California EBT Card

California Food Stamps Card Replacement

In this post, we will go over the steps to take if your California EBT card is lost, stolen, or not working. We will tell you how to get a California Food Stamps Card Replacement replacement so you can continue using your benefits. We also cover how long your replacement card will take to arrive and how to track your EBT card in the mail.

If you need help submitting a request for a replacement California EBT card, continue reading and follow the instructions below. We will walk you through the steps you need to take to get a replacement card re-issued and mailed.

This post will cover:

  • What is California EBT?
  • California EBT Replacement Instructions
  • California EBT Card FAQs

What is California EBT?

Before we begin our instructions on how to replace the California EBT card, we’re going to review what the Golden State Advantage EBT card is used for.

An EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card is a plastic card that acts like a debit card that is used to distribute public assistance benefits.

The California EBT Card, also called the Golden State Advantage card is used for the delivery of benefits such as CalFresh or food stamps (SNAP benefits), California Food Assistance Program benefits, and cash aid benefits (TANF).

Once you are approved for food stamps or one of the programs listed above, you will receive your benefits each month on a California EBT Card or Golden State Advantage card.

The California EBT card is issued by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to distribute government assistance benefits to recipients.

Benefits can be redeemed directly from your EBT card at an ATM, an eligible store, or online.

Your EBT card can be used just like a standard plastic, debit card. When you receive your card, you are instructed to activate it and register your 4-digit security PIN.

If for whatever reason, your EBT card has been lost, stolen or is no longer working, immediately follow the steps highlighted below. This is to protect the monetary benefits on your card if it has been compromised.

California EBT Replacement Instructions

Follow the steps listed below to replace your California Food Stamps card.

Step 1

Contact California EBT Card Customer Service

If your California EBT card is lost or stolen, the first thing you want to do is contact California EBT card customer service to report the issue.

Upon contacting customer service, they will deactivate your EBT card. This means that you will no longer have access to your benefits until your replacement card arrives.

To contact California EBT Card Customer Service use the contact information below.

California EBT Card Customer Service Phone Number


TTY: 1-800-735-2929

You can call 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week

Wait through two card number prompts without entering your EBT card number and you will hear a prompt to report your card as lost or stolen.

If your EBT card is damaged and it does not work (cannot be read) at retail or ATM locations, you should request a replacement EBT card as soon as possible.

Step 2

Verify your Identity

Upon contacting the California EBT card customer service, you will be required to verify your identity by providing a few pieces of personal information. They may also ask you to answer security questions as additional verification.

This is in an effort to confirm that you are indeed who you say you are. This process is used to protect you and your EBT card account.

California EBT card customer service may ask you to provide the following pieces of personal information:

  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Date of Birth
  • Phone Number
  • Mailing Address

Please keep in mind that you need to provide the phone number and mailing address listed on your California EBT card account.

Step 3

Deactivate EBT Card

Once you have successfully verified your identity with the California EBT Card Customer Service member, they will begin the process to deactivate your EBT card.

As mentioned above, once your card is deemed as lost, stolen, or not working, EBT Card Customer Service will deactivate your EBT card.

This means that you will not have access to redeem your benefits until your replacement EBT is received.

After your card is successfully deactivated, the California EBT Card Customer Service member will submit a request for a replacement EBT card.

At this time, you will also be asked to confirm the mailing address that you would like your replacement EBT card sent to.

Step 4

Track my EBT Card in the Mail

After California EBT Card Customer Service has submitted your replacement EBT card request, please wait 4-9 business days for your replacement EBT card to arrive.

Your new EBT card will arrive in the mail via the United States Postal Service (USPS). When you receive your replacement EBT card, your card will be ready to use.

You will not have to register a new PIN for your replacement card. Your existing EBT PIN is transferred to your replacement EBT card.

If you would like to change your replacement EBT card PIN, please contact the California EBT Card Customer Service again.

If you do not receive your replacement EBT card in the mail within the 4-9 business day time frame, contact California EBT Card Customer Service.

They will be able to track your EBT card in the mail and let you know when it is expected to arrive.

Congratulations! You have now successfully completed the steps to receive your California EBT card replacement!

California EBT Card FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the Golden State Advantage Card. 

Can my California EBT Card be replaced the same day?

Unfortunately, No. After you submit your replacement request, it takes 4-9 business days for your replacement EBT card to arrive.

Your new EBT card will arrive in the mail via the United States Postal Service (USPS). When you receive your replacement EBT card, your card will be ready to use.

What if I forget my EBT PIN or want to change my PIN?

If you forget your California EBT PIN to access your account, or if you want to change the PIN for other reasons, there are two ways this can be done.

First, you can go to a designated local county public assistance office that has PIN selection equipment and select another PIN.

In addition, you can call the EBT Card toll-free customer service telephone number at (877) 328-9677Call: (877) 328-9677 to select another PIN over the telephone.

Either way, you will need to provide identifying information. When your PIN is changed, you will continue using your current EBT card; a new card will not be provided unless you request a new card.

Can I use CalFresh EBT to Shop Online?

Yes, In April 2020, the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom announced that starting April 28th, 2020, CalFresh EBT cards can be used online. 

As a result, CDSS has launched the program statewide, allowing food stamps benefits to be used online at Walmart and Amazon for delivery and pick-up.

See our post on How to Buy Groceries Online with California EBT

Which restaurants take EBT in California?

California is one of the states that participate in the Restaurant Meals Program.

The Restaurant Meals Program is a federal program that enables qualified elderly, disabled and homeless food stamps recipients to buy food at authorized restaurants. Any state or county can enroll in the Restaurant Meals Program.

The purpose of the program is to help expand food access to those who do not have a place to store and cook food, who may not be able to prepare food or who don’t have access to a grocery store.

Here are the restaurants in California that accept food stamps as part of the restaurant meals program.

  • Burger King
  • Carl’s Jr.
  • Church’s Chicken
  • Del Taco
  • Denny’s
  • Domino’s Pizza
  • El Pollo Loco
  • Great Steaks
  • Jack in the Box
  • Jamba Juice
  • KFC
  • Papa Murphy’s
  • Popeye’s
  • Pizza Hut
  • Quiznos
  • Rally’s Hamburgers
  • Subway
  • Taco Bell
  • Wendy’s
  • Wienerschnitzel

Participating Counties: Alameda County, Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, Sacramento County, San Diego County, San Francisco County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Clara County, and Santa Cruz County.

How can I report food stamps fraud in California?

If you are currently on food stamps and have committed fraud, know someone that has, or are wondering what the penalties are for fraud, here is what you need to know.

First, punishment for food stamps fraud depends on the extent of your crime, how much money you received that you were not entitled to, and whether you are a repeat offender.

If you have already been contacted by the authorities, you should probably consult a lawyer immediately. 

Each of California’s 58 counties has a Special Investigative Unit (SIU) which is responsible for investigating reports of suspected abuse of public assistance programs in their county.

You may report your concerns by doing one of the following:

  • You may contact the SIU in the County in which the alleged fraud occurred.
  • If you prefer, you may call the California Department of Social Services Fraud Hotline at (800) 344-8477 and your information will be recorded and forwarded to the correct county.
  • You may also contact the CDSS Fraud Hotline by email at:

California Food Stamps Card Replacement Summary

We hope this article on California Food Stamps Card Replacement was helpful.

If so, we encourage you to share this article with anyone who may also find it helpful by using the “Share this” button below.

If you have additional questions about the California EBT for food stamps, please leave those in the comments section below. We are here to help you!

Be sure to check out our other articles about EBT, including California Food Stamps Income Limit

Kwame Kuadey

Kwame Kuadey writes about personal finance and the social safety net. His career started in banking but he caught the entrepreneurial bug and has spent the last decade building successful businesses, including an Inc. 500 Company. Kwame believes everyone has the power to improve their quality of life by seeking knowledge and taking action. In 2012, Kwame founded Empower Media to help low-income households improve their financial situation. His expertise is in topics relevant to low-income households, including government benefits and assistance, banking products, access to credit, plus tools & resources to help reduce income volatility and build wealth. Kwame has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, Washington Post, ABC, and NPR.

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