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. Elaina

    I had to have a name changed and was advised by the main SSA agent to send my documents to my local processing office. Documents were sent registered mail and received, but I got a call from that office saying that they don’t do cards and cancelling my appointment. Today, I called the local office to see if I could get my original documents back including my passport and they told me that it would be at least 9 months before I saw any of those back and that likely they would send those to the card center directly. Is there anything I can do to rescue my passport and other personal documents from the SSA office? the agent was clear in telling me that I might as well report my passport stolen or lost. Please help anyone??

    • Patty

      Hi Elaina.  We apologize and we regret to hear you did not receive the level of customer service you expected. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue.  We encourage you to continue working with your local Social Security office and ask to speak to a supervisor. You also can submit feedback by visiting our Contact Social Security page. Once there, select the “Email Us” link. This will take you to the “Email A Question to our Support Team” form, where you can complete and submit a compliment, complaint, or suggestion. We hope this helps.

  2. Hande G.

    Hello,
    I came to US with an immigrant visa three weeks ago. My green car has not arrived yet.
    Social Security Administration sent me a mail but I couldn’t get the envelope. I think USPS lost the mail.
    I talked with an agent on the phone about lost mail. She said that I had a number, but she said she couldn’t give it to this number. I should apply for replacement car but I don’t have neither SSN or green card.

    What should I do?
    Thank you

    • Vonda

      Hi Hande, thank you for using our blog. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing. 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.

      Contact your local Social Security office or your local Social Security Card Center to find out your submission options. We hope this helps!

  3. John k.

    I lost my wallet and have no id . Except my birth certificate and my debit cards and some medical bills in my name. I can’t get a new Id without SS card and can’t get SS card without and Id? So what am I supposed to do ? I need my iD ASAP or I can’t work . Plz help

    • Patty

      Hi John. Thank you for using our blog. Good news! You may be able to apply for a replacement Social Security card online. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page to learn how.

      If you are unable or would rather not apply online, 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 have temporarily expanded our policy to accept secondary identity documents. All submitted documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents.

      If you need further assistance, you can 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.

  4. Brittany

    I need a replacement card for my son. I can’t mail you my drivers license because I need it to drive and my health insurance card doesn’t have date of birth or anything like that on it. I’m not in school either. How do I give you guys proof of my identity?

  5. J.C.

    hi i am a divorcee and need to change my name back to my maiden name. i have my divorce settlement and can obtain my decree. can i submit a copy or do i need an original. i already changed my license back to my maiden name do you need my license as well. do i send my birth certificate since that has my maiden name? I’m just concerned about sending my license in and not having it while driving. thank you.

    • Patty

      Hi J.C. Thanks for using our blog. In order to change your name on your Social Security card, you must show us a document that proves your legal name change. If the document you provide as evidence of a legal name change does not give us enough information to identify you in our records, you must show us an identity document in your old name (as shown in our records). Keep in mind the submitted documents must be originals. We temporarily expanded our policy to accept secondary identity documents. We offer the option for you to mail your completed application with original or certified documents to your local Social Security office. For more information about how to change your name and what to submit, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  6. Marilin

    Hello,

    I needed to change my name on my SS Card after Marring. I received my new SS card on September 8, 2021 in the mail. I have not had my supporting documents returned to me yet. How long does it take for these documents to be returned?

    • Vonda

      Hi Marilin, thanks for using our blog. You can contact your local Social Security office for status of your documents. 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. johan w.

    Can the local SSA office provide proof faster than waiting 4 weeks? We were told that we must send original ID and an application that I do have a social security number? Social services is requesting this by a certain time and the appts Susu penambah berat badan dewasa for the local office is 1 month away. Social Services says they will accept some type of letter, what is this letter called and can they mail it out just by contacting them via the phone?

    • Vonda

      Hi Johan, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to get a benefit verification letter. This letter is sometimes called a budget letter, a benefits letter, a proof of income letter or a proof of award letter. You also may be able to request a benefit verification letter by using our automated telephone service at 1-800-772-1213. You can conduct the automated services 24 hours a day. At the prompt, indicate that you’re requesting a proof of income letter. We hope this helps.

  8. Anna

    Can the local SSA office provide proof faster than waiting 4 weeks? We were told that we must send original ID and an application that I do have a social security number? Social services is requesting this by a certain time and the appts for the local office is 1 month away. Social Services says they will accept some type of letter, what is this letter called and can they mail it out just by contacting them via the phone?

    • Vonda

      Hi Anna, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to get a benefit verification letter. This letter is sometimes called a budget letter, a benefits letter, a proof of income letter or a proof of award letter. You also may be able to request a benefit verification letter by using our automated telephone service at 1-800-772-1213. You can conduct the automated services 24 hours a day. At the prompt, indicate that you’re requesting a proof of income letter. We hope this helps.

  9. johan w.

    This is the right site for everyone who would like to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost tough usu penambah berat badan dewasa to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic which has been discussed for ages. Wonderful stuff, just great!

  10. Cindy

    Hello,
    I got married earlier this year and submitted my name change Documents late July. I received the documents back along with my name change application that has a stamp “received august 3rd”

    It has been a little over a month now and still haven’t received my card with my new name on it. Is there a way I can check the status and when it will be sent out?

    Thank you.

    • Patty

      Hi Cindy.  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 replacement 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.

Comments are closed.