812 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 available from the Social Security Administration. A social security card name change begins at this document.

Now What?

If you'd like to change your name online, you may use our name change application to complete the social security form, among others.

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.

812 Comments

  1. Bekka

    Hi Valera,

    I haven't seen this particular question in the previous comments, so I'll go ahead and post it.

    I was married in VA in 1994. I immediately went to Social Security with my marriage cert and adopted my husband's name, moving my maiden name to my middle name. No problem. I changed all my documents and have used my married name for 24 years.

    Fast-forward to 2018, and I'm living in MA wanting to change my legal name. My VA marriage certificate has my maiden name, and of course my husband's name. There is no statement of my name after marriage. However, Mass marriage licenses have a line for stating post-marriage last name, which is the only legal document they say they can accept.

    The Massachusetts court will not recognize my married name as legal, since they believe a Social Security card is no proof of a legal name. They tell me that by their understanding, my actual legal name is still my birth name. Is there a document I can have certified that states that my 1994 name change at SS was legally binding?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      My VA marriage certificate has my maiden name, and of course my husband's name. There is no statement of my name after marriage.

      Not unusual, as Virginia marriage license applications don't ask for new names after marriage. Massachusetts does ask for this.

      Is there a document I can have certified that states that my 1994 name change at SS was legally binding?

      Your marriage certificate is meant to provide proof of your authority to change your name. Did you present a certified copy of your certificate to the agent you spoke with?

      Reply
  2. Johanna Venturoli

    Hi, I recently got married and requested on the marriage license to have my husband's last name added onto mine. However, there was a misunderstanding and the marriage certificate has my last name as my middle name and my husband's last name as my last name. What do I do? Can I just ignore the name on the marriage license and go back to my original name if I don't process a change with SSN and DMV? In other words, I can just pretend I didn't ask for my name to be changed since I'm not planning to change it with DMV and the social security administration?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Johanna.

      1) If the typo is not your fault, you can request a correction and amendment.
      2) Correction or no correction, you are not obligated to change your name with the SSA or DMV.

      So, yes, you can ignore what's on your certificate and your name will stay the same.

      Reply
  3. Nayera

    My parents got married in NJ back in 84. My mom went by her married name back then but never actually got to legally changing it. Her SSN was issued in her married name, but her current passport is in her legal maiden name. Is it possible to fix her SSN to match her maiden name on the passport?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is it possible to fix her SSN to match her maiden name on the passport?

      Your mom would have to get a court order. At this point, only the passport could be changed to match her married name.

      Reply
  4. Allie Mcmillin

    I applied for a new card on sept 21st and it’s around October 7th now. I have yet to receive my card which I requested because of a name change. Should I call or just wait it out?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Allie. It wouldn't hurt to call. Processing should take between one and two weeks, which has passed.

      Reply
      1. Allie Mcmillin

        I went there in person with my husband and it was a quick in and out, and it should have went through so I’m concerned that it did not even though they gave me a reciept that it did. Could it have gotten lost in the mail perhaps? It’s social security card they should something a little bit more reliable than the us mail. I’m highly worried about someone out there having my card cause it never got to me so where the heck is it?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Allie. It's possible for any piece of mail to be lost, accidentally destroyed, or delivered to the wrong address. You'll have to contact the SSA to determine the status of your paperwork and when your card was sent out. If delivery tracking was available, was it shown as delivered? If it was marked delivered, then an investigation with the delivery service may have to be initiated.

          Reply
          1. Allie Mcmillin

            They have tracking on your card? Because I personally don’t have any type of tracking but if they can tell me then I’d love to know. Hmm I’ll have to call tomorrow with today being the holiday. Thank you so much for the help. Even if an investigation has to be initiated then well I assume I have to go ahead and try to re get a new card. Thanks though!

          2. Valera

            They have tracking on your card?

            To be clear, I'm not referring to a tracking device embedded within your card but mail delivery tracking, such as a USPS tracking code.

            Even if an investigation has to be initiated then well I assume I have to go ahead and try to re get a new card.

            For mail marked as successfully delivered, the mail carrier may have to retrace his or her steps. Lost mail can also be mail delivered to the wrong address. In such cases, you'd hope the wrong recipient will drop it back in the mailbox.

            If all else fails, you'll have to be reissued a new card, but you'll want to double-check to confirm the return address that's on file is correct.

    1. Valera

      Hi Taylor. The Social Security Administration does not charge a fee to change your name with them. Are you referring to something else? Passport? Court petition?

      Reply
  5. Tay

    How long would the process be if I change my name through the online option?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Tay. You should receive your card 7 to 14 days after your forms have been processed.

      Reply
  6. Elysse

    Hi! When you apply change your name on your social security card, is your driver's license still valid with your maiden name until you go to the DMV? I just got married and I am taking a standardized test in a two weeks registered under my maiden name (since that is the name on my diploma) and need a valid government ID, but I want to get the process started with the SSA in the meantime if possible.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Elysse. Yes, your driver's license is still valid. However, some states stipulate that your driver's license should be updated within X days of updating your social security card. The penalty for not doing so ranges from the unknown and nonexistent to a minor penalty fee.

      Reply
  7. Patricia

    I just got married end of October and need to change my last name on my card. Which is the best way to do so and exactly what documents do I need? Do I need my social security card to change my name on driver's license? I'm a little confused, I know I need marriage certificate to bring to social security office but not sure what else. How do I get the form to complete name change for social security

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Patricia. You don't need to bring your social security card. Bring a certified copy of your marriage certificate and photo ID when applying. The form is SS-5, which is available online or can be picked up in office. After you finish with your social security card, wait about 24 hours before going to the DMV to give the SSA database sufficient time to refresh.

      Reply
  8. Jess

    i went in with my ceritified divorce papers. Changed my name and address… never received the card in the mail. I think it was because my name wasn’t on the mailbox because the same thing happened with my license…

    What can I do to get a new one?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jess. You'll have to contact the office and have them send you out a new card.

      Reply
  9. Katlyn

    If I want to mail in my social security application to change my name after marriage, can I just send a copy of my passport or do I have to actually send them my passport and drivers license? I know this seems like a dumb question, but it’s not very clear anywhere.

    Reply
  10. Edita

    Hello, I am applying for a name change on my ssc online and I need to send one form of identification plus proof of U.S. citizenship. I already have my sscard. My question is: since I have to submit original documents or notarized copies how will you accept copy of my driving license. I hope they don't expect to send in the envelope my only ID with my married name… Also I do have a Certificate of Citizenship but they gave me one and I don't have any notarized copies…. How can I get them? Thank you for your answer

    Reply
    1. Valera

      since I have to submit original documents or notarized copies how will you accept copy of my driving license.

      Notarized copies will only be accepted if they're certified.

      I hope they don't expect to send in the envelope my only ID with my married name…

      If you don't want to send in your ID, you can choose another credential, such as a passport or state-issued ID card. If you're unable to produce those, they'll ask for something else, such as a school or employee ID card or health insurance card.

      You could also submit your paperwork in a local office where you will only have to show your ID.

      Also I do have a Certificate of Citizenship but they gave me one and I don't have any notarized copies…. How can I get them?

      If you have the original you can present that. If need be, you can also obtain a certified copy of your certificate of naturalization.

      Reply
  11. Cassie Deeg

    Do I go to my “local social security office” in the area that I reside in? Or the are I was married in? I got married in MN but reside in NE. Thank you!!

    Reply
  12. Margie

    hi everyone, need help about changing surname in SSN, just got married last october 11,2018 and my i94 expires this coming october 23 our marriage cert. is in our hands now….is there any problem if my i94 expired and not able yet to change my surname? or do i need to change my surname to my married name before i94 get expired?..thank you.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Margie. When changing your name with the SSA, you must provide a document verifying your immigration status, such as your I-94. It must be unexpired.

      Reply
  13. kate Middleton

    I was married last year in California with the intentions of not changing my last name. I didn't write it on the marriage license, so it isn't listed on my certificate.

    Can I still take my certificate to the Social Security office to change to my husbands last name? Or do I have to petition through court?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I still take my certificate to the Social Security office to change to my husbands last name? Or do I have to petition through court?

      You'll have to petition. Your marriage certificate wouldn't be usable in this circumstance.

      Reply
  14. Jannah

    This might be a silly question, but do I sign the application form with my new name or do I use my old signature?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      This might be a silly question, but do I sign the application form with my new name or do I use my old signature?

      Not a silly question at all. You should sign your new name.

      Reply
  15. Dawn Eberhard

    I live in Indiana…southeast corner so I'm closer to the Cincinnati, OH SS office than the one in Indiana. Can I have my name change processed in Cincinnati?…or do I have to go to the State office in which I live?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I have my name change processed in Cincinnati?…or do I have to go to the State office in which I live?

      It doesn't matter which office you go to. It doesn't have to be in your state of residence. If you're going to take a long drive, you may want to consider making an appointment.

      Reply
  16. Carrie Griffin

    Hi there, I have a weird situation. I'll explain. My maiden name is Needham, married last name Griffin. I got married in 2007 and changed my driver's license to Griffin. Never changed my name with SSA. Started a business, license and employer tax accounts are Needham-Griffin. Personal taxes are still filled (jointly with hubby) under Needham.

    I want to get a passport so we can travel abroad next summer. How do I start untangling this mess? I'd like everything to be Needham-Griffin. Thanks for any help you can send me!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Carrie. If you want your name to sync across the board, just go to the SSA with a certified copy of your marriage certificate and have it changed. Same with your passport.

      Reply
  17. Kelly wisniewski

    My last name is misspelled. I’d expired and tried to get a valid one. Well…dmv wouldn’t take my ss. So… went to social office and was told need valid Id. Jumped through hooos and still NO card.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kelly. Did you present a birth certificate confirming the correct spelling of your name?

      Reply
  18. Christy Gusloff

    2003 got married and changed DL name to new married name. Never changed SS card with new married name. Now going to apply for a passport. My drivers license has my married name on it an my social security card has old married name on it. Do I need to change it in order to proceed with getting my passport??

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Do I need to change it in order to proceed with getting my passport??

      No, you do not.

      Reply
  19. Lacie

    Hello,
    I am in college and about to fill out federal aid info so I am changing my name prior to avoid complications. If I go to office in person is it an instant thing? Where I can fill my federal paperwork out with my new name within a day or two of visiting the SS Offoce? Or is there a time length that will need to be exceeded prior to filling out aid forms?
    Thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      If I go to office in person is it an instant thing?

      You'll have to contact your local office to determine their processing times.

      Where I can fill my federal paperwork out with my new name within a day or two of visiting the SS Offoce? Or is there a time length that will need to be exceeded prior to filling out aid forms?

      One day afterward should be sufficient.`

      Reply
  20. Neri

    Hi, I wanted to know can I send my husband with all documents required to change my name after marriage, to the social security office? will they process the change and give him back my original documents?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Neri. You'll have to go as well. If you don't have time to go in person, you can mail your paperwork in.

      Reply
  21. brenda

    I got married a month ago and was wondering do I need my birth certificate to get my name changed on my s.s. card?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      do I need my birth certificate to get my name changed on my s.s. card?

      No, you don't need to update your birth certificate.

      Reply
  22. Kerri

    I went to the SS office to get my name changed and they told me I had to go to a different SS office closer to my house. Is this correrct? Also if I mail my application instead do I have to send my passport with it? Do I get it back when I get the new card? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I had to go to a different SS office closer to my house. Is this correrct?

      Any office should be capable of handling your case. Unless they provided documentation justifying this, I can't say why you were redirected.

      Also if I mail my application instead do I have to send my passport with it?

      You can use your passport as an identity document, but certain other forms government-issued ID would also be sufficient.

      Do I get it back when I get the new card?

      Yes, it will be returned to you along with your updated card.

      Reply
  23. Cheryl

    Geesh, I don't know if this could be a first time answering this for you but I am rife with anxiety over this since trying to get a compliant driver's license.

    Years ago I got married and went to Social Security to get a different card Well, I wanted to put my maiden name in the middle and asked could that be done there, presenting Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate and filling out forms, they responded YES,

    I did so with no complication however have found out — you guessed it, that is not a LEGAL name change, I was unaware the middle name even mattered to a court. Well it does on the Driver's license…….

    here's the issue, I have everything in that maiden name in the middle now as it shows on my SS card. (which for some reason nobody there pointed out did not take place as (I guess) required to be done legally as in court for a middle name!!

    So here I am wondering do I have huge problems with this name all over and will have to do a legal name change now — OR is this so simple as just getting another Social Security Card with the old middle name Since apparently it matters that name matches Birth Certificate (minus paperwork from court it is a change).

    I can't tell you how glad I was to see this blog where you *might* be able to answer this. I already know should I get the old middle name back on one I have to change wherever the middle name is wrong so that's one thing but now changing it legally is giving me major anxiety. Thank you in advance for an answer.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I did so with no complication however have found out — you guessed it, that is not a LEGAL name change, I was unaware the middle name even mattered to a court. Well it does on the Driver's license.

      The SSA's federal while the DMV is state. What's recognized in one isn't assured will be recognized in the other. That doesn't necessarily invalidate your name change with with the first. It can just make it a hassle to get the latter to match.

      I assume you're facing trouble trying to get a driver's license in your preferred name?

      here's the issue, I have everything in that maiden name in the middle now as it shows on my SS card. (which for some reason nobody there pointed out did not take place as (I guess) required to be done legally as in court for a middle name!!

      The DMV may require a court order, but that doesn't mean other federal institutions do.

      So here I am wondering do I have huge problems with this name all over and will have to do a legal name change now — OR is this so simple as just getting another Social Security Card with the old middle name

      The social security office already changed it. To change it again, they'll need to see a court order.

      I already know should I get the old middle name back on one I have to change wherever the middle name is wrong so that's one thing but now changing it legally is giving me major anxiety.

      It looks like you may just have to petition the court for a legal name change, which would just be an affirmation of your current name. This would satisfy the driver's license office.

      Yes, it's a burden to have to go through this step to satisfy one office, but that may be what you're left with.

      Reply
  24. Nashalie Cortes

    I got married on 2016 and went to the social security office to get my last name to my husbands. I thought that I would only had to take on 1 of his last name not on both. (We are Hispanics so we have 2 last names each) All my family have been married on the states and when the Bride takes on the Groom's last name they are given 1, so I don't know why the ladie said i had to get both or get a court order to only take on one. Can that be changed? Can I go back and only have 1 last name. Everyone that I tell, says they should only have given me 1 last name. That given me 2 is like being his Sister.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Nashalie. The last name you're permitted to change to varies by state. Some are more flexible than others. At this point, getting your name changed a second time would require a court order.

      Reply
  25. Maria Williams

    I have a stupid question. I recently got married and requested to take my husbands last name on the marriage license and certificate. I obtained my new social security card the way the marriage license shows. I have now changed my mind and don't wish to change my name at all. Do I have to move forward and change my driver's license to match to my new social security card? or can I just leave it alone.
    Or do I need to show divorce papers to get my maiden name back?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I have a stupid question.

      This is actually quite a common question.

      I obtained my new social security card the way the marriage license shows. I have now changed my mind and don't wish to change my name at all. Do I have to move forward and change my driver's license to match to my new social security card?

      Some states do have laws on the books that says the DMV must be notified of name changes and address changes within X number of days. The penalties for not doing so ranges from nonexistent to obscure to a minuscule penalty fee upon license renewal.

      Even if you don't update it now, when it comes time to renew you may have to update it then. See, many DMV will query the SSA system for your name. If it finds a discrepancy, you'll face a roadblock. They'll want your names to match.

      Or do I need to show divorce papers to get my maiden name back?

      You don't have to get divorced. You can just submit a general adult name change request with the proper court in your jurisdiction.

      Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Lara. A certified copy of your marriage certificate is what you'll use to authorize the name change.

      Reply
  26. Iuliia

    Hi, I got married in 2016. I had to apply for marriage based green card. My fist name in my foreign passport is Iuliia. On the paperwork for green card I put Julia (as it’s what I go by) and my husband’s last name.

    Fast forward a few month I got my SSN and drivers license under Julia with new last name. Once I went for the green card interview the officer told me they could not locate any proof of name change from Iuliia to Julia, so they had to keep my old name Iuliia on the green card with my husband’s last name.

    Now I have a green card under Iuliia and SS card under Julia (both with my new last name).

    Do I need a court order to change my first name or can I just bring my marriage license, passport and green card asa proof of my first name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Do I need a court order to change my first name or can I just bring my marriage license, passport and green card asa proof of my first name?

      You can inquire if they'll accept your current identity documents in your new first name as sufficient, but it's unlikely. If it's not accepted, you'll have to go the court order route.

      Reply
  27. Michelle D.

    I updated my name on my Social Security card at the end of August with my married name. I received my card in the mail about 2 weeks later. However, any time I do something that requires my social security number it says that my new name does not correspond with the social. (For example buying vape products online where I need to use my Social to verify my age and with my new online business I started). How long will it take for it to updated? It is starting to get annoying that I have to call and explain everytime I try to do something why my social doesn't align with my legal name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Michelle. If you received your new card, that means it's been updated with the SSA. Your social security number may be queried against a third-party database that's going off one of the three credit bureaus. You may want to write the three bureaus to make sure your name on file is up-to-date rather than waiting for them to automatically catch up.

      Reply
  28. Brandi

    I received my official marriage certificate but it does not include my married name, just my previous legal name. Is this going to be an issue with changing my name to my Husband's last name on SSN card?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Brandi. Not all states will show a new last name on your marriage certificate. If the option to choose a new married name wasn't presented on the marriage application, then it won't be presented on the marriage certificate. In those instances, it's a non-issue and wouldn't prevent you from changing your name.

      Reply
  29. Maria

    If I choose to mail in the documents, what do I need to mail in original form?

    – I am a naturalized U.S. citizen (do I need to mail in my passport?)
    – Do I mail my original drivers license?

    Also, my marriage took place 10 years ago. Does that change the requirements??

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Also, my marriage took place 10 years ago. Does that change the requirements?

      Send in an identity document in your old name (even if expired). If you don't have one in your old name, send one in your new name. Of course, also send in a certified copy of your marriage certificate. Passport or driver's license is fine as an identity document.

      Reply
  30. Ivana

    I went into the SS office with my marriage certificate to change my last name. My old card was not taken and I was not given a temp but its been 8 weeks and there is no sign of my new card in the mail. Does it usually take over 2 months to receive the new one?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Does it usually take over 2 months to receive the new one?

      It usually takes no longer than one to two weeks. You can contact your local office to find out where things stand.

      Reply
  31. Thuy

    I went to the SS office and changed my name after marriage in January of 2017 and just realized I never received my new card (with my new name) in the mail. I received a temp copy and used that to change everything i.e., DL, credit cards, bank accounts. Can I apply for a copy online or should I go into the office? Just wondering since it's technically not a copy as I never received it.

    Reply
  32. C Carter

    Is there a penalty in TX if I change my last name on my SS card but have not made it to the DMV to change my last name within 30 days?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Carter. I'm not aware of any penalty fee from Texas DPS for not updating your license within 30 days of your social. I've found no reference on their website or Texas statutes.

      Reply
  33. Karolina

    Does the number change when I update my name? Or the number stays the same?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Karolina. Your social security number will stay the same after you change your name.

      Reply
  34. Jessica

    Hello,

    I just got married in November and change my name a week ago. I went in wanting to drop my middle name and keep my last name as my middle name and add my marriage last name. I was told I had to keep my middle name and drop my last name. What were my options?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jessica. Your remaining option would be to obtain a court order from a court-petitioned name change.

      Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Belginy. The SSA doesn't charge a fee. For passport renewals, it depends on how old your passport is or if you're a first time applicant. DMV's vary as well. If you need to petition the court for a name change, you'll have to contact the courthouse for their fees.

      Reply
  35. Roberson

    I just went to the social security office and the lady knew what she was doing but didn't give me a temporary card ? I didn't know I was supposed to get one actually

    Reply
  36. claire

    Can I change signature or, does it matter if my signature here in Social Security doesn't match to the signatures of my other records like my passports and etc.?

    Reply
  37. Kodi Prather

    I recently got married but I haven’t applied for a new social security card yet. On my marriage certificate I hyphenated my last name. Now I only want to take my husband’s last name instead of hyphenate. When I apply for my new social security card, can I only take my husband’s last name? Or do I have to hyphenate my last name because that’s what is on the certificate?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kodi. It depends on the state and how the agent you deal with interprets the standards. You may be able to achieve flexibility with the SSA, but the DMV is another animal altogether.

      Reply
  38. Rachael

    Went last week to SS office to change my name after getting married. All paperwork is submitted and just waiting on the physical card to arrive. Please note I do NOT have my original social security card (I've moved too many times and it has disappeared along with way).

    My question is: Can I change my name at the DMV without have a physical social security card or am I better off waiting until the new one comes in the mail? Also, just for background, my current DL is not expired, I have a current passport and proof of residence, etc. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I change my name at the DMV without have a physical social security card or am I better off waiting until the new one comes in the mail?

      You don't need to wait for your updated social security card to arrive.

      Reply
  39. Gina

    I was wondering if you could go to any social security office to change your last name or do you have to go to the office the locator tells you to go to. Its telling me to go to the one in Riverside but I'd rather go to the office in San Marcos. Is that okay?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Gina. You can go to any office. It's just telling what's closest to your zip code. For convenience.

      Reply
  40. Stephanie

    I live in Georgia. I got married in June, I have only gotten new SS Card with my married name. Am I required to change it everywhere else? Credit cards, dmv, insurance, bank etc?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Stephanie. The Georgia DMV wants you to update your driver's license name within 60 days of a name change. The Georgia name change article details this along with other Georgia-specific name change items.

      Reply
  41. Lee McDaniels

    Due to being transgender I had changed my name legally and sent it to my birth state however I already changed my name legally on my social security card but my new name is not showing up anywhere and it has been about a year now. It still shows up with the old name yet it is not legal anymore and I have my documents changed. What could be the meaning of this? It is preventing me from getting a job, getting a bank account, and moving on with my life.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I already changed my name legally on my social security card but my new name is not showing up anywhere

      What do you mean by it's not showing up anywhere? Where are you not seeing it updated?

      Reply
  42. Roky H Thompson

    My wife is a Filipino citizen. She traveled to the US as a child, as a dependent of her US Navy Step-father. She received her permanent residency ID and an active Social Security Number and Card with her birth name.

    By the time she reached maturity her parents had returned to the Philippines to retire and they not filed follow-up papers to make her a citizen. Upon reaching maturity, because she was in the Philippines, her status reverted to Filipino citizen. But, she still has an active Social Security Card under her madien name. What must we do, to have her name changed to her new legal married name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Roky. She'd use the marriage certificate and provide proof of her active immigration status.

      Reply
  43. Alexandria Hickman

    Hello, went Thursday February 8th to SSA office in Lima Ohio and had my name changed to my husband's last name. Trying to file my taxes and it says the name and SS number dont match up. She said it would be by midnight Thursday night and I'd be fine. Why is it not matching up? Why is my new last name not registered yet?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Alexandria. The SSA automatically notifies the IRS of name changes, but it can take a little bit of time for updates to fully propagate and for the IRS' database to catch up and synchronize.

      Reply
  44. Lineth

    Hello, I am a legal permanent resident. I don't know why my green card was issued under my maiden name only. I've been married for 37 years, the time in which I always used my husband's last name.

    The thing is that now I have medical and even though I explained that in this country I just had my maiden name. My medical was issued under my husband last name.

    Now, I have issues with the IRS because my taxes are under my maiden name and the form 1095 B (Health Insurance) is under my husband last name.

    Is it possible to add my husband last name to my social security card? My marriage was held in my country, but I have the certificate and also it is marked in my birth certificate too, as well as in my passport. Thank you for your reply.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is it possible to add my husband last name to my social security card?

      Yes, after you update the name on your green card.

      Reply
  45. Vicky

    Hello,

    My fiancé and I are getting married in 2 months. I want to take his last name, but I don’t want to change it on my social security card yet. Is there a time frame for how long you have to change your last name to what it is on the marriage certificate in the state of Pennsylvania?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is there a time frame for how long you have to change your last name to what it is on the marriage certificate in the state of Pennsylvania?

      There is no time limit.

      Reply
  46. Kay Smith

    US citizen born and raised. Got married in Vegas and on my certificate it shows my birth/maiden name on the document. It has his name and my name. Not my first name with husbands last name. Can I still send this in with my identification to get my name changed on my ss card?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I still send this in with my identification to get my name changed on my ss card?

      Yes, that's precisely what you'll need to send in. Your marriage certificate is properly formatted. It's not missing anything.

      Reply
  47. Christine

    I kept my last name after marriage, however I am now having a MAJOR issue getting perscription filled because of it.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Christine. That suggests a name mismatch exists. If the problem is with your insurance company, you'll have to contact them to correct their records.

      Reply
  48. Mairaliz

    I got married in Florida on Feb. 145, 2019. My marriage certificate was mailed to us with the raised seal and stamped. It looks like it is a combination of our application, license and certificate all on one form.

    I need to change my last name but there wasn't an option to fill out beforehand what my new last name will be. I just mailed in my s.s. card application providing the certificate, my license, birth certificate etc. and on the s.s. form is asks how I want my name to appear on the card, so I did put there how I would like it to read, which would my maiden name and his last name after.

    Would this be sufficient to change my last name? and since I mailed it in and will take longer can I still jus go to an office to apply for it in person?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I need to change my last name but there wasn't an option to fill out beforehand what my new last name will be.

      As with most states, Florida's marriage license application doesn't provide spaces to choose a new name after marriage.

      You can read the married name not on marriage certificate article which explains why this isn't a problem.

      Would this be sufficient to change my last name?

      Yes, you're good to go.

      and since I mailed it in and will take longer can I still jus go to an office to apply for it in person?

      As soon as your application is received, the turnaround time to process it is the same.

      Reply
  49. Phillip Rayson

    Hello,

    I'm hoping I can get some help with this. I am going to get married next week in Las Vegas, Nevada. My fiancée and I do not want to keep our legal last names and would like to take on my mother's maiden name which was also part of my last name when I was born. To try and clarify this, I was born in Peru and at the time of my birth my mother's last name was documented on my birth certificate but also my father's name, which is the name I no longer wish to have– in Hispanic countries the child usually takes on both the mother's maiden name and father's last name.

    My question is, because legally, at birth, I had my mother's maiden name, will I be able to provide my certified birth certificate from Peru and show that as evidence that I did hold her maiden name and thus being able to change my last name and fiancée's last name to JUST my mother's maiden name?

    I am a U.S citizen. I was naturalized when I was a child but in my naturalization certificate I have my father's last name and my mother's maiden name never shows up, my driver's license and social security card all have just my father's last name, will this be a problem? I called the clerk down in Las Vegas and they stated that since my birth certificate has both my father's and mother's last name, that they have to honor what is said on there and won't be able to make just my mother's maiden name, our new legal last name when requesting to change it. Is this true? Regardless I'm going to try in person and see if I get lucky with the clerk.

    On the same note, the clerk over the phone stated that I can go to the social security office with my marriage certificate and get my last name changed there and that the social security office offers more options to change it to what I desire, which is my mother's maiden name, is this also true? Will the SS office give me trouble and insist on keeping my father's last name? My fiancée and I live in two different states, she in Nevada and me in Florida, will this also be a problem?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      and thus being able to change my last name and fiancée's last name to JUST my mother's maiden name?

      Both you and your partner could change to your last name at birth, but it would have to be the entire last name, not a portion.

      I called the clerk down in Las Vegas and they stated that since my birth certificate has both my father's and mother's last name, that they have to honor what is said on there and won't be able to make just my mother's maiden name, our new legal last name when requesting to change it. Is this true?

      That is correct.

      You can view the Nevada name change statutes that spells out exactly what you may and may not change to.

      On the same note, the clerk over the phone stated that I can go to the social security office with my marriage certificate and get my last name changed there and that the social security office offers more options to change it to what I desire, which is my mother's maiden name, is this also true?

      The Social Security Administration will go by Nevada's laws.

      Will the SS office give me trouble and insist on keeping my father's last name?

      They have to follow your state's guidelines.

      My fiancée and I live in two different states, she in Nevada and me in Florida, will this also be a problem?

      You'll likely face the same resistance in both states.

      Reply
  50. Dale Charrette

    hi, ssa.gov made a mistake on my wifes file somewhere along the line, and had her birth date as 9/9/57 rather than 5/9/57, so when she applied online for her retirement they made her come into the ssa office in palm springs, ca and prove when she was born. we did that , and her application online still shows in process or initial. how long does this take to be fixed and then her application approved. she is due benefits by 7/10/19, and we need to know what to do.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      her application online still shows in process or initial. how long does this take to be fixed and then her application approved.

      If you're asking how long it takes to process the retirement application, it can be up to six weeks. If you're asking how long it takes for a correction, you'll have to contact the SSA to inquire.

      Reply
  51. Nikki LW

    On my marriage certificate, I decided to go with a hyphenated oldname-newname. I waited a couple of years to legally change my name and by then decided the hyphenated name was long to write out and decided instead to use my old name as my middle name. The social security office did this with no comment. The DMV however said they MUST do the hyphenated name because it's on the marriage certificate. Now my social security and driver's license won't match (and yes, it went through at the DMV). Is this an issue? I'll fix it eventually but I'm reaching the end of my patience for waiting at offices.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is this an issue? I'll fix it eventually but I'm reaching the end of my patience for waiting at offices.

      It's not an issue, but more of a personal annoyance. The SSA and DMV operate on their own rules.

      Reply
  52. Kathie

    I went to the Social Security office in Georgetown SC…..it was the most uncomplicated easiest 5 minutes of my day that I have ever encountered!! My experience with their customer service was helpful and friendly and quick!

    Between the Social Security office and SC motor vehicle office in Georgetown SC…they are the almost best to deal with….cheers and keep up the great customer service at both facilities…u will be blessed that u will still have plenty of time to enjoy the rest of ur day!!

    Reply
  53. Benjamin

    My wife and I got married in June of last year and are just coming around to officially changing her last name to mine. We requested certified marriage certificates and upon receiving it we noticed that her fathers first name is spelled incorrectly. Is this going to prevent us from filing with the ss office? I’ve heard that getting the marriage certificate amended is a pain and I’m hoping that since my wife and my information is correct we won’t have to worry about it. Please help!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      We requested certified marriage certificates and upon receiving it we noticed that her fathers first name is spelled incorrectly. Is this going to prevent us from filing with the ss office?

      This shouldn't pose a problem.

      I’ve heard that getting the marriage certificate amended is a pain and I’m hoping that since my wife and my information is correct we won’t have to worry about it.

      It's a good idea to make sure your vital records are correct. Amendments aren't usually that involved. The office that recorded your marriage certificate can provide you with a correction form, which can be mailed.

      Reply
  54. Sheila Robinson

    I recently married June 16th, 2018-
    I signed my marriage license State of New York with only my first name and new surname-
    I would like to apply for my name change and new social security card and DMV license with my previously married name hyphen new surname is this a problem?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Sheila. It could be a problem, since it deviates from what's on your marriage certificate. You have nothing to lose by trying.

      Reply
  55. Jordan A.

    I was able to change my last name on my social security card but when I went to the DMV to change my name on my drivers license they would not take my marriage license (it is not a certified copy).

    So I have been just living with my maiden name on my IDs and my new last name on my social. We plan on going back to Colorado (where we got married) to get the original/certified copy in a few months.

    Will I get into any kind of trouble for not changing all identification right away?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jordan. Some states may impose a minor fine for not updating your driver's license within X-days. You could always request such a fee be waived.

      Reply
  56. Samantha

    I got married in Texas in June of 2018. I haven't changed my name yet, but I want to add my maiden name as a 2nd middle name & take my husband's last name as mine. Is this allowed?

    Reply
  57. Brenda

    I am widowed and now remarried. I never had my name changed the first time around but want to do it now. However, I want to add my first husbands name as my middle name. Will this be allowed seeing that I got remarried?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Will this be allowed seeing that I got remarried?

      No, this wouldn't be allowed through marriage.

      Reply
  58. Stacy G

    I was married in 2006. Changed my SS card to my married name. I was divorced in 2015. Never changed my name back to my maiden name. I have been remarried (to a new person) April 2019. Will I need my divorce decree and first marriage certificate to change my name this second time?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Will I need my divorce decree and first marriage certificate to change my name this second time?

      No, those two old documents are now irrelevant for name change purposes. Use the marriage certificate from your 2019 marriage ceremony to change your name anew.

      Reply
  59. Charice Torrens

    So I did just get married and want to change my last name, that's the easy part. However, while I'm at it I want to switch my first and middle names.

    Although I love the names my parents gave me, I've always gone by my middle name and it has been surprisingly annoying in my life. I feel that my life has only really just begun with my marriage so I want to set this straight and move on.

    Above it said that I would need to go to court to change my first name, but I'm not changing it to "Bubbles".

    Is there any easier way? If not, then how exactly do I go about this whole court thing? It's a scary idea and I have no idea what to expect, please help me out with the details. Thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Charice. You'd have to go to court to change your first name. Even by one letter. Which court you have to petition varies by state. Here's an article about the court petition process.

      Reply
  60. Jeremy

    Hello —

    I sent my daughters information in (we adopted her) along with her new (not a copy) birth certificate showing her new last name, it was received by the SS office here in MPLS on 3/7/19. It's now 5/30/19 and I haven't received anything back or any communication regarding this.

    The birth certificates are quite expensive and we are concerned about the last name change with the circumstances surrounding the birth family. How do I check into this? Is this a normal time frame? Reading the above it said 6 weeks, 6 weeks was 6 weeks ago now! So I'm sitting at double the time frame now. Please help/email me!

    Reply
  61. Elizabeth

    I went to the social security office April 8th 2019 to apply for my new social security card (recently got married). I waited the 14 days did not receive anything in the mail. Went back to the office April 26th and resubmitted the information. Its now May 30th and have yet to receive my card in the mail. I even went to the post office to see if i needed to let them know of my name change and they said whatever address is put on the mail it will be delivered regardless of the name.

    I've called the hotline and they see my new name in the system (since April 26th) and that i should have received a new card in the mail (well that clearly didn't happen).

    I'm worried that someone has my new card. Is there a way I can get a card printed in person. (the headquarters maybe)

    I've been to the DMV and they will not accept the receipt from the SSA. They will only accept the actual card.

    What else can i do. I feel helpless.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Elizabeth. You'll have to give the local office another try. If you're concerned that someone has stolen your social security card or social security number, you may want to monitor your credit report.

      Reply
  62. Ryan

    My wife and i just married in ohio where she lived previously (last year). We live in michigan. Were waiting for our marriage certification before going to sec of state. Once we go to sec of state, it technically is a DMV in michigan, will we be able to issue a new SSC and change her license and residence to michigan at the same visit?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Ryan. Once your marriage certificate arrives, your wife should get her name changed with the social security administration first. The Secretary of State should be dealt with next. It's probably a good idea to wait 24 hours between the SSA and SoS.

      Reply
  63. Kimberly

    I was curious is there a limit of time that after changing name at Social Security office that I must go to DMV?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kimberly. Some states require that your name be updated on your driver's license within X days of changing your name. The penalty for failing to do so ranges from a minor fine to unspecified to unenforced.

      Reply
  64. Donna Quinn

    I had mine updated in 1983 after being married. But it was not sent back and now I have to pay to find the original even though my SSN and license were updated. Is there any way to resolve this without forking out more money?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Donna. Just submit form SS-5 by mail or in person to get a replacement social security card.

      Reply
  65. Cheri T.

    Hello!
    I went to the social security office on Wed morning (6/26/19) 30 min before they opened. There was at least 50 ppl before me and security guards were letting them check in. I used the kiosk to check in (didn’t have an appt). At 9am they started calling the #s (which were different letters/numbers depending on what you needed). At 9:10am I was called to one of the 30 windows they had staffed. I had pre-filled out the application and had my documents. I was there for about 10 min & was given a receipt. I was told I should get it in about 7-10 business days & if I don’t get it in 2 weeks… come back. I JUST got it in the mail TODAY! 7/1/19 wow!!!! I was pleasantly surprised by the whole process!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Cheri. Thanks for reporting your how your name change went in office vs doing it by mail.

      Reply
  66. Jade

    What if I was married over 2 years ago? I lived abroad and got married abroad so never got to change my name. Also, can I bring in the original marriage certificate to the office instead of a certified copy?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      What if I was married over 2 years ago?

      The name change process is the same, but you'll have to make sure you provide an identity document in addition to your marriage certificate.

      Also, can I bring in the original marriage certificate to the office instead of a certified copy?

      The original or a certified copy would be equally acceptable.

      Reply
        1. Valera

          What type of identity document? My birth certificate?

          Your birth certificate cannot be used to verify your identity. Provide a driver's license, passport, or state-issued ID card.

          Reply
  67. Tatlyn Thompson-Henry

    Hi,can i drop my last name even if i had an miss spelling on my green card ?are will i have to go through a different procedure before i can get my name change

    Reply
  68. Alissia Arnold

    If the city you were born in is incorrect on the marriage certificate will I be unable to change my name?

    Reply
  69. Newlywed

    Hello,
    My parents hyphenated their last names when they were married, so I was born with a hyphenated last name.
    Now I am married and getting rid of the hyphenated last name. On the form it asks for “Parent/Mother’s Name at her Birth” but just asks for “Parent/Father’s Name”.
    Do I provide my Father’s name at birth or his married name?
    Thanks,
    Newlywed

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Do I provide my Father’s name at birth or his married name?

      It doesn't really matter for a number of reasons: 1) if you're at least 18 years old, these fields aren't even required, and 2) whichever name you apply the SSA will be able to reference. They keep a history of prior names, so they'll be able to perform a match whether you specify a birth name or current name.

      Having said that, the form is asking for your father's name. If it wanted his birth name, it would have said father's birth name. But, still, they'll be able to handle it either way.

      Reply
  70. Lauren

    Hi,

    I am recently married, and my husband has a hyphenated last name (M-K). We would both like to change our last names to the first half of his hyphenated last name only (M) – so he will be dropping the second portion. Does this require a court order for either of us? Or is a certified marriage certificate acceptable since it is technically part of his given last name? We were married in VT and live in CA.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  71. mimi

    Hello! I was married in 2005 and never changed my name on my Social Security card to reflect that I had taken my husband's last name. Do I need supporting documentation beyond our marriage license from 2005 (which shows my maiden name)?
    I also have a passport and drivers license that show my married name.
    Thank you for the help.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Do I need supporting documentation beyond our marriage license from 2005 (which shows my maiden name)?

      A certified copy of your marriage certificate acts as your name change event. Your married name could be pulled from your certificate, so that part's a done deal. That's the first thing you'll need.

      I also have a passport and drivers license that show my married name.

      Since your marriage took place over two years ago, you'll need to supply an identity document. Your driver's license or passport showing your married name is perfectly acceptable.

      Reply
  72. Alex Fogg

    Hello I am trying to find out some info for my wife she went online and paid 40$ for the whole name change process but on the form it’s requesting her parents SS# as well and that doesn't seem correct and feels fishy. We are trying to research how we can make the whole process as painless and legally legitimate as possible any help from those who have done this would be appreciated thank you.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      on the form it’s requesting her parents SS# as well and that doesn't seem correct and feels fishy.

      If your wife is 18 years old or older, her parents' SSN fields can be left blank. The fields are used when a parent is requesting a new or replacement social security card for their child. It's meant to link their records.

      Reply
  73. Lauren

    I'm in NC. I have had my name changed multiple times in my life.

    Example:

    Lauren Likes Waffles

    I was adopted at 8 years old and my name was changed to Lauren Likes Loves.

    I was then married and took my husbands last name, Lauren Likes Chicken.

    I was named after someone I do not care for so when I needed a replacement SS card I asked if I could change my middle name to my maiden name and they said yes. I was in and out within a few minutes making my name now Lauren Loves Chicken.

    My question is, in NC is this a valid name change? He said I will not need to go to court but after looking online I'm still wondering.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      My question is, in NC is this a valid name change? He said I will not need to go to court but after looking online I'm still wondering.

      Yes, replacing your middle name with your maiden name is a typical change.

      Reply
  74. Liv

    Hi, I went to SS to have my name changed a week ago, got a receipt for the process. So I went to DMV after 7 days to have my DL change as well, and they still can not find my name in the system. Not sure what to do. Is it normal to take this long for system info to update?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Not sure what to do. Is it normal to take this long for system info to update?

      In many cases, the DMV only lags behind the SSA for 24 hours. It's possible your application hasn't been fully processed.

      Turnaround time can take up to two weeks. But, that includes the time to receive your updated social security card. It can take longer if certain documents require translation into English.

      You can contact your local social security office to get a status update.

      Reply
  75. Sheryl

    I went to the social security office to change my name to my married name today. Upon completing the process with the agent I asked for a printout to take to the Dmv and she told me I couldn't get one because my ss#had been changed. Why did my number get changed?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      she told me I couldn't get one because my ss#had been changed. Why did my number get changed?

      That's probably a miscommunication. Social security card changes are also referred to as SSN card changes. Your social security number doesn't change when you change your name. It's only changed for significant reasons, such as identity theft, or avoiding a stalker.

      Reply
  76. Kiki

    Hi,
    I live in MA and am considering changing my middle name to my maiden name. I am already married and have not yet changed my last name. I understand that I need to separately petition the court to change my middle name.

    My question is, what order should this be done in? Is there a way to prevent changing everything everywhere twice (i.e. changing last name with SS, RMV, Passport and then changing middle name with SS, RMV, Passport)? For instance, should the petition process be done first and then social security approached with documentation for both new middle and last names? I've tried researching whether both processes can be done at the same time but I'm not finding the information I'm looking for.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I understand that I need to separately petition the court to change my middle name.

      If you're only changing your middle name, then petition the court. If you're changing your married name and middle name, just use your marriage certificate for both.

      Is there a way to prevent changing everything everywhere twice

      If you're certain you'll have to petition the court, then you can have them change both your middle name and last name simultaneously. Then use your court order to go through the name change once with SS, MA RMV, etc.

      Reply

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