COVID-19, Social Security Number and Card

Replacement or Corrected Social Security Cards during the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 23, 2021 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: January 24, 2022

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

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner


  1. Maya

    I recently sent in an application to change my last name due to getting married recently. I got a text saying I have an appointment next week to pick up my documents. Is this normal to have to go pick up the documents? I thought they’d be mailed back to me

    • Patty

      Hi Maya, thanks for using our blog. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. Please contact your local Social Security office regarding your documents. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  2. c.c.

    Sent original documents in for ss cards and the documents are no where to be found, have been dealing with this since May, I had to get all new documents (still no cards) and i dont want to give them back to ss scared that they will be lost again, it costs money to get these things replaced!

  3. Jennifer O.

    How do you get a replacement card for your child under the age of 12?

    • Patty

      Thank you for using our blog, Jennifer. To get a replacement card for your child, you will need to complete and mail an application with proof of identity for yourself and your child. The good news is that we have temporarily expanded our policy to accept secondary identity documents. For more information please visit: Learn what documents you will need to get a Social Security Card . Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for the application and your local Social Security Office address. We hope this helps!

      • Patricia C.

        I was told by one of your employees that the only way I can obtain a replacement ss card for my 15 year son was to send in my license and his original birth certificate as well as a certified letter from his doctor with his up to date immunizations this has to be a joke. I spoke with the police department in my area who has no clue that this is your policy so you have ppl driving around with no license and you all have not inserviced the police department that this policy has been put into place? Shame on you all how about you have someone in an accident needs to be identified with no license on them is there any one there with common sense working? With all the fraud going in on today’s world your making ppl send their documents in the mail are you kidding me??? DO BETTER USE COMMON SENSE

        • EJ P.

          Ditto. I do a lot of driving and SSA is requiring I break the law. My license is my only official photo ID. Absurd.

        • Chris

          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. Alexis J.

    I sent my marriage certificate and old card in the mail almost 2-3 months ago to change my name. My name is changed on my online profile, but I never received my documents back. I only had the one copy so I am a little frustrated.

    • Patty

      Hi Alexis. We are sorry to hear that and understand your frustration. Please call your local Social Security office for status on your documents. Look for the general inquiry 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 helps.

  5. Cheyeann

    I sent my marriage license in and applied for a new social after changing my name and received my documents back with just a stamp. Then when I called to ask what it meant they told me they didn’t know???

  6. Lisa W.

    I have been trying to call my local social security office and nobody will answer the phone. I would like to report that I’ve moved recently.

    • Patty

      Hi Lisa. We are sorry to hear that. Please be aware that our call volume is higher than normal. If you are receiving Social Security retirement or disability, you can create a personal my Social Security account to change your address online. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income, you should contact your local office immediately. The number may appear under “Show Additional Office Information”. We hope this information helps.

  7. Cierra

    I have called, been held on hod for 20 + mins to speak to someone at my local office. Then the auto service ends the call when no one answers. I have submitted a name change application by mail, then received my prof of identity and name change documents back in the mail. No note to say they are processing the application they took. U have tried to just show up at the local office and obviously the door is locked. I need to get this done so I can get my name changed for my health insurance. I’m getting very frustrated

  8. Jamie

    I lost my Social Security Card and need a replacement. My driver’s license is currently suspended, and I cannot get a state issued photo ID without my Social Security Card–I cannot get a new Social Security Card without showing my driver’s license or state issued ID…..this is a frustrating, revolving problem! I do have my PA Birth Certificate.

  9. A. L.

    I have to get my name changed on my ss card, but mailing in documents such as my driver’s license since I don’t have a passport, is inconvenient. If I cannot send copies, even notarized copies, how am I to provide necessary documents for identification.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, A.L. Social Security offices are currently open only for in-person appointments for limited, critical situations, depending upon local office conditions. We are unable to accept walk-in visitors. If you cannot use our online services, please call your local office or 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. If we cannot help you by phone, your local office can determine if an in-person appointment or other option may be available to help you. Thanks!

  10. Jasmine

    I submitted my documents by mail for a name change on my social security card, my documents were returned to me except for my social security card that has my maiden name on it, one month later I received a letter that my documents are to be verified by dhs. May I know how long this is supposed to take? I know it is standard procedures but should I be worried that’s it been more than 2 months already?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Jasmine. Thanks for your question. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. To follow up on the status of your application for a Social Security card, please contact your local Social Security office for assistance. We hope this helps.

    • ItIs2021ForPetesSake

      Please – it is 2021 – why is it such a nightmare dealing with this? No one answers the phone, lines are unbearably long (I’ve taken a half day off from work) for name change or replacement card. Figure out how to get MN online please – this system is broken. I see parents with all of their kids just patiently waiting sometimes in freezing cold lines out the door. This is utterly archaic.

      • Mike A.

        I can definitely second this! Minnesota is one of the few states where we can’t just request a new card online and if you live in the metro area there is only ONE card center that is in a less than convenient area. As for trying to get a replacement card by mail? I can’t mail my driver’s license original and the secondary proofs aren’t an option either. My health insurance card doesn’t have my DoB on it and I don’t have an employee ID unless I create one for the company I work for. This is completely asinine.

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