If you need to change your name with the Social Security Administration due to divorce, marriage, or any other reason, you must contact the SSA as soon as possible to prevent mix up with your tax information and social security benefits later in life.
Required Name Change Documents
Depending on the circumstances behind your name change, the SSA will require one or more of the following documents:
- Marriage certificate
- Divorce decree
- Court order for a name change
- Certificate of Naturalization displaying your new name
*Be sure to have a photo ID such as a passport or drivers license available upon request.
Additional Documents for Adoption or Naturalization
In addition to a court order or Certificate of Naturalization, provide:
- One proof of identification with your former name. The SSA will accept an expired document.
- One proof of identification with your new name. This document MUST be valid.
Additional Documents for Citizenship
If you are a U.S. citizen born outside of the country and the SSA does not have you listed as a U.S. citizen, you will need to provide proof of your citizenship. Check with the SSA for acceptable documents.
If you do not have U.S. citizen status, be prepared to provide your current immigration documents.
*You will recieve a new Social Security card with your new name however, your Social Security number will remain unchanged
Changing Your Name with the SSA
Step 1: Obtain an “Application for a Social Security Card” form at your nearest Social Security office. You can also download the form from the Social Security website.
Step 2: Gather necessary documentation that must accompany the form. (see above)
Step 3: Complete the “Application for a Social Security Card” completely and legibly.
Step 4: Mail the form (using certified mail) and supporting documents to address listed on the Social Security Administration website. Expect to receive your new Social Security card in 7 to 14 days. If you don’t feel like mailing these important documents, you can visit your nearest SSA center.