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. Rebecca Borras

    If you are married, and your spouse dies, can you go back to your maiden name once your spouse is deceased?

  2. Taylor Rowland

    I need to change my last name on my Social Security Card. Due to Covid I can not go to the office brocade they are closed. I believe I have to Mail my proof of new name and old name info into the office. Where are the directions that specifically tell me where to send these items so they do not get lost in the mail? Or can I email things to your company?

    • Vonda

      Hi Taylor, 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.

  3. Victoria Hanhauser

    Hi I just got married in November and I would like to change my name. I have my official marriage license, and the application. I was told I would need to send in my drivers license since I don’t have a passport or a state ID. Is there any other official document I could send in in its place since I need my license to drive? I have my official SS card or my original birth certificate. Would those work?

    • Vonda

      Hi Victoria, 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.

  4. Lorie Thompson

    I have my original SS Card with my maiden name and I have now gotten divorced. Do I need to file all the documents again? I need to make sure my name in changed in the system but I do not need new card. I can’t get a new license without doing this with your office. I don’t know why I with everything going on in the world why this isn’t possible via the internet.

    • Vonda

      Hi Lorie, thanks for using our blog. If you legally change your name through the courts, you will need to update your Social Security record, even though you have the former card with that name. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page on how to change your name with Social Security. All submitted documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. We hope this helps!

  5. Lynn

    Hello, I change my name when I had my citizenship, so can I scan the nutralization certificate and send.ibam just afraid my certificate will get lost.

    • Vonda

      Thank you for your question, Lynn, and for reading our blog. Congratulations on becoming a U.S. citizen. You cannot update citizenship status with Social Security online. You will need to update your Social Security record by showing us your Certificate of Naturalization and completing an application for a corrected Social Security card. All submitted documents must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. Please visit our Social Security and Coronavirus web page. If you believe you qualify for an in-office appointment, call your local office. You’ll find the contact information using our online Social Security Office Locator.

  6. Kristi

    Hello,
    Is there a place to see if the SSA received my ID and marriage license and when the change will take place? I am wondering when I will receive my ID back in the mail. I only had a current ID to send to them. Thank you

    • Vonda

      Hi Kristi, thanks for using our blog. To check on the status of your documents, you will 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.

  7. KD

    This isn’t a question but just a comment for everyone else! I recently got married and needed to change my last name. Just like a lot of you, I was hesitant on sending out my original copies but the office is still closed so I decided to do it. Instead of just dropping it off in a drop box, I took it to the post office and purchased certified mail so that I could track the package and someone had to sign for it in order to receive it. It made it quickly to the office and I was able to see that it got delivered. 2-3 days later the SS office sent me back my documents and only kept the old SS card and the paperwork I filled out. So I was only without my license throughout the weekend, which wasn’t too bad. Just wanted to share in case it may help someone else!

    • Peggie Perkins

      did you fill out a form? drivers license and marriage license required ? anything else ?

    • Km

      Do you have the address you sent your information to?

      • Catherine Ann

        Check their website for your local office. I mailed my ID to them on 2/6. I just got my ID back yesterday. They addressed the envelope to my new name. The only things in the envelope were my ID and supporting docs. They did not include a letter or anything explaining my next steps. Guess I just wait to see if my new card arrives safely. I was really worried about mailing my ID because the post is overwhelmed and they just lost a letter the IRS mailed me. Also the “local” social security office that came up on their website for my zip code was different from the closest office to my zip code. I was worried whether or not I was even mailing to the correct address. But everything worked out. https://www.ssa.gov/locator/

    • DK

      Thank you so much for your comment as I am hesitant on sending all my docs in and not knowing when i will have them back. Once again, thank you so very much!

  8. Michelina Raczka

    Can i use my health insurance card instead of mailing the only Florida license I have? I do not feel comfortable mailing all these original docs, can I put them in a drop box somewhere?

    • Vonda

      Hi Michelina, thanks for using our blog. 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.

      For specific questions, you can 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.

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  10. Kris Lim

    Hi,

    I got married in 2020 and need to update my SSN with my married name. I recently received my employment authorization but I couldn’t update my SSN due to the Covid shutdowns. I still don’t have my green card, so which document should I present to update my SSN?

    • Vonda

      Hi Kris, 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.

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