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

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  1. Keith M.

    My wife has recently received her U.S. citizenship and we need to update her Social Security to remove the restircted status, what do we need to do to accomplish this

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Thank you for your question, Keith. Your wife cannot update citizenship status with Social Security online. She will need to update her Social Security record by showing us her 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. If your wife believes she will qualify for an in-office appointment, she needs to call her local office. She’ll find the contact information using our online Social Security Office Locator. We hope this helps!

      Reply
  2. Suzanne M.

    How do I get a replacement card the office is closed

    Reply
    • Patty

      Hi Suzanne, thanks for your question. Great news, you can apply for a replacement card online. If you are unwilling or unable to apply online, you can complete and mail an application with proof of your identity to your local office. For more information check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page under the Social Security Numbers and cards heading. We hope this helps!

      Reply
  3. Tianping

    Hello,
    What if I lost my son’s SSN who is under 18 year old? Can I apply for a replacement card on his behalf? What documents needed for this case? We are currently reside in out of U.S.A, can I ship the replacement card to my friend who is in U.S? Thanks

    Tianping

    Reply
    • Patty

      Thank you for using our blog, Tianping. Please be cautious about sending your son’s private information, especially his Social Security card, to anyone. Since you are living outside of the U.S. you can contact your local Federal Benefits Unit for any assistance related to Social Security. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  4. Vien T.

    so I’m wondering i called the ss office and they’re telling me to send in my actual ID and I’m not comfortable with that and am I going to get it back? and how long will it take for me to get it back? and while i send in my actual ID I get to a point where i might need it and I don’t have it you guys have it. be a lot easier if the ss office would let walk ins as the DMVs

    Reply
  5. Sarah

    I am changing my name on my social security card. Can I drop off all my documents and application at the SS office in NYC?

    Reply
    • Patty

      Hi Sarah, thanks for reaching out. You may want to contact your local office as they can provide guidance on the appropriate service channels available to you for submitting evidence. 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.

      Reply
    • Vien T.

      its funny how they send you your ss card but not your docs that don’t make no sense. why not send it back with the new ss card. cause they are telling me to send in my ID and i see that its taking 3 months what are you guys doing?

      Reply
  6. Myia C.

    How long does it take for documents to be sent back? and how long does it take after that for my replacement ssc to be sent back? I just put my documents in the drop box today.

    Reply
    • Jess

      I got my card yesterday and dropped it off last Wednesday. I’m still waiting for my documents to be returned though

      Reply
    • Patty

      Hi Myia, thanks for using our blog. Typically, after we receive the application and verify the documents, you can expect to receive the card in the mail within 10 – 14 business days. For status of your card application and documents, 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.

      Reply
  7. YAMIR A.

    it’s been more than 2 months, haven’t received a call nor an appointment at the office everyday i wait for the call. i feel so uncomfortable without my Social and try to get information

    Reply
  8. Sharon M.

    I sent in documents 3 .oaths ago medical records application stamped original by safe have.n who does this daily haven’t gotten. Y cars i need it to get state id .y dads dying must go home please send my card

    Reply
    • Patty

      Hi Sharon, we are sorry to hear this. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask members in our Blog community to work with our offices for specific questions. Please call your local Social Security office regarding the status of your card. 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.

      Reply
  9. Hennry

    I sent my original documents and proof of name change. I did receive the replacement card, but my documents have not been returned yet? How long it take to return my documents? It have been 3 week since I received the new ssn card.

    Reply
    • Patty

      Hi Hennry. Please call your local Social Security office for the 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.

      Reply
    • Michael

      How long did it take to receive you card ? My documents were mailed back before I received my actual replacement card

      Reply
    • Vien T.

      this patty person is telling everyone the same thing that’s funny. whats the point of this comment section?

      Reply
  10. Siddhant Y.

    This is amazing work of yours that need to be highlighted.
    techszest.com

    Reply
    • Jones

      I want to replace my card but All I have is expired identifications which is in process of being renewed, I have form “I-797C Notice of Action” from immigration, it validates my expired green card for 12 months as proof of my identity, can this form be used as evidence to replace my ss card?

      Reply

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