Online Services, Social Security Number and Card

Need to Change Your Name on Your Social Security Card?

October 9, 2018 • By

Last Updated: July 16, 2021

social security card Are you changing your name? If so, let Social Security know so we can update your information, send you a corrected card, and make sure you get the benefits you’ve earned.

To change your name on your card, you must show us documents proving your legal name change and identity. If you are a U.S. citizen, you also must show us a document proving your U.S. citizenship, if it is not already in our records. You must present original documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We can’t accept photocopies or notarized copies.

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.
  • Court order for a name change.

To prove your identity, you must show an unexpired 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.
  • U.S. passport.

If you don’t have one of those documents available, we may be able to accept your:

  • Employer identification card.
  • School identification card.
  • Health insurance card.
  • U.S. military identification card.

To prove your U.S. citizenship, you must show one of the following documents:

  • U.S. birth certificate.
  • U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad.
  • U.S. passport (unexpired).
  • Certificate of Naturalization.
  • Certificate of Citizenship.

Whatever your reason for your name change, Social Security is here to help you with the new… you! Fill out the form online and follow the instructions to ensure your Social Security card is delivered in a timely manner. You can also locate your local field office so you can apply for your updated card and show your required documents in person.

For complete instructions, visit our Social Security Number and Card page, which includes information for non-citizens. And remember, if you simply need to replace a lost Social Security card, but don’t need to change your name, you can — in most states — request your replacement card online using your personal my Social Security account.


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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Comments

  1. Gina P.

    I sent my papers 01/13/2021, and I don’t have anything back, how long is taking the whole process? I am scared I sent my green card. How I know is not lost?

    • Vonda

      Hi Gina, thanks for using our blog. Please call your local Social Security office. Look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  2. Twanna L.

    Why the social security administration does accept a photocopy of Tx DL? I sent you’ll originally copy of my marriage license and a copy of my driver’s license. This is the third time sending my documents to you’ll and I’m very upset. That should be enough because I’m not giving you’ll my hard copy of tx driver’s license and I have to drive to work and go anywhere else this is ridiculous… Bexar county courthouse accepts my TX DL ….can I please get an appointment so I can take my name change…Thank you!

    • Sue

      We apologize for your frustration, Twanna. All submitted documents for a replacement Social Security card, with or without a name change, must be originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. (We will return the documents to you.) We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus webpage for details on getting help with your Social Security card. We hope this helps!

  3. Nadine

    In reading how to apply for a new Social Security card due to a name change, I am concerned that your agency requires original documents sent into your agency. Is this due to many of our local offices being closed because of Covid 19 or is this a standard request? In sending my current Drivers Licence and my marriage certificate, are you able to guarantee I will receive them back? I need my drivers licence with me to drive, its the law in my state. How long will I need to wait to receive them back? Other Federal agency`s (Office of Personnel Management)do not require originals, actually they request copies.

    • Vonda

      Hi Nadine, thanks for using our blog. All submitted documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. All documents are returned.

      For additional information on how Social Security can help with your Social Security number, please visit our Social Security and Coronavirus web page.

      You can call your local Social Security office for an estimated time frame. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  4. Katie.s

    Can I use my permanent resident card for proof of identity and proof of citizenship? I need my drivers license and cannot send that in for proof of identity. Thank you.

    • Vonda

      Hi Katie, thank you for your question. Check out our Social Security Number and Card web page for details on how to get a new, replacement or corrected Social Security card. If you click on Step 1, you can learn what documents you will need. All submitted documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. All documents will be returned to you.

      Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for details on getting help with your Social Security number. We hope this helps!

  5. S R.

    Hello –
    My name was misspelled on my Social Security Card at birth. How best to go about correcting this?

    • Sue

      Hello, S Riehle, and thanks for your question. To learn how to correct the misspelling on your Social Security card, please check out our Frequently Asked Question. We hope this is helpful.

  6. Gina S.

    Hello my question to you is do I have to be legally divorced to change my name back to my maiden name he abandoned me eight years ago and left the country he is a fugitive I just want my last name back but do I have to go through the courts or can I just legally change it back?

    • Vonda

      Hi Gina, thank you for using our blog. If you legally change your name, you will need to change your name on your Social Security card as well. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page on how to change your name. All submitted documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents.

      For additional information on how Social Security can help with your Social Security number, please visit our Social Security and Coronavirus web page.

  7. Meekyung J.

    I changed my name and sent all required documents in mail. I got back those original documents in mai. but, still I didn’t get the new social security card yet. Normally, a social card is mailed separately? I expected to get a new card when I got back documents.

    How long does it take to get a new social card? I have to update drive license and other stuff.

    • Vonda

      Hi Meekyung. Thanks for using our blog. Please call your local Social Security office. Look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      • Lisa P.

        I did contact my social security office and they were unable to give me any information. They told me that my name had been changed but that I would have to redo the entire process to actually receive a new card. I have been waiting over two months to receive my new card and nothing. Since I was told my name had been changed, I filed my taxes under my correct and legal name but now I am worried that if I do not have my card then I will be unable to make the necessary changes to my passport and other important documents. It would be nice if there were a way to track the process

  8. Michaela W.

    I called to make an appointment to change my name since I just got married. I was told they cannot do this in person because of covid-19. Therefore I mailed everything into your office. My name change was rejected because I sent in photo copies. What else am I supposed to do!? I am not sending you my drivers license since I need that to drive, I cannot send you my original documents because then I won’t ever have them. How does that make any sense? What am I supposed to do. This seems like you need to open your offices then if I can’t do this through the mail. If I send in original documents will I get them back!?!?!? I kinda need my social security card and drivers license.

    • Abigail L.

      Hi I sent my original documents (passport, name change document proof, plus the Application for a Social Security card form) and got them back through UPS 3 days after.

    • Vonda

      Hi Michaela, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page on how to change your name. All submitted documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents.

      For additional information on how Social Security can help with your Social Security number, please visit our Social Security and Coronavirus web page.

    • Diana A.

      I don’t know what to do either. I can’t go three days or more without my driver’s license. I have to go to work. This is so frustrating.

      • Sue

        We apologize for your frustration, Diana. First, realize you may not need a replacement card. You will rarely need to show it. Knowing your Social Security number is what is important. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for details on getting help with your Social Security number. We hope this helps!

    • Leticia R.

      Hello. I mailed my application for corrected card for getting my maiden name back with divorce court papers and got the papers returned in the mail. But SSA wants more, said copies are unacceptable, so I got Exemplified copies from the courthouse (cost $53.00) and I’m going to mail those with my original passport. Hope it works finally. Need my new SS card.

  9. Nicole g.

    I got married and sent in for a name change on January 15th sent in application and marriage license certified copy how long does this process take I have to get my driver’s license changed and other stuff..when I called they said all I needed to send was marriage licence certified copy.

    • Vonda

      Hi Nicole. Please call your local Social Security office. Look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

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