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).

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

Sign your new name on the application. Make it legible. And no initials. You can omit your parent's social security number if you're 18 years old or older.

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.

Thirteen 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

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 13 states.

For the remaining 37 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

911 Comments

  1. Myranda

    Hello,
    Can I use a copy of my birth certificate or does it have to be the real one?

    Reply
  2. Katilyn

    How long do I have after getting married do I have to change my last name if I choose to do so?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      How long do I have after getting married do I have to change my last name if I choose to do so?

      There's no time limit. Change it when it best suits you.

      Reply
  3. Audrey Rodriguez

    Does anyone know the address I can mail my application and original documents to? I live too far away from a local social security office to take a whole day off work, so I'm mailing my application and my original marriage cert and driver's license to have my name changed due to marriage. I cannot find the mailing address anywhere online. It should be on the application, but it's not.

    Reply
  4. Christen Page

    Hi Valera – I was planning on going to the Social Security office today to change my name; however, I have a domestic flight booked for next week. Can I wait to change my name on my drivers license at the DMV and use my ID with my maiden name for purposes of flying (since the airline ticket is issued in my maiden name and I've heard it is pretty much impossible to get the name changed on the ticket without purchasing a new ticket)?

    In other words, if I change my name with Social Security, am I going to have a problem checking in for a flight with my maiden name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      In other words, if I change my name with Social Security, am I going to have a problem checking in for a flight with my maiden name?

      No, you can delay the change until afterward.

      Reply
  5. Alexis

    Hello,
    When I got married I did not change my last name to my husband's on our marriage license. We just welcomed out first child and now I want to change my last name to match my husband's and child's. Can I still go to SS with the marriage certificate and other required docs or do I need to file a name change with the court since my marriage license only reflects my maiden name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Alexis. If you live in a state where the marriage license application did provide a blank space for you to specify a new name after marriage and you chose not to do so, there's a good likelihood you'll have to go to court. Some states are quite strict interpreting these rules, while others are more ambiguous.

      Reply
      1. Alexis

        Do you know if California is one of the strict states? Also is there a time frame for changing my name if it is allowed to just go through SS? We got married 4 years ago. I appreciate your help!

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Do you know if California is one of the strict states?

          Yes, it is.

          Also is there a time frame for changing my name if it is allowed to just go through SS? We got married 4 years ago.

          There's no time frame/limit.

          Reply
  6. Michelle

    i am divorced and remarried almost 6 years ago but never changed my ss info. I am now in the position of wanting/needing to apply for an enhanced drivers license. I have all of the document to trace my name changes from birth, first marriage, divorce and re marriage. However, on the SSA website it says something about needing additional info if the name change took place over 2 years ago in the form of an identity form in my old name, which I do not have. If there something else that I can submit? I have a drivers license in my new married name. Not sure if this would suffice.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Michelle. If you don't have an identity document in your old name, they'll accept an identity document in your new name. It must be unexpired.

      Reply
  7. Cynthia

    Question: When I got married, I chose to hyphenate my maiden and husbands last name. Now that I have considered going to SSA, I want to just include my husbands. Is this possible or do I need a court document in order to just put his?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Cynthia. It's possible it'll be accepted as-is. How the DMV might react is less certain.

      Reply
  8. Lesley

    Hi,

    Im on a visa and changed my passport to my married name.
    Before I could get my SSN I had to get my EAD for some reason there was a section missing I believe.
    Do I need to update my EAD first before changing my name with SS?

    Thanks

    Reply
      1. lesley

        Sorry its confusing, no I was given my EAD with my maiden name.
        Have a new passport with my married name but after one year the EAD needs to be updated so they have said it will be another 2 months until my new EAD is ready.
        As I couldn't get my social security number until I had my EAD last time, Im wondering If I have to wait for the updated EAD before updating my social security

        Thanks

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Lesley. You don't have to wait. Just bring a certified copy of your marriage certificate with you when going to SSA.

          Reply
  9. Katherine

    Hello, I will be getting married in a couple months, and currently live overseas. My fiancé and I will come to America for our wedding and than return overseas two days after the wedding. If I change my name at the SSD can I continue to travel on my passport and visa with my maiden name? We’re trying to save some money and time in not doing a new passport and apply for a new visa to the country we live in.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      If I change my name at the SSD can I continue to travel on my passport and visa with my maiden name?

      Yes, you can. The maiden name on passport article elaborates on why this makes sense for situations such as yours.

      Reply
  10. Lesley

    I have to wait another 2 months for the EAD update for my name possibly.
    Do I need to wait for it or can I change the name without.

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Lesley. EAD typically comes before the social security card, if that's what you're asking.

      Reply
  11. Jessica

    Hi. I got married last April but never changed my last name. I was getting ready to do it tomorrow until I realized all of the things that I will need to do to change right away. I am moving to Florida in 3 months and wondering if it makes more sense just to change everything over there all at once. Starting from the Social Security office, to the DMV, to the bank, Etc. However, I am worried that I will not have sufficient enough paperwork to change my license such as bills in my name since I'll be living at home with parents. Also, to get a license there you need to have proof of insurance. If I change my name over with the Social Security office but go to the DMV with my maiden name or my car insurance and registration will that cause any issues? I hope you can understand this and appreciate any help thank you.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      If I change my name over with the Social Security office but go to the DMV with my maiden name or my car insurance and registration will that cause any issues?

      No, it shouldn't be an issue. One's federal and the other's state. You could do your SSA now in your current state of residency or wait until you're in Florida.

      Reply
  12. Christina

    Hi Valera,

    I live in NY and got married last month. I went to the SSA today to change my last name to my husband's last name; can I go to the DMV tomorrow, or do I need to wait until I receive my new SS card? Also, will I need to change my name with the post office? Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Christina. Going to the DMV the next day is fine. USPS focuses on changes of address.

      Reply
  13. carmen villasenor

    Good Morning,
    Someone is going to change her name after Marriage, but when she adds maiden plus husband's last name, the new last name has 3 words, my question is, how long can a name be in the SS Card? is there a limit of characters to include?

    Reply
  14. Shawuan Johnson

    Hi- I live in NY and am getting married in March. I want to add my husbands name to my name without a hyphen. (First, middle, maiden, spouse last name). I was told when we got our certificate I had to hyphenate it. I don’t want to do this. Is there a way around this? Can I just file my request with the SSA after we are married? If so, what should I put on our license?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Shawuan. You could either hyphenate or combine surnames without a space. Space-separated surnames aren't acknowledged. You can obtain a court order if you're adamant about the space.

      Reply
      1. Shawuan Johnson

        Hi-

        If I changed my middle name to my maiden name would I have to get a court order?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          If I changed my middle name to my maiden name would I have to get a court order?

          No.

          Reply
          1. Natalie

            I am being told by SSA on the phone that i need a court order to change my middle name to my maiden name. I submitted the application with the desired name: First Name, Maiden Name, Married Last name and they sent me a card with: First Name, original Middle Name, Married Last name. Please suggest the best way to fix. Thanks.

          2. Valera

            Hi Natalie. You'd need a court order if you're in one of the few states that do not permit replacing the middle name with your maiden name. It would also be required if you're in a state that has an option to choose a new middle name during the application process, but you chose not to do so at the time. Did one of these instances apply to you?

  15. Alec

    Hello Valera,
    My wife recently got a SS card that says Valid for work only with DHS Authorization. The number on that card has changed from her original card (she got several years ago when working in the US temporarily). Is it okay that her number changed?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Alec. The SSA does assign new numbers under certain circumstances, so it's not unusual. It's even possible to request a new one under certain situations.

      Reply
  16. Jaclyn

    Hi I was wanting to know if by mailing my ss5 form to change my last name is ok to do

    Reply
  17. Maggie

    Hello,
    I sent in my documents to the local Social Security office about 8 weeks ago and I’ve really messed this up. Since almost every website explaining the process wasn’t as helpful as yours, I sent in a copy of my license, rather than the actual ID. I haven’t heard from the office at all and I’m getting worried. Should I call them? What do you suggest I do? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Maggie. Yes, you can contact them to find out where things stand. It's possible your packet may have been lost in the mail.

      Reply
  18. Nica

    Hi! I entred as an F1 student and I have my 1 year EAD. I just got married and I file the documents with my husband last name as my surname for my for Green Card and to Renew Work Permit as not for student anymore. Can I just change my SSA after I get my GC and other permits? Or I need to change it now?

    Reply
  19. Amy

    Hi there! I am a U.S. citizen that married my foreign husband in his country a few years ago. Our marriage certificate is certified but in Spanish. Will we need to get that translated to English in order to pr sent that to SS and change his name to mine due to our marriage (he's decided to take my last name)? Also, since then, we have also gotten married here in the USA in the Catholic Church and have a marriage certificate through the church too (but I don't think that one is certified–just issued through our Church). Thanks for your help.

    Reply
  20. Erica Sherman

    When changing my name with social security, do they have database that will share my name change with the social service administration?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      When changing my name with social security, do they have database that will share my name change with the social service administration?

      Yes, as it's the same organization.

      Reply
  21. Jean

    Hello, when I got married I changed my maiden name to my married name by obtaining a social security card with it, but never applied for my driver's license. Now 3 years later, I am separated from my husband and went to get a driver's license and put it in my maiden name. Was that a mistake?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jean. It's not so much a mistake, but something that can lead to problems renewing down the road due to a name mismatch with the SSA.

      Reply
  22. Brandi

    Hello, I’m hoping you can help with this. I have changed my last name through social security already, they had no problem processing my marriage certificate. However, when I went to the CA DMV, they informed me they could not process the name change because we did not request a name change on our marriage certificate. Now my last name is different with the SSA but still my maiden name on my drivers license. What can I do? I appreciate any advice!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Brandi. There's not much you can do with your current marriage certificate. The California marriage license application provides a space to specify a new name after marriage that's mirrored on the subsequent marriage certificate. If the new name isn't specified, the DMV isn't likely to change it. In this case, you'll have to obtain a court order.

      Reply
  23. Brittany farris

    Hi I'm fixing to get married but my partner wants to change his name before the wedding. Where do we start this process?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Brittany. Your partner would have to file a name change petition with the court to change his name prior to marriage.

      Reply
  24. Gloria Garrett

    If I present the marriage certificate will the SS copy it and return it to me or do they keep it?

    Reply
  25. Misty

    Hey, so I have the divorce decree, stating I change my last name back to my birthname. I was adopted, so I do not have anything else with that last name on it. With the judge approving it in the divorce decree, will that be enough? I have my birth certificate and social security card from the last name of when I was married.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      With the judge approving it in the divorce decree, will that be enough?

      Yes, that's enough.

      Reply
  26. Candra Marsh

    So I'm about to get my last name changed to my husbands, Can I change my middle name to a family name? Even though it's not my maiden name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Candra. You should be able to if it's your current legal surname.

      Reply
  27. rachel ebgi

    Hi I got married and changed my last name to include my husbands last name separated by a hyphen. Is it OK to have this name change only on the marriage license and keep DL, passport and SSC name as it is, with just my maiden name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is it OK to have this name change only on the marriage license and keep DL, passport and SSC name as it is, with just my maiden name?

      Yes, it is OK.

      Reply
      1. Sarah

        I'm wondering, by doing so, would one be able to use both last names then interchangeably?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          I'm wondering, by doing so, would one be able to use both last names then interchangeably?

          Legal name on legal or formal or government documents. Alternate name for informal circumstances. Use your best judgment.

          Reply
  28. Rachelle

    I got married in Hawaii and they sent me a temporary Marriage Certificate. It has the certificate number and shows it is from the State of Hawaii Department of Health, also including an expiration date. it also has all our information like my previous name. Will I be able to use this to change my name to my husbands name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Rachelle. Your temporary marriage certificate can be used to change your name. It expires 90 days after issuance.

      A certified copy of your marriage certificate should be mailed to you free of charge before your temporary copy expires.

      Reply
    2. rose

      no , the dmv will send u away if it doesn't have a seal , I just witnessed this today

      Reply
    3. Myra

      I too have a temporary marriage certificate from Hawaii. I was told we would receive the permanent marriage certificate in the mail within 60-120 days. So does SSA accept the temporary or do I need to wait for the permanent marriage certificate in the mail?

      Reply
      1. Valera

        So does SSA accept the temporary or do I need to wait for the permanent marriage certificate in the mail?

        You'll have to wait for the permanent version.

        Reply
  29. Louise

    My husband wants to change his first name on SS card because it was printed wrong 30 years ago (he never noticed until now), The SS officer would not accept passport and told him he needs certificate of naturalization which he can't find. Can he use our marriage certificate instead to prove ? The marriage certificate has the corrected name.
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Louise. The marriage certificate isn't likely to work. You'll have to contact them about which secondary identification would be acceptable (e.g., driver's license, state ID, birth certificate, insurance card, medical record).

      Reply
  30. Cheryl Carmichael

    I mailed in the documents to have my social security card changed to my new name. Is there a way to check to make sure they received it and that is is being processed?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Cheryl. You can phone to try and get the status of your documents by calling 1-800-772-1213.

      Reply
  31. Brianne

    If you perform all the changes through the mail (wait time 2-6 weeks), what's the impact, if any, to any flights you may have booked with your old name between the time of submission and receipt back from the SSA? Or will there only be a conflict if you change your DL before you travel?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Brianne. As long as your ID matches the name on your airline tickets you're fine.

      Reply
  32. Anne

    I got married and just got my ead, i want to apply work but my ssn id is still single name..do i need to change it first to married name before applying for work?

    Reply
  33. Larissa

    Can I go to any SS office to change my information? Or does it need to be the city where I live (my current Post Office address/ the address on my driver's license?)? Can I request the card be sent to a different address as well?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I go to any SS office to change my information?

      Yes, you can go to any office.

      Can I request the card be sent to a different address as well?

      Yes.

      Reply
  34. Peggy

    My name on SS card doesn't match my CA driver license. Can I just go to DMV in CA and ask for the name update based on the SS card?

    Reply
  35. Shanna

    Hi, I want to change my name with the SSA but I have both domestic and international flights booked in my current name through December. Would it be okay to just change my name with the SSA and hold off on my drivers license, passport, bank, etc. until after my travels? I know the name on my tickets must match my license and passport.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Would it be okay to just change my name with the SSA and hold off on my drivers license, passport, bank, etc. until after my travels? I know the name on my tickets must match my license and passport.

      Yes, that would work.

      Reply
  36. Marlene McLean

    Have 2 social security cards….one with my maiden name and the other with my married name….i am now divorced with a court order to change my name back to my maiden name…do I still need a new card or can I use the one with my
    maiden name on it…

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Marlene. Even though you have an old social security card with your maiden name, that's not the name on file with the SSA. That ID isn't valid.

      Reply
  37. Miguel G.

    Is it possible to transfer a drivers license from one state to another with the SS printout?

    Reply
  38. Jennifer

    I was divorced in 2014 and have kept my married name. I want to go back to using my maiden name. I have a certified copy of my marriage license showing my maiden name as well as soc cards in both my maiden and married name,birth certificate with maiden name, and drivers license in married name. Is this sufficient documentation to return to my maiden name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jennifer. What you'll need is a divorce decree that contains an order that restores your maiden name. If no such order is included in your decree, then you'll have to file a name change petition at the appropriate courthouse.

      Reply
  39. Haydee Rivera

    I’ve been married for 15 years social security card has my married name the passport agency put both my maiden name and married name how do I go about changing my social security card

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Haydee. You'd have to present another document that justifies another name change, such as a court order.

      Reply
  40. Nancy Knott

    Is there a way to know if my name change has taken affect prior to receiving my card in the mail? I'm recently divorced and have already changed my name at the DMV and on my bank accounts; I'm waiting for a credit check to be performed for mortgage pre-approval to purchase a home but can't do so until the update at SSA is complete.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Nancy. You'd have to phone your SSA office for a status update.

      Reply
  41. Ashley Feasel

    Hello, I have been married now for 7 years and at the time of marriage I thought I had changed my name everywhere as my passport and drivers license are in my married name. I recently realized that I maybe never changed my SS card. Is there a way to check before going through the whole process. I live full time in Switzerland and it is really not practical sending the types of documents they need back to the states. If I don’t change it for another year can I continue to file my taxes with my maiden name without penalty? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Ashley. You can try phoning or writing a SSA office to verify the name that's on file. Presumably your tax filings haven't been rejected for the past several years, so you can go on filing in your maiden name. If you truly never changed your name with the SSA, filing in your maiden name is what you should be doing anyway.

      Reply
  42. Lisa

    How long after a marriage do I have to change my name with the SS office?

    Reply
  43. Marie Schultz

    I live in NY and have been married for almost 30 years. I took my husband's surname at marriage and kept my original middle name. (Marie Anne Schultz) I would like to change my middle name to my maiden name. (Anne to Jacobs) Currently, some documents (SS, license) have my middle initial. Marie A., while my passport has my original middle name, Marie Anne. Our marriage certificate only has our birth names listed.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Marie. You'll have to get a court order to change your middle name. Such a document will allow you to update your middle name across the necessary institutions.

      Reply
  44. Mary Ann Miller

    Hi, I am planning to get married in May, I now receive SSWB & am 64yrs.old. I would like to know if it is legal for me to keep my name & not have to change anything with SS? I live in AL Thank You.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I would like to know if it is legal for me to keep my name & not have to change anything with SS?

      Yes.

      Reply
  45. Natalia Nor

    I’ve got married (In NJ) about a month ago and just a week ago I went to the SSA to change my name by taking my husband’s last name. I filled out the forms as indicated and had all my original documents proof of my marriage however, today I got my new card and it has the same name and last name as the original one. Meaning they didn’t change anything. I found odd that marriage license and certificate applications don’t ask for change of name or anything related to it. Did I do anything wrong? What should I do?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Natalie. The SSA form asks you to specify the name to be shown on the new card. It doesn't specify "new name," just "name." Is it possible you simply didn't specify your new name within this space? If you did, then it's possible a mistake occurred with whoever processed your paperwork. In that case, you'll have to contact the SSA office to inquire what went wrong.

      Reply
  46. Mary Ann Miller

    I plan on getting married in May & I am having my husbands last name put on our marriage license but is it legal for me to keep my name now, without notifying SS?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      is it legal for me to keep my name now, without notifying SS?

      Yes. You don't ever have to change it for real.

      Reply
  47. Shannon

    Getting remarried in a month. Want to use my current last name as my middle name and add my future husbands last name. Is this possible.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Shannon. It's possible in some states, while others may only allow the maiden name or have ambiguous rules.

      Reply
  48. Jessica olivares

    How long does the social security take to update in the DMV system?

    Reply
  49. Anne

    I already sent my documents to social security office to change my name, after a month i called them to follow up my ssn card, but they said need more 2 weeks, the problem is i have a flight goin to michigan and i dont hv any ID with me, is there any way to get my documents to social security office so i can travel..

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Anne. You may want to visit a local SSA office for assistance. Otherwise, you can look into getting a duplicate driver's license or state-issued ID card. Also considering contacting the airline to determine what alternate forms of ID would be acceptable.

      Reply
  50. Julie Sall

    Hi your lead statement is misleading….you do not have to change your SS name to make changes at the DMV etc…just a marriage certificate.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      you do not have to change your SS name to make changes at the DMV

      Some DMV's may process a name change independently of the SSA, but many of them will query the SSA database first and will refuse to process a name change when a mismatch occurs.

      Reply
  51. Marlen

    I've been married for 7 years now and I currently have my last named changed only on driver's license with my maiden name as middle name but haven't changed my ss card yet . I do want to change it ,but would they take my DL as identification or would it be a problem?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I do want to change it ,but would they take my DL as identification or would it be a problem?

      If you don't have an identity document in your old name, they will accept one in your new name.

      Reply
  52. Carmen Castillo

    My son changed his last name to his stepfather’s. He is 18, still in high school. Can I go and do all the paperwork for him at the social security?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I go and do all the paperwork for him at the social security?

      No, he'd have to accompany you or go on his own.

      Reply
  53. Mari

    Hi, just curious do I sign the SS-5 form with my original name on my ID or my married name?

    Reply
  54. Christine

    I'm currently in the process of changing my last name to my new married last name. I'm also trying to apply for a credit card and I'm wondering, would applying for a credit card, during the name changing process, affect my chances of getting accepted for the credit card? So far, I've only submitted my application to the SSA (I was not given a temp SS card, I was given a receipt of my application) and I have not changed my name anywhere else or on anything else. The bank I am currently trying to apply for a credit card at is a bank that I am currently a member of. Do you have any insight on this?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Christine. It's a good idea to wait until the SSA has updated your name in their records before applying for new credit. The bank, or any financial institution for that matter, will want the name you submit to match what's on your social security record.

      If you'll be interfacing directly with your bank, they may be willing to accommodate you, but it's up to each bank to decide how flexible they'll be.

      Reply
  55. Dan

    Hi.
    My wife's green card was approved and been mailed to our US address just fine. However, we didn't realize she could have put her name with my last name on the green card application. E.g., she is Hanako Yamamoto. My last name is Doe. She wanted to change her name for life in the US to Hanako Doe, but we didn't realize we were just supposed to write that on the green card application, so now she is still Hanako Yamamoto.

    To do a green card name change, you have to fill out the form and pay the fees (I-90). One of the required documentation is evidence of legal name change. But we have only the Japanese official document as documentation indicating our marriage, and her name, as legally required in Japan, retains her last name, not mine. OUR QUESTION: should this marriage certificate be enough for the name change of the social security card? how about for getting her CA drivers license – can she just put her desired name eg., Hanako Doe and show her marriage certificate as justification for this? or will the DMV just look at her green card or social and simply put her name as written on those cards?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      However, we didn't realize she could have put her name with my last name on the green card application. E.g., she is Hanako Yamamoto.

      You can have the green card renewed, but USCIS does charge a fee.

      should this marriage certificate be enough for the name change of the social security card?

      The name on her green card and social security card should match.

      how about for getting her CA drivers license – can she just put her desired name eg., Hanako Doe and show her marriage certificate as justification for this?

      This likely wouldn't work, as the DMV may query the SSA database to confirm her surname matches.

      or will the DMV just look at her green card or social and simply put her name as written on those cards?

      That's likely.

      Reply
  56. Allison

    Hi – recently married in CA and when we filled out form for marrige certificate I hyphenated my current last name and my new one. Now I wish I had just made my old last name part of my middle name. Am I stuck now that I've done that at Social Secuirity and DMV or can I process differenlty there? Can't seem to find an answer anywhere.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Now I wish I had just made my old last name part of my middle name. Am I stuck now that I've done that at Social Secuirity and DMV or can I process differenlty there? Can't seem to find an answer anywhere.

      Yes, you're stuck. To change your name again you'll have to file a change of name request with the Superior Court as if you were do a typical adult name change.

      Even if you hadn't changed your name with SSA or the DMV you'd still have to go the court route as California county clerk offices are unwilling to modify or amend recorded and issued marriage certificates unless there are errors or a court orders it be done. Wanting to change the name on a certificate wouldn't be an acceptable reason.

      Reply
  57. Judes

    Had my folder with my birth certificate and marriage license. Got a copy of my birth certificate from the county clerk’s office to avoid being forestalled by SSA. Completed the SS-5 (the clerk said I didn’t have to but it’s faster to input the information in the computer if it’s already completed). Came in 3:30pm. Office closed at 4pm. Was out of the office in a little under 20min. Great experience at SSA. Super fast and the staff were surprisingly pleasant.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Judes. Thanks for sharing your experience of changing your name in person rather than through the mail. You must have gotten in on a good day or hour.

      Reply
  58. Rose

    I want to hyphenate my last name with my spouse's, but I heard that social security cards replace hyphens with spaces and I do not want to end up having two last names. How can I make sure that my new legal name is hyphenated?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Rose. Although the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) may not like hyphens or special characters, that doesn't necessarily prevent a hyphenated name change from being accepted and stored properly. However, it's possible your card may be printed with only alphabetic characters.

      Reply
  59. Sue

    If I already sent in an application for a name change because of marriage and its taking longer than I thought, can I go in now with all my documents and try to change it that way? Or will that cause more confusion now?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Sue. If you mailed in your documents, you can still go into your local SSA office to determine what's causing the delay. Their systems are synced.

      Reply
  60. Kerilee

    15 years ago when I married I went to SS office and combined my first and middle name and took my maiden name as my middle. Was the ok to do? Was I supposed to have a legal name change document besides a marriage certificate?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kerilee. They were either more flexible back in the day or you got a malleable agent to handle your case. Either way, your name change request was accepted and it's done. Nowadays, such a first name change request wouldn't likely be accepted without a court order.

      Reply
  61. Mary

    On my marriage license it shows Surname After Marriage as my fiance's last name only. Would I still be able to hyphen it with my last name when I go to the SSA to change my name or is it too late?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Mary. It can vary by state and how flexible an SSA clerk you come across.

      Reply
  62. Brenda Krajewski

    I went in to my local social security office to do a name change due to marriage. I had the application filled out except I didn't sign it yet, I read that it is best to sign it in person, but the lady never asked me to sign it, and I completely forgot also…so what will happen with my card. She gave me a receipt for it.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Brenda. Unless your application is returned to you with a signature request, you're fine.

      Reply
  63. Martini B

    Hi, Do you think they approve my SSN I applied last 5 weeks? What happened is my Indonesian passport still on my name without my husband last name. But my Green Card and my marriage certificate with my husband last name.
    First they said not guaranteed because my passport and my Green card different name, than they said wait for 2- 4 weeks to make SSN. Tomorrow will be 6 weeks. I’m so frustrated about it, do you think they will rejected because my passport not same name as my Green Card\marriage certificate?
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Martini. You'll have to contact a local social security office to determine the status of your application. If there'a problem with on of your supporting documents, there's usually substitutions that can be made.

      Reply
      1. Martini B

        Thank you so very much for your adviced, I called the local security office they said the Homelands Security office didn’t have verified yet my documents and they told me to call them back another 2 weeks. Just wondering where is Social Security Card process? In Homelands Security office or Social Security Administration office
        Thank you

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Just wondering where is Social Security Card process? In Homelands Security office or Social Security Administration office

          Processing is done through the SSA.

          Reply
          1. Martini B

            Thank you and much appreciate for all your information

  64. Jordan

    Hi. My husband and I are planning on going together to get everything settle at the social security office . Would they be able to just get everything out of the way for both of us at once? ( stupid question , I know , but I thought I’d ask.)

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Would they be able to just get everything out of the way for both of us at once?

      Yes, you can take care of business together.

      Reply
  65. Karen

    I will be getting married in a few months. I plan on hyphenating my last name but I wasn't planning on making the change until a month or 2 after the wedding & honeymoon. Due to hotel reservations and flights that are already booked using my maiden name I don't want to change my name right away.

    I was wondering how long can I go before changing my SSN and CA DL with new hyphenated last name? As I understand in CA you can apply for your marriage license 90 days prior to your wedding and you must place your name how you will have it after you are married or else you have to have a court order to change it later on. I don't want to go through that but I didn't know if there was a specific time frame on when you have to have the name updated through SS office. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I was wondering how long can I go before changing my SSN and CA DL with new hyphenated last name?

      There's no time frame to abide by.

      As I understand in CA you can apply for your marriage license 90 days prior to your wedding

      You don't have to apply for a marriage license 90 days before your wedding. The license can be applied for the same day as your wedding. It's just that the license expired 90 days after issuance.

      and you must place your name how you will have it after you are married or else you have to have a court order to change it later on.

      Correct.

      I don't want to go through that but I didn't know if there was a specific time frame on when you have to have the name updated through SS office.

      There is no time frame.

      Reply
  66. Dreux

    Hi, I legally changed my first and middle name 3 years ago, so my question is, why do I get mail with my old name and also when my social security number is put in sometimes my old name still comes up, I also had a background check ran on me about a month ago and they kept referring me by my old name, any help?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      why do I get mail with my old name

      Changing your name with the SSA only changes it with the SSA. For everyone else, you have to notify them of the name change so that their records can be updated as well.

      and also when my social security number is put in sometimes my old name still comes up

      The SSA maintains a history of changes to your social security record.

      I also had a background check ran on me about a month ago and they kept referring me by my old name, any help?

      SSA and credit bureaus maintain name histories. Nothing out of the ordinary.

      If there's an organization in particular you're concerned about, you can write them a letter notifying them of your name change.

      Reply
  67. Brittney

    Hi there! I live in NY state and I got married July 22nd of 2017 and am just now getting around to changing my name on my SS card. I am just wanting to make sure I understand this correctly…

    after filling out the appropriate document I need to mail it in with my marriage certificate, but I also have to include my drivers id and birth certificate? My marriage cert. shows proof of my name change, shouldn't that be enough?

    I only question this because I have already went ahead and changed my DL to my married name since it was coming up expired they were able to change my name right then with my marriage certificate present. So sending in my DL now won't show SS my maiden name…

    HELP am I looking to far into this or do I really need all those documents when mailing this in?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Brittney. If 1) your marriage certificate contains your old and new name and has sufficient information for the SSA to identity you in their existing records and 2) your marriage took place less than two years ago and 3) you're older than 18 years old, then you may be able to get by with just the marriage certificate and not another identity document.

      If you know for sure that you can walk this line, that's fine, but for most people simply sending an identity document as supporting identification is a safe option.

      Reply
  68. Jazmin

    I recently just noticed that I have a middle name on my SS card but not on my birth certificate. On my son's birth certicate I'm listed on there with all 3 names. I recently got married and don't know if it would be a problem to drop the middle name and hyphen my last name on my SS card.

    Would I still be able to apply for his passport and not have problems in showing proof I'm him mother? I live in Texas. Also is it possible to hyphen my last name on my SS and license? Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I recently got married and don't know if it would be a problem to drop the middle name and hyphen my last name on my SS card.

      You can't drop your middle name when changing your name through marriage.

      Would I still be able to apply for his passport and not have problems in showing proof I'm him mother?

      Yes, that shouldn't be a problem.

      I live in Texas. Also is it possible to hyphen my last name on my SS and license?

      Yes, you can hyphenate on your SS card and driver's license.

      Reply
  69. John

    Hi! I am currently on the process of changin my name through court order. I have my SSA card on my old name. And will plan to change my name on it after the court will release court order. I don't have yet a state id nor a drivers' license. Granting that my petition for change of name is approved and then my name on SS is also changed, what documents will I present to DMV to apply for state id or DL on my NEW NAME? I have with me my foreign passport and Green card under my old name. Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi John. Your court order will suffice. You may also be asked to provide an identity document under your old name, so your passport could be used.

      Reply
      1. John

        So, it is okay that i don't have a record of my old name at DMV? When I apply for state ID, I would tell the officer that I underwent change of name and I want my state ID ( 1st time application) under my new name?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          When I apply for state ID, I would tell the officer that I underwent change of name and I want my state ID ( 1st time application) under my new name?

          Yes, although it's possible they may request to see an identity document under your old name.

          Reply
          1. John

            Yes. I have my foreign passport and Green card with me under my old name. Since it would take a long time before the USCIS can change my name on my green card, I would like to have a govt issued ID, in this case, State ID, under my new name.

  70. M

    Hi, I am at a loss for what to do and need some advice. I just got married last month and want to hyphenate my spouse's last name with mine. However, my maiden name was already hyphenated (mother's name-father's name). I went to SSA yesterday with my application and marriage certificate, and I was told that they could not process the change as my new last name is too many characters to fit. This seems incredibly unfair, I don't see why there should be any restrictions on what my name can be. I do not want to abbreviate anything or add any part of my last name to my middle name. Is there anything I can do?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi M. There's not much you can do other than appealing to someone higher up. This is a software and storage limitation.

      Reply
  71. Linda

    How long do I have after I get married to change my name on my ss card to update my last name? Trying to get off work to do so?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      How long do I have after I get married to change my name on my ss card to update my last name?

      There is no time limit.

      Reply
  72. Tiffany

    Hi,

    Is there a specific time frame that I have to report the name change to SSA from the day I get married? For example, if I get married and change my last name in July, can I wait till October or November to change my name with the SSA?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is there a specific time frame that I have to report the name change to SSA from the day I get married?

      There is no reporting time frame. Change your name when it's most convenient for you.

      Reply
  73. Leslie

    It says you must go to your “local office” when I do the lookup it pulls up one located in my county. However, I know there are two other offices closer to my home. The closest is across state lines. Does it matter which office I go into?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I know there are two other offices closer to my home. The closest is across state lines. Does it matter which office I go into?

      It doesn't matter which office you go to.

      Reply
  74. Ira

    Hey, I know u r probably tired of time frame questions. lol I see there isn't a time frame for name change with SS but is there a time frame to change it at Ga DMV. I got married almost 5 yrs ago n plan on goin to SS next week.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Ira. The Georgia DMV requires notification of name changes within 60 days.

      Reply
  75. Wendy

    Hi. I’m a permanent resident holding a ten year greencard. I recently got divorced and I petitioned for my name change which was approved and mentioned on the divorce decree.

    I already had my ssn, driver’s license, bank accounts, etc changed back to my maiden name except my greencard. I am eligible for citizenship on February 2019 since I will meet the 5year rule by May 2019.

    Should I change my greencard name now using form I-90 and pay almost $500 or should I just wait until I apply fof citizenship next year? I called an immigration office and was advised to wait for naturalization for my name change and that all my other id’s can be changed since I have a divorce decree stating that I can change it.

    Would there be any issues if I wait to change ng greencard name until I apply for naturalization? Please help.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Wendy. You can wait to make the change later. It shouldn't give you any trouble.

      Reply
  76. Virginia

    Hi! I need to get a replacement for my Social Security card, but I can't recall if it's in my maiden name or my married name (well, I'm divorced now, but that's beside the point I think). Can I find out online if my Social Security card is in my maiden name or married name?

    Also, I have just begun a part time position at a church and the secretary insists she must make a copy of my Social Security card. I thought I could have her make a copy of my drivers license and other documents in its place (birth certificate, utility bill with my name on it, perhaps paystub from my full-time job, etc.). I work full-time at a college and would have documentation there as well. Is she correct, MUST I have my Social Security card? Sorry this is so long and thank you for your assistance!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I need to get a replacement for my Social Security card, but I can't recall if it's in my maiden name or my married name

      You can phone or visit a local social security office to inquire.

      Is she correct, MUST I have my Social Security card?

      This is up to the lady at your church. Perhaps she'll accept another document containing your social security number, such as a pay stub or tax return?

      Reply
  77. Tessa

    Hi! I got divorced a year ago and want to change all documents. I still have my maiden name SS Card. Can I use that, as I'm going back to my maiden name or do I need to get a new SS Card with my maiden name on it?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I still have my maiden name SS Card. Can I use that, as I'm going back to my maiden name or do I need to get a new SS Card with my maiden name on it?

      I'm assuming your social security card history went from maiden name to married name, but you still have an old card in your maiden name. In that case, you still need to notify the SSA of your intention to return to your maiden name so that their records may be updated.

      Reply
  78. Catherine

    Is it normal for the SS office to take your original SS card when applying for a name change? I now have no SS card (I see here I could have got a temporary one but this was not offered to me and I did not know this until now) until the new one comes in the mail and the office now has my original document and did not let me know if they would be shredding this document. Is this normal or do I have a reason to be concerned?

    Reply
  79. tiffany davis

    hi i just got married april 7,2018 and i wont to know when i get to the social security office to change my last name and get a new social secuirty card i was told by family and friends thats i will get a new social security number

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Tiffany. Your social security number will stay the same.

      Reply
  80. Jane

    Hello Valera,

    My SS card has my first and middle name backward like Doe Jane Teresa Smith and it should be Jane Doe Teresa Smith. I have 2 middle names (Doe Teresa). I went to the SSA office and got my name corrected but never received it in the mail.

    So I went back to the office and the service agent James said the Department of Homeland Security has me under a different name (Doe Doe Teresa Smith), which completely left out my first name (Jane). My green card has my name correct by the way. He suggested that I visit DHS to have my name corrected there, then come back to SSA because as it stands the name doesn't match the DHS database so he couldn't help me. At my first visit, service agent Rose also had difficulty matching my name with DHS, she just didn't say what name but was able to figure it out together with her colleague. Unfortunately I never got the replacement in the mail.

    I was under the assumption that my second visit to SSA they would resend the replacement after seeing all the proof of identity (my green card, foreign immigration passport, DL all have my in the correct order). Not sure why James wanted me to go to DHS first. Do you think it is neccessary because Rose was able to correct my name without having me go to DHS.

    I will come back to SSA office next week but wanted to hear your thought. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jane. If you never got your updated card back, it's not clear that it was processed or even reached its destination. If there was a problem with your application, you would have gotten a letter about it. You can phone the SSA to determine if your paperwork arrived and its status.

      Reply
      1. Jane

        Hi Valera,

        I went back to the SSA office and got my updated card in the mail a couple days ago. I was in and out in less than 30 minutes, including a 20-minute wait time. I didn't have to go to DHS as suggested by the last officer. I guess it was a matter of getting someone who knows what they are doing.

        Reply
        1. Valera

          I was in and out in less than 30 minutes, including a 20-minute wait time.

          I'm glad you were finally able to get your card.

          Reply

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