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. Debra D.

    I am trying to get a new social security card. I’m ready to send in “secondary documents” Such as my birth certificate and medical care (ie Health insurance card). Do I send it both physical items or make a copy? I need a social security card in order to get my ID

    • Patty

      Hi Debra. Thank you for the question. All submitted documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. 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. Our Social Security and Coronavirus web page, under “Social Security Numbers and Cards heading”, provides details on the documents you need to mail in with your Social Security card application to get a replacement card. We hope this helps!

  2. Carlos M.

    I have sent my documents to the Houston office of social security. It’s been a few months and I still haven’t gotten them back. I am worry, I don’t know if I should just get a new passport at this point. Can someone please help?

    • Patty

      Hi Carlos. We are sorry to hear that and we 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.

      • Carlos M.

        I have already call many times and no one can help me. Please provide me help. I don’t know what to do.

  3. Davis B.

    I sent in an application and supporting documents (drivers licens, original birth certificate, W-2,s etc.) to my local card center in Brooklyn, NY. It took them 2 months to return my documents. I finally got them back today. The package contained all of my documents except the application. And it did not contain a replacement social security card. There was no letter in the package explaining what happened or what I would I need to do. Please advise.

    • Patty

      Hi Davis, thanks for using our blog. The Social Security card will be mailed separately. Typically, after we receive the application and verify the documents, you can expect to receive the card within 10 – 14 business days. If you would like to find out the status of your card, 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.

  4. Mary

    My daughter was married in July. She submitted the application and marriage license to change her name. The documents were returned and she was informed that she needs to submit a proof of identity document. Does an original birth certificate qualify? Is there anything else she needs to submit?

    • Patty

      Hi Mary. Congratulations on your daughter’s marriage. In order for your daughter to change her name on her Social Security card, she must show us a document that proves her legal name change. If the document she provides as evidence of a legal name change does not give us enough information to identify her in our records, she must show us an identity document in her old name (as shown in our records). We cannot accept a birth certificate as proof of identity. The good news is that we have temporarily expanded our policy to accept secondary identity documents. Keep in mind the submitted documents must be originals. We offer the option to mail the completed application with original or certified documents to your local Social Security office. For more information check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page, under “Social Security Numbers and Cards heading. We hope this helps!

  5. Linda C.

    I live in Florida. I have a request from Social Security for my marriage certificate. Is there a drop box in Dade City, FL where I can leave it? If I send it to you in the mail and it gets lost, what would I do then? I don’t want to have to apply for another certificate from another state and start all over again as the letter requesting the marriage cert is time sensitive.

    • Patty

      Hi Linda. Thanks for using our blog. Please call your local office for guidance on the appropriate service channels available for submitting evidence. Use our Social Security Office Locator to find your local office address.

  6. Kate D.

    I have a drivers license that is within date (expires next year) but it doesn’t have my current address on it that matches my marriage certificate. Is this still an acceptable form of ID?

    • Patty

      Hi Kate. Thank you for the question. An acceptable identity document must be current (not expired) and show your name, identifying information (date of birth or age) and preferably a recent photograph. 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 “Social Security Numbers and Cards heading”, provides details on the documents you need to mail in with your Social Security card application to get a replacement card. In addition, we have temporarily expanded our policy to accept secondary identity documents. We hope this helps!

  7. Heather

    My wallet was stolen and it had my childrens cards in it. How do I replace them? They are 11 years old, so they do not have an ID.

  8. Elisabeth P.

    Can i send a copy of my drivers license and passport instead of original?

    • Elisabeth P.

      This would be for a replacement card. I misplaced my old one.

    • Patty

      Hi Elisabeth, thanks for using our blog. 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 “Social Security Numbers and Cards heading”, provides details on the documents you need to mail in with your Social Security card application to get a replacement card. We temporarily expanded our policy to accept secondary identity documents. We hope this helps!

      • Elisabeth P.

        Thank you!

  9. Amanda V.

    As many others on here, I mailed in my form to change my last name on my social security card after marriage. I had to submit my birth certificate, marriage license, and driver’s license by mail to the Freeport, NY office and I have not received it. I have called them around 15 times and I listen to the phone ring until it hangs up. I have gone 3 times to the office to retrieve my documents and I cannot enter the office. I need these documents back as I cannot do anything else without them. Please contact me ASAP.

    • Amanda V.

      I NEED my original documents back! This is totally unprofessional and is actually very worrisome at this point.

    • Patty

      Hi Amanda. 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.

  10. Linh V.

    Hello,
    I am an F1 student on OPT Visa at the moment. I currently applied for social security number at West Palm Beach SSN Office. I submitted my application, passport, EAD and all other supporting documents. It has been over 2 months and I still did not receive any of my documents back. Whenever I call the office, I am put on hold for more than 2 hours and then the phone calls ends without any response. All of the documents are very important, so I would at least want to know what is the status of my application.

    • Patty

      Hi Linh. 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.