What’s Allowed In Your Legal Name Change
Your legal name is your first and last name only. The SSA will still print your middle name and suffix on your social security card if enough space is available.
Your name may only contain letters, spaces, hyphens, and apostrophes. Suffixes are okay. Omit your personal title, such as Mr., Ms., Mrs., Dr., Esq., Sister, or Father.
Don’t use a nickname or abbreviation, such as Liz for Elizabeth or Deb for Deborah, unless it’s your actual legal name.
Proof Of Your Identity
- State issued non-drivers identification card
- Employer identification card*
When you deliver your completed form and documents in person, you will receive a receipt showing your submission and status. This receipt will essentially serve as your temporary Social Security card until your new one arrives in the mail. This will allow you to proceed with your name change process with other agencies immediately. If there are any problems with your documentation, the local representative can also answer questions and help you resolve those issues instead of waiting to hear back from a mailed application.
Social Security: How To Change Your Name On Your Social Security Card
A Social Security number is important because you need it to work, collect Social Security benefits, and receive certain government services. The information on your Social Security card must always be up-to-date and correct.
If you legally change your name because of marriage, divorce, court order, or any other reason, you must tell us right away so you can get a corrected card. You cannot apply to change your name online.
Currently our offices are closed to the public due to COVID-19. Therefore, in order to update your Social Security card at this time, you need to:
Gather the required documents. See what documents you need at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber/ss5doc.htm. Under the heading, Type of Card, select Corrected for a list of the documents you need. Normally that will be proof of the legal name change and proof of identity . We must see original documents, not photocopies. We will return your documents as quickly as possible.
Fill out, sign and mail the Application for a Social Security Card at www.socialsecurity.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf along with the required documents to the office that services your mailing address. You can use our field office locater at www.socialsecurity.gov/locater.
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How Much Does It Cost
A Social Security name change is always free. Of course, you’ll have to pay for postage if you’re mailing your form in, but FYI, HitchSwitch’s $69 package even includes prepaid mailing envelopes! That may not seem like a must-have now, but it might after you see how much other mail you’ll be sending.
Name Change Is A Big Life Event
A legal name change is a major life event and requires considerable effort. If you are dedicated, however, you will find using a checklist and taking each necessary step will lead to success.
Changing your name legally isnt a quick and easy processespecially if it is for reasons other than marriage. If you have a criminal record, its even more work so before deciding to change your name in Pennsylvania, you should decide if you are willing to go extra the mile.
Its important to also change your credit cards, library card, and other ID you use on a regular basis. Each name change has to be done separately with the appropriate issuing agency.
Finalizing a completed name change takes effort but if you fail to notify government agencies, youll soon find yourself running into practical and, potentially, legal problems. Any time you change jobs or conduct business requiring your drivers license, birth certificate, or other government issued document, youll be unable to prove who you are. Take the process seriously, and break it down into small steps.
Social Security Card Name Change
- Cost: Free
- Application: Cannot apply for change online, must do it in person
- Form: Fill out and print Form SS-5
To change your name on a Social Security Card you will need to visit a Local SSA Office by entering your zip code. After you have found the office you can either visit during operating hours or call and make an appointment.
If you were recently married or divorced, bring your license or decree.
Updating your name with the Social Security Office will in effect update your name with the IRS.
What To Do With Wedding Checks
Your loved ones, while well-intentioned, may have written wedding checks in a variety of different ways, possibly making assumptions about if and how youll change your surname.
If youre staring at a pile of checks with mismatched names and wondering if youll ever get to deposit them, take the checks to the bank. Bring a copy of your marriage certificate, and explain the situation. In many cases, bank staff will allow these one-off depositsjust ask how exactly to endorse the checks.
The long-term solution is to properly register your accounts with your new name. You dont want to go to the branch every time you receive a check.
This article was updated and added to by Justin Pritchard.
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Update Your Drivers License
To get a new drivers license, you need to go to your local Department of Motor Vehicles office with the correct paperwork in hand. Requirements vary by state, so be sure to check with yours before heading to the DMV. In most cases you’ll at least need your marriage certificate, and some states also require you to bring your updated Social Security card and old drivers license. While there, you can also ask about changing the name on the title of your car and your vehicle registration records.
Real Id License Or Standard
Nevada offers a choice between a license or ID that complies with the federal Real ID Act of 2005 or a standard Nevada license or ID.
Upgrading to a Real ID is easy if you already have the documents required for a name change. Simply bring in your original birth certificate or other proof of identity and two documents that prove your Nevada residential address.
You must bring all of the following to upgrade to a Real ID:
Proof of Identity AND If you have changed your name, Proof of All Name Change AND Proof of Social Security number AND Proof of your Nevada residential address AND Application for Driving Privileges or ID Card :
See Residency and Proof of Identity for details and lists of documents.
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Applying To Change Your Name With The Ssa
Once youve gathered your documentation, its time to fill out your Social Security card application.
To obtain a copy of the application, you can , request a copy by phone from the SSA at 800-772-1213, or visit an SSA office and pick up a copy. Keep in mind that regardless of whether youre applying to update your name, request an original card, or replace a lost card, the application form is the same.
Look over the instructions for filling out the application and complete it as best you can. If youre not sure about anything, you can contact the SSA by phone here. Its better to be sure than to submit your application only to have it denied.
Get A New Social Security Card
Once you have an official copy of your marriage certificate, the next thing you should do is update your Social Security card with your new name. Your Social Security Number will stay the sameonly your last name will change. To complete this step, you’ll need to fill out Form SS-5 and present it with a copy of your certified marriage certificate. You can send it by mail or in person at your local Social Security office. You’ll receive your new Social Security card by mail in 7-14 days.
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How Do You Get A New Social Security Card After A Name Change
Suppose you change your name. How easy is it to change your Social Security registration and get a new card?
Its not very difficult. Heres what you need to do, according to The Social Security Administration:
If the document meets certain criteria, you may only need to mail us your SSN card application and your original or certified name change document. The name change document can be used as both an identity and name change document if it is not a birth certificate and the name change event occurred within the past two years and has the applicants prior name and biographical information , which matches data on our records.
Below are examples of acceptable documents for a name change:
- Proof of Name Change
- Certificate of Naturalization showing the new name
- Court order approving the name change
- Proof of Identity
- U.S. passport or U.S. diplomatic passport
- U.S. Military identification card
- School identity card or certified copy of school record with biographical information such as DOB, age, etc.
- Health Insurance or U.S. Medicaid card with biographical information such as DOB, age, etc.
- Certificate of Citizenship
- U.S. Indian Tribal ID card
- Final adoption decree
Wait Patiently For Your Updated Social Security Card
Now that you have completed the form and provided all the documentation required, you can sit back and wait to receive your replacement card in the mail. If you completed the process at your local office, then you can expect to receive your new card in the mail in about 14 business days. You will also receive the documents you provided back in the mail as well.
If you mailed your application, you can expect the process to take about 4-6 weeks. If it goes longer than that, and you still have not received any information, then you can call the Social Security phone number at 800-772-1213 to check on the status of your request. Just remember to be patient as this office processes thousands of requests per day, and it will take some time for that new card to arrive.
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Gather All Original Documents And Certified Copies For Ssa
If you dont have every required document, get as many as you can of the original documents.
This step requires locating your original documents that include your prior legal name, or ordering copies when applicable. All documents should be current, and its especially important to have a current drivers license as it will include a recent photo.
Most people change their legal names after getting married, and for this reason its important to have both your marriage certificate and marriage license.
Changing Your Name On Your Social Security Card
Before you can get a card with your new name on it, youll need to gather the required documents and fill out an application.
Then, you must submit the documents and application to a Social Security office near you. You can also mail your paperwork, but unfortunately, you cannot submit anything online.
Generally, youll need documents to prove your name change, your citizenship or legal residence, and your identity. The documents youll need will depend on how you changed your name and your citizenship status.
If figuring this all out sounds overwhelming, remember that Update My Name makes this process simple by providing the necessary documentation, compiling your information, and auto-filling your applications. But if youre ready and willing to go it alone, keep reading.
Social Security Card Name Change Updated For 2021
If you live in the United States, you know that almost everything associated with your identity is tied to your Social Security number. The name listed on your Social Security card must match your legal name in most situations like starting employment or trying to open a bank account. So, what happens if your name changes? Perhaps you are recently married or divorced or maybe you just decide that you want to legally change your name for other reasons. How do you change the name on your Social Security card? Thankfully, that process is not that complicated. If you need to change your name on your Social Security card, then keep reading to learn how.
Filing A Pa Name Change Petition
Unfortunately, if you’re interested in any other kind of name change after marriage in Pennsylvania , you’ll need a court order. To get started, The Pennsylvania DMV recommends contacting your local prothonotary office. Expect your PA name change petition to take some time and come with associated fees.
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Publishing Your New Name
One very common thing that most states require is the requirement to make a publication in your local newspaper of the new name change. Its always a good idea to call your local newspaper and ask the cost of publication. Making certain that you have enough money to cover the court filing fees and newspaper publication costs is imperative. If required, your state will give you the correct document which is used in your newspaper publication. You will also need a copy of your petition for a change of name form. Once printed in the newspaper, save it for your future court date.
Can You Apply For A Social Security Card Online
In rare cases, yes, but not in the case of a name change. If you’re not requesting a Social Security name change and you are a U.S. citizen age 18 or older, with a U.S. mailing address, and you have a current driver’s license or state-issued identification card from certain states, you may apply online.
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Complete And Submit Form Ss
Form SSA-5 is used for replacement and new social security cards. Once youve printed the form, you are ready to begin filing it out. This form is not long but does require accurate information. It gives detailed instructions, but should you get stuck at any point you can call the Social Security information at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance.
Do not leave any sections blank. It is better to write not available or NA than leave a space blank. Per SSA instructions, use a blue or black ink pen.
If you do not have a computer available, many people ask a friend for help or use a local library.
You can either mail the completed form SS-5, along with your original Social Security card and court order , or take form SS-5 to your local Social Security office. Some people are more comfortable going to the local office in person, and remember you can call ahead to make an appointment. Sitting down with an SSA worker can help answer any questions you have, and you do not need to be concerned about your original documents getting lost in the maileven though that is unlikely.
If you mail your SS-5 and required documents, its okay to send by registered letter for extra peace of mind but this is not necessary. Be sure that if you must submit a court order, you are using a certified copy.
Updating Information Linked To Your Sin
If you are legally changing your name
By law, you must update your SIN record when you change your name. To update or request any changes to your SIN record, you will need to submit an application and provide required documentation.
If you would like to have your disc number removed from your SIN record
You can do so in person, by mail, or online by submitting an application and providing required documentation.
If you are changing your gender designation
You now have the option to have your gender marked as X or not to declare your gender. Service Canada will add a note to your record indicating your choice. However, until our computer systems are upgraded to register this information, “male” or “female” will still appear on your SIN record.
To update or request any changes to your SIN record, you will need to submit an application and provide required documentation.
If your temporary SIN expires
If your SIN begins with a “9”, you must update your SIN record to ensure that the expiry date always corresponds with the expiry date on your document from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada authorizing you to work in Canada.
As soon as a decision has been rendered by the IRCC authorizing you to continue to work in Canada, you must apply with your new immigration document to Service Canada for your SIN record to be updated with the new expiry date.
How To Change The Name On Your Social Security Card
The process to change the name on your Social Security card is quite straightforward. You must:
- Provide proof of your identity
- Complete and print an Application for a Social Security Card
- Mail or hand-deliver the application and supporting documentation to your local Social Security office
Once the application is processed, the Social Security Administration will issue you a new Social Security card under your new name. Please note that your Social Security number will not change.
Originally created to track the earnings history of employees for use in administering benefits, the SSA-issued Social Security number is used as a universal identifier. The nine-digit number lets government agencies identify and compile information about you.
When you change the name on your Social Security card whether through marriage, divorce, court order, or another reason you need to contact the SSA to receive a corrected card. Failure to do so could stop your wages from being assigned to your earnings record or delay processing of future income tax refunds.
Individuals often ask, how long does it take to change your name on a Social Security card? The answer depends on the backlog at the SSA. Normally, it takes two to six weeks for the SSA to mail your new card, along with returning any supporting documentation. For this reason, don’t wait to initiate the process.