COVID-19, Social Security Number and Card

Replacement or Corrected Social Security Cards during the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 23, 2021 • By

Last Updated: April 5, 2021

A hand holding a Social Security CardSocial Security offices are currently open only for in-person appointments for limited, critical situations, depending upon local office conditions. However, you can continue to apply for a replacement Social Security card online and by mail.

Before requesting a replacement card, please remember that you might not need the physical card. Most of the time, simply knowing your Social Security number is enough.

If you have a critical situation that requires you to have a physical card and you cannot apply by mail or online, you should call your local Social Security office. Please visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates page for more information.

Applying Online

If you don’t need any changes to your Social Security Number record (such as a name or date of birth change), applying for a replacement card online is your most convenient option. You don’t need to mail proof or visit an office.

You can use our online application if you are an adult, have a State-issued drivers’ license or non-driver identification card, and live in the District of Columbia or one of the 45 States that verifies State-issued documents for us. All you need to do is create a my Social Security account to access and complete the online application.

If you live in one of the five States that do not participate—Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and West Virginia—know that we are working hard to bring this service to you as soon as possible.

Applying by Mail

We require proof of your identity with your replacement card application, usually a State-issued drivers’ license or non-driver identification card, or U.S. passport. We call these documents “primary” identity proofs. We understand mailing primary identity proofs with your replacement card application can be challenging. To help, we are temporarily expanding our policy to accept alternative identity documents—or what we call “secondary proofs”—when you cannot mail primary proof.

Acceptable secondary proofs include, but are not limited to:

  • Employee identification card.
  • School identification card.
  • Health insurance card (not a Medicare card).
  • U.S. military identification card.

These proofs must be current (not expired), show your name and identifying information (such as your date of birth or age), and be an original or a certified copy.

If you need to change your name, when you mail your replacement card application, you will need to submit proof of identity plus proof of the name change. The proof of identity can be primary or secondary proof. Proof of the name change could be a marriage certificate, divorce decree, Certificate of Naturalization showing the new name, or a court order approving the name change.

You may be able to submit one document to serve as proof of your name change and identity. For example, you may submit a marriage certificate as proof of name change and identity if the certificate shows the marriage occurred within the prior two years and:

  • Includes your prior name.
  • Includes your age, birth date or parents’ names.
  • This information matches your Social Security Number record.

We will return any documents you send us.

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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner


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  1. E.O

    I applied for my daughter’s social security number by mailing a request form using a certified post office mail. Accompanying my application was her birth certificate, her passport and my passport. They returned only her birth certificate claiming not to receive our passports and as a result did not issue the social security number. The mail was a certified mail delivered by hand and received by your office undamaged. I’m a foreigner and can’t go back to my home country as a result. I have other countries visas on my passport as well. I’m about to have a baby and won’t be able to apply for my baby’s birth certificate and passport without my passport. It’s really complicated and frustrating. I need help.

  2. Stefanie K.

    If I got divorced and then re-married, do my divorce documents need to be originals or can they be copies? I never recieved originals from the court, just a digital file from my attorney. I have my original birth certificate and also my original marriage certificate from my first marriage. Thank you in advance!

  3. Victoria Madu

    I applied for social security card for my new born at the Jamaica Queens, NY location, but my mailing address is CT. They sent mw back my documents already and I’m waiting for the actual card now. However, I received a letter from SSA in CT. Is it possible that they re-routed the application because i have a letter from the SSA in CT

  4. Helene Brack

    I am the victim of a scam.I need a new number.

  5. Shimon Shain

    My child went to apply for a drivers license he is 16 years old and when presented the Social Security card it was signed by his mother since when we applied for a passport the passport office said the money should sign it to make a long story short I need a new Social Security card for my 16-year-old son I’d like to try to do it online if possible or to mail it or who do I mail it to he has a passport which is current is that enough or should I also send a birth certificate please advise

  6. Eddie L James

    lost my card

  7. Eddie L James

    i need a social security card i lost mine

    • Vonda

      Hi Eddie, thank you for using our blog. We are temporarily allowing people to mail in an original or certified secondary identity document with their paper Social Security Number application (SS-5) if they cannot request a replacement SSN card online, or if they are unwilling or unable to mail the primary identity document. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page, under the Social Security Numbers and Cards heading, for a listing of secondary documentation that you can provide to get a replacement card. We hope this helps!


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