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

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Comments

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  1. Beth J.

    My family’s original SS cards has note that says “Employment Subject to DHS Approval”. We are all naturalized now and we would like to have replacement cards with out the note. Do we need an in-person appearance to apply for replacement cards? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Beth. Social Security offices are currently open only for in-person appointments for limited, critical situations. We are unable to accept walk-in visitors. If you feel you have a critical situation, please visit our Coronavirus Updates page for more information. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  2. . Locks

    I live in Mexico and I lost my Social Securty card. I don´t remember the number. I receive my pension, no problem but I need the number to open a S.S. account to receive information onlin instead of my mail which is not always secure. What can I do?

    Reply
    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi. Thanks for your question. Since you are living outside of the U.S. you can contact your local Federal Benefits Unit for any assistance related to Social Security benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  3. Mohammad Abdullah Locks

    I just sent a question but my name didn’t appear:
    I live in Mexico and I lost my Social Securty card. I don´t remember the number. I receive my pension, no problem but I need the number to open a S.S. account to receive information onlin instead of my mail which is not always secure. What can I do?

    Reply
    • Mohammad Abdullah Locks

      I just sent a question but my name didn’t appear:
      I live in Mexico and I lost my Social Securty card. I don´t remember the number. I receive my pension, no problem but I need the number to open a S.S. account to receive information onlin instead of my mail which is not always secure. What can I do?

      Reply
      • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

        Hi, Mohammad. We’re sorry for any inconvenience. You will need a U.S. address to register for a my Social Security account. Since you are living outside of the U.S., please contact your local Federal Benefits Unit for any assistance related to Social Security benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this helps.

        Reply
  4. Keith

    It’s not as simple as you say. In order to apply on-line, you have to have a credit score. If you don’t use credit cards or bank loans, the third party vendor that SSA uses will not allow you to open an account. The only other options that were given, was to mail in your actual drivers license or an exam from your doctor, verifying who you are, with the doctors “seal,” on the exam. I would think that these government offices would be open, as essential, but the lady on the phone stated that they weren’t. SMH.

    Reply
  5. Patti G Stewart

    What do I need to mail in to get a new SS card for a child that had his name changed and where to mail it to.

    Reply
    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Patti. Thanks for your question. Generally, when applying for a replacement Social Security card for a child under the age of 18, we consider the parent(s) or step-parent with custody, as the proper applicant. To see what documents are needed for a corrected Social Security card, please visit here. You will need to present original or certified documents proving your identity, your child’s identity and citizenship status (if not already established), and evidence of your relationship to, or responsibility for, your child. To change the name on your child’s Social Security card, you must also show us proof of your child’s legal name change. Documents Social Security may accept to prove your child’s legal name change include:

      Final adoption decree with the new name;
      Court order approving the name change; or
      Amended birth certificate with the new name.

      Keep in mind the submitted documents must be originals. Complete an Application for a Social Security card and mail the completed application and documents to your local Social Security office or your local Social Security Card Center. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  6. Jan Seward

    My husband tried to apply for a replacement card online, but received a message that he’s not eligible to apply online. He is 71 years old, a US citizen, and has had the same SS number since he was a kid. Why is he not eligible to obtain a replacement online?

    Reply
    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Jan. Thanks for your question. For your husband’s security, we do not have access to information about his account in this venue. If he is still is encountering a problem with his personal my Social Security account, he may:
      •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 “helpdesk”; or
      •Contact his local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  7. Leslie Gutierrez

    Hello,
    do I need to submit original documents when sending an application to change my name on the SS card?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Leslie. Thanks for your question. In order to change your name on your Social Security card, you must show us a document that proves your legal name change. If the document you provide as evidence of a legal name change does not give us enough information to identify you in our records, you must show us an identity document in your old name (as shown in our records). Keep in mind the submitted documents must be originals. We offer the option for you to mail your completed application with original or certified documents to your local Social Security office. For more information about how and what to submit, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  8. Dyanne

    We are unable to locate my 15 year old child’s social security card. She will be getting a driver license soon and that is one of the documents listed to prove her identity. Do I need to go in to an office? The instructions indicate you can apply online if you are an adult and do not specify for a minor. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Dyanne. Social Security offices are currently open only for in-person appointments for limited, critical situations. We are unable to accept walk-in visitors. Generally, when applying for a replacement Social Security card for a child under the age of 18, we consider the parent(s) or step-parent with custody, as the proper applicant. For information on how to obtain a replacement Social Security card, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. You will need to present documents proving your identity, your child’s identity and citizenship status (if not already established), and evidence of your relationship to, or responsibility for, your child. Keep in mind the submitted documents must be originals. You can use birth certificates to prove your child’s age or citizenship; however, you cannot use it as proof of identity. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  9. Nelsson Berman Perez

    Que puedo hacer para saber el estado de una solicitud. Para un numero de seguro social para mi hija ella es nacida aqui en New york pero no se si la solicitud esta en proceso porque la solicitud la envie hace mas de 2 meses quisiera saber cuanto tiempo se tardan para el proceso

    Reply
  10. Luise

    I sent in my information through mail for a name change over a month ago. When should I be expecting my documents back in the mail?

    Reply

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