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. Maria

    Hi, I recently got married and dropped off my documents. How long do I have to wait before being able to move forward with changing my name at the DMV, banks, etc?

    • Patty

      Hi Maria.  Congratulations on your marriage. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. Please call your local Social Security office regarding the status of your documents. 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. Kathy

    How can I get a replacement card fast? My state is one that doesn’t offer the online service and just today I’ve now been on hold for almost 5 hours to talk to someone. The office is not seeing face to face people. I am homeless and I’m finally at the top of my housing list, but they will not move forward until I have a copy of my children and my social security card. Please help direct me, I have everything else done, just need this last part and I can get off the streets. please!

    • Patty

      Hi Kathy. We are sorry to hear about your experience and situation. Social Security offices are currently open only for in-person appointments for limited, critical situations. We are unable to accept walk-in-visitors.  If you feel you have a critical situation, please check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page under the heading “Conducting Business with Social Security During the Pandemic” for more information.

       

      Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for information on how to replace a Social Security card for your children. To learn more on the process and what documents you and your child will need to get a card, please visit our Learn what documents you will need to get a Social Security Card web page.  We hope this information is helpful.

       

  3. Stephanie

    How do I replace my 15 year old son’s SS card?

  4. Brittany

    I recently got divorced and have not been able to change my name since. The woman over the phone told me that I would have to send in original documents and be present to change my name. How am I suppose to meet these requirements when…

    A) Being present requires THE OFFICE IN MY CITY TO ANSWER THE PHONE AND SET APPOINTMENTS AND THEY ARE NEVER OPEN TO ANSWER THE PHONE.

    B) Sending in original documents would involve my state ID, birth certificate and divorce decree through unstable postal services, known for their staff stealing mail and packages in my area. Why would I trust them with original documents that would be tedious to replace?!

    C) If I send my drivers license, what am I going to use to drive to work or school? No, I can not use my student ID because it has the WRONG name, and they will not change it unless the SSA changes it!

    This whole process is a CATCH-22!!!! This has been going on for two years now!
    I am just trying to change my last name and move on with my life. My FAFSA is at risk of problems If I start using my legal name. To add insult to injury, my diploma will have the incorrect name on it once I graduate.
    Please help me!

    • Patty

      Hi Brittany.  We are sorry to hear about your experience. Good News! We temporarily expanded our policy to accept secondary identity documents. 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.

      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.

    • Meagan

      Hi Brittany! I am going through the literal exact same thing. I was super hesitant about providing official documents as well… but I did some research. You need to put your SSA application in an envelope with your DL card (make sure to take a copy to keep for yourself to drive around with), put in your original divorce decree, as well as your birth certificate. Deliver it to your local social security office’s drop box. This way you are not mailing it in and it goes directly into the building. They will mail you your documents back after processing. I know it sucks but unfortunately this is the only way right now. Social Security is a pain to deal with… they hung up on me out of frustration trying to explain to me that they need my driver’s license.. all I did was ask questions and the person on the phone gave a big sigh and hung up on me. Awful. Anyway, hope this helps!

  5. Samantha E.

    Hi my.name is samantha estela Gomez Hernandez I have been having issues with my fafsa and financial aid they keep getting a message that my name doesnt match the SS administration I sent in a new application for a new SS card and SS said my name was corrected but they’re still getting the same message name doesnt match I’m running out of answers I dont know what else to do

    • Patty

      Hi Samantha.  Since your name has been corrected with Social Security, you will need to contact your college financial aid office directly.  We hope this helps.

  6. Gunner C.

    In the break of Covid [Spring Break 2020] alot of things changed for my family and we Had to do some moving, during the move we’ve lost my social security card and At 18 years old its something i need drastically, ive called for numerous applications to be sent to my address because local offices are closed and will remained closed till further notice , at this point im stuck in my life and this is something I Need. Is there anyway i can go about getting an replacement thats guranteed?because so far every representative ive talked too had said theyd be sending a replacement application to my address and im yet to receive one in the 4- to 5 months ive been waiting. Any help at all will suffice.

    • Patty

      Hi Gunner. Thank you for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page on how to apply for a replacement 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.

      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.

      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.

  7. Aline

    Hello, i mail my documents for a name change on August 16th and the office received on the 19th. I didn’t mail a return envelope because I didn’t see it in the instructions. Is that going to be a problem? Can I pick up the documents or maio the envelope now? I really need my documents back asap because my green card is there and I need jt to start on a new job. How long until I can get it back? Thank you

    • Patty

      Hi Aline. Thanks for using our blog.  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.

  8. Theresa S.

    I recently got married and sent in the application to have my name changed Long with my marriage license. Well, they misspelled my new last name. They omitted a letter. They still have my documents that I would need to have this fixed. What do I do and how does this even happen in the first place?

    • Patty

      Hi Theresa. We apologize for the inconvenience and we understand your frustration.  For your security we do not have access to private information in this venue. We encourage you to continue to work with your local office to get your name corrected. 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.  Thanks.

  9. Rachel

    I need social security cards for my daughters and I asap. We are in a safe house for domestic violence and our were taken from us during the domestic violence. We have been selected for a housing program that needs our cards. I have explained this to my local social security office and they keep brushing me off. I was told to drop of all necessary paper work including a letter stating this was dire need…which I did.. and never heard back. What am I supposed to do?

    • Patty

      Hi Rachel. We are sorry to hear about your situation and the difficulty you are having working with us. For your security we do not have access to private information in this venue. We encourage you to continue to work with your local office and ask to speak to a supervisor on your next call. 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 matter is resolved soon.

  10. Jackie

    Hello I am a leasing agent. I have an prosepct who is looking to move in but lost the social security card. A request was generated throught the SS website but we cannot take his confirmation letter as proof of this citizenship. Is there any other documenation that can be provided from your office to assist?

    • Vonda

      Hi Jackie, thanks for using our blog. He can call his local Social Security office. He needs to look for the general inquiry telephone number at the <a href=”https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>Social Security Office Locator.</a> The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. 

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