Online Services, Social Security Number and Card

Need to Change Your Name on Your Social Security Card?

October 9, 2018 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: November 3, 2023

A stack of social security cardsAre 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

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Pamela W.

    When will social security office re-open in full?

    • V.V.

      Hi Pamela, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for details on how Social Security is providing critical services during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope this helps!

  2. Mike H.

    I need to change my name on my social security card from “Mike” to “Michael”.
    Can I send a state issued ID and a copy of original birth certificate??

  3. Megan S.

    Hi so I’m turning in the application in person for a new card and I’m changing my name how long does it take to process before I can get a new driver’s license as well ?

    • V.V.

      Hi Megan, 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. Katrina P.

    How do I know when my name is actually changed? I got married Feb 15th and applied the next day via application dropped in the drop box at a card location. I received my documents back with a letter saying my card will be in the mail in 4 weeks on Feb 21st. How do I know when it is actually changed so that I may change my license? Thank you!

    • V.V.

      Hi Katrina, thanks for using our blog. When you receive your Social Security card in the mail containing your new name. To follow up on the status, 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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