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


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  1. Liz

    When will the offices be open to apply in person, I am very reluctant to mail my Alien registration card , as getting a repayment takes up to a year, if it gets lost.

  2. Barbie

    Can a high school transcript be used to replace a social security card?

    • Vonda

      Hi Barbie, thanks for using our blog to ask your question. 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!

  3. Amanda

    I received my marriage certificate back but no new social security card or note/letter saying if everything needed was received. Can’t find a way to check status either.

    • Vonda

      Hi Amanda, thanks for using our blog. The Social Security card will arrive in the mail separate from your documents. If you don’t receive your card within 14 days, 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. Ram

    I just received my US citizenship (Certificate of Neutralization) and wanted to change my status on SSA. Mean time, I had to change my employer and new employer is requiring me to show I-9 document to prove my eligibility to work in US. USCIS retained the permanent resident card but Certificate of Neutralization is not listed on I-9 and my old SSN has work restriction. My passport application is taking too long and because of this situation, I am about to loose my eligibility to work even if I am US citizen. Is there a way to setup an appointment with SSA to show my document in person and apply for new SSN card? I am unable to send my driver’s license or other documents that I need them in daily basis.

    • Vonda

      Hi Ram, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for details on getting help with Social Security number issues. You may be eligible for an in-person appointment. You can call your local office to see if an in-office appointment is necessary and possible. To contact the local office, please look for the local office telephone number at Social Security Office Locator under “Social Security Office Information” for the office you select. The toll-free “Office” number is your local office.

  5. Lily

    Hi! I just received all the documents I submitted for my application. (Name change after divorce)
    The new social security card was not enclosed. Will that come later?
    Thank you!

    • Mark T

      Hi Liliy – Same thing for me. I received my document but no card. It will be 4 weeks on May 20.

    • Vonda

      Hi Lily, thanks for using our blog. The Social Security card will arrive separately. Thank you!

  6. Taylor F.

    I am getting married next week and have a few questions. Do I need to update my social security or drivers license first?

    • Vonda

      Hi Taylor, 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 “Getting Help from Social Security heading”, 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!

  7. Clem S.

    I got my replacement social security card in the mail, but my naturalization certificate was not returned to me. Will it be mailed separately?

    • Vonda

      Hi Clem, 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.

  8. Stephanie

    There has to be another way for me to get a replacement card for my daughter other than by mail. She needs this to get her driver’s license and to open a bank account for her new job. My local office said it would not accept any secondary forms of id and they won’t allow me to make an appointment. Because she’s a minor, we can’t apply online and I have to submit my driver’s license as well. I cannot be without my driver’s license for “10 days”. No accessible public transportation. Help me, please!

    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Stephanie. If your daughter is physically and mentally capable of completing the application, she can apply for the replacement card on her own behalf and no documents will be needed from a parent. To see the documents she will need to mail us, please visit here. These must be originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies. All documents will be returned to her.  She can find her local office’s contact information here. We hope this information is helpful.

      • Stephanie

        She is capable of completing the application, however, I’ve contacted my local office and they are the one’s who told me I needed to submit my license as well with her application. Although your website states other options, they were adamant that they would only accept state issued id’s or passport. We don’t have a passport, so our driver’s license is their only acceptable option for documentation.

    • Chris

      For your license:
      You can mail SSA a “properly certified extract document”
      In Maryland (where I live) I got a certified drivers record.
      It will have all of the extracted Info from your license.
      See document “Program Operations Manual System (POMS)
      under D. types of documents from a custodian of the record.
      It worked for me.

  9. Kiana blackman

    The social security office in Raleigh didn’t return my drivers license twice. I have now submitted my name change due to marriage with my passport. Hopefully they don’t loose my passport. I think it’s really unprofessional and careless the fact they lost my drivers license

  10. Charlotte

    I have tried repeatedly to call with no luck. I was recently married and I read in the FAQ section that I can submit my marriage certificate alone if it meets certain requirements. However, I am confused about if my copy qualifies. If my marriage certificate lists my previous name (as it is on my SS card) but no age or date of birth, do I need to submit additional documents?

    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Charlotte. Thank you for your question. If your marriage license does not include biological information (age or date of birth), you must submit another document to prove your identity. For more information about how and what to submit, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

      • Ashley Fleming

        I think Mrs Charlotte was asking the same question I need answered the marriage certificate has all the biological information but how will you all know what to change hyphen or just our husband last name


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