General, Online Services

How to Change Your Second Factor Authentication for Your Personal my Social Security Account

September 2, 2021 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: September 24, 2021

man using digital tabletThis is part three of our three-part blog series, “my Social Security 101.” Miss the first two blogs? You can read Part 1 and Part 2 here.

Did you recently get a new cell phone number or email address? If you did, you will need to update your personal my Social Security account to reflect the new number or email. You will be required to use the second factor process to access your account. Second factor authentication provides an extra level of security for your account. Here’s what you need to know to help you keep your account safe and secure.

To update the second factor authentication on your account, go to the Sign In page. Enter your username and password. Then, follow these steps:

  • On the page that asks you to “Please verify your cell phone number” or “Please verify your email address”—depending on which one is currently listed as your second factor, choose, “No, it is no longer valid and must be changed.” If you registered both your cell phone and email address, you will get a screen with both options. Choose this option to let us know that you can no longer access it.
  • Click “Next.”
  • Scroll down and check the “I agree to the Terms of Service” box.
  • Click “Next.”
  • Enter your mailing address and primary phone number in the “Provide Information” page.
  • Click “Mail Reset Code Instructions.”
  • Then, click “Done” on the next page.

After completing these steps, you’ll receive a letter by mail in 5 to 10 business days. Your letter will contain a reset code and step-by-step instructions for changing where you receive security codes.

When you receive the letter with your reset code, go to the Sign In page, enter your username, and include your password. Then, you can:

  • Click “Sign In.”
  • Click “Yes, let’s begin” on the “Do you have your reset code letter?” page.
  • Click “Next.”
  • Fill in the appropriate field to let us know how you want to receive your security code—whether by text message or email.
  • Click “Next.”
  • Enter the security code you received—by text message or email—in the space provided.
  • Then, click “Submit Security Code.”
  • Enter the reset code from your letter on the following page.
  • Click “Next.”
  • Then, click “Next” again.
  • Scroll down and check the “I agree to the Terms of Service” box.
  • Click “Next.” This will take you to your my Social Security account.

Be sure to refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page for any additional questions—and check out our most asked questions and main topics. Please share this information with your friends and family—and subscribe to our blog for the latest updates.

Tags: , , ,

See Comments

About the Author

Dawn Bystry, Acting Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications


  1. Abby R.

    I have tried several times to establish the mysocial security account. When I tried to set up IDme, after accepting the photo of my driver’s license and the picture of my face, the system asked for my phone number and then said it did not authenticate my identity! When I’ve tried, I reached the point where it says to “use Face or Touch unlock … then your security key with secure.login. gov.” I have no security key!
    I received a letter outlining the steps to finish setting up the online account, but I can’t get past that security key step!
    I’ve called the national and local office, waited on hold, and had the calls dropped.
    When I finally got through to 1-800-772-1213, the agent did not know how to get past the step of putting in my (non-existent) security key. Her only suggestion was to set up an appointment for a phone meeting with the local office–for 7 weeks from now! I am trying to sign up for Medicare and do not want to further delay this process.

  2. Penny

    How can I change my security from sending a code to my mail to sending it to my email. I no longer live at that address and I can’t get the code.
    Please Help!!!

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Penny. For assistance with your personal my Social Security account, please call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “help desk.” We hope this helps.

  3. Diana F.

    Can I delete my account & start over?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Diana. No, however, if you are encountering a problem with your personal my Social Security account, please call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “help desk.” We hope this helps.

  4. Neil F.

    I have a pre-2018 mySSA account. I also have a account. Can I switch my mySSA account so that I can log in with my account? (I want to make the change because uses stronger token-based MFA.)

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Neil. Thanks for your question. Yes, you are able to sign in with your credentials instead of your previous my Social Security credentials. You can continue to have both sets of credentials if you wish. We hope this helps.

  5. Christian V.

    I am having an issue with updating my phone number (which is used for 3 ways security). My new number is a French number, your site doesn’t allow for such international number change.
    Without this update I can’t access any longer to my online account.
    I saw that you have the 800-772-1213 number Helpdesk, I will attempt calling it at the appropriate time.
    Thank you for any help you could give me.
    Christian V.

  6. Dimon

    Very good detailed article. I recently read about artificial intelligence that can do anything for people, more about it at and I wondered if it can do insurance instead of people, because it takes a lot of time and effort, and robotic technology will be able to handle it quickly.

  7. John S.

    I am trying to reset my second factor authentication using the directions in this blog. I have tried at least 4 times over the course of several days. EVERY TIME I get to the last step and click on “Mail Reset Code Instructions”, I get the message: “This can’t be done at this time. Please try again later.”
    What is up with the online reset?

    • Vonda

      Hi John, thank you for using our blog. We are sorry that you are having difficulty accessing your my Social Security online account. We have established a dedicated my Social Security Hotline. To reach this hotline, call 1-800-772-1213, and say “helpdesk” at the voice prompt. The help desk is available to callers between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). You can also contact your local Social Security office directly. Look for the general inquiry telephone number using our Social Security Office Locator link. We hope this helps! 

      • Mike N.

        Vonda, I too have been dealing with issues in getting past the 2FA process. I am trying to locate the QR code to set up my AUTHY app to even provide me a code to enter on your website login. I have searched high and low on the internet for this with absolutely no luck. I have been calling your 1-800-772-1213 number and have been getting a busy signal for three straight days now. Your process is completely broken; and I am frustrated with the amount of my time I have wasted in trying to get this resolved or receive help. All I can say it….thanks for nothing!

Comments are closed.