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

Comments

  1. Darrin J.

    If I mail my I’d with my documents will it be mailed back

    • Vonda

      Hi Darrin, thanks for using our blog. Our Social Security and Coronavirus web page, under “Social Security Numbers and Cards” heading, provides details on the documents you need to mail in with your Social Security card application to get a replacement card. We temporarily expanded our policy to accept secondary identity documents.

       

      All submitted documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. All documents will be returned to you. We hope this helps!

  2. Nicole C.

    Hi – I was married in October of 2020. Been waiting to see if SS office would reopen so I could go in-person to change my name. Tired of waiting. Going to mail in.

    Is it correct that to get a name change I can mail in:
    Application for a corrected card,
    Health insurance card (has name and D.O.B)
    certified copy of marriage license.

    For obvious reasons, I’m hesitant to throw these things in the mail, even when tracked. Is there anything else you would need?

  3. Charlotte

    I mailed in my application for new social security card after my marriage (name change) along with supporting documents. It’s been almost 5 weeks, when can I expect to get my new card?

    • Patty

      Hi Charlotte, thanks for using our blog. Typically, after we receive the application and verify the documents, you can expect to receive the card in the mail within 10 – 14 business days.  For status of your card application and documents, call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator.  The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  4. Bruce N.

    Hi, long story short. Born in Chicago 1959 moved to Sweden 4 years old. Now after 48 years retired and moving back to the US. Lost my birth certificate along the way. Now living in Florida. Sent all the paperwork needed to Chicago. How long do I need to wait for my birth certificate so I can get my Social security card. Kind regards. Bruce

    • Vonda

      Hi Bruce, thank you for using our blog. Please contact the agency that is processing your request for a birth certificate. In the meantime, check out our Social Security Number and Card web page for details on how to get a new, replacement or corrected Social Security card. If you click on Step 1, you can learn what documents you will need. All submitted documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. All documents will be returned to you. We hope this helps!

  5. Shaye

    Hi, I changed my name back in 1997 which meant I got a new replacement Soc Sec card with my new name. I am migrating to another country and am being required to present proof that I changed my name. I did not need a court order at the time (pre 9/11), I presented the SSA with a notarized form and was given a new card with my new name. How can I access my records with the SSA to show that I changed my name with your agency so that I can forward it to the requesting department for my migration case?

    • Vonda

      Hi Shaye, thank you for using our blog to ask your question. It sounds like you need to request a replacement Social Security card. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page on how to apply for a replacement Social Security card. All submitted documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents.

      If you’re unable to apply for a replacement card online, check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page, under “Social Security Numbers and Cards” heading, for details on the documents you need to mail in with your Social Security card application to get a replacement card. We temporarily expanded our policy to accept secondary identity documents.

      Contact your local Social Security office or your local Social Security Card Center to find out your submission options. We hope this helps!

  6. Rachel H.

    So am I supposed to send my actual drivers license? A copy of it won’t do? I am trying to get a replacement social security card. The actual offices are closed & I can’t get an answer, what if it gets lost in the mail? Then I am out my birth certificate (which I sent) AND drivers license, while still not having a actual security card…..

    • Patty

      Hi Rachel. Thank you for using our blog. Good news! You may be able to apply for a replacement Social Security card online. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page to learn how.

      If you are unable or would rather not apply online, check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page, under “Social Security Numbers and Cards” heading, which provides details on the documents you need to mail in with your Social Security card application to get a replacement card. We have temporarily expanded our policy to accept secondary identity documents. All submitted documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents.

      If you need further assistance, you can call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

    • John S.

      Don’t mail your drivers license. There is a list of secondary and 3rd choice documents you can send as identification. I had to get a certified medical record in lieu of my license. If my health insurance card showed my DOB I would have sent that. And your birth certificate is only needed if you’re not a US citizen. It’s not proof of identity. I was very rudely informed prior to mailing, that it was of no use to them.

  7. Mustafe H.

    Hi.
    I submitted my application for Card replacement on Aug 12th with My passport.
    I received the card on 19th of August, But I didn’t receive my passport up to date.
    So I just wanted to know why i didn’t receive my passport.

    • Patty

      Hi Mustafe, thanks for using our blog.  Please call your local Social Security office for status on your documents.  Look for the general inquiry number at the Social Security Office Locator.   The number may appear under “Show Additional Office Information”.  Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. 

    • John S.

      The passport office is different. Social security administration does not update your passport… now that your ss is updated, you can go to the your local dmv to update your drivers license and contact the passport office to update your passport

  8. Dana

    Hi. I sent in all the documents for myself and my two children for replacement Social Security cards I got the passports birth certificates and my drivers license back but I did not get Social Security cards there’s no other correspondence should I be expecting the cards to be coming in the next few days

    • Patty

      Hi Dana, thanks for using our blog. The Social Security card will be mailed separately. Typically, after we receive the application and verify the documents, you can expect to receive the card within 10 – 14 business days. If you would like to find out the status of your card, please call your local Social Security office. Look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  9. Monic

    I am trying to get a replacement card for my son who is trying to get his drivers permit. I have called the 1800 # to speak with a rep to make an appt. He only has a certain amount of time to complete this task before I have to pay for schooling again. The phone hangs up after 15-25 minutes of waiting to speak with a rep.

    • Patty

      Hi Monic. Thanks for using our blog. To get a replacement card for your son, you will need to complete and mail an application with proof of identity for yourself and your son. The good news is that we have temporarily expanded our policy to accept secondary identity documents. For more information please visit: Learn what documents you will need to get a Social Security Card . Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for the application and your local Social Security Office address.  We hope this helps!

  10. Akif

    Hello
    Im sending my orginal passport to social security office to get new number card im new immigrants to usa and the ssa employee told me to do that and when calling the office after 3 weeks the employee told me i don’t need to send my passport how i can return my passport ? Where is it ?

    • Vonda

      Hi Akif, thanks for using our blog. Please contact your local Social Security office. Look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information.  Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

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