Can you change your Social Security number?

Q:  Can a person change their Social Security number? 

A:  While not impossible, being provided a different Social Security number (SSN) is rare. Only a very few circumstances are generally used to assign a different number, and these are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  

Examples where a new SSN might be assigned are if more than one person was assigned or is using the same number, a victim of identity theft is being disadvantaged by using his or her original SSN, or in situations of harassment, abuse or life endangerment including domestic violence.  

Even in these limited circumstances, being provided a new Social Security number can create new problems. For example, since the old number cannot be used, a lifetime of records, including credit history, will no longer be available.  

Being assigned a different Social Security number (SSN) is rare. When applicable, the person must provide evidence supporting the need for a new SSN in addition to the usual documentation. 

Social Security number card information is at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber/ .

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