Social Security Name Change: A Complete Guide for 2023
You can legally change the name on your social security card after marriage, divorce, or court order through the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Getting a new social security card paves the way for other name changes, such as your driver's license and passport.
Your social security number (SSN) will stay the same after changing your name.
Name change requirements
You can change the name on your social security card by completing the SS-5 application and providing:
Any evidence you offer—ID, records, certificates—must be original or certified copies. Photocopies, notarized copies, photos, and receipts are unacceptable.
Does this mean you're obliged to mail your driver's license and unearth your birth certificate? Maybe not. You may only have to satisfy the first condition (explained later).
Changing the name on your social security card is just one part of the name change process. Our name change after marriage guide gives the complete picture.
Note: While changing your name alone won't affect your social security benefits, such as SSI or widower payments, the act of marriage itself may affect your benefits.
What's allowed in your legal name change?
Your legal name is your first and last name only. The SSA will still print your middle name and suffix on your social security card if enough space is available.
Your name may only contain letters, spaces, hyphens, and apostrophes. Suffixes are okay. Omit your personal title, such as Mr., Ms., Mrs., Dr., Esq., Sister, or Father.
Don't use a nickname or abbreviation, such as Liz for Elizabeth or Deb for Deborah, unless it's your actual legal name.
SS-5 social security name change form
Use Form SS-5 (Application for a Social Security Card) to:
- Change your name.
- Get a new social security number.
- Correct a flawed social security record.
- Request a replacement social security card.
The form will ask you to spell out your:
- Birth name
- Current name
- Other names used
- New name to be shown on card
- Social security number
- Date of birth
- Parents' names
- Parents' social security numbers
- Daytime phone number
- Mailing address
- Today's date
Sign your new name on the application. Make it legible. You can omit your parent's social security number if you're 18 years old or older.
You do not have to include your old social security card with your application. It is not a valid form of identification.
You can fill out the social security form using our name change kit. Be prepared to download, print, sign, and mail your auto-filled PDF form.
Proof of name change
There are four unique name change events:
Proven by their respective name change documents:
- Marriage certificate
- Divorce decree
- Court order
- Certificate of naturalization
Let's unpack each event, starting with the most common…
Marriage name change
Fourteen states will allow you to choose your new married name when applying for a marriage license, which shows up on your marriage certificate:
- New Hampshire
- New York
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
The following map illustrates how most states (representing 69% of the U.S. population) won't ask that you pick out your new name when applying to get married.
For the remaining 36 states and D.C., you can "derive" your new name in four ways:
These rules apply to same-sex marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships too.
1. Full last name
Take your spouse's entire last name, as-is. This is the "traditional" approach.
2. Partial last name
Take one whole part of your spouse's hyphenated or space-separated last name. (Assuming such name exists.)
3. Hyphenated last name
Combine your and your spouse's last names with a hyphen (-), in either order.
4. Double-barreled last name
Join your and your spouse's last names, separated by a space, in either order. Space is mandatory; names can't be flush.
Married name change examples
The following exhibits your choices if your last name were Adams and spouse's Baker.
|Option||New last name|
Here's an example using Adams and Baker-Smith…
|Option||New last name|
You can't change your first name through marriage; petition the court instead.
Divorce name change
You can return to your maiden name using your divorce decree. Or any prior legal name. Men and women. Just ask the judge to include the written order.
If your decree has a name restoration order:
- You can only return to that name.
- It will be accepted by all government agencies.
If your decree is missing a name restoration order:
- The SSA can restore your maiden name.
- The SSA can restore any prior name on file.
- It might be accepted by other government agencies.
Divorce name change rules apply to similar legal break-ups:
- Civil union dissolution
- Domestic partnership dissolution
You can skip your divorce name change if you plan to switch it later after getting married again. This avoids a redundant, back-to-back name swap.
Court order name change
For a court-petitioned name change, you can only transition to the judge-approved name shown on your court order.
A court order is the most powerful name change instrument, permitting unbounded first, middle, and last name revisions. Reach for this tool if all else fails.
Naturalization name change
You can ask the court for a new name during naturalization, then use your certificate of naturalization as proof.
Proof of age
False assumptions on name change and birth certificates merits mentioning that you don't have to prove age to:
- Change your name.
- Obtain a duplicate card.
- Replace a lost or stolen card.
But you must show evidence of age to:
- Apply for your first card.
- Correct your date of birth on file.
- Get a brand new social security number.
- Make up for forgetting your social security number.
You can confirm your age using a:
- Birth certificate (preferred)
- Identity document (showing age), or
- U.S. citizenship document (showing age)
Proof of identity
You must show one form of "primary" photo ID to change your name. If mailing identification alarms you, there may be a surprising workaround. Let's cover this rule first…
U.S. citizens, show your American:
- Driver's license
- State-issued ID card, or
- Passport book or passport card
U.S. lawful immigrants, show your foreign passport and:
- Green card
- Arrival/departure record
- Machine-readable immigrant visa, or
- Employment authorization document (EAD)
Alternative, secondary ID
You can show secondary ID if primary ID is unavailable. Unavailable means you can't "easily" access or replace it within ten business days.
The following table shows acceptable alternative IDs, which must contain your photograph, age, or date of birth:
|U.S. military ID card||Yes||Yes||All|
|U.S. official passport||Yes||No||All|
|U.S. diplomatic passport||Yes||No||All|
|U.S. certificate of citizenship||Yes||No||All|
|U.S. certificate of naturalization||Yes||No||All|
|U.S. Indian tribal card||Yes||No||All|
|School record (current year)||Yes||Yes||All|
|Religious record||Yes||Yes||Birth to 17|
|Life insurance policy||Yes||Yes||6+|
|Final adoption decree||Yes||Yes||Birth to 17|
|Employee ID card or badge||Yes||No||18+|
|Health insurance card||Yes||Yes||All|
|Non-citizen state-issued ID card||No||Yes||All|
|Non-citizen state-issued driver's license||No||Yes||All|
The agency that issues your medical, religious, or school records must certify them. Insurance policies and medical cards must be current and active.
To reduce the chance of your paperwork returned asking for nonexistent primary ID, take preemptive action by attaching a note explaining your plight…
Please accept this secondary ID, as I cannot access or obtain primary evidence of ID within 10 business days.Statement complying with SSA POMS RM 10210.420
Maybe you don't need ID
It may be possible to use your name change document as ID. This offers the convenience of mailing your application without surrendering your driver's license, passport, etc.
This works by making sure your document:
Review the primary ID options if your name change document doesn't qualify as ID.
1. Is recently established
You've crossed the biggest hurdle if your name change event took place within the past two years. (It extends to four years if you're below the age of 18.)
There's no hard name change deadline. But waiting too long increases your burden—mailing ID and awaiting its return. Even then, alternative ID options exist.
2. Shows biographical information
Your name change document must—and should—show biographical data matching your current social security record:
- Date of birth, or
- Parents' names (one or both)
Any of the above three details work, but nothing else.
3. Matches your current name on file
Your name change document must mention the name on your current social security card. So, were your name Jane Doe before changing, your document must show likewise.
Proof of citizenship
In the unlikely event that the Social Security Administration is unaware of your U.S. citizenship, show your:
- U.S. passport
- U.S. birth certificate
- KIC-class American Indian card
- Consular report of birth abroad (CRBA), or
- U.S. certificate of citizenship or naturalization
The bottom line is that you can skip this step if the SSA issued you a social security card in the past with your citizenship status marked as U.S. citizen.
Proof of lawful immigrant status
If you're a U.S. lawful immigrant (non-citizen), verify your immigration status with your:
- Foreign passport
- Work authorization (if applicable), and
- Unexpired U.S.-issued immigration document
Student visa holders (F-1 or M-1), show Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status). If employed, show a pay stub or employer letter listing your:
- Start date
- Supervisor's name
- Supervisor's phone number
Exchange visitor visa holders (J-1 or J-2), show Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status). If employed, your sponsor must write a letter that's:
- On their letterhead
- Authorizing you to work
Submitting your paperwork
You have a big decision to make after preparing your paperwork—submit your application by mail or in person? The in-person experience is clear-cut:
- Visit your local social security office.
- Submit your paperwork for review and scanning.
- Retrieve your documents: identification, certificates, etc.
- Exit with your receipt of services rendered.
- Await your new card by mail.
You can schedule an appointment to change your name, which saves time by skipping the line. Walk-ins without an appointment are still welcome.
You cannot change your name with social security online or via MySSA (my Social Security). You must either apply by mail or in office.
Social security offices reopen
In-person service has returned to local social security offices on April 7, 2022.
COVID-19's impact on social security had closed field offices to the public for over two years, between March 17, 2020 and April 7, 2022. Forcing name change applications to mail…
The Social Security Administration is taking steps to protect the public and our employees during the Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.
Until further notice, offices are open to provide limited, dire need, in person services by appointment only. We will continue offering services by phone and online.Transcription of prerecorded notice on prior office closures.
Receiving your new card by mail
It should take 7 to 14 days to receive your new social security card by mail. The COVID-19-related delays of 2021–2022 have settled down. Four weeks is the worst-case scenario.
Since SSA field offices have reopened in April 2022, processing times have improved to more normal levels.
Expect two deliveries
Supporting documents you send with your application will arrive earlier from your local office. The "Central Office" near DC and Baltimore will mail your card last.
For instance, if your mailed packet includes your:
- Completed SS-5 form
- Driver's license (proof of identity)
- Marriage certificate (proof of name change)
You'll get mailed two envelopes:
- One returning your license and certificate.
- Another containing your updated social security card.
It's normal for your card to arrive several weeks after your personal documents.
If your new social security card has an error, typo, or missing information, contact your nearest SSA office for help.
Securing your social security card
When your new social security card arrives by mail:
- Sign it in ink.
- Avoid making photocopies.
- Seal it in a plastic bag or container.
- Store it at home instead of your wallet or purse.
Don't laminate your card; it blocks built-in anti-counterfeiting security features.
Changing your name on other credentials
How should you order and space out your name change to-dos beyond social security? Here's the proper sequence:
- Green card
- Social security card
- Driver's license or Real ID
- Military ID card
- Everything else
Let's explain each in quick succession…
1. Green card
Use Form I-90 to change your green card name. This precedes social security.
2. Social security card
Social security name change makes your new name legal.
3. Driver's license or Real ID
Wait at least 24 hours between your social security and driver's license name change; enough time for the SSA database to refresh before it's queried.
4. Military ID card
Update your military ID via DEERS or an ID card center.
Renew or change your passport name any time.
The SSA will alert the IRS that you've changed your name.
Set up USPS mail forwarding if changing your address.
The name on your W-2s must match IRS records for proper social security benefits recording.
9. Everything else
Notify or update the leftovers:
- Business cards
- Car title and registration
- Credit cards
- Doctor's offices
- Government tax assessors
- Insurance companies (auto, life, health, homeowners)
- Internet properties (email and website)
- Mortgage company
- Property deeds, titles, and trusts
- Retirement plans (401k and IRA)
- Shopping accounts (Amazon, eBay, PayPal)
- Social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
- Utilities (water, electric, cable, phone, internet)
- Voter registration
Whether you use this guide or our online name change kit to change your name, everything starts with updating your social security card. Good luck to you.
Your questions and comments are welcome below.
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.
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.
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.
But what if you can’t get a drivers license, etc. with the new married name on it without the social security card showing the new name?
Hi Jasmine. You need to update your social security record to reflect your new name. You don't have to present your social security card, as the driver's license office can perform an electronic check.
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.
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.
I'm in NC. I have had my name changed multiple times in my life.
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.
Yes, replacing your middle name with your maiden name is a typical change.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hi! So i did change my name on my ssn with no problem. Until recently, i found out that the marriage certificate that i passed has error in the name of my husband. What should i do now?
You may contact the office that recorded your marriage license for a correction, amendment, and reissue.
I changed my last name due to marriage. But we are now filing for divorce and I want my maiden name back as soon as possible. Can I change my last name back with my birth certificate or do I have to wait until the divorce is final ?
Hi Reyna. Unless you're getting a court order, you'll have to wait until you're divorced.
On my marriage license I hyphenated my last name to include maiden-married. When I go to social security can I just choose to go with my
Married name and not hyphenate?
No, if a new name is specified on your marriage certificate, it must be taken verbatim.
I've been married for 33 years and need to change my maiden name on my SS card to my married one. I read somewhere that I need to show documentation in my maiden and married name. I don't have nothing in my maiden name (married at age 17) but have 33 year's worth on my married name.
I'm a U.S. citizen, have my birth certificate, my marriage license, my original worn out SS card…..so what can I take or what is acceptable for me to show me in my maiden name?
You don't have to prove citizenship if it's already on file with the SSA.
You can bring it to bolster your case.
This is a must. Make sure it's an original or certified copy.
Not a valid form of ID, but you can still bring it to strengthen your case.
Since you don't have ID in the prior name as shown on your current social security record, the SSA will have to push through your name change using your new name.
Bottom line, show ID in your new name. A driver's license, state-issued ID card, or passport would work. It must show biographical info (e.g., age, DOB) that matches your existing SS record.
Thank you for getting back to me. I appreciate it! I forgot to add to my first question that my DL is expired which is why I need to change my name on SS card cause I believe they'll ask for it and it's in my maiden name. I do have the expired one (DL) and 2 other ones with both my maiden and married name on it.
As I was going thru papers looking for something/anything with my maiden name I came across a receipt/letter from 2000 stating that I applied for a SS card. I guess I did apply for it but I had forgotten about it cause I don't have the new card and don't remember if it ever came thru or not. So is there a way that I can find out if I did the name change back in 2000?
I'll circle back to this at the end.
You'll have to contact your local social security office.
Let's consider two possibilities:
1. Your current social security record has your married name:
In this case, you're done. You changed your name, but forgot about it. If necessary, you can just apply for a replacement card.
2. Your current social security record has your maiden name:
In this case, submitting expired ID in your maiden name is acceptable. Alternatively, you can submit an unexpired identity document in your new name as long as your marriage certificate displays your maiden name.
Thank you so much Valera! I really and truly appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. You were awesome! :) And I'll be going will all the info I have, current and expired, to the SS office tomorrow. Thanks again!
I meant on Monday! (facepalm)
Thank you for taking the time out to answer everyones questions. This is very helpful.
I am currently living in CA (born in NY) and living with a CA drivers license. I am getting married in two weeks, and can't decide if I want to change my last name or not. From my understanding, it seems there is no risk is changing my last name on my marriage license, and then not submitting with SSA or DMV. I am correct?
It seems if I don't take the opportunity now to change my last name on my marriage license, I risk having to petition the court later (+$500).
Are there any consequences to this that can be predicted?
Thank you for your support.
That's right. There's no obligation to follow through.
If you leave the new name choice blank, you're precluded from changing your name through marriage using the marriage certificate.
Great! Thank you!
The SS was fast but they did not accept the translation for my marriage certificate. I was married overseas and have the original, apostilled and certified document but they did not accept either translations – even though it was done at a court approved translator per the country and also through a translation service here.
I was lucky because the lady who helped me went the extra mile and found her co-worker who spoke and read Arabic and they got me my name change same day. I'm just waiting for my new ss card.
That's standard operating procedure. Translations have to be done in-house.
If you change your name at the Social Security office and they don't give you a temporary card, what do you use to change your name at the DMV? I don't want to wait two weeks to get my new license and all of my other accounts, is the marriage certificate enough with my old license? Social Security had me sign up for an online account while I was there, is there a way to get proof off of there? I didn't see anyway but could have missed it.
Hi Angella. You don't have to wait 24 hours if the name change has been processed in the SSA system. Your DMV will likely query their system electronically for a name match. Assuming your documents don't have to be verified or translated, you may be able to update your driver's license the same day or the next day.
If my marriage certificate lists my name both before and after marriage as well as my birth date, does that prove my identity, or do I still need to send in my passport with it?
Hi Melissa. Your marriage certificate as described is sufficient to serve as an identity document as long as the marriage took place within the past two years.
Silly question but do I need to send another envelope with postage on it along with the required information for them to send back my documents. I plan on doing the mail in option.
No, you do not. The SSA will pay for the return postage.
I got remarried several years ago, over 2, and my DL has my new married name. I just never thought about changing my ss card, and it hasn't really created any issues until now with a background check. I have my birth cert, 1st marriage license, divorce decree and second marriage license (name on it matches ss card) is this sufficient even though it has been more than 2 years
Hi Michelle. You just need your current driver's license with your new name and your most recent marriage license.
Hello, I am an Oregon resident, born and raised, and just got married. I got my name changed on everything but my social security card (saving it for last). When I went it the wait wasn’t long and the security guard stoke up a little conversation to pass the time.
But then it was my turn. I brought my new license, marriage license, a piece if mail (for address change), my birth certificate, and my old social security card. I began answering their security questions. He asked what my mother’s maiden name was. I answered and he just looked at me, I answered again Incase he didn’t hear me. I told him I was adopted but my adopted mother’s name is on my birth certificate so her maiden name is the one I was giving him. He said that was wrong. I handed him my birth certificate and he went to ask someone else what to do.
He came back and said I need proof or adoption. I called my mom and she doesn’t have it. I called the courthouse and there are three different countries I could have been adopted in. So now I am on a good chase because I can’t find the legal paper work to prove I was adopted.
Hi Gabrielle. You needn't bring your birth certificate or old social security card. Your marriage certificate is enough for ID, as long as it can identity you in your old and new name.
It appears that your mother's name as shown on your social security record is not her maiden name. Could she have registered your social security number under a different name (e.g., married name at the time)? If so, you'd have to reference that if 1) you didn't specify your mother's SSN and 2) your mother's own social security record doesn't reference her maiden name.
I went on my birthday o renew my drivers licence in CA. I was told theycouldnt process because my SSN and name didn't match. I was married 20 years ago. I have filed taxes, paid into Social security through work and my DoD retirement pension, held a valid CaRL in my married name for 20 years. When I went to change name at Sea they would not accept my ID because it expired the day before 1day. I had to travel 3 hours to ssa office. They told me to get a valid id. How? I don't know how to correct this and need my license to work
Hi Julia. If you don't have unexpired primary ID (e.g., driver's license, passport), then show unexpired secondary ID, such as a medical record, school record, or life insurance policy.
Hi I got married in August and received my marriage certificate in the mail a few weeks ago. I want to take one day off of work and I didn't request additional copies of my marriage certificate.
If I go down to the SS office to change my name, will I get it back to be able to bring it to the DMV? And will SS office give me something showing that my name has changed on my SS card too?
I just want to do everything in one day so I can mail in the certificate to renew and change my passport as well.
Yes, you'll get your marriage certificate and ID back before leaving.
You can request a receipt, but the DMV won't use it to change your name.
It could take a day for the SSA database to refresh before the DMV electronically queries it. Getting it done in the same day might be possible, but isn't assured. You may have to space it out at least 24 hours.
I have legally changed my name, only with the SSA, after my marriage in May of 2019. I have not changed my driver’s license or my passport to my new married name.
I have planned a trip to England in early 2020 with my previous name, which is currently displayed on my DL and passport.
I plan on changing everything to my married name after the trip, but want to make sure it’s safe to keep it for now, as the flight and all arrangements were booked in my former name.
Will I incur any issues at the airports if my SS name is different than what’s on my DL and passport?
Thanks in advance for your help!
Waiting to change your maiden name after traveling makes sense.
No, but it doesn't hurt to keep a certified copy of your marriage record with you to explain any name discrepancy.
I married my Husband who is here on a K1 in May 2019. We are in the AOS process and I would like to change my last name. It is his culture for the wife to take both his first and last name as her full last name. Social Security refuses to do this without a court order stating that it is protocol for the wife to only take the husband's last name not both his first and last name as her full last name.
I've done my research and to get a court order is extensive in that after all is said and done, after full state bureau investigation, background check, finger prints (all which I'm fine with actually), my birth certificate would change as if I were born with that name (which I'm not fine with).
This cannot be the first time a woman wants to choose her last name based on culture and incorporate her husband's full name? I'm baffled because the rep at social security could not tell me why he couldn't issue me a new SS card with the name I chose besides saying "that's protocol"!?! No cite to law or anything.
You wouldn't have to update your birth certificate following a court-petitioned name change. That's optional.
The rep was following the SSA's Program Operations Manual System, which lays out what's allowed for name changes. What you're seeking isn't possible without a court order.
Does it cost anything with the ss office to change your last name after getting married?
There is no cost.
I applied for my new SS card on Oct 14th with my new married name and still haven't gotten my card yet and wanted find out what I should do if I don't receive it?
Hi Misti. Assuming no document required extra validation or translation, turnaround time is about two weeks. You're a little bit beyond that, so you can contact your local SS office where you applied or mailed your paperwork to.
It's been 10 days and I haven't gotten my card back yet. Should I be worried?
Hi Francine. You're still within the window of potential processing. It could take up to two weeks. When did you mail it? Or did you apply in person?
I mailed it 10 days ago. I dropped it off at the post office. They're like one mile from the ss building. What happens after two weeks and I don't get it? I need do my driver's license and it's holding me up.
If you don't get your card within two weeks, you may want to call your local office. It's possible your name has already been processed and new card incoming. If that's the case, you can go and get your driver's license updated now. You don't have to wait until your card arrives.
Thanks. I'll wait a few more days but if I don't get it by then I'll go to the office to see if/when they mailed it. It's not far from my house so it shouldn't take that long to mail me my stuff.
FYI, your local SSA offices doesn't print and mail cards. The central office in Baltimore, Maryland is responsible for that.
Hello! I updated my name on my social security card – but have not updated my drivers license or passport yet. I am planning a trip out of the country in the next couple months. Is it okay if I wait to finish updating my other documents or is that an issue?
Not only is it okay, it's likely the most sensible option.
Hi I have a weird problem. I got married in 2016 changed my last name to my husbands did the proper form and received my new name on my social and license but for some reason when i apply for certain things they say my number is invalid and i did a test and applied to something using my maiden name and it worked versus using my new LEGAL name. why is that and what do i need to do?
Hi Emily. The SSA defines an invalid SSN as one that was never assigned. If a third-party is telling you your number's invalid that's on them. Where are you experiencing the problem?
i got married couple weeks ago in california, is there a time frame of when i need to change my last name to my husbands last name with social security and DMV?
Hi Sarnjit. There's no name change time frame or limit.
I got married a year ago and finally decided I'm ready to take my wife's last name. I sent in the application, a certified copy of my marriage license, and a certified copy of a medical record. I sent it certified mail and it looks like it should be delivered today. How long should I wait to get a new driver's license? How long will it take for my documents to be returned and my new card to arrive?
Also, I signed with my old name… Is that going to be an issue or cause a delay?
A good rule to follow is 24 hours after the SSA processes your name change. For instance, if your name change was processed on Monday and your updated card will arrive by mail on Thursday, you could make the change Tuesday morning. However, you wouldn't know it's been processed unless you were to get in contact with the SSA.
Two weeks for your card. Your documents a little bit before that.
Technically, you should have signed your new name, but it makes no practical difference. The SSA will process your application just the same as they understand it's a minor issue to sign your old name. It's written in their operating manual to not make a big deal out of such things.
I mailed in my required documents to change my last name. I received my receipt first informing me that my information had been processed and I would be receiving my new card soon along with my original documents. Well I received the new SS card, but still no documents. Has this happened to anyone before?
I’m getting kind of nervous. I had to send in my original marriage certificate and drivers license and cannot get a new license or do anything else without those two things.
This is standard operating procedure. Your documents will arrive in a separate envelope. Typically shortly after the arrival of your updated social security card.
HI, I had my name changed around 2012. I do not know what I did with the documentation. Where I can I get proof of that name change? I have my new social security card which shows my new name however the party that its asking for proof of my name change wants to see something that shows my maiden name AND my new legal (changed) name reflected. I can't figure out where to track this down. Any help greatly appreciated!!! :)
Hi Jessica. Let's say you changed your name because of divorce. You can use a certified copy of your marriage certificate that shows your derived name. It should show your prior name. Not enough. Show them a certified copy of your birth certificate.
Well now, getting your name changed for Social Security, DMV and all the other places it's necessary to do so during 2020 is certainly not a job for the faint of heart!
Planning our wedding was easy compared to this. Just when I thought I had all the phone calls, faxes and appointments done and boxes checked on that to do list, I get my new Medicare card ( yup I'm retired and got hitched) and it was a complete duplicate of the one I have.
I waited on hold for nearly two hours and finally had to hang up. So I called this morning when the clock struck their opening bell, finally got through only to be told I was suppose to call back in a week or so so they could update the system for the Medicare portion.
I looked at all my notes, nope, no mention of this. I have a few doctors appointment that I have had to cancel because my name was changed properly on my secondary insurance and without the new Medicare card I knew I would run into problems.
The woman was very nice, just wish they would all know enough to guide us correctly. But even this one said to call them in a week to be sure everything went through. I told her she should tell the boss that this piece of information should be on their website!
Hi Cindy. Thanks for chiming in with your experience.
Hello i just recently got married and im planning to change my name in the SSN. But i have a problem in my marriage certificate I put my legal name then hyphenated my husbands name but now i change my mind that i just keep my husband name and not to put my maiden name in the ssn what should i do?
Hi Shaula. Where did your marriage take place?
Hi, I’m planning on getting married in Kentucky in a couple of weeks. I want to take his last name, but do I have to do that immediately or is there any kind of time frame? I plan to sign the marriage certificate with my new name, if I do that is there a time frame of when I have to go and get my social and drivers license changed to the new name?
There's no name change time frame.
You'll have to sign your current name, not new name.
Not applicable, as you'll sign your current name.
If I do this by mail do I have to send in my original birth certificate, ID and SSC because those are pretty important documents to be getting lost in the mail. Can I not send copies of them?
Indeed, they are. SSA's standard operating procedure is to send you those documents back.
You could order an extra certified copy from the proper vital records department and send that instead. Whatever you send must either be an original or certified copy. Photocopies won't be accepted.
By the way, are you certain you even need to send in your birth certificate? If you're just looking to change your name, you don't need to send that in. Same goes for your current social security card.
Hi, I have two pre-names (i.e. Maria Eduarda), after I getting married could I choose only Eduarda plus my husband last name on my new Social Security card?
Not using your marriage certificate. You'll have to keep both names. You'd have to pursue a court-ordered name change to accomplish what you want.
I just received my marriage license back in the mail from the SSA office to change my name on my card to my new married name but my new card was not with it. Will it come later, is this normal that they send them separately or should I assume my new SS card was stolen from the envelope. The address is hand written and the back was sealed with tape. The envelope was not torn just sealed with tape.
Hi Amanda. That's normal. Your social security card will arrive in a separate envelope.
Hi! I am wondering if you ever received your new SS card. The same thing happened to me I received my marriage certificate back at the end of January and I am still waiting to receive my new SS card.
This will always arrive first and separate from your new card.
Coronavirus has shuttered most in-person social security business, which pushed most everything to mail. This is what's causing the delay.
Hi! I got married in NY in 2018. i havent changed any legal documents yet. My marriage certificate says first name-middle name- married name.
I would like that my legal documents have my maiden name as my middle name.
Ex: my first name-maiden-married name
Do i need a petition for court? Or will ssn office just change my middle name to maiden?
I’ve also read that ny passed legislation empowering women to have their middle name as their maiden without any issues when filing with ssn and dmv.
Im just so confused what to do.
Hi Sammy. The SSA will change your middle name fine the way you prefer.
Hi! I got married in December and quickly filled out the required documents for my name change. I got my social security card however, I have not received my marriage certificate back from the mail. I tried calling multiple times yet only one person answered saying that there is no tracking number to track where my marriage certificate is at.
It’s been over two weeks since I now have my updated social security card but no sign of my marriage certificate. I tried going to NC dmv with my social security card and ID to update my name change on my DL but they turned me away since I didn’t have my original copy of my marriage certificate.
What do I do to fix this?
Hi Mary. Your case is unusual. Your marriage certificate should have arrived first, since it comes from your local office. Your card usually comes later from the Central Office near Washington DC and Baltimore.
There's a high likelihood your marriage certificate has been lost, either in office or in the mail.
I recommend you order a new certified copy of your marriage certificate and resume your name change using that.
You say I can use my health insurance card for ID. I've got Blue Cross Blue Shield. Will that be accepted?
It has to contain one of the following three: age, date of birth, or parent's names. BCBS card designs appear standardized across the states. I don't believe any such identifiable information is shown, front or back. In that case, you'll have to supply another form of secondary ID.
It doesn't show any of that just my name, subscriber ID and group number. Can I attach a photocopy of an insurance letter that has more details like my address?
Hi Harmon. Your insurance card doesn't provide enough identifiable information. You'll have to supply alternative secondary identification. There's still quite a bit left to choose from. For example, obtaining a certified medical record from one of your doctors.
If you have a driver's license or a state identification card, consider ordering a duplicate copy online. Many states provide this through their driver services websites without you having to go in office. When it arrives, you may use it for your identity document.
Hi I have a big dilemma. I remarried 4 years ago and I changed my drivers license to my new married name but not my social security or anything else, but my drivers license has been expired. I want to change my last name back to the way it was but I'm not divorce but I don't want my husband's last name no more everything is so complicated. Can I go to the driving place to renew my drivers license and take proof to keep my last name the one I had before.
Hi María. You'll have to obtain a new authorizing name change event document, such as a court order, to effect a name reversal on your driver's license.
I changed my lasy name three years ago though a court order. I did not change over any documents yet (social and id) Would I need a updated court order to change it. I was dealing with a lot work wise and could not take days off but now I can. Thanks!
Hi William. Your existing court order would work. It doesn't come with an expiration date.
Thank you so much!!!
Hi! Looking for some answers. I submitted all of my paperwork to my local SS office, then today I got a letter receipt stating that I applied for a social security card and that I should have my card in about two weeks. The letter also returned my marriage certificate. Does this mean everything was accepted, the name change is finalized and now I'm just waiting for the new card? TIA!
This always arrives first and separate.
Yes, your job is done. All that's left is to await the delivery of your new card. If there was a problem they'd either phone or mail you with an explanation.
I submitted a name change application after getting all the paperwork filed away in the state (MO) in May after getting married in March.
My passport and marriage license were mailed back to me at the end the month with note that said the application was received and I would receive a receipt in a separate envelope later.
It's now been over a month and haven't gotten anything in the mail, I there some way I can check if its still being processed or if I have to resubmit everything? I know with Covid there's delays but if I need to do something more I'd like to get the ball rolling.
Good. That means no problems lay ahead.
It could take up to two months.
You can phone your local field office; the place where you mailed your paperwork.
You wouldn't have gotten the confirmation letter if there was a need to resubmit.
I am getting married a week before my license expires. How do I get it updated with my new last name, without my ss card being updated?
Hi Nikki. You may not need to get it updated. Not all states will have a new name block on the marriage license. Can you provide the state where you obtained your marriage license to confirm this?
My wife and I have been married 15 years. I am a DoD employee but have been in Japan for 15 years so my wife does not have a green card (we never left so no need). She has a social security number from her previous marriage 40 years ago.
For me to change the name on her social security card do I need to submit documentation and request immigration status or file for a green card first? Can she collect benefits from my social security account with her current social security card and non-immigration status if she shows proof of identity and a marriage certificate.
Hi Bill. The Social Security Administration established a social security agreement with Japan in 2005, so spousal benefits should work out.
For name change, she'll need to provide ID and a certified copy of the marriage certificate. You'll want to contact the Federal Benefits Unit in Japan about what additional documents they'll require. You'll be submitting the paperwork to their office.
Hi! Is it possible to apply for a new ssc with my future last name before the wedding? If so, how early? Do I need my new ssc to change my name on a license and passport?
You'll need a name change event with a corresponding name change document. You won't have one.
The only option for you is to get a court order before getting married. If your marriage is imminent, it'll be easier to wait until you have your marriage certificate.
Yes for driver's license. The passport can be done in parallel.
I was married 4 years ago but never changed my name. I'd like to change it now because my driver's license recently expired and my passport will expire in several months. Besides the application, what do I need to submit to SSA for the name change? Just the marriage certificate? My marriage certificate and either my passport or DL? Can I use my expired DL?
You'll also need to submit ID since your marriage was more than two years ago.
Either would work, but they can't be expired. If you don't have unexpired ID, provide secondary ID, such as a medical record or health insurance card.
Hello, we've applied for a new SSN card for my daughter due to becoming citizens and her card came back with her first and middle name together with no space. Her old card is fine but this one is bothering me.
Her name is Lora and the middle name is attached to it which is ridiculous. The limit of 26 characters is not exceeded so that is not the issue. Is that a mistake and should I correct it? Thank you!
Hi Petya. Yes, you should seek a correction. They should be separate.
I was married in 2017 and changed my name to my husband's on the marriage certificate and on my social security card. I still have my maiden name on my passport and driver's license (both renewed this past year).
I would like to change my SS card back to my maiden name, all my other firms of ID are still in my maiden name. Is this possible without any court order?
Could I just fill out the form and send my marriage license, driver's license, passport and birth certificate? Hope it can be this easy.
Yes, you can return to your maiden name on your social security card without a court order. See the name change reversal article for the proper steps.
Hi, I just got married in state of OK over the holidays. My husband and I live in TX (where I just moved). In OK they had me choose on certificate so I chose to take his last name. Is there a time limit for me to change name this since we married in OK but live in TX?
Moving and just the change of address for some reason has been hard with insurance, getting new doc already…My concern is if I change my name also that it may mess up certain prescriptions that are currently under my maiden name and that would be a problem since I’m still trying to get new doc etc.
I’m currently on SDI and don’t know if the name change will mess up the direct deposit also. With the SSI offices closed and then pushing everything online, it’s made it difficult to get clear answers.
Also we will be traveling south in Feb will it matter if my current Id does not yet show the name change? What happens at airport if they see differing last names like that?
Lastly, I want to make sure I’m understanding that the correct order to do the name change is FIRST through SSI, SECOND DMV car registration and license?
Thank you SO much for your help on this!
While there's no time limit, once you change your name with the Social Security Administration, you must notify the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS) within 10 days by updating your driver's license or state ID.
Name change is common, so doctors and pharmacies should have protocols in place to handle the transition.
Prescriptions aren't just based on your name, but your date of birth, and insurance card number.
Changing your name won't affect your social security direct deposits.
Book your plane tickets to match the name on your passport and carry a certified copy of your marriage certificate with you to link name discrepancies.
The First name on my SS card is actually a "nickname", not my true legal name. I was at a SS office some years ago and they said it didn't matter, not to bother to change it. Is that correct? I'm 65 and I don't want to have any kind of hassle when I start collecting SS in a few years.
Hi Lee. Since your name is already established, it's nothing to worry about.
Help!! One question I can’t seem to find the answer. I need to apply for a name change on my social security card now that I am married. When applying for a new card do I just need to send in the certified marriage license? Nothing else? Or do I need to send in other forms in addition??? I am getting so frustrated and mixed answers. Please help!! Thank you!!!
Hi Brittany. You can send in just your marriage certificate if you meed the following qualifications.
Hello! I got married in November 2021 and want to change my name. Is it possible to add my current last name to my middle name? For example, Stephanie Middlename1 Middlename2 Lastname?
Hi Steph. Which state did your marriage take place in?
Hello, I can't seem to find a concrete answer to one question. I changed my name with the SSA a couple months ago and received the letter from SSA telling me they've processed the name change. I've also been able to create an online account in my new married name with MySSA, so I've confirmed that the name change has been completed.
However, I never received my new Social Security Card. I've called the NJ MVC, and they've told me I need the new social security card to change my name on my license. I don't have it, though, I can't order a new social security card, because MySSA looks at driver's license records to confirm identity, and the two don't match yet.
Should the MVC be able to confirm in their database that the SSA name change has occurred, or do I actually need my new social security card to change my New Jersey Driver's License? I'm getting contradictory information online, and I would like to know before I actually go to the MVC. Thanks!
You can contact the local field office where you mailed your appliation to inquire. You can also request a replacement card from MySSA.
Yes, they should perform an electronic verification.
That shouldn't be necessary.
I recently got married and have a hyphenated last name. Maiden name – Husbands name. I wanted to know if I needed to get all of my information updated with my hyphenated last name or if I could just change the SS, passport and drivers license?
Hi Tasanee. If you're going to update your social security card, passport, and driver's license, you should complete the circle and update all remaining documents. You don't have to, but there's not much advantage leaving other credentials and records in your old name.
Hi, when I applied marriage license in Georgia I was told by Clark that I can't have my husband partial last name ( he has hyphenated Last name like A-B and I wanted only B) so filled designated name as AB but My marriage certificate shows only maiden name.
Can I change SS and DL name to only B without any problem later? Or marriage license filed as A-B so need court order to change just B?
You will need a court order to take half of your spouse's surname. Your marriage certificate alone isn't sufficient.
I married in the state of NY 3 years ago. I took my husbands last name on my marriage certificate only. I have not changed my name to his on any such documentation such as SS, NYS ID, or passport.
I am still undecided about legally changing it to his outside the marriage certificate. My passport needs to be renewed so I can go to visit my husbands homeland of Turkey. It would be easier to travel to Turkey with his last name as mine on my passport.
Question is…can I submit my passport renewal form with the marriage certificate showing my last name as my husbands despite not taking his last name through SS/NY State/etc.?
All forms of ID I use still have my maiden name and more than likely I will continue to use those unless I decide to change it legally through Social Security. Hoping to just have my passport be in married name but nothing else without problem or penalty for some reason.
Yes, that's fine.
I haven't received my documents I sent it back it been 2 weeks since I received my new social security card. Still no drivers license or marriage license yet.
Hi Christina. You can phone your local field office where you submitted your paperwork for a status update. Two weeks isn't too bad. It's near the edge of concern.
I have been married 3 times and changed my name each time. I am trying to gather documents to get a REAL ID. I have all marriage licenses but do I also need the name change documents from social security?
Hi Kelikaneki. Your marriage licenses (I assume you mean certified copies of your marriage certificate) serve as proof of name change events.
For REAL ID compliance, you must show proof of your social security number, such as your social security card, W-2, or paystub with SSN.
Then you'll need to provide proof of identity, such as U.S. birth certificate. And proof of residency, such as a utility bill.
After I married I went to the ssa office to change my last name. I was told that since I have no middle name I have to keep my maiden name as last. So I have two last names. It’s not hyphenated.
My ssa card shows both last names, my driver license shows my married name. This has caused me so many headaches. Why was I not able to just keep married name?
Hi Jen. I've never heard of this before. The SSA doesn't even consider your middle name to be part of your legal name. I don't know what the agent you dealt could be referencing.
Anyone with experience in Florida!!
Got married in Louisiana. We live in Florida.
My husband has no middle name but two last names. Let’s say Billy Ortiz Smith
I didn’t want his full name I wanted my maiden name to be my middle name and to make Ortiz from his last name to be my last name. That way in the future with kids they will also only have Ortiz
So I went to social security and got this done no problem. My card came in the mail and shows Kaitlyn Williams Ortiz. My maiden name as my middle now and then my new last name.
On our marriage certificate both his names are on it of course along with my full maiden name.
I go to DMV with my documents to change my drivers license. Basically get told I have to take both his last names because that’s what is on the marriage license and that’s how it is in Florida. Even with my name changed with social security sitting right in front of her
I’m told the only way around it is to try to do my passport first than if they make the name how I want on that then I can get the drivers license
Does this sound right? Even with my social listed with the name changed to they won’t change it to that in Florida and will make me get something different from my social on my license to change my name on it.
Hi Kaitlyn. You've experienced what happens when federal and state law diverges. The SSA has their own rules, while Florida has another. Taking a portion of your husband's name wouldn't work with the DMV, even though it's fine with the SSA. What you were told at the DMV is correct.
Hi my wife and I got married last year (July 2021) and obtained a marriage certificate with my correct name and her full name with her maiden surname.
Can we go to SSA office and now request to change her last name to mine? We just got around doing all of that stuff? Or should we have a marriage certificate mentioning her first name and my last name?
Hi Viva. Take a look at the missing married name article that covers this question. Basically, if your marriage application never asked for a new name after marriage, your certificate alone is good. If it did ask and your wife didn't choose, it could be a problem. I could give more solid info if I knew which state your marriage took place in.
My daughter is getting married soon. Her last name is Love and his last name is Williams Lowe. Would they be able to change BOTH of their last names to Williams Love? Combining their last names but dropping the Lowe from his? Would they both just take the marriage license in and be able to use that?
This is in Arkansas
Hi Misty. They would need to file their name change petitions in Arkansas circuit court.
That would be considered a brand new last name due to the letter change. They would have to file separate name change court petitions. The court orders they receive will take the place of their marriage certificate for name change purposes.
Where does one "make an appointment" for a name change? It is mentioned above but there is no link. 80 people waiting outside in the rain is not service.
You can phone your local SS office to schedule an appointment.
I know this probably asked many times, but just looking for confirmation. Live in New Jersey, got married in PA. We plan on mailing application to our local office, but confused what we actually need to mail besides our marriage certificate.
Please review the maybe you don't need ID section of this page. If you qualify under this section, you would only need to mail your marriage certificate and SS-5 form. Otherwise, you'll have to mail your certificate, SS-5, and identification, such as your driver's license or passport. There are also alternative ID options.
My wife need renew driver license with real ID and we went DMV we change her name on to same with passport. They said she need to change name on social security first. We went to SS office change name recently. Can she change her name back to old name on social security card (she decide will not apply for real id, just renew driver license only if she can change back to the old name on social security).
Please review the reverse name change article.
I got married back in 2016, and only changed my last name on my social security card because I thought I had to do it right away. I'm still married but everything besides my social is in my maiden name and I use my maiden name for everything.
My question is, I currently have both social security cards (same number) just different last names. I put my maiden name for everything, never changed my drivers license either. I even used it for a job I am currently being hired for.
My question is, is this going to affect anything? I would love to just change my social back to my maiden name but I am still married so I don't know if that is possible. Please help.
You can look into an name reversal.
I recently changed my last name back to my maiden name. How will this affect my applying for social security disability?
Hi Deana. Changing your name doesn't affect social security disability.
Hello, my wife and I married in August of 2022 in Clark County, NV. We both live in Los Angeles, CA. Her desired name is different than the one allowed to be designated on the marriage certificate for Clark County, NV.
She would like to keep her first name and take my last name, however she would like to add her mother's maiden name to her middle name ([Orig First Name] [(Orig MN) (Mother's Maiden Name)] [My Last Name]). Since Clark County solely allows a last name change to be a combination/variation of our maiden names, the clerk advised her to leave the designation blank and change her name after the marriage.
A few weeks later she submitted the name change with the Social Security Administration in CA, and it seemed like they were not going to allow it since the marriage certificate did not have her desired name on it. Low and behold they applied the name change and she has received her new SS card with the newly desired name. We believe she may have slipped through the cracks, as everything we have read online indicate that a marriage cert or court order with the new name is needed.
Since she has her new SS card with her new desired name, she went to apply for her Real ID. The DMV said that they need more supplemental identification with her new name. The new SS card with the new name are not sufficient. They said the marriage cert we have will not suffice as it does not indicate her new name.
We are at a loss on what to do next. We are thinking we may have to go the route of a court order. Any advice?
Hi Kenny. The strongest remaining supporting ID would be a passport. Beyond that, you'd have to inquire which forms of secondary ID they'd accept.
I got married back in 2012 and I changed my social security card name. I tried to get my name and his name put on there they would not let me.
Which makes no sense, because some Spanish people have four names but the lady would not let me do that and some things happen but now I feel like I regret having my Social Security name to my marriage name and I want to go back to my maiden name but I'm still married.
Is there a way that I could do that? Or do I have to go see a judge?
Take a look at the reversing name change article.
I am getting divorced and going back to my maiden name. However, I am leaving the country for a few months the same day as the divorce.
How long do I have until I need to change my name with the Social Security office? Divorce is in November, can I do it when I return to the states in March?
Your name change countdown initiates when you change the name on your social security card.
Sure, you can begin when you return.
I got married in one state and live in another. Does it matter which state I go to an office in? Can I go in either state to get my name changed?
You can mail your social security name change paperwork to any field office, nearby or otherwise. You should update your driver's license in your home state. Your passport gets mailed to a central location, so your residence doesn't matter.
Do I need to show my old social security card when changing my name? Problem is I can't find it. Do I have to report it lost?
Hi Anya. You do not need to present (when applying in person) or mail (when mailing your application) your old social security card when changing your name. You do not have to report it lost either. Ignore its disappearance.
I am recently divorced with a restoration included in the decree to my maiden name. Do I need to request a new social security card, or can I use my old one since it's the same name as before I was married?
Hi Heather. If you're not going to use your divorce decree to change the name on your social security record (not card), then using your existing card is fine.
I am a widow and I’m getting remarried. When I got married the first time I changed my name to be my first name, my maiden name as my middle name, and hubby #1 surname as my surname.
This is my current name and is stated as such on our marriage license application. It also states my maiden name.
I’m in FL so we do not select our new name on this form. As I want to change my surname to hubby #2’s surname once we are married, I want to know if I can do any of these options for my middle name using my marriage license without needing a court order for the change:
Option 1 – First name, maiden name as middle name, hubby #2 surname as my surname
Option 2 – First name, hubby #1 surname as my middle name, hubby #2 surname as my surname
Option 3 – First name, maiden name hyphenated with hubby #1 surname as my middle name, hubby #2 surname as my surname
Option 4 – First name, maiden name (space) hubby #1 surname as my middle names, hubby #2 surname as my surname.
Thank you for any advice.
Further to my comment above:
Option 5 – First name, first initial of my maiden name (space) hubby #1 surname as the middle name, hubby #2 surname as my surname
Hi Sharon. Option 5 wouldn't work either.
Hi Sharon. For options one through four, the answers are Yes, No, No, and No.
Where can I find information about partial name changes? This website is one of the only places I've found about taking part of husband's last name (he has 2 since he is Hispanic).
Hi Kt. You want the SSA's RM 10212.055, which covers evidence needed to process a name change via marriage. Look to Section B: Evidence of New Name, which allows taking one part of your spouse's compound surname, which we specify in the partial last name (i.e., compound surname) section on this page.
I was married in 1988. My drivers license has my first name & my maiden – married last names on it. I have worked & my W-2 has been under my first name & married name for 30 years and have been able to file my joint taxes with my husband all this time.
I am going to change my name at work to my first name & my maiden – married last names. I want my social security card to have my first name & maiden – married last names on it.
My social security card is still under my maiden name & I want everything to match I am going to be retiring in a few years & want to draw my Social security benefits. What do I do?
Hi Kris. Submit your name change to the Social Security Administration along with a certified copy of your marriage certificate. It may have been over 30 years since your marriage, but you can still change your name with the SSA as if you were married a few years ago.
I saw something on the SSA website that says if getting a replacement SS card because of a name change via marriage, you must wait 30 days after the name change takes effect. Is this really true?
I changed my name on 5/5 and filled out the online form for card replacement a few days later. If I show up at the local SSA office on, say, 5/15, will they turn me away?
No, social security does not impose a wait time to start your name change.
No, the SSA will not turn you away. They would process your name change without delay as long as you present a certified copy of your marriage certificate.
Catch 22?? 😭 I got married over 2 years ago and only recently realized I have yet to change my name with ssa when my license expired.
I have my marriage certificate but the supporting identification with my married name is the tricky part. My DL still has my maiden name. My local DMV requires my social security card with the married name to change it. But I apparently need my DL with married name to change my SS card too?
Hi Jasmine. You've got the sequence backwards. Update your social security card first. Once that's done, update your driver's license to match. Think of your social security card as the parent record.
Government Agencies are incompetent when interpreting protocol. Misinformation and/or miscommunication cause dilemmas for those wishing to change their name after marriage. So many shared experiences result from a poorly run system where "helpful" employees kindly provide information, but not always accurate.
When we obtained our marriage license the name change was nonchalant, just put a name it doesn't mean you have change to it, otherwise, you'll have to petition the court.
It should have been stated the name in that box is WHO YOU ARE after marriage. I decided to change my name after 4 years and went to Social Security with my marriage license stating my husband's last name, and requested to include my maiden name. Although it should have been denied, I got my name changed not matching the marriage license.
At DMV I presented my SS card with their name change form and was asked for my marriage license. I explained the names not matching so it's useless. I told her it's stated on the DMV website if your requested name change doesn't match SS records, the license will be issued in the current name on file, but she insisted I couldn't go any further unless I presented my ML. You can guess the rest.
Went home and back, stood in line again, and provided my ML, why? It didn't change a thing and I received my renewed DL with the same name as my SS card. I begin changing my name accordingly with no issues, until the Real ID application process.
I had to renew my DL and applied for the REAL ID. Same story different agency – DMV would only issue a REAL ID in the name on the marriage license or my birth certificate. Regardless of my DL, SS card, car registration, title, insurance, taxes, pay stubs, and EVERYTHING being in my legal name, they would only allow an ID in either name that I'm not, being told (again) nonchalantly it's just for travel, you don't have to change anything else – ???? And they call it a REAL ID.
I renewed my DL in my legal name as travel wasn't an issue. I waited until my passport expired and was able to effortlessly renew it in my legal name. The information provided here is so accurate and simple to understand. Why can't the government agencies we rely on figure out how to provide services efficiently?