Tuesday, August 9, 2022

How To Change Your Name With The Social Security Administration

Don't Miss

Original Card For A Us Born Child

How to fill out Social Security Application Form to change your single name to married name


Social Security must verify a birth record for all U.S.-born applicants who apply for an original SSN. An exception is made for a parent who applies for a baby’s SSN at the hospital when the baby is born. To verify a birth record, we will contact the office that issued it.

All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. We also cannot accept a receipt showing you applied for the document.

Get a certified copy of a document showing a birth, marriage or divorce that took place in the United States.


In some cases, we can assign your adopted child a number before the adoption is complete, but you may want to wait. Then, you can apply for the number using your child’s new name. If you want to claim your child for tax purposes while the adoption is still pending, contact the Internal Revenue Service for Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions. For more information, see Social Security Numbers For Children .

What Documents Do You Need

See the SSA’s website for full instructions on getting a corrected card. The abbreviated version: You’ll need to fill out Form SS-5, which is the Application for a Social Security Card. You’ll also have to show the SSA:

  • Your legal name change document
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of citizenship but only if you haven’t proved citizenship with the SSA already

Mail or bring all those documents to a nearby SSA office. Find your nearest location here.

By Step Process To Change Your Name

The process of legally changing your name generally entails the following steps, although these may vary slightly depending on your state of residence:

  • Petition to change your name by filing the requirements below with the help of your countys court clerk after making sure all the forms are carefully filled out
  • Pay the processing fees, as required by the court
  • Attend the hearing scheduled with the judge or magistrate
  • The judge or clerk will sign the order and provide you with a certified copy once the hearing is closed
  • You may now proceed to amend your Vital Records by presenting the certified copy of your Name Change Order
  • Requirements to change your name legally:

    • Supporting evidence to prove your current legal name, such as your Social Security card, current valid birth certificate, and driver’s license or other form of valid photo identification.
    • Your states form for a petition to legally change your name
    • A court order to show cause for legally changing your name, and a decree to legally change your name, if applicable
    • An affidavit declaring you are not a convicted felon or currently have any outstanding warrants. Sign the form in the presence of a notary public so that they verify your identity and witness your signature

    Don’t Miss: Should You Give Someone Your Social Security Number

    Change Last Name After Marriage

    • Youll need a certified copy of your marriage license in order to change your name on your drivers license and your Social Security card. Wait at least 10 days after the ceremony is performed to allow sufficient time for your license to be returned to the Register of Deeds.
    • Request your certified copy of your marriage license online,or;, from the Wake County Register of Deeds office located in the Wake County Justice Center, 300 S. Salisbury St., Suite 1700, Raleigh, NC 27601.
    • Present the certified copy of your marriage license along with other required documentation to the Social Security Administration. After applying for a new Social Security card, you should wait at least 24 hours before going to the Department of Motor Vehicles to update your driver’s license. The Social Security Administration is at 4701 Old Wake Forest Road in Raleigh. The phone number is 877-803-6311.

    Who Needs To Be Notified After A Name Change

    How to Change Your Name on a Social Security Card: 10 Steps

    Your final step, after changing your name, will be to notify government agencies, businesses, family, and friends of your new name.

    Here is a list of the institutions you will need to reach out to, in order to communicate your legal name change:

    • Department of Records or Vital Statistics
    • Social Security Administration
    • Department of Motor Vehicles
    • Banks and Other Financial Institutions
    • Post office
    • State Taxing Authority

    You May Like: What Is Social Security Administration

    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.

    What Original Documents Do I Need


    If you have not already established your U.S. citizenship with us, we need to see proof of U.S. citizenship. We can accept only certain documents as proof of U.S. citizenship. These include:

    • U.S. passport;

    We require this documentation only if you haveNOT already established U.S. citizenship with us.

    Name Change

    If you need to change your name on your Social Security card, you must show us proof of your legal name change. Documents Social Security may accept to prove a legal name change include:

    • Certificate of Naturalization showing the new name; or
    • Court order approving the 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 or if you changed your name more than two years ago , you must show us an identity document in your prior name . We will accept an identity document in your old name that has expired.

    If you do not have an identity document in your prior name, we may accept an unexpired identity document in your new name as long as we can properly establish your identity in our records.


    We can accept only certain documents as proof of identity. For example, as proof of identity Social Security must see:

    • U.S. driver’s license;
    • State-issued non-driver identification card; or
    • U.S. passport.
    • Employee identification card;
    • Health insurance card ; or
    • U.S. military identification card.


    You May Like: How To Fill Out The Social Security Application

    Social Security: How To Change Your Name After Marriage

    Congratulations! You are getting married soon, and you are caught up in a whirlwind of planning activities. There are so many details to consider that you may forget one important detail that applies if you are changing your name — applying for a new Social Security card.

    Social Security uses your earnings history to calculate your benefits. The 35 years in which you earned the most are used in the benefit calculation. If you forget to notify your employer and the Social Security Administration about your name change, any W-2 forms received after the name change may be incorrectly recorded and your Social Security benefits may be incorrectly calculated.

    You may not even be aware of the problem until you retire and find your benefits to be lower than you expected. It could take some time to straighten out years of earnings filed under the wrong name. Your benefits may be delayed as a result, or even reduced if the correct earnings cannot be established.

    How do you apply for a new Social Security card after a name change? The SSA does have an online service, but unfortunately, you cannot use it to apply for a new card. You will have to either send an application in by mail or bring it in to your local Social Security office, along with the necessary supporting documents.

    To prove that your name change is legal, you will need to provide the documented proof of your marriage. Note that proof of name change status is necessary for any name change reason .

    How To Get A Marriage License

    How Can a Name Change Affect Your Social Security Benefits?

    To get a marriage license, you’ll need to apply in the state or country where your legal ceremony will take place. For a Maine marriage license, head to the city or town clerk’s where either you or your soon-to-be spouse live. If neither of you lives in Maine but you’re getting married in the state, you can go to any Maine city or town clerk to obtain the license.

    Also Check: Do You Have To File Taxes On Social Security Income

    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.

    Required Name Change Documents

    Depending on the circumstances behind your name change, present the SSA with one of the following documents:

    • Court order for a name change
    • Certificate of Naturalization displaying your new name

    If the SSA deems that the document does not provide sufficient enough proof, or if your name change occurred more than two years ago, additional proof of identity will be required.

    Recommended Reading: Where Can You Get Your Social Security Card

    Updating Gender Marker With Social Security

    STEP 1

    Gather your supporting documents

    Proof of citizenship and proof of identity are required to update your gender marker.

    Social Security does not accept photocopies of these documents. All submitted documents must be certified and current . You may use one document for two purposes. For example, your U.S. passport can be used as both proof of citizenship and identity.

    You will need to gather the following original documents:

    • Proof of citizenship: U.S. birth certificate or U.S. passport

    • Proof of identity: U.S. drivers license, state-issued ID, or U.S. passport

    • If you do not have one of these documents, you will be asked to submit another type of document, such as an employee ID, school ID, health insurance card, or U.S. military ID

    Step 2

    Acquire documentation for gender marker change

    The Social Security Administration requires specific documentation as proof of your gender.

    The following documents are accepted for a gender marker change:

    • Signed letter from a licensed physician confirming you have had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition

    • Court order legally recognizing your change of gender

    • Valid U.S. passport showing updated gender marker

    • State-issued amended birth certificate showing updated gender marker

    We recommend using a signed letter from a licensed physician.

    If you choose to submit a letter from a physician, we suggest these tips:

    STEP 3

    • Read the instructions on Pages 1-4 of the form.

    Step 4


    How Much Does It Cost

    How to Change Your Name on a Social Security Card: 10 Steps

    It depends on which of the above forms you’re submitting. The passport correction form is totally free. For the passport renewal form, it’ll cost $110 for a passport book and/or $30 for a card. If you’re filling out the application for a passport, the cost is $110 for a passport book and/or $30 for a card, plus $35 in additional fees.

    Also Check: How Do I Apply For Social Security Disability Online

    Gathering The Documents Needed To Change Your Ssa Card

    As mentioned, the first step in updating your Social Security card is to gather documentation to prove:

  • Your name change
  • Your identity
  • Your citizenship or legal residence
  • To prove that youve legally changed your name, youll need to provide a certified copy of one of the following documents:

    • Certificate of naturalization
    • Divorce decree

    Its possible that one of these documents could provide enough information for the SSA to verify your identity, but if it doesnt, youll need to submit another document to prove your identity. To prove your identity, all of the following documentation may be accepted:

    • United States passport
    • U.S. drivers license
    • State-issued ID card

    To prove your prior name, any of the above documents will be acceptedeven if theyre expiredas long as they match your name in the SSAs records. If you dont have an ID document with your prior name, you can use an ID document with your current name as long as the SSA can verify your identity in their records. Finally, if you do not have a passport, license, or state-issued ID card and you cant get one within ten days, you can use one of the following documents:

    • Health insurance card
    • School I.D. card
    • U.S. military identification
    • Employee I.D. card

    Can You Legally Change Your Name To Anything You Want

    Individuals who dislike their birth name may legally change it to another name they are more comfortable with, following a few common sense considerations and exceptions:

  • You may not change your name for fraudulent or criminal reasons, nor to escape debt, or legal actions against you
  • You may not take on a celebritys name as that could be viewed as misleading
  • You may not take on a trademarked name, a numeral, a punctuation mark, nor something offensive or obscene as your new name
  • You May Like: Can You Get Disability If You Are On Social Security

    How Do I Change The Name On A Social Security Card

    To change your name on your Social Security card:

    Step 1: Gather documents proving your:

    • Legal name change;
    • Certificate of Naturalization showing a new name; or
    • Court-ordered name change.
  • Identity; and
  • U.S. citizenship or immigration status (including Department of Homeland Security permission to work in the United States.
  • Step 2: Complete an Application for a Social Security card.

    Step 3: Take or mail your completed application and documents to your local Social Security office.

    All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. SS administration cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. Any documents you mail to us will be returned to you along with a receipt.

    Important Information

    SS administration will mail your card as soon as SS administration have verified your documents. You should receive your card within 10 business days from the date on your receipt. The new card will have the same number as your previous card, but will show your new name.

    Applying To Change Your Name With The Ssa

    How to change your single name to married name to your Social Security card

    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.

    Recommended Reading: How To Figure Out Your Social Security Number Online

    Submitting Your Documentation And Application

    Once youve completed the application and gathered the necessary documentation, you must submit both to the Social Security Administration.

    As mentioned, you can submit your paperwork by mail or by visiting an SSA office near you. You will not have to pay anything for your new Social Security card nor will you have to pay any fees. Other than the cost of your time, the service is completely free.

    To find an SSA office near you, you can visit the Social Security Administrations website, check the telephone directory, or call the SSA number at 800-772-1213.

    Once the SSA processes your application, your new card will generally be issued within ten business days. However, it may take some time for them to process your application.

    So, assuming you didnt forget any documentation or miss anything on your application, you can expect to receive your new Social Security card in two to six weeks after youve mailed everything in.

    Corrected Card For A Foreign Born Us Citizen Child

    If you legally change your child’s name because of adoption, court order or any other reason, you need to tell Social Security so that your child can get a corrected card. If your child is working, also tell your child’s employer. If you do not tell us when your child’s name changes, it may:

    • Delay your tax refund or your child’s refund; and
    • Prevent your child’s wages from being posted correctly to your child’s Social Security record, which may lower the amount of your child’s future Social Security benefits.


    You must present original documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies. All documents must be current . We cannot accept a receipt showing you applied for the document.

    Recommended Reading: How To Find Out My Current Social Security Benefits

    Changing Your Last Name After Marriage

    If you intend to change your;last name once;you are married, that can usually be done;through the marriage process. Once you are married, it will be your responsibility to;notify;certain government agencies as well as update your official identification documents with;your new legal name. In;order to do a name change, most government agencies will require you provide the;original marriage license or a certified copy of the marriage license. If you need a certified copy, contact the county clerk where the license was issued.

    See the resources below to help you get started with the name change process.

    More articles

    Popular Articles