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

Comments

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  1. Ethan T

    Hello, my 16 year old needs a Social Security Card–he already has a number. I honestly don’t know if we had a card and lost it or if we never got one for him. Do we need to go in in person? If so, how do I get an appointment? (My local office is not answering the phone after hours of waiting.) If by mail, how can I feel secure just mailing away his birth certificate and passport?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Thank you for using our blog, Ethan. That is not something that you can do online. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for information on how to replace a Social Security card for a child. Use our Social Security Office Locator to find your local office address.

      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!

      Reply
  2. Lakia

    My son is 19 and lost his social security card he does not have a id in MD but he is trying to get one. His heath insurance only shows his name and insurance number can he still use that with the application or do he needs his birth certificate too

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Lakia 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!

      Reply
  3. Michelle

    I mailed in a copy of my divorce decree as well as a copy of my drivers license. I received the copy of my divorce decree back from my local SS office. If these documents were not enough to change my name….will I receive something from the office letting me know they weren’t accepted? I just want to make sure everything is good to go.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Michelle, thanks for using our blog. All submitted documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. 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.

      Reply
    • Mark T

      Hi Michelle – Did you get your new SS card? I’m still waiting. I received my document within a week after I mailed it. I was told it was cut/printed last May 20 and it should arrive within two weeks. I’m wondering if I should wait and call on the 4th week.

      Just wondering others experience if I should be worried.

      Reply
  4. Dan J

    Hello,
    I laminated my social security card many years ago, and then recently I read in a few articles that this can cause issues when I try and use it for identification at some places. I want to get a replacement but the local office is closed due to COVID, and I can’t renew online (the myssa system states it cannot process my request). Can I send in the laminated social security card as proof of identity to receive a replacement? I can’t mail in my drivers license (I need it to drive to work), and I don’t have any of the other approved documents.
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Dan, thank you for using our blog. Your Social Security card cannot be used as proof of identity. However, 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!

      Reply
  5. Rohit C

    Hi,

    My wife and I recently became citizens (3 weeks ago). We need to update our Social Security records to reflect that. Are the offices open in California to do this in-person with an appointment? If not then what all do we need to do this by Mail?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Thank you for your question, Rohit, and for reading our blog. Congratulations on becoming a U.S. citizen. You cannot update citizenship status with Social Security online. You will need to update your Social Security record by showing us your Certificate of Naturalization and completing an application for a corrected 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. Please visit our Social Security and Coronavirus web page. If you believe you qualify for an in-office appointment, call your local office. You’ll find the contact information using our online Social Security Office Locator.

      Reply
  6. Dwight Patterson, Jr

    I sent my Texas drivers license to the SS office the first week of MARCH 2021…it took over a month for them to return the DL back, and the SS card has yet to arrive. Why would it take over 60 days for a replacement card?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Dwight, thanks for using our blog. 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.

      Reply
  7. Ann

    What if you cannot provide any of these forms of alternate id through the mail? how do I get an appointment. I have been married 6 months and cannot change my name.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Ann, thanks for using our blog. You can 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.

      Reply
  8. Katherine Warren

    I have recieved different answers to this question, so I’m asking on this forum. I need a replacement card and was going to drop it off at an office (i was told i could do this but now see that i can’t?) Im not from Colorado, i came here from Arizona last Oct. of 2020. I have a Az ID card and can show mail with my name on it with a CO address, if those documents work, do i just send them in the mail along with my replacement application?? (I’ve tried to create an online account but have had issues doing so)..Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Katherine, 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 “Social Security Numbers and Cards”, for a listing of secondary documentation that you can provide to get a replacement card. We hope this helps!

      Reply
  9. Janine

    Do I have to mail in my drivers license for a name change to my social security card or will a copy of the front and back be ok? I understand I need to submit my new marriage license but I don’t want to mail my driver’s license.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Janine, thank you for your question. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page on how to change your name. All submitted documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents.

      Our Social Security and Coronavirus web page, under heading “Getting Help from Social Security”, provides details on the documents you need to mail in with your Social Security card application to get a replacement card with your new name. We temporarily expanded our policy to accept secondary identity documents. We hope this helps!

      Reply
  10. Takipcisosyal

    thanks for post.

    İnstagram ucuz takipçi

    Reply

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