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A few months back I realized I couldn't find my SSN card and that the last time I saw it my ex-wife needed it for something because we were married at that time. I asked her if she had it still and she said no.

Then last month she says she found it and I told her we could exchange it when she gets her mail. I keep reminding her to bring my SSN Card to me and get her mail but she's been ignoring me or when she replies it's that she's busy.

I've been monitoring my credit to ensure she doesn't take my identity and bury me in debt but I would still feel better if she'd return it already. I'd get it myself if I knew where she'd moved to but right now I am powerless to get it back.

I wondered if it was legally valid to report it lost/stolen even though I know who has it and have some expectation that I'll get it back without incident?

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Reporting that an SS card is lost or stolen could be useful for two reasons: obtaining a replacement, and finding and prosecuting the perpetrator. You can obtain a replacement card from SSA at any time, and they do not require a justification for a card (they do not investigate thefts). The local police can investigate, but will only investigate a theft (not a simple loss). Their interest would be in prosecuting the perpetrator (and possibly retrieving the stolen property). In the course of investigating, the police will ask (in some form) if you have a clue where it is, and if you do not admit that you know where it is, they can prosecute you, because that would violate your state's version of the false statement law (Washington example here).

The physical card is not so important: loan applications etc. don't require producing a physical SS card: what they need is the number on the card.

  • Note: the SSA limits the number of replacement cards it will issue. (Generally, you can get up to 10 replacements per SSN per lifetime, aside from those due to changes of name or alien status. Further replacements are authorized on a case by case basis.) – cHao Nov 29 '17 at 19:00

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