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


  1. Crystal E.

    I sent all my documents to my local social security office 2 weeks ago. They sent me back all my documents, but no new social security card, I wastrying to change my name to my married name. Will the new card come from some place different? There was nothing else in the packet they sent back to me but my documents.

    • Faith

      same thing with me! I sent in all my documents and they sent them right back with no letter or anything. So fingers crossed they are fixing it!!🤞🏼

    • Brittany

      What can I use temporarily to show proof to government personal my social security number untill I recieve my replacement, would it be enough proof showing tax documents with my number ect. On it.

    • Vonda

      Hi Crystal, thanks for using our blog. Your Social Security card will arrive in a different envelope. Generally, you will get your card within 10-14 business days from the date your application is processed. To check on the status, 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. We hope this information helps.

  2. MARIA S.

    I became Permanent Resident of the United States in Dec. 2020. I need to update my information, because my SS Card still has the endorsement ” Valid for Work Only”, and I want to remove this condition. I called 5 times to my local SSA office to schedule an appointment and, the answer is the same: no appointments. Sending my original documents by mail is a big risk and I cannot afford to lose my most important document: Permanent resident Card. I need to find a job and get a driver’s license, but it seems to me that is an IMPOSSIBLE task, only because nobody cares about others situation.

    • Vonda

      Hi Maria, thanks for using our blog. 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.

      You can ask your local office for guidance on the appropriate service channels available in your service area for submitting evidence. You’ll find the contact information using our online Social Security Office Locator.

  3. jason g.

    i am trying to get my 16 year old daughters social security card so she can get her license to drive, it is requesting that i send in my drivers license (kinda uncomfortable not having that on me) i have her adoption decree and her high school transcripts is that enough or do i need more- do i really have to send in my drivers license

    • 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.

  4. Mike S.

    You explained very well in this blog.To get a correction in your documents is frustrating especially if it is social security card. To stand in a queue for a long time it’s too difficult. One of my friends in USA looking for a company that corrects name, address and valuable details on the social security card number. She got corrected error fromSSN Simple on her social security number in no time.

    • William B.

      I made a payment to get a replacement social security card but realized I didn’t have all the documents i needed in order get it. And it still says pending on my card but I would like to cancel the payment do you know how I would do that

      • Vonda

        Hi William, thanks for using our blog. The Social Security Administration does not charge for a replacement social security card. Some private companies not affiliated with Social Security or any other government agency charge fees for this service. However, these companies offer no advantage and you still must provide documents directly to Social Security.

        Be cautious about giving your private information, especially your Social Security number, to anyone.

        Be sure and stay away from unfamiliar sites and ensure that you’re at We take protecting the public’s personal information very seriously. All of our online applications use an identity verification process to protect the privacy of your identity and your Social Security information.

  5. Patty

    Can I request a copy of my ss card without providing documents? Back in the 70’s when I was in my early teens I got my ssn using my nickname (Patty) instead of my name on my birth certificate which is Patricia. I lost my ss card quite a few years ago but did not really need it until now.

    • Vonda

      Hi Patty, 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!

  6. Ana l.

    How long does it take to get my original documents back? It has been 3 weeks that I went personally to drop off the envelop and I haven’t received my documents back. My passport is there and I need it to travel. I’m really desperate now!

    • Diana V.

      Hello Ana. Thank you for using our blog. Please call the Social Security office where you dropped off your documents. Look for the general inquiry telephone number using our Social Security Office Locator link. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Thanks.

  7. Ashley G.

    Hello! We have read all the information online to apply for our foreign-born, US-citizen child’s social security number/card while we are visiting the United States. However, the one question that still remains unclear to me is – Will the social security office need to keep any original documents we provide as proof of identity or relationship, or will they be able to verify the documents and return them immediately? Thank you very much!

    • Vonda

      Hi Ashley, thanks for using our blog. Social Security returns all provided documentation once they are reviewed. To learn more on the application process and what documents you and your child will need to get a card, please visit our Learn what documents you will need to get a Social Security Card web page. Use our Social Security Office Locator to find your local office address. We hope this is helpful!

      • Ashley G.

        Thanks so much, Vonda. We read the websites carefully. When you say they return documentation after it is reviewed, how long does that review usually take? Rather, is it something that is done immediately or does it take days to complete the review? Again, thank you very much.

  8. Natalie M.

    I certified mailed my documents and application for my name change to the Social Security office in Fort Worth Texas, on March 25th. Understanding many are in my same position, I gave more than the estimated time before calling and following up. On May 15th I called for a status update and was told it was processed and that I would receive 2 separate mailings of my documents and my new card. On May 21st I received my new Social Security card. I waited for my documents, they never showed. I called June 8th and they said I would receive my documents and a letter first and then my new card. I informed her that I only got my new card. She said to give them 2 weeks while they look. Now it is June 30th. I am unable to get through on the phone. I’m either hung up on immediately or on hold for 20 minutes and then get hung up on. Not sure where I am supposed to go from here, as I am in need of my documents.

    • Vonda

      Hi Natalie. We apologize for the difficult time you are experiencing working with Social Security. We have referred your complaint to our Office of Operations to follow up and to take corrective action as necessary.

      • Natalie M.

        Can I expect an email?

      • Angela R.

        Same exact thing happened to me I received my card but not my documents back and I live in Fort Worth tx as well.. I received my card today .. I need my documents back..

        • Vonda

          Hi Angela. Please call your local Social Security office for status on your documents. 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. Molly R.

    The Social Security office in downtown Minneapolis received every document I have to prove my identity on April 15, 2021. I sent everything certified mail. It is now June 29, 2021 and I have not gotten my new Social Security Card nor any of the things I sent to prove my identity. This includes my passport, birth certificate and social security card with my former name. I am trying to correct info after marriage. Can someone please tell me what to do to get my documents mailed back to me? I need my Passport. I have no form of identification. Thank you

    • Diana V.

      Hello Molly. Thank you for using our blog. We apologize for the delay. Unfortunately, but for security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please continue to work with your local office for a resolution to your situation. Look for the general inquiry telephone number using our Social Security Office Locator link. We have referred your complaint to our Office of Operations to follow up and to take corrective action as necessary. We hope your situation is resolved soon.

  10. Amy

    How can I get my documents back ?
    I mailed them back in March 2020 by certified mail. The green card was on singed SSA with no date received. I got married right before Covid and had to mail my documents (if someone was incorrect or not completed) say something or mail my documents back to me. Going in person I’m told I need to call to make an appointment. When calling, I’m told name change isn’t important or priority right now. Either way still no resolution. Now I’m having to reorder and pay for my documents. Very Frustrating

    • Diana V.

      Hello Amy. We apologize for the inconvenience you are experiencing. Unfortunately, but for security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please continue to work with your local office. Look for the general inquiry telephone number using our Social Security Office Locator link. Thank you for using our blog.

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