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. Kristina

    Hi! I sent out my school ID to get a new social security card my first one n they sent my School ID back to me and say they have the information in the system and now they saying they don’t I call and everybody telling me something different do that mean they sending it out or I gotta apply for another one?

    • Patty

      Hi Kristina, 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 application and 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. Marcy

    Do I need to go in person and/or make an appointment to have my social security card status updated after becoming a citizen?

    Thanks!

    • Patty

      Hi Marcy. Congratulations on becoming a U.S. citizen. You cannot update citizenship status with Social Security online. You will need to update your Social Security record by showing us your 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 for more information. If you believe you qualify for an in-office appointment, call your local office. You’ll find their contact information using our online Social Security Office Locator. We hope this information is helpful.

      • Marcy

        Thank you for the congratulations! Thank you also for your quick reply!

        Just to be clear on being eligible for an in person appointment:

        “ Individuals who need to update or correct their SSN information (such as your name, date of birth, or citizenship) to obtain income, resources, or medical care or coverage, or other services or benefits (for example filing a tax return, applying for housing, or seeking an Economic Impact Payment).”

        Does that include if I am looking work or just for the reasons listed?

        Thanks again!

        • Patty

          Hi Marcy. For more information regarding appointment availability for your situation, please contact your local office. Thanks!

  3. Markos

    Hello, my inquiry relates to a name change of my current social security card.

    I was born overseas and just became a US citizen and changed my first name.
    I know I need to send in a copy of my naturalization citizenship certificate. Does that qualify as my form of identity as well?

    • Patty

      Hi Markos. Congratulations on becoming a U.S. citizen. You cannot update citizenship status with Social Security online. You will need to update your Social Security record by showing us your 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 you believe you qualify for an in-office appointment, call your local office. You’ll find the contact information using our online Social Security Office Locator. We hope this information is helpful.

  4. Ellen K.

    Per the list of acceptable documents on the SSA website (https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110210420)- medical records with your birthday are a form of secondary identification. Can these be used as primary identification at this time?

  5. Amrita

    I had called 411 Richland hills drive, SA, TX,78245 SSA Office to book an appointment on 20th Aug for a new SSN Card, I was told that my name has been put in the list and will be called in 2-4weeks, I called 4 days later and I get to know that my name wasn’t added to the list.
    Thus, there is no confirmation on if my name is part of the list and if I would be called for an appointment. I am in dire need of SSN Card, to start earning.
    Is there anyway I can come to know if my name is in the calling list for the appointment, as we don’t get any confirmation number for the same. Also, Can the first call done by me considered as 20th , and I be given appointment as per that.

    • Vonda

      For your security, Amrita, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. Please continue to work with 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.

  6. Mindy

    I’m having issues with my social security. I got married in 2004 went to change my name to my married name but 6 months later had to get a divorce because of domestic violence so I went back to the social security Administration to get my maiden name back they told me it was never changed to my marriage name and I didn’t need to do anything further so for 15 years I’ve been using my maiden name and my social security card I got since birth but recently that has been destroyed by my infant grandson so I went to get a replacement card and now they have me under my old married name and want to keep my drivers license I won’t do that because it’s federally illegal and leaving me without identification or a way to drive legally but if I send them my health insurance card along with my divorce decree is that sufficient?

    • Vonda

      Hi Mindy, thank you for your question. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page on how to change your name. 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 “Getting Help from Social Security heading”, provides details on the documents you need to mail in with your Social Security card application to get a replacement card with your new name. We temporarily expanded our policy to accept secondary identity documents.

      You can also call your local Social Security office for guidance on the appropriate service channels 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. We hope this helps!

  7. Toni K.

    I sent in all the necessary documents to change the names of my two adopted children
    on their SS cards back in May. I received my documents back a couple weeks later, but now it’s nearly September and I still haven’t received the new cards. When can I expect those?

    • Vonda

      Hi Toni, thanks for using our blog. 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.

  8. Mariab

    Does the certified copy of my marriage license count for both proof of identity and name change? It has my birth name, birthday, parents information and my new name! I am uncomfortable mailing in my drivers license and I do not have another document to send! If I have to sent my drivers license, would a photo copy in my car still be adequate for driving, or can I not drive until it is mailed back?

    • Vonda

      Hi Mariab. Thanks for using our blog for your question. The marriage license can be used as both proof of identity and the name change document, if the name change event occurred within the past two years and has your prior name and biographical information (such as age, date of birth, or parent’s names), which matches data on our records. 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. We hope this helps.

  9. Christine K.

    Do I send my child’s passport and my passport to the address provided if I need a replacement SS Card? Is that really safe?

  10. Sable S.

    I just had my name legally changed through the court. To confirm, the certified copy of the court order (which includes by birth date as well as the old and new name) alone would be sufficient proof of identity as well as proof of the name change (per RM 10212.085)? I’m concerned with sending my actual drivers license in, and I have nothing else that has more than my name on it.

    • Patty

      Hi Sable. Thanks for using our blog for your question. The court order can be used as both proof of identity and the name change document, if the name change event occurred within the past two years and has your prior name and biographical information (such as age, date of birth, or parent’s names), which matches data on our records. 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. For more information on changing your name, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

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