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. Sue

    My daughter recently got married and applied for a name change. Her name was changed in the system but the agent entered the wrong city on her mailing address so the card was returned to ssa by the post office. Now they’re requesting an i.d. with the new name on it in order for her to get a “replacement”. However, she can’t get her driver’s license updated without the new ss card. How does she get out of this “catch-22”? She has no other i.d. to provide.

    • Sue

      Hi, Sue. We’re sorry for your daughter’s experience. Please have her call the Social Security office where she mailed her completed SS-5 form and required documents. You’ll find the phone number at our Office Locator. If her application for a name change was completed less than 30 days ago, we may be able to resubmit her application with the correct mailing address. You’ll find additional information about replacement Social Security cards at our Social Security and Coronavirus webpage. We hope this helps.

  2. Arnold S.

    What is the approximate turn around time for an application for name (marriage)change ?

    • Vonda

      Hi Arnold, thanks for using our blog. Because we are experiencing slight delays processing mail-in SSN card applications, it may take us between two and four weeks to process the application and return the evidence. 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.

      You can call your local Social Security office with additional questions. 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.

  3. Meg N.

    My husband’s SS card from 40 +years ago has his last name incorrectly spaced. For example, instead of Van Gogh on his SS card, it’s Vangogh.

    He recently registered to vote and our county had trouble verifying his identity because his last name on the application (correctly spaced as two words) did not match with the name Social security has as one word. The last name on his birth certificate ( spaced as two words) is his legal last name. It is also correctly spaced as two words on his US passport.

    How can we correct his last name with Social Security if it didn’t legally change, it just wasn’t spaced correctly decades ago?

    • Vonda

      Hi Meg, thanks for using our blog. To correct your name on your Social Security record, you will need to apply for a corrected Social Security card. Visit our Learn What Documents You Need for details on the documentation requirements. Under the heading, “Type of Card,” select “Corrected” for a list of the documents needed. You will need to provide evidence of your age (for example, a U.S. public birth certificate) and current documentation for evidence of identity. For complete instructions, go to the Social Security Number and Card web page.

      If you have additional questions regarding the process, you can contact your local Social Security office. 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. Valentina F.

    HI, I need to change my name on my Social Security card due to marriage. I am a Naturalized US Citizen married to a foreigner. Currently living outside of US. The US Embassy in this country cannot make the name change. What documents asside from a marriage certificate and a signed ss-5 form can I mail to Ss office to prove my identity. I am concerned about sending my US Passport and Certificate of Naturalization by mail. Can my legal son bring and give my signed ss-5 form, passport and certificate of naturalization to the ss office instead of me. Finally , on social security office hours it states that due to Covid-19 as of March 17 they are closd until further notice. Thank you.

    • Vonda

      Hi Valentina, thank you 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.

  5. Kristin

    Hello How do I change my last name after getting married?
    Thank you!

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Kristin. In order to change your name on your Social Security card, you must show us a document that proves your legal name change. If the document you provide as evidence of a legal name change does not give us enough information to identify you in our records, you must show us an identity document in your old name (as shown in our records). It is the identity document (also known as your ID) that we will accept if it has expired; however, we still will need to see proof (legal document) of the name change. We offer the option for you to mail your completed application with original or certified documents to your local Social Security office. For more information about how and what to submit, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  6. Carlie S.

    I sent in my documentation (because I cannot go directly to the facility because of Covid). I see another comment that you can only take originals for proof of identity (this is after I sent in photo copies). How can I get this completed while also needing my identification on my person? I can send in my social security can but need my Drivers license to be able to commute.

    • Vonda

      Hi Carlie, thank you for your question. 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!

  7. Enalynn J.

    how long does it take for a name change

  8. Enalynn J.

    how long does take for a name change

    • Enalynn J.

      how long does it take for a name change

    • Vonda

      Hi Enalynn, thanks for using our blog. You would need to call your local Social Security office. 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.

  9. Darlene F.

    Darlene

    Is the SS office in Harrisburg open to the public yet, or do we still need to mail in forms with documents?
    If changing a name because of marriage, can you send copies of originals, or are the original documents required?

    • Vonda

      Hi Darlene, thank you 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.

  10. Theresa

    What can we do when our valid identification expires and cannot get replaced in time due to covid shutdowns? Can we use expired documentation?

Comments are closed.