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. Ali R.

    I live in Minnesota and need to change my last name, but my wedding was over 2 years ago. I’m having trouble figuring out what the process is as I can’t do the name change in person (required in MN prior to Covid) and I don’t know what documents/ID to mail in with my application. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Patty

      Hi, Ali. 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 to apply and what documents to submit, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  2. Selena

    What can I do about it if I kept calling my social security office for the original documents and they keep saying they sent it back? I only got a letter saying it’s denied never got my original documents back

  3. Melanie J.

    It has been 14 business days and I still haven’t received replacement card. This is holding up being hired for a new job as they won’t accept anything but card. Should I reapply for replacement card? Can I pay to expedite the process? Please advise.

    • Patty

      Hi Melanie, thanks for using our Blog. For status of your replacement card, please 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. EWORA

    Thanks following this post….
    Regards.
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  5. Joseph b.

    Currently trying to get a replacement San card for employment can’t afford the mail order
    How would I make an appointment for my local office in sc?

  6. nicoll

    Hi,
    I request the change of my last name as we got married. I received my marriage license back but not the new social security card. The Orlando Florida office, they never answer the phone. Is taht normal, receiving the marriage license first?

  7. FE

    Our local office in Coweta County is closed for in-person, but I need to replace a social security card for my son that I never received. I can’t replace it online because I never got the sssn. How am I supposed to get a copy of his card??

    • Patty

      We apologize for the inconvenience. For security reasons, we do not have access to information about your son’s Social Security card application in this venue. Unfortunately, if you applied but have not received the card, you may need to contact your local Social Security office for guidance. We hope this helps.

  8. Jessica A.

    Name change documentation (before I send my license in for a seemingly unknown number of weeks):

    What do I use for ID when I need one for daily life while SS has my driver’s license?

    • Patty

      Hi Jessica, 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. You can also visit our Learn What Documents You Need for details on the documentation requirements. We hope this helps!

  9. Luis G.

    I mailed a name change application including my documents and received my documents. However, it has been over two weeks and I haven’t recieved my updated social security card which I really need.

    • Patty

      Hi Luis, thanks for using our blog. For status of your card application, please 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.

  10. Layla

    Hello,

    I just mailed out my application and documents to my local social security office and well it seems as if not even the mail is getting to the office. I need a name change for my baby and I would like to get that done soon but all these comments about not getting their documents back kind of concerns me about sending my documents out. Also calling the office is not helping much either. They said to drop off the documents in a Dropbox or mail it to them by certified mail but they didn’t have a drop box at my location and I think by mail is not going to work either. What should I do about this?

    • Patty

      Hi Layla. If you want to check on the status of your application, please contact 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.

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