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. Isabelle C.

    I have a DL from Alabama and I came to Florida 2019, so I was in the DMV- DeSoto (FL) and they said that my name on the SS didn’t match with my Work Permit. So the SSA office still closed(Bradenton) and I would get my DL(transfer) and I need to proof to the DMV that is my situation. I have a long full name. I have already got a new card from SSA last year when I send my situation by mail. But not was resolved.
    So I came here waiting for a solution.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Isabelle. We are sorry to hear about your situation. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. Please contact your local Social Security office for assistance. We hope this helps.

  2. Kathy G.

    I sent in my application and proof of my new married name to change my name on my Social Security card. I received my documents back; however, I haven’t received my new social security card. How long should this take?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Kathy. We are sorry to hear that. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. To follow up on your application for a Social Security card, please contact your local Social Security office for assistance. We hope this helps.

  3. Mercedes K.

    I have been struggling to get my life straightened out after I was recently released from county jail and im getting back on my feet Im just having a hard time gathering up the documents that are needed to get a new state issued ID card so I can start working again. I have my birth certificate . Im 28 years old and I’ve recently had to ask my father to obtain an original certificate of my BC for me and which I got in the mail from him. But how can I get my SSC now with out any other proof of Identity. I dont have a state issued ID nor do I have a passport. Im starting all over from scratch basically. I need guidance on getting to where I need to be with a replacement card so I can get an ID

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Mercedes. We are sorry to hear about your situation. First, realize that you may not need a replacement card. You will rarely need to show it. Knowing the Social Security number is what is important. To learn more on the process and what documents you will need to get a card please visit our Social Security Number and Card page. Keep in mind all submitted documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency and must (unless otherwise indicated) have been issued within the last two years. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. Also, you can use a birth certificate to prove your age or citizenship but you cannot use it as proof of identity. We hope this helps.

  4. Jemadyn B.

    I sent my passport, ead and marriage license to get a new SS card. The card came but my documents have not been returned. How long should I wait before I should be concerned?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Jemadyn. We are sorry to hear that. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. To follow up on your documents, please contact your local Social Security office for assistance. We hope this is resolved soon.

  5. Barb W.

    I sent my passport and marriage license to get a new SS card. The card came but my documents have not been returned. How long should I wait before I should be concerned?

    • Patty

      Hi Barb, we are sorry to hear that. 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.

  6. Lisa

    I have a 80 year old uncle who went in to get his drivers license. They are asking for his social security card.

    The name on his drivers license is Gerald.
    The name on his social security card is Jerry.
    They will not issue him a new license until his social security card is updated to Gerald.

    How do we get this fixed?

    • Patty

      Hi, Lisa. Thanks for your question. In order for your uncle to correct his name on his Social Security card, he must show us a document that proves his legal name. If the document he provides as evidence of a legal name does not give us enough information to identify him in our records, he must also show us an identity document in his old name (as shown in our records). Keep in mind the submitted documents must be originals. We offer the option for him to mail the completed application with original or certified documents to his local Social Security office. For more information about how to apply and what documents to submit, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. If he needs further assistance, please call us at 1-800-772-1213 or his local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  7. Darion T.

    No name change. Simple replacement. The request is still pending though and I don’t know why.

  8. Bryce

    When a new SSN is mailed, does it need to be signed for delivery or is it done like regular mail?

  9. Omar M.

    Why is the social security workers are very rude unprofessional and intimidating. They’re sounds like they hate people or they’re trying to stop us from asking them to do their job? I’ve been trying to do name change. I’ve been through enough stress that made hate my life.

    • Patty

      Hi Omar. We are sorry to hear of your experience. 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). 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 you need to submit, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  10. Leah A.

    I sent in the paperwork and proof of name change for my son’s adoption In order to get his new ss card its been atleast 7 weeks and we haven’t received it yet. What do we do? They mailed back all the proof I sent in and didn’t even send a letter telling me what the next steps were

    • Patty

      Hi Leah, thanks for using our Blog. For the status of your son’s name change on his Social Security 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.

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