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. Sarah A.

    I sent in my original marriage license and my original passport to my local social security office. However, they have yet to return my original documents to me and I need my passport urgently in order to travel. How are we supposed to get our documentation back? Am I supposed to postpone travel indefinitely until my order is finally processed??? Is there a way to cancel my request and have the office send my documents back to me? I called the office and they haven’t even started on my order. I don’t care about waiting for my name change but I NEED my original documents back ASAP. If you are going to require important documentation from us then you need to speed up the process. We would appreciate someone working with us to find a solution.

    • Vonda

      Hi Sarah, thanks for reaching out. 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.

      • Sarah A.

        Hi Vonda, thank you for replying so quickly. That is greatly appreciated. I have tried calling the number that shows up for the office I sent my application and documents to and I wait for 20 minutes on hold before I get hung up on. This has happened consecutively. I don’t mind waiting on hold, just not sure why the answering system kicks me off. Do you have any suggestions? Is there a way to email the local office if they aren’t answering their phones?

        • Vonda

          Hi Sarah, sorry to hear about your experience. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. to speak to a representative. They can send a message to your local office. Thank you.

  2. Heidi V.

    I applied for a replacement card via US Mail, at the Minneapolis Office, requesting a name change for me and my husband in May 2021 to update our SSN cards to our married names.

    The application and original documents were received by the front desk of the Minneapolis office on May 18 2021, and we have not heard anything since then.

    When I call the MV office to get information, I can’t get through. I have tried daily for weeks. The phone hangs up after waiting on hold.

    Because they have my original documents, I’m afraid that they are lost and won’t be returned and that our name change is not processed. This is highly frustrating, but also an urgent practical issue, for multiple reasons: 1. We are expecting our firstborn, due in Oct16th and her naming will be an issue if our own SSN cards have wrong names in them. 2. they have my green card which is how I can show my lawful presence in the country 3. They have both of my valid ID’s, so currently I do not have any valid ID’s on me to process any formal paperwork.

    • Vonda

      Heidi, 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.

  3. Tonya

    I mailed in my application along with marriage certificate in order to change my last name on my card and I still haven’t received anything back it’s been 5 weeks!

  4. Sharon

    I was recently married and will be moving in a week to Alaska. Acquiring a duplicate DL in my state takes a few weeks. I will no longer be in the lower 48 at that time. I’m also seeing that people are not receiving their documents back for months at a time. How can I schedule an appointment when no one answers the phone? Why is something mandatory being made this difficult for citizens? It is starting to look impossible.

    • Vonda

      Hi Sharon, 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!

  5. Sharon k.

    The statement that you can apply on line if you have a driver license is not true unless you also have proof of financial identity, this is very frustrating!!

  6. Melissa e.

    I wish I would of known it was gonna be this hard getting my documents back I sent my driver’s license Wich I need to get help with housing ect plus I need it for My court date online it’s been 5 almost 6 months and when I finally get through to someone they tell me the same thing oh well I don’t see we’ve received anything from you but it still can show up.OMG I don’t care about the ssi card now I just want my driver’s license and all 4 of my kids original birth certificate I live only 3 blocks from the office

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Melissa. We are sorry to hear about your experience and your situation. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. Please continue to work with your local Social Security office. You can ask to speak to a manager on your next call. We hope this is resolved soon.

      • John

        She would be lucky to even get through to speak with anyone before she can ask for to speak with a manager. I’ve called my local office and been on hold for HOURS only for for the call to eventually be hung up on the SSA end. Then recall and have that to repeatedly happen or no one answers…….When you call other card offices that answer the phone they tell you they can’t help you because you don’t live in their zip code.

        • Heidi

          I am in this same situation. Have been trying to get through to the local office for weeks by phone and it’s impossible. They have both of our passports, our marriage certificate and my green card and it’s now been 9 weeks since they got them! They way this system currently works is absolutely unacceptable.

          • Vonda

            Hi Heidi, thanks for using our blog. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing with Social Security. Please continue to work with your local 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.

  7. Jordan E.

    Hello I am a housing specialist for a non profit who recently assisted my homeless client to replace his SSC so we can house him. However it has been two months and nothing has been sent back to us. My client has been desperate on getting back his original ID however it is being used for this process. I am not sure when we will get it back ? Is there a tracking number?

    • Ann C.

      Hi. Thanks for your question. For your client’s security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. He can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. Generally, he will have a shorter wait if he calls later in the day. He can also contact his local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  8. Elaine B.

    Good evening.

    What address do I mail the application to pertaining to applying for a replacement social security card? The Bloomington, IN social security office is currently closed.

    Thanks!

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Elaine. Thanks for your question. You can mail the completed application and necessary documents to your local Social Security office. For more information, visit our Social Security Number and Card webpage. We hope this helps.

    • Melissa W.

      I wouldn’t who knows when you’ll ever see your documents again.ive been wait almost 6 months and I live 3 blocks from Chicago Ave office

  9. Caroline H.

    Would a copy of driver license and birth certificate be accepted, with being notarized? Or would I half to send my original in? I believe my office is still closed because of COVID. I cant see myself being without driver license if mailed in? -Changing last name because of marriage.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Caroline. All documents submitted must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. You can use your birth certificate to prove your age or citizenship; however, you cannot use it as proof of identity. For more information about what documents to submit for a replacement card, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. Thanks!

    • 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)
      https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110210420
      under D. types of documents from a custodian of the record.
      It worked for me.

  10. Tresa W.

    I applied for a replacement card via US Mail, at the Moreno Valley Office, requesting a name change for my son in December 2020, so he can get his California DL learner’s permit. The forms were sent back on January 6, 2021, with a request for original documents. I immediately submitted those documents only to receive a letter on April 14, 2021, stating that my son, (who is a minor), can submit his own request without my ID. He did that on April 16, 2021, and to date, we still haven’t received a replacement card and it’s July 6, 2021. I called the main SSA information line last Friday and the Rep said that a minor is not supposed to submit an application on their own behalf.

    When I call the MV office to get information, I can’t get through to speak to a person. The phone hangs up after waiting on hold. Because they have my original documents, I’m afraid that they are lost and won’t be returned. It’s not only frustrating for me, but for my son who can’t get his California permit to start driving, even though I applied for his replacement last December.

    • Vonda

      Hi Tresa. 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.

Comments are closed.