Remember, during your formal education, when you used to memorize passages from a book or answers for a test? In the same way, you should memorize your Social Security number.


Knowing your Social Security number is important when it comes to work, taxes, banking and other types of business.


Treat your number as confidential information and keep it protected. Memorizing your number means you don’t need to carry your Social Security card with you unless you need to show it to your employer. Keep it in a safe place with your other important papers.


If you need to get a replacement card, it’s easy to apply for a new one. Simply complete a free Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5) and show us original documents proving your U.S. citizenship or immigration status, age and identity.


The application includes examples of documents you may need; you can find the application at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber. Then take or mail your completed application and documents to your local Social Security office. We will mail your Social Security card to you.


If your card is lost or stolen, you can apply for a replacement for free. However, with some exceptions, you are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime. Learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov.


Tony D. Williams is a Social Security public affairs specialist in Aiken.