As a lawful permanent resident of the United States, you need to know when you have to replace your green card. Sometimes a person simply loses their green card and needs a new one, while in other instances immigrants change their residency status and need a new residency card to reflect that change. 

As explained by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website, immigrants must replace their green cards if something happens to them. Some people lose them to thieves or just a simple accident. Immigrants should also understand their green cards may become obsolete if certain biographical information on them changes. An immigrant who changes his or her name, for instance, needs a new card with their new name on it. 

As previously mentioned, immigration status changes may require you to apply for a new green card. Some permanent residents take up commuter status. People who are commuters may take up actual residence in the country. Some agricultural workers automatically receive permanent residency. Some immigrants need a green card to replace an alien registration card that no longer accurately describes their immigration status. 

Also, you might have immigrant relatives who are young and received a green card before they were 14 years old. If they have reached the age of 14, they will need a new card, though with one important exception. If a card expires before the child reaches 16 years old, they do not need a new card until the time when that card is set to expire. 

Immigrants should also be on the lookout for their cards in the mail. For various reasons, some people do not receive them. In the event immigrants do not receive their cards, they need to apply for a new card. Applications are possible through the phone, the computer or a tablet, giving immigrants a variety of ways to replace lost cards.