Social Security Name Change: A Complete Guide

Social Security Card

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

Name change pillars of proof

You can change the name on your social security card by completing the SS-5 application and providing:

  1. Proof of name change
  2. Proof of age
  3. Proof of identity
  4. Proof of citizenship or lawful immigrant status

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).

You can change your name online using our name change application to complete the social security form, among other important documents.

SSA name change limits. Letters, spaces, hyphens, apostrophes, and suffixes allowed. No titles, nicknames, or abbreviations.

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

SS-5 Form, Social Security Administration Application for a Social Security Card

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
  • Birthplace
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Citizenship
  • Parents' names
  • Parents' social security numbers
  • Daytime phone number
  • Mailing address
  • Today's date
  • Signature

You can download the SS-5 form (PDF). It's free. It costs nothing to submit this form.

Sign your new name on the application. Make it legible. And no initials or abbreviations.

Proof of name change

Proof of name change

There are four unique name change events:

  1. Marriage
  2. Divorce
  3. Court order
  4. Naturalization

Proven by their respective name change documents:

  1. Marriage certificate
  2. Divorce decree
  3. Court order
  4. Certificate of naturalization

Let's unpack each event, starting with the most common…

Marriage name change

Marriage name change using your marriage certificate
Change your name after marriage via your marriage certificate.

Twelve states will allow you to choose your new married name when applying for a marriage license, which shows up on your marriage certificate:

  • California
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon

The following map illustrates how most states (representing 70% of the U.S. population) won't ask that you pick out your new name when applying to get married.

U.S. map highlighting the twelve states whose marriage license application asks for your new married name
New name chosen on the marriage application in 12 states.

For the remaining 38 states and D.C., you can "derive" your new name in four ways:

  1. Full last name
  2. Partial last name
  3. Hyphenated last name
  4. Double-barreled last name

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.

OptionNew last name
FullBaker
HyphenatedAdams-Baker
HyphenatedBaker-Adams
Double-barreledAdams Baker
Double-barreledBaker Adams

Here's an example using Adams and Baker-Smith

OptionNew last name
FullBaker-Smith
PartialBaker
PartialSmith
HyphenatedAdams-Baker-Smith
HyphenatedBaker-Smith-Adams
Double-barreledAdams Baker-Smith
Double-barreledBaker Smith-Adams

You can't change your first name through marriage; petition the court instead.

Divorce name change

Divorce name change using your divorce decree
Change your name after divorce via your divorce decree.

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:

  • Annulment
  • 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

Court-petitioned name change using your court order

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

Naturalization name change using your certificate of naturalization

You can ask the court for a new name during naturalization, then use your certificate of naturalization as proof.

Proof of age

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:

Proof of identity

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

Secondary ID options, when primary ID is unavailable

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:

DocumentU.S. citizensNon-citizensAge
U.S. military ID cardYesYesAll
U.S. official passportYesNoAll
U.S. diplomatic passportYesNoAll
U.S. certificate of citizenshipYesNoAll
U.S. certificate of naturalizationYesNoAll
U.S. Indian tribal cardYesNoAll
School record (current year)YesYesAll
Medical recordYesYesAll
Religious recordYesYesBirth to 17
Life insurance policyYesYes6+
Final adoption decreeYesYesBirth to 17
Employee ID card or badgeYesNo18+
Health insurance cardYesYesAll
Medicaid cardYesYesAll
Non-citizen state-issued ID cardNoYesAll
Non-citizen state-issued driver's licenseNoYesAll

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

You may not need ID, use your name change document
You can avoid relinquishing your ID under key criteria.

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:

  1. Is recently established
  2. Shows biographical information
  3. Matches your current name on file

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 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:

  • Age
  • 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

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

Proof of immigrant status

If you're a U.S. lawful immigrant (non-citizen), verify your immigration status with your:

  1. Foreign passport
  2. Work authorization (if applicable), and
  3. 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:

  1. Job
  2. Hours
  3. Start date
  4. Supervisor's name
  5. 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:

  1. Signed
  2. On their letterhead
  3. Authorizing you to work

Submitting your paperwork

By mail or in person

You'd normally have a big decision to make after preparing your paperwork—submit your application by mail or in person? The in-person experience is was clear-cut:

  1. Visit your local social security office.
  2. Submit your paperwork for review and scanning.
  3. Retrieve your documents: identification, certificates, etc.
  4. Exit with your receipt of services rendered.
  5. Await your new card by mail.

Alas, you must now apply by mail since COVID-19's impact on social security has closed field offices to the public…

SSA prerecorded notice on Coronavirus office closings.

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 office closures.

You can't schedule an appointment to change your name; it's not a "dire need" service.

Receiving your new card by mail

Social security name change turnaround time
Real-world name change turnaround times in 2021.

It should take 7 to 14 days to receive your new social security card by mail. But COVID-19-related delays have stretched it out to 2 to 4 weeks. Eight weeks at worst.

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:

  1. Completed SS-5 form
  2. Driver's license (proof of identity)
  3. Marriage certificate (proof of name change)

You'll get mailed two envelopes:

  1. One returning your license and certificate.
  2. Another containing your updated social security card.

It's normal for your card to arrive several weeks after your personal documents.

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

Updating other ID beyond social security

How should you order and space out your name change to-dos beyond social security? Here's the proper sequence:

  1. Green card
  2. Social security card
  3. Driver's license or Real ID
  4. Military ID card
  5. Passport
  6. IRS
  7. Employers
  8. 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.

5. Passport

Renew or change your passport name any time.

6. IRS

The SSA will alert the IRS that you've changed your name.

7. Employers

The name on your W-2s must match IRS records for proper social security benefits recording.

8. Everything else

Notify or update the leftovers:

  • Banks
  • Business cards
  • Car title and registration
  • Clubs
  • Credit cards
  • Doctor's offices
  • Government tax assessors
  • Insurance companies (auto, life, health, homeowners)
  • Internet properties (email and website)
  • Landlord
  • Memberships
  • Mortgage company
  • Pharmacists
  • 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

Conclusion

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.

Do you plan to change your name?

Our online name change kit makes it easy.

Get Started

898 Comments

↓ Jump to comments form

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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
  32. 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
  33. 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
  34. 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
  35. 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
  36. 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
  37. Alissia Arnold

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

    Reply
  38. 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
  39. 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
  40. 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
  41. 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
  42. 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
  43. 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
  44. 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
  45. 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
  46. Kai

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  47. Reyna

    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 ?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Reyna. Unless you're getting a court order, you'll have to wait until you're divorced.

      Reply
  48. Cayla

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  49. Jojo

    Hello,
    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I'm a U.S. citizen

      You don't have to prove citizenship if it's already on file with the SSA.

      have my birth certificate

      You can bring it to bolster your case.

      my marriage license

      This is a must. Make sure it's an original or certified copy.

      my original worn out SS card

      Not a valid form of ID, but you can still bring it to strengthen your case.

      …..so what can I take or what is acceptable for me to show me in my maiden name?

      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.

      Reply
      1. Jojo

        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?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          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.

          I'll circle back to this at the end.

          So is there a way that I can find out if I did the name change back in 2000?

          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.

          Reply
          1. Jojo

            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!

          2. Valera

            Thank you so much Valera!

            You're welcome.

            And I'll be going will all the info I have, current and expired, to the SS office tomorrow.

            Smart.

  50. Christina

    Hello,

    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.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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?

      That's right. There's no obligation to follow through.

      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

      Correct.

      Are there any consequences to this that can be predicted?

      If you leave the new name choice blank, you're precluded from changing your name through marriage using the marriage certificate.

      Reply
  51. Judy

    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.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      The SS was fast but they did not accept the translation for my marriage certificate.

      That's standard operating procedure. Translations have to be done in-house.

      Reply
  52. Angella

    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.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  53. Melissa

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  54. MacKenzie Ricks

    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.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      No, you do not. The SSA will pay for the return postage.

      Reply
  55. Michelle

    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

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Michelle. You just need your current driver's license with your new name and your most recent marriage license.

      Reply
  56. Gabrielle Wasner (Elwood)

    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.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  57. Julia

    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

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  58. kaira lee

    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.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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?

      Yes, you'll get your marriage certificate and ID back before leaving.

      And will SS office give me something showing that my name has changed on my SS card too?

      You can request a receipt, but the DMV won't use it to change your name.

      I just want to do everything in one day so I can mail in the certificate to renew and change my passport as well.

      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.

      Reply
  59. Kimberly Smith

    Hello,

    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!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Waiting to change your maiden name after traveling makes sense.

      Will I incur any issues at the airports if my SS name is different than what’s on my DL and passport?

      No, but it doesn't hurt to keep a certified copy of your marriage record with you to explain any name discrepancy.

      Reply
  60. Lisa Perrillo

    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. 

    Reply
    1. Valera

      my birth certificate would change as if I were born with that name (which I'm not fine with).

      You wouldn't have to update your birth certificate following a court-petitioned name change. That's optional.

      No cite to law or anything.

      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.

      Reply
  61. Timothy McElfresh

    Does it cost anything with the ss office to change your last name after getting married?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Does it cost anything with the ss office to change your last name

      There is no cost.

      Reply
  62. Misti Piserelle

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  63. Francine

    It's been 10 days and I haven't gotten my card back yet. Should I be worried?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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?

      Reply
      1. Francine

        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.

        Reply
        1. Valera

          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.

          Reply
          1. Francine

            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.

          2. Valera

            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.

  64. Chelsea

    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?

    Reply
  65. Emily Lopez

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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?

      Reply
  66. Sarnjit Sadhra

    hi,

    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?

    Reply
  67. Kae St John

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      How long should I wait to get a new driver's license?

      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.

      How long will it take for my documents to be returned and my new card to arrive?

      Two weeks for your card. Your documents a little bit before that.

      I signed with my old name… Is that going to be an issue or cause a delay?

      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.

      Reply
  68. Bobbie Clark

    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.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Well I received the new SS card, but still no documents. Has this happened to anyone before?

      This is standard operating procedure. Your documents will arrive in a separate envelope. Typically shortly after the arrival of your updated social security card.

      Reply
  69. Jessica Helson

    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!!! :)

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  70. Cindy Boyea

    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!

    Reply
  71. Shaula Estur-David

    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?

    Reply
  72. Payton

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      do I have to do that immediately or is there any kind of time frame?

      There's no name change time frame.

      I plan to sign the marriage certificate with my new name

      You'll have to sign your current name, not 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?

      Not applicable, as you'll sign your current name.

      Reply
  73. Genevive

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      those are pretty important documents to be getting lost in the mail.

      Indeed, they are. SSA's standard operating procedure is to send you those documents back.

      Can I not send copies of them?

      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.

      Reply
  74. Priscila

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  75. Amanda Barrosse

    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.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Amanda. That's normal. Your social security card will arrive in a separate envelope.

      Reply
    2. Nikki

      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.

      Reply
  76. Sammy W

    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.

    Reply
  77. Mary Mendoza

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  78. Harmon

    You say I can use my health insurance card for ID. I've got Blue Cross Blue Shield. Will that be accepted?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      You say I can use my health insurance card for ID.

      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.

      Reply

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