How Can I Change My Name on My Social Security Card?

Regardless of the reason you changed your name, you must update your information with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The process is simple, but it may take a little time and effort to obtain the necessary documentation.

Name Change

Before you can change your name with the SSA, you must first legally change your name. Marriage and adoption are two of the most common ways, but people can change their names simply by petitioning the courts. You will ultimately end up with an official document, such as a marriage certificate or a court order that reflects the name change.

Documentation

To get a Social Security card with your new name, you will need to prove three things to the SSA. All documents must be original or certified. The SSA will not accept copies, even if they're notarized.

You must prove that your name has been legally changed by supplying an official document that shows both your old and your new names together. A marriage certificate, divorce decree or other court order will usually work. Next, you will need to prove you are who you say you are. Any photo identification, with either your old name or your new name, can be used. In some rare cases, you will need one photo ID with your old name and one photo ID with your new name. Finally, you need to prove you are a U.S. citizen. Birth certificates or passports are the most commonly used documents for this.

Application

Get a Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, from your local Social Security office or download it from the SSA website. Fill it out and gather all of your documentation. Double check to ensure your documents are original or certified copies. Bring the application package to your local Social Security office and submit the application. If you do not know where your local SSA office is, call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 to get information, or use the online office locator service.

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