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

Comments

  1. Elif S.

    Thank you this info…

    Köpek Eğitim Okulu

  2. Kimberlee H.

    Hello,
    What do I do if my father needs to just add “Sr” to his social security card and medicare card. He forgot to put it on all of his documents. He is 74 years old. He’s been a Sr for 52 years. This is really beginning to be a nightmare.
    Thank you in advance.

    • Vonda

      Hi Kimberlee, thanks for using our blog. We do not consider the middle name or suffix part of the legal name. As long as your father has proper documentation, he can apply for a replacement Social Security card and add the suffix after his name.

      Check out our Social Security Number and Card web page for details on how to get a new, replacement or corrected Social Security card. If you click on Step 1, you can learn what documents he will need. All submitted documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. All documents will be returned to you.

      Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for details on getting help with your Social Security number. We hope this helps!

  3. Jasmine V.

    Paid surveys – ySense.

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  4. Brenda R.

    Will you send out notification when the local offices reopen for getting a name change on Social Security cards? With the way the mail has been running I don’t trust with my documents.

    • Vonda

      Hi Brenda, thanks for using our blog. Please continue to check the Social Security and Coronavirus web page for updates. You may select Subscribe to receive alerts from us when we add or change information. We hope this helps!

  5. Lisa A.

    Why is third EIP TAKING SOCIAL SECURITY SO LONG TO RELEASE

  6. Mya

    My SSA card has a mis-spelled first name (they used an “I” instead of “Y”) . I am now 21. \

    The text above is for name change – as in a divorce. My issue is only the first name.

    I need to renew my drivers license which is valid for 30 more days.

    Please help!

    • Vonda

      Hi Mya, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Social Security Number and Card web page for details on how to get a new, replacement or corrected Social Security card. If you click on Step 1, you can learn what documents you will need for a corrected card. All submitted documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. All documents will be returned to you.

      Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for details on getting help with your Social Security number. We hope this helps!

  7. Philip

    I have been waiting for offices to open so that I can have my name changed on my social security card (went through a legal name change). When are they going to open? I’m not comfortable mailing in originals of important documents or proofs of identity (e.g. Green card). I am by law required to always carry the green card on my person. When are the offices going to re-open?

    • Vonda

      Hi Philip, 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!

  8. Tracy C.

    How long should I expect to be on hold when calling SSA office in Minneapolis? I need to know when my license will be mailed back to me! The phone has been ringing for 1 hour and 20 minutes! I have a job, I can’t sit on the phone for hours. Everything else is opening up with limited capacity, open up SSA offices.

  9. Tracy C.

    My SS card had my last name from my 1st marriage, I neglected to change it when I remarried in 1994. My new employer is requested that I submit a corrected SS card. I mailed in a copy of the marriage certificate along with my actual drivers license. When can I expect to have my License returned? I think it’s ridiculous that a government agency is forcing me to break the law by driving around without my drivers license. I have no other identification that has my birthdate on it so I was forced to send in my license. I it has been about a month hat I submitted the application and my required documents. I am afraid my employer will let me go if I don’t present the corrected SS card, soon. Also, every day I am afraid that if I get into an accident or get pulled over by the police that I will be charged with a crime that SSA is forcing me to commit.

    • Vonda

      Hi Tracy, thank you 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.

  10. Jamie

    How can I get a replacement card for my minor child? I don’t have any of the secondary identity items and cannot mail my drivers license because I have to drive.

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