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SSNCentral Logo
Social Security

Social Security Benefits

Social Security Cards

Other Resources

Medicare
Disability
SSI
SSI FAQs

How to Make a Social Security Name Change

It is common to have a legal name change for many reasons and a critical part of the process is to inform the Social Security Administration of any legal change of name. Anyone making a legal name change must also make change the name on their Social Security Card to reflect their new moniker. We will guide you through the process to request a replacement card with your new name on it.

The entire process can take up to 10 working days – from the time you submit your application to getting your new card. In the meantime, you may request a printout of a temporary Social Security Card from your local SSA office if you need one.

You can apply for most Social Security Administration online but unfortunately, this is not the case for a change of name application. This is an in-person or mail-in application process only at/to an SSA office near you. We have provided a guide for both the in-person and mail-in options to help you along.

In-Person Method: Complete and Submit Form and Documents by Visiting Your Local Office

The following steps will guide you through the process of effecting a change of name on your Social Security Card.

1st Step: Print and Fill Form

Print and fill the appropriate application for updating your Social Security information. You can click on the link below to print the official SSA form you need to fill. You should know your Social Security Number because you’ll need to enter on the form. Don’t forget to complete the form with your updated information.

Get Application Form

2nd Step: Prepare Your Documents

You will need to submit at least two types of documents with your application. You should put these together to take with you to the SSA office. Your documents should be originals or copies certified by the issuing body. Click the link below to see a list of documents you may be required to submit.

See List of Documents

3rd Step: Visit Your Local Social Administration Office

The final step is to book a trip to the closest Social Security Office to you. Click the link below to locate an office close to you. Our listing of offices includes contact addresses and phone numbers so you can contact the office to make inquiries before visiting. Although most offices will process applications for a new card, there are one or two that do not offer this service so it might be a good idea to call the office and ask if they can process your application before visiting. Don’t forget to bring all the required documents with you when you visit.

Find SSA Offices Near Your

Mail-in Method: Complete and Send Your Application and Documents by Post

The second method follows closely the same process as the first method. The only difference is that you mail your application and documents via post instead of taking them to the office in person. This is a more convenient option but the downside is that you’ll have to mail your original documents to the office as well because the SSA will not accept photocopies.

Follow the steps below to complete and mail your application and documents to the SSA.

1st Step: Print and Fill Form

Print and fill the appropriate application for updating your Social Security information. You can click on the link below to print the official SSA form you need to fill. You should know your Social Security Number because you’ll need to enter on the form. Don’t forget to complete the form with your updated information.

Get Application Form

2nd Step: Prepare Your Documents

You will need to submit at least two types of documents with your application. You should put these together to take with you to the SSA office. Your documents should be originals or copies certified by the issuing body. They will reject any photocopied documents. Click the link below to see a list of documents you may be required to submit.

See List of Ducuments

3rd Step: Visit Your Local Social Administration Office

The final step is to put everything into an envelop and mail it to your local Social Administration office. Use the search features on our pages or click the link below to browse our directory for the closest office to you. Each office listing on our page includes the mailing address and phone number. We suggest you call the office to very that the address is up to date before mailing in your application and documents.

Find SSA Office Near You

What Documents Do You Need For a Social Security Name Change?

There are a few documents you need to submit in addition to your completed application form. The most obvious one is the document proving that you’ve had a legal name change. However, you’ll also need documents to prove your old identity, age, citizenship, and legal residence status.

The SSA requires that you submit originals or copies certified by the issuing authority. They will reject photocopied documents or notarized copies. The SSA requires that applicants submit at least two documents to back your application even though they may use a single document to verify more than one thing (e.g. your passport for both identification and citizenship verification).

Use the categories listed below to find the appropriate documents to support your application.

Required Documents for United States Citizenship Verification

You need to submit a U.S. passport or birth certificate to prove citizenship if you were born in the United States. You don’t have to submit these documents if you’ve previously verified your citizenship with the Social Security Administration.

Naturalized U.S. citizens born in a foreign country can also verify their citizenship with:

  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Certificate of Report of Birth
  • Citizenship Certificate
  • A U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad

Required Documents For Identity Verification

You need documents to prove you are who you say you are. The SSA requires that you submit an up-to-date document that clearly shows your name, date of birth, and a picture of you. You can submit your United States passport or driver’s license or an ID card issued by the State.

In the event that you don’t hold any of the above identification documents or you can’t obtain one in the next 10 days, the SSA may accept a photo employee card, a student ID card, or an insurance card.

Required Documentation to Prove Name Change

Of course, you’ll have to prove to the SSA that you’ve legally changed your name to obtain a name change on your Social Security. You need to have a document that shows your legal name change. You can do this by presenting a marriage certificate, a court order, a divorce decree, or a Naturalization certificate. These documents must bear your new name.

The document should contain enough details to identify you in the SSA system and must have been issued within the last two years. You will be required to present a document with your previous name if your document does not meet the above requirement. The SSA takes these steps to help protect your Social Security details {i} from identity theft fraud.

You can use your old expired identity document or a current identity document bearing your new name to help find your records.

Required Documents for Non-Citizens

You need to present documents that verify your immigration status, change of name, identity, and work permit if you want to update the information on your Social Security Card.

Verifying Immigration Status

The following documents can be used to prove that you’re permitted to live and work in the United States.

  • Permanent Residence Card (Form I-551)
  • Work Permit (Form I-766)
  • Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94)

Students on F-1 or M-1 visas should also present form I-20 while students on J-1 or J-2 visas should also present Form DS-2019.

Verifying Your Eligibility to Work in The United States

You need to have some form of work permit from the United States Department of Homeland Security to be eligible for a Social Security Card as a non-citizen. You can prove this by showing the SSA your Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94) which contains a stamp that shows you’ve been permitted to work in the U.S.

Required Documents to Prove Name Change for Non-Citizens

You can verify your legal name change as a non-citizen with the following documents

  • Marriage Certificate
  • A court document showing the approval of your change of name
  • A divorce decree

We hope this article has explained the process of obtaining a Social Security name change adequately. However, we understand you may still have questions so we encourage you to search our site for your local SSA office and contact them for more details on what you need or you can leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.

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