COVID-19, Social Security Number and Card

Replacement or Corrected Social Security Cards during the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 23, 2021 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: January 24, 2022

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

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner


  1. douglas l.

    Hello, good morning.

    I got my work authorization by mail but i never received my SS card in the mail within the 15 days period like the agent told by phone… what can i do to have access to my ssn? it is my 1st SS application.

    • Vonda

      Hi Douglas, thanks for your question. We process Social Security Numbers and issue cards for certain lawful immigrants. We call these processes Enumeration at Entry (EAE) and Enumeration beyond Entry (EBE).

      If these automated processes are not available to you, we may schedule an in-office appointment for a new card request in certain situations. Appointment availability is based on available staff and office operating status. Please call your local office to see if an in-office appointment is necessary and possible. To contact your local office, please look for the local office telephone number at Social Security Office Locator under “Social Security Office Information” for the office you select. The toll-free “Office” number is your local office.

  2. Jeffrey C.

    I applied for a replacement SS card over a year ago and mailed the required documents with my application. The card I received was incorrect. Misspelled middle name and shortened first name. I called several times and wrote letters trying to get a corrected card and got nowhere. Then the pandemic hit and I just quit trying to get a card with my name printed correctly? Any way you can help?

    • Vonda

      Hi Jeffrey, thanks for using our blog. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you experienced with Social Security. Please continue to work with your local 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.

  3. DAWN B.

    Why are social security offices still closed? Local DMV’s have been open.

  4. Matthew W.

    I am trying to replace my social security card, but currently don’t have any primary, or secondary, proof of identification, what do I do? Secretary of State in my area won’t help, because they say Social Security has to provide a new social security card first. I can’t prove my identity without a picture ID, or a Social Security Card, but I can’t get one with out the other?

    • Vonda

      Hi Matthew, thank you for using our blog. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for details on getting help with your Social Security number. If you cannot request a replacement card online, call your local office and request that we mail you an SSN printout instead of a replacement Social Security card. Unfortunately, we are unable to process replacement Social Security card requests by phone at this time.

  5. Joe M.

    But if a name change is needed for a foreigner, an in office visit is required, is it not?

    • Vonda

      Hi Joe, thank you for your question. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for 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 hope this helps!

  6. claveto

    it is very important to stop covid-19 . This is very dangerous for all of us . Thank you for this blog post

  7. Heather J.

    I visited my local office on 02/05/2020 to change my name after I got married….STILL have not received a new card so haven’t changes name on license. Now my license has expired because of pandemic so I can’t prove valid identity! Any ideas SSA?

    • Vonda

      Hi Heather, 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.

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  9. Satılık R.

    thanks for this informative article

    Satılık Rottweiler

  10. Julia C.

    I am a diabetic patient who needs a replacement card. And I tried to make an appt to come into an office that is basically in my backyard. I can not send my actual drivers license card. What am I supposed to do if I get pulled over or I need to identify myself for doctor visits and bank. I sent a colored photo copy of my licence. So will I hear back from the office ? I don’t know why I couldn’t just come in with all orig stuff.

    • Vonda

      Hi Julia, thank you for your question. First, realize you may not need a replacement card. You will rarely need to show it. Knowing your Social Security number is what is important. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for details on getting help with your Social Security number. We hope this helps!

    • Chris

      You can mail SSA a “properly certified extract document”
      Get a certified drivers record.
      It will have all of the extracted Info from your license.
      See document “Program Operations Manual System (POMS)
      under D. types of documents from a custodian of the record.

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