children, teach them to be cautious about providing personal information and be sure they understand to never give it out over the internet or to anyone without first checking with a parent. As sad as it may be, it is never too early to teach children to protect their identity.

Action Line is written by Blair Looney, president and CEO for the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Send your consumer concerns, questions and problems to Action Line at the Better Business Bureau, 4201 W. Shaw Ave., Suite 107, Fresno, CA 93722 or