To change your name on your Social Security card, you must show the Social Security Administration documents proving your legal name change and identity. In this post, we will walk you through the step by step process on how to change the name on Social Security card due to marriage, divorce, or another reason.
Also, we will explain what documents you need in order to successfully complete the name change.
Finally, we will answer the question about whether you can complete the name change online through the Social Security Administration website.
This post will cover:
- Do I need to Tell Social Security of a Name Change?
- Reasons for Legal Name Change
- How to Change the Name on Social Security Card
- FAQs about How to Change Your Name on Social Security Card
Do I need to Tell Social Security of a Name Change?
Your nine-digit Social Security helps the Social Security Administration (SSA) identify and accurately record your covered wages or self-employment earnings.
Also, the SSA uses your Social Security number to monitor your record once you start getting Social Security benefits.
It is therefore important for the SSA to have correct information about you.
Failing to notify the Social Security Administration of a name change can have significant consequences.
If your legal name does not match the name on your Social Security record, it could prevent the agency from crediting earnings to you.
Furthermore, it could cause delays in processing your tax return.
Therefore, if you have legally changed your name, you should update the SSA with that information.
That way, they can accurately track your covered wages or self-employment earnings.
Reasons for Legal Name Change
Before we get into how to change the name on your Social Security card, it is important to provide the list of valid reasons why people request a name change on their Social Security card.
A name change can be due to one of the following:
- Naturalization showing a new name
- Court order for a name change
How to Change the Name on Social Security Card
To change the name on your Social Security card, follow the steps below:
Step 1 – Gather the Required Documents
The first step in the process is to gather the required documents.
You need to provide documentation in three categories as shown below:
First, you must prove that you have legally changed your name.
Documents to Prove Your Legal Name Change
You must show one of the following documents:
- Marriage document;
- Divorce decree;
- Certificate of naturalization showing a new name; or
- Court order for a name change.
The Social Security Administration may ask to see identity documents showing your old name and documents showing your new name.
It is acceptable to show identity documents in your old name that have expired.
Next, you need to show documents to prove your identity.
Documents to Prove Your Identity
To prove your identity, you must bring a document showing your name, identifying information, and photograph, such as one of the following:
- U.S. driver’s license;
- State-issued non-driver’s identification card; or
- U.S. passport.
The Social Security Administration may also accept the following to prove your identity:
- Employer identification card;
- School identification card;
- Health insurance card; or
- U.S. military identification card.
Finally, you need to show documentation to prove your U.S citizenship
Documents to Prove Your Citizenship
You also may need to provide proof of U.S. citizenship if that status is not already reflected in Social Security records.
Acceptable documents include:
- U.S. birth certificate;
- U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad;
- U.S. passport;
- Certificate of Naturalization; or
- Certificate of Citizenship.
What if I am not a U.S Citizen?
Noncitizens must provide immigration documents proving their identity and authorization to work in the United States.
In addition, noncitizens must provide their foreign passport and a legal record of a name change.
Step 2 – Fill out and print an Application for a Social Security Card
The next step in the process is to fill out and print an application for a Social Security card.
You’ll need to fill out Form SS-5, the standard application for a Social Security card.
Click here for the application form.
Next, you have two choices in completing the application:
You can complete the application online, then print out the completed form and sign it.
Also, you can print out the application, fill it out by hand, and sign it.
Here is the key information you will have to provide on the application form:
- New Name
- Name at Birth
- Other Names Used
- Place and Date of Birth
- Mother’s Name and Social Security Number
- Father’s Name and Social Security Number
- Phone number
- Mailing Address
For your convenience, we have also provided a copy of what the Application for a Social Security Card form looks like below.
Step 3 – Submit Your Application and Documents to Social Security
Lastly, the final step in the process is to submit your completed and signed application to Social Security.
You have two options to submit your application:
First, you can take your completed application and documents to your local social security office. Click here to find an office near you.
Also, you can mail in your completed application and documents to your local social security office.
All documents submitted must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency.
Note that the Social Security Administration WILL NOT accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents.
FAQs about How to Change Your Name on Social Security Card
Here are the most frequently asked questions regarding the process of changing a name on a social security card due to marriage, divorce, or another reason.
How do I get a Certified Document?
If you do not have an original document, you can get a certified document.
To get a certified copy of a document showing a birth, marriage, or divorce that took place in the United States, click here.
How long does it take to receive the new Social Security Card?
You should receive the new card within 10 to 14 days after your application is processed.
However, it could take as long as six weeks to get your new card with your new name.
Your Social Security number will not change.
Can I fill out the Application on behalf of Someone?
Yes, you can complete the application on behalf of someone.
However, you also must show the SSA evidence of your relationship to, or responsibility for, that person.
Furthermore, you will be required to show proof of your identity.
Can I Complete a Change of Name on Social Security Card Online?
Unfortunately, you cannot apply for a Social Security card name change online.
You will have to take or mail your completed application and supporting documents to your local social security office.
How much does Social Security charge for a name change?
If you legally change your name because of marriage, divorce, court order, or any other reason, there is no charge for a new Social Security card.
This service is free.
Should I pay a company to complete the process for me?
Some businesses offer Social Security name changes or cards for a fee.
However, it is important to know that Social Security provides those services and more for free.
You will be paying for something the Social Security Administration will give you for free.
The Social Security Administration is the best place to get information about Social Security or to change the name on your card.
Does changing your name affect your Social Security Benefits?
Whenever you change your name, be sure to report the change to Social Security Administration.
Otherwise, the Social Security Administration may not record your earnings properly and you may not receive all the benefits you are due.
Furthermore, not changing your name with Social Security can also delay your income tax refund, if you are entitled to one.
Can I change my name with Social Security through the mail?
Yes, you can complete the entire process of changing your name with Social Security through the mail.
You will have to fill out Form SS-5, and mail it with the required supporting documents to your local Social Security office.
See the detailed instructions above.
Do I change my name with Social Security or DMV first?
It is advisable to change your name with Social Security first.
That is because when you go to the DMV, they will electronically verify your name, birth date, and social security number with the Social Security Administration.
Therefore it is important that the name you provide to the DMV is already on record with the SSA.
Does Social Security notify IRS of a name change?
Yes. You should notify the Social Security Administration of a name change as soon as possible.
When you file your taxes, the IRS checks with the Social Security Administration to ensure names and social security numbers on the forms match.
Therefore, failing to report a name change to the SSA can delay the IRS processing of your tax returns.
As a result, if you are due a refund, it will take longer for you to get the money.
Change the name on Social Security Card Summary
We hope this post on how to change the name on Social Security Card was helpful.
If you have further questions about your Social Security card or benefits in general, please let us know in the comments section below.
Be sure to check out our other articles on How to Create my Social Security Account, How to Login my Social Security Account, Direct Express App for Android and iPhone, and What a Social Security Card looks like.