Social Security Name Change: A Complete Guide for 2024

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).

Changing the name on your social security card is just one part of the name change process. Our name change after marriage guide paints the complete picture.

Caution: 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.

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 (optional)
  • Ethnicity (optional)
  • Citizenship
  • Parents' names
  • Parents' social security numbers
  • Daytime phone number
  • Mailing address
  • Today's date
  • Signature

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.

Only use black or blue ink to complete and sign your application, printed on standard 8.5″ x 11″ or A4 (8.27″ x 11.69″) copy paper.

You don't have to include your old social security card with your application; it's 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

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.

Fourteen 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
  • Kansas
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • 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.

U.S. map highlighting the 14 states whose marriage license application asks for your new married name
New name chosen on the marriage application in 14 states.

For the remaining 36 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.)

For instance, if your spouse's last name was Davis-Garcia, you could choose either Davis or Garcia as your new last name if you preferred not to adopt their full hyphenated name.

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. The space character is mandatory; your names can't be flush together.

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 unrestricted 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 lists acceptable alternative identity documents approved by the SSA, 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.

You may be able to use your name change document, such as your marriage certificate, as primary identification. 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 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:

  • 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, if your name was Jane Doe before changing, your document must reflect that.

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 have a major decision to make after preparing your paperwork—submit your application by mail or in person? The in-person experience is 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.

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…

Legacy 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 prior office closures.

Receiving your new card by mail

Social security name change turnaround time in 2023
Real-world name change turnaround times in 2024.

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 updated 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 early envelope returning your photo ID and certificate.
  2. A second, delayed envelope 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 a correction.

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. USPS
  8. Employers
  9. 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. USPS

Set up USPS mail forwarding if changing your address.

8. Employers

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

9. 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.

Our name change kit helps you change your name, either before or after marriage.

Start Your Name Change

996 Comments

  1. 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.

    • 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.

  2. 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.

    • 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.

  3. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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

    • 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.

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

  7. 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

  8. 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?

    • 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.

        • 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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?

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

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

    • 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.

  12. 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?

    • 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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?

    • 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.

  17. 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?

    • Will this be allowed seeing that I got remarried?

      No, this wouldn't be allowed through marriage.

  18. 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?

  19. 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?

    • 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.

  20. 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?

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

  21. 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!

    • 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.

  22. 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!!

  23. 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.

    • 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.

  24. 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.

    • 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.

  25. 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?

    • 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.

  26. 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?

    • 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.

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

    • 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.

  28. 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?

    • 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.

  29. 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?

    • 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.

  30. 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.

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

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

    • Hi Lineth, sorry to bother you, but I would like to know if you could fix your issue with your husband's last name.

      Now I'm in trouble because in my son's birth certificate I hyphenated my last name with my husband last name.

      • Now I'm in trouble because in my son's birth certificate I hyphenated my last name with my husband last name

        Why would you think that's a problem? You can hyphenate your child's name, in either order.

  31. 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?

    • 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.

  32. 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?

  33. 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.

    • 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?

  34. 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?

  35. 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?

  36. 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!

    • 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.

  37. 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?

    • 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.

  38. 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.?

  39. 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

    • 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.

  40. 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?

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

  41. 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?

    • 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.

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

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

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

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

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

    Thank you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • I have a stupid question.

      This is actually quite a common question.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      One day afterward should be sufficient.`

  54. 2003 got married and changed DL name to new married name. Never changed SS card with new married name. Now going to apply for a passport. My drivers license has my married name on it an my social security card has old married name on it. Do I need to change it in order to proceed with getting my passport??

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What can I do to get a new one?

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

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

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

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

      • I notice this an old forum but 7-14 days hmmmm
        I sent in all required documents over a month ago and was told there is nothing in the system. Requested to call local office, they too nothing in the system, a office manager will call me back. A week later I have not received a call. Today wrote 2nd email to Social Security, called the 1-800# and local number and noone can tell me anything. I included the form, ID & legal name change w/ court. Im worried they lost my information

        • Hi Sharon. Did you have a tracking # attached to your mail packet? It's possible your paperwork got lost in the mail.

          • Hi Velara I did not have tracking but now wish I had. Before my injury I worked for USPS & understand things can be delayed or returned to sender but its Ridiculous several weeks later nothing.

            Unfortunately Everything since I have been on disability that has been mailed or called into the New Port Richey Social Security office has been lost or ignored.

            I have walked in once, called several times and sent out numerous letters pertaining to different matters and always the same results

          • Hi Sharon. You could resend your paperwork all over again, but this time with tracking and signature confirmation.

          • They have my SS card and divorce documents, not replaceable.

            I received email suggesting calling 1-800 number, did that, referred me to local office, did that, who said 3 weeks ago supervisor will call me back🙄Patiently waiting for a miracle

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

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

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

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

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

          • They have tracking on your card?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Hi Johanna.

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

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

  70. Hi Valera,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  71. I changed my name on my DL when I got married however never changed my passport or social security card. I am now going through a divorce, however paper work is not finished yet. I need to renew my passport. Do I have to file for name change or can I renew under my maiden name, as I only changed my name on driver's license? Same goes for name change on my license, what documentation do I need to provide for that?

    • Do I have to file for name change or can I renew under my maiden name, as I only changed my name on driver's license?

      You can renew under your maiden name.

      Same goes for name change on my license, what documentation do I need to provide for that?

      Either a certified copy of your eventual divorce decree that contains a line restoring your maiden name or a court order.

  72. I was married in 1988. Everything minus my ss is in my married name..passport and DL. The information stated that if it's been more than 2 years I need documents proving my maiden name? Beside the marriage record and my tax returns what else would I need?

    • Beside the marriage record and my tax returns what else would I need?

      Show an identity document that's in your old name.

  73. Hi,
    I recently got married and need to change my name. As much as I would love to go down to the SSA office, their hours are not convenient for me due to my work schedule. I plan to mail in docs but I’m concerned about the identity portion. My passport is expired and I really have no idea what I can send in. Help!?

    • My passport is expired and I really have no idea what I can send in.

      Other identity documents are accepted, such as a state-issued ID card or driver's license. If neither is available or you cannot part with them, you'll need to provide alternative ID, such as a school ID, employee ID, or health insurance card. If you have none of those, you'll have to contact your local office to determine what else they'll accept.

      • As luck would have it, I went do to the SSA office and I had a certified copy of my marriage license but because it was an electronic certified copy, they would not accept it. They need the original copy that is at the county clerks office. Has anyone else run into that?

        • They need the original copy that is at the county clerks office. Has anyone else run into that?

          Present a certified copy that was obtained by mail or in person.

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