233 Comments

Before you can do much to change your name, you need to get your name changed with the Social Security Administration. That social security card is the key to getting through other name changes (like at the DMV, your bank, etc) smoothly and with as little hassle as possible. So how do you ensure that changing your name with social security is as painless as possible?

Before You Do Anything Else

You'll need to complete the SS-5 application, which is a form made freely available from the Social Security Administration. A social security card name change begins at this document.

Now What?

Updating your social security card through the mail

Okay, you've got your form filled out and in front of you. Now what do you do?

This is where you make a very important choice. See—you can easily drop your form and supporting paperwork (marriage certificate, etc) into an envelope and mail it off. Then you just sit back and wait for your new social security card to show up. The Social Security Administration will mail you your new card as well as your supporting documents back to you… in about two to six weeks, or so. Yes, how long it takes for your name to change can vary a considerable amount, depending on how heavy their queue or backlog is.

Remember, the Social Security Administration is a huge, sprawling organization that deals with a multitude of issues, of which name change is just a part. If you don't mind waiting up to six weeks to really dig in to changing your name, this is the way to go.

Changing your name, in person, at your local Social Security office

If you don't want to wait that long and would rather (for lack of better terminology) bang it all out in a day or two, there is another route you can take: you can actually gather up your forms and pay a visit to your Social Security Administration Office. You'll get a temporary card that you can then take with you to the bank, the DMV, etc.

But isn't the Social Security office a nightmare?

You probably have visions of Joe-vs-The-Volcano like lines of people all trudging forward an inch at a time to take care of their business. This is certainly the stereotype and, if you've been down the Social Security Google rabbit hole, you've undoubtedly read a few horror stories about what visiting the office was like.

Here's some good news: it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, if you approach it well, the entire process shouldn't take much time at all.

Here is how to ensure that your visit to the SSA goes smoothly and is incident free.

1. Make sure you have all of the proper forms filled out

The primary form the SSA provides (Application for a Social Security Card) is there specifically to have your name changed with social security. Use that. This way you won't have to worry that you've found an old form or, worse, a totally wrong form. Also, don't sign nor date the form just yet. If you're going in person, it's better for you to apply your signature when you're in front of the clerk who's working on your application, so that he/she can witness the act.

2. Get all of your supporting documentation together

You are going to need to have the following documents with you:

Legal documents proving your name change: This is almost always going to be your marriage certificate (or divorce decree). This point requires repeating—you need your marriage certificate. Specifically, a certified copy of your marriage certificate, and not your marriage license.

Marriage license or Marriage certificate? What's the difference?

There's been a longtime point of confusion, that's been going on forever, regarding these two documents. The Internet is littered with various articles, Q&A help sections, and forums conflating the two by telling folks a marriage license is an acceptable document to serve as proof of name change. That's false. A marriage license is the document you receive before you get married, which provides you legal authorization to get married. The marriage certificate is a document you receive after you are married, and it's what the Social Security Administration is expecting in order to change your name after marriage.

You'll also want to make sure it's a certified copy. Whether you're mailing in your name change forms or doing it in person, if you end up bringing in a photocopy of your marriage certificate made on your home office copy machine, you'll be laughed right out of the building. Well, you may not face ridicule, but you'll be politely told to supply an authentic, certified copy before you're sent packing.

You lie! I used my marriage license to change my name

Ok, you're right, and you're wrong. And it's not what you think. There are some counties and states where the marriage license and marriage certificate are actually one and the same. The heading's the same. Whoever officiates the marriage will file it with the county recorder's office. The only difference is, the status changes. Once you're married, the document is now considered your marriage certificate. Like a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly.

But I got a certified copy of my marriage license?

Ok, we're getting deep into the rabbit hole, but there is such a thing as a certified copy of a marriage license. It's typically referred to as a marriage record, which isn't the same thing as a marriage certificate. Marriage records (photocopy and certified) are typically issued by a county clerk's office (where you apply for a marriage license), while a certified copy of a marriage certificate is gotten from the county recorder's office.

Just get a certified copy of your marriage certificate and all will be well. Moving on…

Non-marriage-related name change, for you other folks

If you're changing your name for reasons that aren't marital, you'll need the paperwork from the court that approved your name change. If you want to change your name in a way that your state doesn't recognize as part of the marriage name changing process, you'll need to petition the court. For instance, if you want to also change your first name, you'll have to get a court order granted by a judge.

Identity documents—Are you who you say you are?

Your current driver's license, state ID or passport should be sufficient.

Still, not everyone has a driver's license or state ID or passport. If that's who you are, don't fret, the door isn't going to close on you. The SSA will work with you by asking for alternative, secondary documents, such as a health insurance card or Medicaid card. Or even a school ID or employee badge.

Sometimes military IDs and other forms of identification will work, but before you visit the office it's a good idea to call ahead and make sure they will accept what you want to use.

Your citizenship

This can be your birth certificate or your passport.

If you aren't a citizen, you'll need to provide proof of your immigration status.

3. Grab a folder

This will help you save time. No, really—it sounds stupid but think about it: do you want to be the person who finally gets up to the window only to have to dig through her bag for a half an hour because she didn't keep all of the things she needed together and half of them have been buried or lost or, worse, left in the car (or even worse—at home)? Nobody wants to be that woman. Or guy… everything we're talking about works for you too, if you're changing your name.

The folder will serve as the catch all location for all of the things you'll need to provide when you want to change your name: the forms you've printed or picked up and the supporting documentation you've gathered. Keeping everything in one location saves everybody time.

Put all of your forms and the supporting documentation mentioned above in the folder. Put the folder in your bag (or your briefcase—which is totally gender neutral, btw).

4. Visit your local Social Security Administration office

Yes, this is a silly bullet point with a microscopic accompanying paragraph, but it's one of the most important, because it give us the opportunity to point to the handy Social Security office locator that'll pinpoint exactly where you'll need to go.

5. Be prepared to wait

Sadly there is no real way to help you avoid a long wait. The SSA office is like most other places: traffic ebbs and flows. It's a good idea, though, to avoid going at lunch time, first thing in the morning or right before the end of the business day. Mid morning and mid afternoons are typically the best time to go. Mid week is also a good bet.

It's a good idea to bring a book or magazine with you to read as most SSA offices frown on people using their cell phones or using handheld gaming devices (as these can be loud and wearing earbuds could cause you to miss your turn).

You could try to phone them in advance to determine if you can make an appointment. The SSA does provide appointments for various services, but name change may not be a sufficient enough rationale for them to allocate you an appointment spot. It certainly doesn't hurt to ask, especially if there are extenuating circumstances (e.g., health-related, disability).

6. Access your reservoir of patience

Remember that the line at the Social Security office is not usually the fault of the people working behind the window. Many offices are understaffed these days and the employees are just as stressed out about the number of people who are waiting as the people waiting themselves. The calmer you are, the less irritating your visit is going to be.

You can be sure that you will spend more time waiting than you will actually working with someone. The time you spend in front of an employee will probably only be a few minutes. Your case worker needs to only verify the authenticity of your documents, enter in the new information and then print out your temporary card. If you have everything prepared ahead of time, you shouldn't have to worry too much about the process taking an extended period of time.

7. Take your "temporary card", thank the person who worked with you and go!

You are now all set up to change your name everywhere else… which, if you stick with in person visits, should only take the rest of the day (maybe part of the second if the wait at the SSA office was extraordinarily long)!

You'll get your real card in the mail about a week after you visit the office. Sign it and store it somewhere safe!

Next stop: Changing your name at the DMV

Going to the driver's license office right after getting your name changed with the Social Security office is the typical, next go-to route for most folks. You may want to do yourself a favor and wait 24 hours before doing so. Reason being, the DMV may query the SSA database to confirm your name change, and if there's a name mismatch (due to the SSA database not having been updated yet) they may not be able to process it… yet. It's a quirk of timing, but something to keep in mind for the impatient amongst you.

If you've got a great, or awful, social security story, share it in the comments section. If you've got any questions or need some help making heads or tails of name change, feel free to ask. We're here to help.

Good luck. And happy name changing.

233 Comments

  1. Heather Rubio-Meier

    I got married a yr ago and still haven't changed my name yet.. I am pregnant and is due in March. If I dont change my name on my SSC will my last name remain the same on birth certificate while my sons last name will be his dads even if our marriage certificate shows my nrw last name?My insurance and a couple of other places (banks) have my married name and even when I sign docs I use my married name is that legal?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      If I dont change my name on my SSC will my last name remain the same on birth certificate

      Yes

      while my sons last name will be his dads even if our marriage certificate shows my nrw last name?

      You, the mother, will be the one who fills out the birth certificate paperwork, so it will be whatever you choose to write down: your maiden name only, dad's last name only, hyphenated name (yours-dad's), flipped hyphenated name (dad's-yours).

      My insurance and a couple of other places (banks) have my married name and even when I sign docs I use my married name is that legal?

      If you haven't changed your name yet, then your legal name remains your maiden name. That's what should be used. Other institutions, like banks, insurances companies, may allow greater flexibility because they can, for the most part, set their own internal rules.

      For legal/government documents, use your legal name.

      Reply
  2. Pam

    Hi!

    My husband's last night is hyphenated. I want to take his last name but drop the hyphen (Smithjones instead of Smith-Jones). Is this still a simple trip to SSA with the right form or is this a larger issue? I appreciate the help!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Pam. That sort of name change would entail petitioning the court instead of just using your marriage certificate.

      Reply
  3. Jennifer Y.

    I got married in September and I was told by ssa I could go to the dmv to change my dl to my married name before I could go to get a new ss card as long as i had my birth certificate, so i did. Now I'm being told my new dl won't work as a valid proof of identity but I don't have anything else other than proof of marriage and proof of birth. What do I do???

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jennifer. If you explain to the SSA your lack of identity, they'll propose alternatives, such as passport, state ID, student/employer ID, etc.

      Reply
  4. Vianey olmedo

    Hi i went to get my last named changed on my ssn since am married . They told me i had to use both of my husband last name . And not one f mines . They explain but i did not understand much . He sad something about being to long my name is 6 letters and my last name also 6 letters. My husband first last name is 8 letters and his second last name is 6 letters can some one explain to me please.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Vianey. How were you trying to change it. Hyphenation? Or using just a part of his last name?

      Reply
  5. Sandee

    I was wondering I been married a year March 22nd I'm from Louisiana and i still wasnt able to change my last name to my married name on my social security card or identification card will I get in trouble for that and being I wanted so long can I still do it ?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Sandee. No, you won't get into trouble for not changing your name. Name change is optional.

      Reply
  6. M

    My husband had his name changed through a court order, and we're now trying to get his name changed on his social security card but we've run into an issue: the only proof of identity he has is his driver's license, and he really can't go without that for more than a day. He doesn't have a passport, school ID, or medical insurance card. If he goes in person to the SSA office will they process the name change that same day and give him his DL back?

    Reply
  7. Hannah

    Hello,
    I was married in 2009 in Canada, where I currently live. The province I live in does not allow women to change their name upon marriage.
    I have been hoping to get my name changed in the United States and then use that document to change the name on my Canadian passport, thereby bypassing the province of Quebec.
    Today on a visit to South Carolina I went to the SSA office to change my name. I took my U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, Canadian marriage certificate and Canadian act of marriage and official translations of these. I was told that I cannot do it anymore because it has been over two years.
    I question this because this amount of time appears nowhere on the Internet including the SSA pages, and also because the clerk tried to direct me to the DMV to get a South Carolina ID card first, when in actuality the DMV would have first required a name change at the SSA.
    Is there anywhere where this "unwritten law" appears in writing? Is there anything else at all I can do?
    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Hannah. It's not that you can't change it due to marriage after two years, it's that you'll need an additional identity document in your new name, which is why they directed you to get a state ID. Also, a SC state ID is not the same as a driver's license. Both are issued by the DMV, but they're different documents.

      Reply
  8. Ellen

    Hello, I was married in NYC in 2008. At that time I did not select to charge my surname and kept my maiden name. I now wish to change my surname and take my husbands last name. Since 2008 we have moved to PA and I am wondering if I have to take care of this in NYC or can this be handled in PA? Per NYC website, it is saying that to do this I would have to get remarried. Is this the only way and if so does this have to happen in NYC or can it happen in PA. Is there a simpler solution?

    Reply
  9. Inetta

    I have been divorced over 15 years now and I never changed my married name to my maiden name on my social security card, I never really had a problem until recently. I have been using my maiden name on everything. Is it illegal to use the name on my ssc until I get it changed.Confused please help

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is it illegal to use the name on my ssc until I get it changed.

      As you describe it, the name on your SS card is your legal, married name, so it wouldn't be illegal to use it. If you meant is it illegal to use your maiden name when you should be using your married, than that's a different story. Generally speaking, using the wrong name can get someone into legal trouble if they're doing it to avoid debts or commit fraud.

      Reply
  10. Krystina

    Hi
    I got married in Hawaii on 5/15/15. On our marriage certificate it has my full maiden name (first,middle,last)- as brides name; and my declared middle name (maiden middle name) & declared surname (maiden last name).
    I would like to actually have my husbands last name and keep my maiden first & middle, but since I did not declare it on the certificate when we got married does that mean I will have to do a name change petition and appear in front of a judge?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Krystina. It depends on the state. It's a good idea to contact your local DMV and SSA office to determine if they'll accept your certificate. Some states require the name on the certificate match what you'll be changing it to, while some states are non-binding.

      Reply
  11. Ann

    Hi, my maiden name was Aaa B. Caa but I changed my name to my husbands as Aaa B. Waa…Now I wanna use my maiden name as my middle name like Aaa Caa Waa…Is it possible?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Ann. Yes, it's possible, but you'll have to get a court order to change it again.

      Reply
  12. Rose Walker

    Bow can i change my marry name back to my maiden name if im a widow at th SS office

    Reply
  13. Diana

    Hi, i just have a question i got married in 2009 but i did not change my name then i filled everything out under my maiden name. How do i go about changing it to my married name now if i do not have any paperwork showing my married name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Diana. Same as the usual way, by acquiring a certified copy of your marriage certificate as proof of marriage.

      Reply
  14. Leslie

    Hi!

    Thank you for the great advice on your page. I recently got married this week and plan on going to the SS office to change my name. I also plan on completing my 2016 taxes next week. Should I hold off on the name change until after my taxes are submitted in order to avoid any confusion? Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Leslie. Even though the SSA will notify the IRS of a name change, it certainly wouldn't hurt for you to hold off until your tax filings are submitted, accepted, and resolved.

      Reply
  15. Brianna

    When changing my name with Social Security, how does this affect my birth certificate? I work for a company that requires 2 proofs of identity for example Drivers License and Certified copy of Birth Certificate – to become badged I currently have a badge but with my maiden name — and it states on our application that our "legal name" is what is listed on our birth certificate so I am just trying to clarify how when I change my name with Social Security how it will affect my birth certificate.

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Brianna. It doesn't affect your birth certificate. It doesn't change the name on your birth certificate. Identity verification doesn't necessary mean the names have to match. People undergo name changes for a variety of reasons (e.g., marriage, divorce, adoption) and the bulk of those name changes doesn't alter the original birth certificate.

      Reply
  16. Karimah

    I can not get my social security card because my identity doesn't match …I've never been married , but somehow I'm married (confusing yes it is to me also )… the last name on my card has been the same for 43 years , I recently lost all of my documents (birth certificate , social security card , etc …) I tried to get a replacement card , but I can't ..how do I rectify this …it's very frustrating

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Karimah. I'm not sure what you mean by you're not married but you are. As for identity, the SSA can accept alternative identity documents if the primaries are unavailable. You'll have to contact them to 1) determine which secondary documents are acceptable, 2) how many such documents you must provide, and 3) how to resolve your overall situation.

      Reply
  17. raina

    hi so I have been married for 5 years. I changed my name with ssa but not my DL. should I do it anyway or will I get in trouble with Maryland for not changing my ID.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I changed my name with ssa but not my DL. should I do it anyway or will I get in trouble with Maryland for not changing my ID.

      Maryland law says that the MVA should be notified of name changes within 30 days. Some other states have similar statutes. Finding information about raising awareness of this requirement and how it's enforced (if at all) doesn't turn up much. The penalty for not doing so seems to range between the vague and non-existent. The question is, what happens if you don't do it? These statutes appear to exist partly as motivators to get people to update their records so that their own database can be kept in sync.

      MVA may query the SSA database when you ultimately attempt to renew your license. When the name mismatch occurs, you'll be told you'll have to renew your license in the name that matches what's on your SS card. That shouldn't be a surprise when that time comes, as you were just delaying the inevitable. The question is, what happens when you're a few months away from having to renew your license or registrations? Does the MVA query the SSA database during those times? If so, what happens if there's a name mismatch?

      Will not updating your driver's license potentially cause you problems? Possibly. Is it advisable for you to update your driver's license to reflect your new name? Yes.

      Reply
  18. Eri

    I just got my new SS card, but in the office the lady put my name and middle name together. She had my passport and my resident card with her my name is very clear there they are separated. She should do the same was there. Should I call or I have to go back to the office?

    Reply
  19. Jamie Booker

    Hello,
    I was married in 2015 for the second time. I had my first husbands last name. I now just changed it to my second husbands last name just on my SS card (have not changed any other documents) But now I have found out that it will cost $2000 to change my name on the deed to my house and other difficult issues with credit cards and titles to my car. Now I want a redo and hyphenate it. first husbands name-second husbands name. Is it possible to do that?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jamie. Yes, it is possible, but you'll have to get a court petitioned name change in order to do so.

      Reply
  20. Ashley

    I have an interesting question. The SSA knows me by the last name I was born with (Kueny), which is different than what I go by (Wick). What I put as my last name on my marriage license (Wick), is not my legal name (with the SSA), but it is the name that is on all other documents aside from my SS card. So, my birth certificate, my passport, and drivers license all have Wick, which technically is not legal. How this happened, I do not know. It happened during childhood somehow. So, anyways, the marriage certificate has a non-legal name on it. When I send it in, the supporting documents all have different last names. Make sense? Am I even going to be able to change my name to my husband's last name with the huge mix up?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Ashley, yes you should be able to change it fine. At worst you'll be requested to provide some secondary identity documentation.

      Reply
  21. Elizabeth

    Are there any issues hyphenating ones name after marriage? Basically I want to take my maiden last name and hyphenate with my husbands last name. I haven't changed my SS card yet, but need to do so. Do I still just go to SSA with my certified marriage certificate and they will do that, or is there something special that needs to be done when hyphenating a name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Are there any issues hyphenating ones name after marriage?

      No, there are no issues.

      Do I still just go to SSA with my certified marriage certificate and they will do that, or is there something special that needs to be done when hyphenating a name?

      No, nothing special or extra to do. The process is the same whether or not your hyphenate.

      Reply
  22. Ceira Ackerman

    Just to clarify, If I just got married, the only documents I need to change my name (by mail) on my Social Security Card is going to be the SS-5, certified copy of marriage certificate, and copy of birth certificate?

    Reply
  23. Dreca

    I'm getting married in NY, but I live in KY. Can I start the name change process while I'm there or do I have to start it when I get back home? I'll have all my documentation and the time to do it there.

    Reply
  24. Melissa

    I got married in Cancun Mexico in Nov 2016. The documents were in Spanish so we got them translated to English but the translator didn't certify the Wedding Certificate with the raised seal only the circle and writing that looked liked the seal but wasn't raised. My question is can I use my marriage certificate to change my last name at the SSA, DL and my Bank ? It's certified with the seal but it's not the rIsed seal.

    Reply
  25. Christy

    I recently moved to Texas from Wisconsin after getting married. I currently have a Wisconsin Drivers License that will expire on my birthday. I just changed my last name with the social security office but they said it could take up to two weeks to get a new social security with my husbands last name. My current out of state Drivers License will expire prior to these two weeks. Do you know if I go to a Texas DMV to get my id switched, will they allow me to do it prior to getting my new social security card with my new last name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Christy. They should be able to change it beforehand, as they can likely query the SSA database remotely.

      Reply
  26. Chelsea

    On my marriage certificate, I put down for two middle names (my previous middle name and maiden name as middle names). Now I am thinking I just want to have one middle name (my maiden name). I haven't made any changes yet at social security. Will I be required to change my name exactly as written with two middle names on my marriage certificate or can I decide to just use my maiden name for my middle name when I make the legal change? If I want to just use my maiden name as middle name, will that require a court order?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Chelsea. You'll likely need a court order. They'll want your name to match what you specified on the certificate.

      Reply
  27. Khadji

    I'm married but I got my social security card change but it got both of our last name with his name last name last but I haven't changed my I.d and I still go by Maiden name at my job do I need to change it and go by my husband last name

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Khadji. By ID, are you referring to your driver's license? Some states require you update your license in the event of a name change within X number of days. It's not clear what their enforcement mechanism or penalty for not doing so in a timely manner is. If you don't update your ID soon, you'll eventually have to do it later, such as renewal time.

      As for your job, you'll want to make sure they're using the name that matches what's on your social security card for tax purposes. You don't want a name mismatch there.

      Reply
  28. Kelly

    Hi, I've been married to my second husband since 2001. I have my drivers license, all my bills, bank account…everything in my second husbands name. So for 18 years I have had my seconds husbands last name except on my social security card. My last name is still my first husbamds name on my SS card. I've even filed my taxes with my second husbands name. I now want to legally change it to what it should be on my social security card. Is this going to be a problem?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kelly. It shouldn't be a problem since you have multiple supporting identifications in your second husband's name. You'll still need to have a certified copy of your marriage record to effect a name change.

      Reply
  29. Julie

    I recently got married and kept my maiden name as my middle name. I had no problem at the social security office and on my social security card it reads: my first name, middle name (which now is my maiden name) and my new last name. However, at the DMV in NJ they told me they could only change my last name and not my middle initial. So right now my SS card states First, Maiden, New Last Name and my license states First, Old Middle initial, New last name. How can they not change this when it's already changed on my SS card? I feel like they were wrong here?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Julie. What you were told is accurate. New Jersey doesn't permit middle name changes as a result of marriage. It's further discussed in the maiden to middle article. See the last two paragraphs.

      Reply
  30. Megan

    Hi, I have two questions:

    – Will a U.S. passport be sufficient for my U.S. citizenship? My birth certificate is with my mom out of state.
    – Will the SSA keep my certified marriage certificate? I only have the original and not a certified copy.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Will a U.S. passport be sufficient for my U.S. citizenship? My birth certificate is with my mom out of state.

      Yes.

      Will the SSA keep my certified marriage certificate? I only have the original and not a certified copy.

      They should return it. If you're concerned this might not be the case, then you can order a certified duplicate copy from the office that houses your certificate. Then you can use the duplicate and keep your original at home.

      Reply
  31. Bea

    Are they supposed to give you a temporary card? They didn't give me anything. It's been a month since I applied and I have yet to receive my new card. Is there a way to check what's going on?

    Reply
      1. Elle

        I'm having the same issue as Bea. No temp card, just a "receipt" with my new name on it. I applied in-person 8 business days ago and still haven't received it. I've been to the DMV already (7 business days ago) and am also waiting for my new license to arrive. What is taking so long? The SS guy put my campus address on the receipt and I wish he hadn't because the DMV lady used it as my address (campus address = I can't use it in a month). Water under the bridge until I move, I guess. Is the Post Office holding my mail or something?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Elle. At this point, you'll have to contact your local SS office to get a status update.

          Reply
  32. Kate B

    Hi! I just got my certified marriage certificate this afternoon and then headed to the Social Security Card Office that was down the street (thankfully both are walking distance to my office). I told my boss I may be a few hours at the Social Security Office, because when I drive by in the morning there is a line 100 people deep waiting to get into the Social Security Office. I had tried to call to make an appointment, but I was told that location wasn't taking appointments.

    I walk into the social security office 30 minutes before it was closing and there wasn't a single other person there waiting! They had 9 windows open and not a person in the waiting room. I was in and out in 5 minutes! They didn't even ask to see my license, my marriage certificate was proof enough of my identity. I did find out my mother's maiden name is misspelled in the SS computers, but they won't change it without a certified copy of my birth certificate which I didn't have with me. Thankfully that shouldn't affect me at all for awhile. Even though their waiting room was empty, the clerks still had zero sense of humor. Oh well that's what government work will do to you.

    Now the big hassle will be the DMV. They aren't taking any appointments until May, so I am going to risk it and go when they open tomorrow. Thankfully it is next to my house. I am impatient so hopefully the SS system updates overnight, otherwise I will have to try again. Also, the social security office did not give me a temporary card when I went in person, just a "receipt" with my new name and my address recognizing I applied for a new card and that it should arrive in 2 weeks. Wish me luck!

    Reply
  33. nick

    Would my social security amount change if I get married & my future wife does not want to change her name , cause she would loose her deceased husbands money how would it work out with SSI .. would anyone be in trouble

    Reply
  34. BW

    Hi I have a question.

    I am a man taking his wife's last name as her dad has no other grandchildren than our son.
    We are going to change both of our names (myself and son) to his so he can have someone to carry on his name. My father has 15 other grandchildren and I discussed it with him.

    My father in law is a veteran and it is just the right thing to do.

    If I were to simply file the ss-5 with the supporting docs and then go to the DMV would this work?

    I think it is discriminatory to make a man pay to have this done.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi BW. It depends on the state. Most states do require the husband pay to do this through the court system.

      Reply
  35. Karina

    Hi,

    On a DC Marriage application we have to put our names as we are identified before being married. I did that and my maiden name is on the certificate because that's who I was when I applied for the license.

    My maiden name is hyphenated. Can I change my middle name on SS application SS-5 to only part of my hyphenated maiden name and last name to my Husbands last name?

    What are the restrictions (within SSA) for name change in Virginia after being married in DC?

    Reply
  36. JG

    I need to find out when my aunt changed her name due to marriage, this is to settle her estate. Can the social security office provide me with this information

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi JG. Yes, they would have a record of when the change was processed.

      Reply
  37. Lori

    I am married but I am not using my husband last name which is Andrew. I put Wells on my son who is five months birth certificate but I want it to be Andrew. I contacted vital records and they said I could add Andrew but to remove Wells I would have to do a legal name change. If I add Andrew to my son's name does he have to go by wells-Andrew or can he go by just Andrew. I want us all to match because I'm going to turn in my marriage license to SSA and start going Lori Andrew. Can you please assist? Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Lori. If you just add a name to your son's, he can go by just Andrew informally, but his legal name will be Wells-Andrew. If you don't him to have to deal with juggling these names, you'll have to petition the court to have his name changed.

      Reply
  38. Pamela Rae

    I have been divorced from my 3rd husband since 2007. I still have his last name. I am currently planning on getting married soon (to my first ex-husband) and would like to take his last name, but wonder if I will have to change my current name on my house deed, my bank documents, my passport, etc. to my new spouses last name if that's what I put on the marriage certificate. (I was married 25 years to my recent ex and actually cannot remember how the process works.) All of my children are grown, so the last name is not an issue regarding them, but I'm nervous about all of my legal documentation. I haven't had to file income taxes in several years as I've had no income other than personal loans and my savings to live on. Once married, will my new spouse and I file jointly with the IRS with me as his dependent whether I change my name or not? Will him carrying me on his health insurance policy need me to have his same last name? Help! Thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      would like to take his last name, but wonder if I will have to change my current name on my house deed, my bank documents, my passport, etc. to my new spouses last name if that's what I put on the marriage certificate.

      You'll only have to change them if you update your SS card.

      Once married, will my new spouse and I file jointly with the IRS with me as his dependent whether I change my name or not?

      Your name doesn't affect how you file. You can file as married filing jointly or married filing separately.

      Will him carrying me on his health insurance policy need me to have his same last name?

      No.

      Reply
  39. Joy

    Hi,

    I recently got married and chose to adopt my husband's last name on my marriage certificate. I reside in NJ, and I read that in NJ for you to add maiden name as a middle name (I didn't have a middle name to start with) you need to petition the court, which is a long and expensive process. I don't believe it's worth it. However, I know it's not a problem for me to get my maiden name added onto my SSN with the show of my marriage certificate. My question is – if I add my maiden name as middle name on my SSN, but leave it out on my NJ driver's license and only change my last name, since it requires a more tedious process, would this affect anything? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      My question is – if I add my maiden name as middle name on my SSN, but leave it out on my NJ driver's license and only change my last name, since it requires a more tedious process, would this affect anything?

      That may not work if the MVC performs a look up against the SSA database and it results in a name mismatch.

      Reply
      1. Joy

        Some local married people informed me that as long as I add the maiden as middle name on my SS first, which isn't a problem, the NJ DMV would use the SS name change as official document and proceed with adding my maiden as middle name. Do you know if this is the case? Thanks!

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Joy. This may work, as you had no previous middle name established. It's not guaranteed.

          Reply
  40. Swetsav

    I have question – …. I went to US on a j1 visa through my employer and got Ssn also for that period. After coming back from US , I got married and my husband purchased house in my new last name after marriage though I am yet to change my new name in my passport and other govt docs. I also have educational degree certificate from US. Now my passport is going to expire next year and my husband wants me to change my maiden name to his last name. Will I face any difficulty in future when I go to USA as I will have to change my last name in Ssn card at that time only as my visa expired already now. Also can I get name change done in my education certificates by online providing marriage certificates? I am from India and will marriage certificate from here be accepted there in US

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Will I face any difficulty in future when I go to USA as I will have to change my last name in Ssn card at that time only as my visa expired already now.

      Have documents in your possession showing your prior name (e.g., birth certificate) as well as documents explaining how your new name came about (e.g., marriage certificate).

      Also can I get name change done in my education certificates by online providing marriage certificates?

      You'll have to contact the institution. Most would want it done by mail with proof inluded, such as your marriage certificate.

      I am from India and will marriage certificate from here be accepted there in US

      It should be accepted, although some institutions may request it be translated and notarized if not in English.

      Reply
  41. Ashley

    When I was 19, I got a court ordered name-change in California (I guess back in 1990 you didn't need to show a child's birth certificate when applying for a SS card and my step dad put his last name as my last name, preventing me from getting a state issued ID when I needed it). When my husband got our marriage license in Louisiana, the court clerk refused to put my legal last name on the marriage license, saying that she had to use what was on my birth certificate (even though she was provided with the court documents needed to verify my legal name change).

    So…my marriage certificate has my one last name (which I am incredibly mad about) and my entire identity is another last name (never used the birth last name). How am I going to go about changing my name with SSA?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Ashley. As I understand it, you attained a court order to change your name, but it's not clear that you ever took your court order to the SSA to change the name in their records. If that's the case, the name on your birth certificate has been your legal name, which is why the clerk required you to specify that. If this is true, you'll have to petition the court to change your name.

      Reply
  42. Ron Mollkoy

    Why does new card have copy on it after name change?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Ron. What do you mean by "copy?" Please provide more details.

      Reply
  43. Tiffany chapman

    Someone please help. I got married in 2014, got my named changed at the SSA and just finding out this year that i cant look up my cresit report, cant create and SSA account for my sons disability, and the power company still seens my maiden name with my SS# not my married name. Im afraid im eventually going to run into issues when i try to apply for something but i need it to be my married name. I want to go to college, when i go to fill out the dederal aid form it has all my previous loan information under my maiden name as well. When i get my taxes filed though, i give them my maiden name on my ss card and ive never had an issue getting a refund. Theres some places i havent gktten in changed, like a state ID or drivers license, but i thought since i made it legal through SSA that anything to do with my SS # would show me as my married name by now.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      just finding out this year that i cant look up my cresit report

      Credit bureaus eventually become aware of name changes, although it can take time. You can write a letter to each of the bureaus and include a certified copy of your marriage certificate with a name change notification that specifies your old and new name.

      cant create and SSA account for my sons disability

      You'll have to contact the SSA about this.

      and the power company still seens my maiden name with my SS# not my married name.

      You'll have to notify utilities of your name change.

      I want to go to college, when i go to fill out the dederal aid form it has all my previous loan information under my maiden name as well.

      You'll have to update your profile's name.

      When i get my taxes filed though, i give them my maiden name on my ss card and ive never had an issue getting a refund.

      Taxes need to be filed under the name on your SS card, which is your married name.

      Theres some places i havent gktten in changed, like a state ID or drivers license, but i thought since i made it legal through SSA that anything to do with my SS # would show me as my married name by now.

      That's not the case. Changing it with the SSA only results in the IRS being automatically notified. Every other government and non-government institution must be notified separately.

      Reply
  44. Moriah

    I am getting married 6 months before I turn 21… can I just wait until I'm 21 to renew my license or will I have to do it twice? W

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Moriah. Some states require you to update your license within X days if you've changed your name with the SSA, although many of the enforcement mechanisms are ambiguous, weak, or nonexistent.

      If you're getting married, but won't actually be updating any of your identity document, then you don't have to renew early as there will be nothing to update.

      Reply
  45. Vee

    Hi! This thread has been very informational!

    I have a question and some help is very appreciated!

    I am currently on a work visa and my husband is a US Citizen. We got married in Feb'17 in TX. Right after we got married, I got my name updated to my married name on my SSN card using my marriage certificate. The SSA updated my name and I had no problems there.

    I went to the DMV when I got my SSN card with the updated name to get a state ID. There I was told by the officer that I would have to get my name updated with immigration first! How do I do that? We have a greencard application in process, will this affect the application?

    Also, I am applying for a drivers license where I will need to present identification and it wont match because the SSN has the married name and all my other IDs have my maiden name! Can the DMV still give me a license in my maiden name? I have never had a drivers license in the US before. I am in such a fix!

    Any help on this is appreciated!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      How do I do that? We have a greencard application in process, will this affect the application?

      You'll have to contact USCIS about amending your application.

      Can the DMV still give me a license in my maiden name?

      You'll can present an alternative identity document. Review the list of acceptable documents on TxDPS.

      Reply
  46. Angela Holley

    I just gor married and was wondering will i get new social security number

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Angela. The Social Security Administration isn't going to automatically send you an updated social security card just because you got married. You'll have to notify them of your name change directly.

      Reply
  47. Stacey

    I just got married. I went to the SS office and changed my named. I wasn't offered a temporary card. SS told me it will take up to 24hrs for name changed to be updated. DMV says 48. Is the letter from SS not good enough to have my drivers license changed….

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is the letter from SS not good enough to have my drivers license changed

      No, your letter wouldn't be used. They'll access the SSA database for verification. Go by the DMV's wait time.

      Reply
  48. Danielle

    I apologize if this has been asked before, but I've searched and searched and not gotten a straight answer as of yet, so I'm hoping you all could please help.. It was granted in my divorce decree that my children's as well as my last name would all change to my maiden name. When I went to the social security office with the divorce decree, my driver's license, my children's insurance cards, birth certificates (basically anything and everything I thought I might need), I was told it couldn't be done there, that I would have to send my divorce decree to Nashville –I believe maybe TN's main office. My question is, what all should I send in order to have my children's last names and my last name changed? I just don't want to make any mistakes and it take any longer than it should. Any help or advice is very much appreciated; thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Danielle. Can you give a little more context about why they couldn't process your request?

      Reply
  49. Joice

    Hi there. It might be out of topic, but i hope you can give some advice. I got married 3 years ago and have my husband's name as my new surname. My status now is permanent resident. I got my GC through petition in 2012. During 3 years of marriage i didn't change my new name to SSA, GC or other legal docs. I decided to apply for naturalization this year. And here is my concern.

    1. On the form N-400 it asked my current legal name. Does it mean i have to put my maiden name? Because i haven't change anything on my identity.

    2. Is it going to be a problem if i don't change my new name first on my GC? I really don't want to request new GC with my new name, because it cost a lot of money and at the end it will be discarded once i become citizen.

    3. In the form N-400, part 2 point 4. Do i need to request name change and put my husband's name as my new legal name? Is it going to confuse them if i show them my marriage certificate? Or i shouldn't show them my marriage certificate? Because i wanted to change any legal docs with my husband's name after i become citizen. And i want my certificate of citizenship has my new name on it, not my maiden name.

    Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      1. On the form N-400 it asked my current legal name. Does it mean i have to put my maiden name? Because i haven't change anything on my identity.

      You can still put the married name, and show proof of marriage using the original or certified copy of your marriage record.

      2. Is it going to be a problem if i don't change my new name first on my GC? I really don't want to request new GC with my new name, because it cost a lot of money and at the end it will be discarded once i become citizen.

      No, it shouldn't.

      3. In the form N-400, part 2 point 4. Do i need to request name change and put my husband's name as my new legal name?

      This should match the name on your green card, so maiden name.

      Is it going to confuse them if i show them my marriage certificate?

      No, it won't confuse them. You're situation is one they encounter on a continual basis.

      Or i shouldn't show them my marriage certificate? Because i wanted to change any legal docs with my husband's name after i become citizen. And i want my certificate of citizenship has my new name on it, not my maiden name.

      No harm in showing your certificate. Name change as part of the naturalization process is common.

      Reply
      1. Joice

        Thank you for your respond. They ask me to send copy of my green card. Is it should be certified as well, or just plain copy would be fine?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          They ask me to send copy of my green card. Is it should be certified as well, or just plain copy would be fine?

          Photocopy, front and back.

          Reply
  50. Samantha

    Hello,

    I hope this has not been asked already, I tried to read through and didn't see that this had been asked. I just went in today to get my certified marriage certificate so that I can go and get my last name changed to my husbands and was a little confused. It stated that "proof of citizenship was required unless they already have proof" wouldn't my current SS card be that proof, or do I still need to bring in my birth cert. Normally I would just bring it but it is with my parents who do not live near to me.
    Short question is this, will my certified marriage certificate, drivers license and current SS card be enough for me to do the name change or will I need to somehow get a copy of my birth certificate?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      It stated that "proof of citizenship was required unless they already have proof" wouldn't my current SS card be that proof, or do I still need to bring in my birth cert.

      Not necessary, as it's already in their records.

      Normally I would just bring it but it is with my parents who do not live near to me.

      If you'd prefer to bring it anyway, you can just order a certified copy and have it mailed to you. You don't need your parent's copy.

      Short question is this, will my certified marriage certificate, drivers license and current SS card be enough for me to do the name change or will I need to somehow get a copy of my birth certificate?

      Those documents are sufficient. The birth certificate isn't required.

      Reply
  51. Paige Mcbay

    Hi, so I mailed all my information in over 2 months ago and they have YET to process my application. I sent everything needed and they sent that all back to me, minus my marriage certificate. I have called several times and each time the person is surprised it hasn't been processed and says they will make sure it gets in the next day..but it still hasn't. I moved to a new state so unfortunately it limits what I can do since I can't transfer anything. Would there be a reason it would be taking so long? Or why they haven't processed it yet? I live in a small town.

    Reply
  52. Nicole

    HI I got married on 10/10/2016, changed my last Name but did not Change my SSC or DL so far. I have to get a new DL asap with my new legal Name . Can I apply at the DMV first without being at the SSC? or do i HAVE to go to SSC first and then to the DMV to get my DL: I Need the DL asap and the time Frame is tight:-(

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Nicole. You may be able to get your driver's license done first, but it's unlikely. You don't actually have to wait until your new SS card arrives before changing your name with the DMV. If you wait around 24 hours between the two, the DMV may be to query the SSA database to look for a name match/mismatch.

      Reply
  53. Michelle schoch

    Hi, I have a question maybe you can help me with. I married for the first time 17 years ago. I took my husbands name and had 3 beautiful children. Since than we divorced not I have just recently remarried. I did not change my last name back to my maiden name after the divorce. I wanted to keep my last name the same as my children. Now that I have remarried, I would like to hyphenate my last name. I would like to use my previous married name – new married name? Is that ok. I know on the paperwork we filled out for the marriage license it asked for maiden name, which I filled out, but I also wrote on it my current name which was my married name. If I am still legally lets say Sally May, and I just married Mr. June. On my SS card and everything else, can I be known as Sally May-June?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Michelle. It depends. Which state did the marriage take place in and which state are you a resident of?

      Reply
  54. Melody

    Hi I need help! So I just got married and I am waiting for my marriage certificate. However, my green card is expired. I have lived in the US since 1995 but my green card expired 2 years ago and I just don't have the money to renew. Will this cause an issue with changing my name with SSA? I still have the card it's just expired…my status isn't expired, just the card itself.

    Reply
  55. Elizabeth

    I was married on 5-17-17. I'm battling with the whole name change. I was going to hyphenate it and decided that wouldn't work either. How long do I have to make that decision and if a long time has passed will I have to pay or be penalized for not changing it after marriage? If I don't change it do I let the DMV know or what if my w2s say single and 0 do I change that now to married and 0. This is all so confusing weather you take his last name or not. :(

    Reply
    1. Valera

      How long do I have to make that decision

      There's no time limit.

      and if a long time has passed will I have to pay or be penalized for not changing it after marriage?

      No.

      If I don't change it do I let the DMV know

      If you haven't chosen to change your name, there's nothing to notify them about.

      what if my w2s say single and 0 do I change that now to married and 0.

      It should reflect your current status, which is married.

      This is all so confusing weather you take his last name or not. :(

      As previously mentioned, you don't have to decide now. You're not racing against the clock. There is no clock.

      Reply
  56. Ann Gallagher

    Hi, I just returned from my Federal Social Security office to process a name change due to marriage. I was informed that since I did not reside in the same county as the office, they would not be able to process my name change. Why would a federal office not be able to process a name change within the state?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Ann. Can you provide further details, such as the state?

      Reply
  57. Jennifer Francano

    I changed my name before I got married as a legal name change. Do I have to change my name on my birth certificate now? What if I want to leave that unchanged?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jennifer. Changing your name on your birth certificate is optional. You can leave it alone if you'd prefer.

      Reply
  58. MZ

    Hi Valera,

    I got married to my husband in Connecticut in 2008. I live in Texas now and I was able to update my driver's license and passport to my husband's surname but not my social. I have to change my name on my social because it is interfering with my payroll. When reading about the documents required I realized I don't have my marriage certificate and would have to request one from Connecticut. Since my marriage occurred over 2 years ago would it be sufficient to show a document with my maiden name (like my current social) and my passport with my married name? Or do I have to order a certified copy of my marriage certificate?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  59. Gay walters

    I was married in 1999 and hyphenated my name. I never changed my name with ss due to credit accounts being in maiden name. My name is hyphenated with the drivers license and military(husband is retired military) for insurance purposes as well. I will be 62 in October and need to file for social security benefits. Will not changing my name cause issues? What docs will I need to file for ss?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Gay. Not changing your name with SSA shouldn't impact you, but it may affect future renewal of your driver's license. Generally, it's not a good idea to have a name mismatch across your government-issued identification.

      You can learn about how to file for social security at the retirement benefits website.

      Reply
  60. Kristy

    While applying for a first time passport, the agency had a problem I need to sort out with my name on my birth certificate as different from my social security card and other legal documents. They want to make sure I am one in the same person, of course, and will now require a legal name with a judge's court seal as my best, fastest route- seeing as my 90 day deadline is ebbing away.

    I changed my name in 1991 after a divorce. It is in the decree. I went to the SSA and DMV and all other entities and changed it. I placed my first and middle name together to form a new name with a slightly different spelling. I took my maiden name for my middle name. I took a last name that was not connected to anything other than symbolic to me. That is the name I have had for over 20 years.

    Now then, I have had one marriage since and one divorce. I guess I skipped the legal name change by accident and never changed at the SSA (as I did not the first time), an yet went by the married names, just did not realize I missed steps (therefore I suppose I was never legally either married name). I suppose I have remained the only name change name this whole time. 'But without a judges seal or it shown in the last divorce final divorce decree (way back in 1998)- it has made it complicated.

    I have wondered now "Gee, what name am I? What name have I been this whole time?" and now I am unable to be passed for a passport unless resolved. I did not realize any of this until I began this passport process. So~ in my petition for a legal name change to make sure this all gets legal (to the name I have on my social and all documents) and straightened out: Do I put my "maiden name" for the original legal name???? (and then this other name for the one I want to be make certain is my legal name?)

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kristy. It would likely be the name you've used for the last 20 years, which is what you have the most corroborating evidence for. Consult the court for further clarity.

      Reply
  61. Elizabeth M Kessler

    I changed my name back to my maiden name after my divorce. I am now in the process of changing my legal documents (ss card, drivers license). I still have my old ss card with my maiden name, can I just use this instead of getting a new one? I'm guessing no because the ss admin won't be aware of the change, but I just want to double check. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I still have my old ss card with my maiden name, can I just use this instead of getting a new one? I'm guessing no because the ss admin won't be aware of the change, but I just want to double check.

      You're interpretation is correct. It wouldn't be valid to use your old card.

      Reply
  62. Amber N Hanson

    Hello I'm 8n Texas and recently got married. My husband is hispanic and has 2 last names and no middle name. So it's his paternal and maternal name in that order. Well he uses the 1st one which is paternal as our kids do. And he also only uses the 1st one on bank and other matters or his signature. So when I went to change my name they gave me the last one which is maternal and him nor our children use it. Only option I had was to carry 2 or go and amend name at marriage license office. They told me I wouldn't be able to change anything since it's his legal name. What can I do now? Please and thank you

    Reply
  63. Alice

    After I got married in San Francisco back in 1979, I immediately applied for name change. However when the new SS card arrived, noticed that I was given a new set of SS #s along with my new last name. Went to a local SS office to make correction, but was told that once SS #s is issued there is no way to remove it. Just don't use the new set of SS #s for anything. So my question is, is it really okay to have two sets of SS #s? Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Alice. When the SSA assigns someone two social security numbers, the records are supposed to be cross-referenced, so you may want to make a visit to your local SSA office to make sure this was done.

      Reply
  64. Fabiola Montes

    I got married and decided to keep maiden , do I still have to notify SSA and DMV since I'm not changing anything

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Fabiola. No, you don't have to notify anyone since nothing's changing.

      Reply
  65. Jill

    Good evening.

    I have a question. Can you please clarify something for me please. I married in 1996 however never changed my name on my SS card but I did change it (hyphenated) on my license. Since it was not changed officially through SSA is it legally my last name? I divorced 10 years ago and will be remarrying next year and wanted to know if I need to drop it legally?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Since it was not changed officially through SSA is it legally my last name?

      No, it would be your maiden name.

      I divorced 10 years ago and will be remarrying next year and wanted to know if I need to drop it legally?

      That depends on what your intention are after remarriage. If you intend to take your new spouse's name, you could use the marriage certificate to effect a name change with SSA and the driver's license office.

      If you'd rather just stick to your maiden name, then you could restore your maiden name to your driver's license if your divorce decree contained an order restoring your maiden name.

      If you want to go back to your maiden name and your decree contains no such order, you'll need to get a court ordered name change.

      Reply
  66. Tracey

    I just changed my name at social security in the state of MA. They do not give temporary cards.

    Is my name changed officially the day of for payroll purposes at my job.

    I can't do my license or anything else until I get the card in the mail……

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Tracey. If you made the change in office, it typically takes place the same day. You can phone the SSA to determine if the processing has been completed.

      Reply
  67. Sarah Cook

    If I'm getting a divorce but chose to keep my married name sence I have used for 10 years and have on all my documents. Except ss card can I still change the name on my ss card. Does the paperwork change do I need a copy of my divorce that states I get to keep my name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Sarah. You can change it if your divorce decree contains an order restoring your maiden name.

      Reply
  68. Tina Patel

    Hi,

    I am Green Card holder and I have not change my last name after marriage. I been married for 3 years and I would like to change my name. Can you please answer me below question.
    1) What document do I need to submit in SSN for name change . (Note: I have foreign passport which contains old name, and all other documents contains old name)
    2) Do I need to first change my name in my foreign passport ?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Tina. You'll need to present a certified copy of your marriage certificate/record to change it with the SSA. You don't have to update your passport first.

      Reply
  69. Tera Reeves

    I applied for my new card with my married name on June 21,2017 and I still hvent recieved it.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Tera. Contact your local SSA office to get a status update.

      Reply
  70. Thomas

    Me and my fiancee are getting married soon the funny thing is we both already have the same last name does she still need to file anything with the Social Security Office after we are married?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      funny thing is we both already have the same last name does she still need to file anything with the Social Security Office after we are married?

      No, she doesn't need to file anything.

      Reply
  71. sam

    I changed my name after I got married with ssa. I am due with my first child soon so I want to wait to change it with the DMV until I drop some baby weight from my face. In the mean time what is my legal name. Can I use my new last name on the baby birth certificate?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      In the mean time what is my legal name.

      It's what's on your most current SS card.

      Can I use my new last name on the baby birth certificate?

      Yes, you can.

      Reply
  72. Elle Beyer

    Whomever wore this has a dialed-in sense of humor! Thanks for the info AND the chuckles.

    Reply
  73. Alysa

    The county misspelled my maiden last name on my marriage certificate, will I still be able to get my named changed if I take the certificate to the SSA office?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Alysa. It depends on the state. You can contact the office that recorded your certificate and have it corrected. They'll explain the procedure. If the clerk made the mistake, they'll typically make the correction free of charge.

      Reply
  74. Jessica

    If I go to the SSA office in person, is there any way to expedite my new card? I then need to expedite a new passport in my married name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jessica. I'm not aware of any option to expedite the processing of your social security card. Your passport can be expedited though.

      Reply
  75. Freda

    How long does it take for the social security office to get confirmation of a marriage from another state so that I can receive my new card with the name change?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Freda. The "state" or other third-part entity doesn't notify the SSA of your marriage or name change. You'll have to make that contact yourself.

      Reply
  76. Mayela

    Hi i have a quick question i just came from my local SSA Office, i changed my name due to marriage, they didnt gave my my old social security card back do they stay with it? Do they provide anything so you can have it on you meanwhile the new card arrives?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Mayela. No, they don't typically provide a temporary card while they retain the old one.

      Reply
  77. jorge

    Hello!
    My wife is trying to get her name changed. We have our certified marriage certificate copies (the one we signed after the wedding), and on it it says before marriage name. No where on there does it have the new, desired last name. Is this an issue? We have NO documents that have her first name and new last name, so can we still get her a new drivers license and SS card?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jorge. In some states, the certificate you may receive immediately after the ceremony isn't actually a certified copy. It may say "marriage certificate" or "certificate of marriage," but it's not certified until it's been recorded and issued as a certified document from the proper office. Every state does it differently, so I can't say with much specificity if you can use that document to change your name just yet. What state did the marriage take place in?

      Reply
  78. LANI VENTURA

    Hello,
    I am getting married in September 2017, we applied for our marriage license and I told the clerk that i want to keep my last name and hyphenated his last name. Do I necessarily need to change my last name to his in my social security, drivers license and other documents? I want to keep my Dad's last name in his honor. Please advice.. Thank you

    Lani

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Do I necessarily need to change my last name to his in my social security, drivers license and other documents? I want to keep my Dad's last name in his honor.

      No, you do not have to change your last name, regardless of what you specified on your marriage license.

      Reply
  79. Victoria Byer

    Can I go to any social security office to change my last name to my new husbands last name or so I have to do it at my local office?

    Reply
  80. Nicole weaver

    Hi there! My husband and I married on June 26th 2017. We currently live in the state of Ohio but married in Jamaica. We did receive a certified marriage certificate. I spoke to a lady in our county to find out if we would need to register the marriage here in the states and she couldn't give me much info other than to the take certificate to the social security office and see if they would grant the last name change. Could you provide me with some info? I was guaranteed that this is a legal binding marriage but the last I spoke with said SS may not consider Jamaica as a county that would be validated. I've tried to google and came up with nothing. The certificate we received does have the raised seal. Should I take this certificate along with my identity documents? The lady I spoke with said we might have to be married here to make it official. Help!! Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Nicole. Just take the certificate to the SS office as you would any other certificate.

      Reply

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