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. lynnette o.

    My husband passed and I want to go back to my maiden name how do I do this?

  2. Jillane L.

    My lawyer emailed me finalized judgement and divorce decree. How am I supposed to change my name without a true original?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Jilane. 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), and another identity document with your new name. We prefer a government issued document with your picture, as proof of identity. Any document you submit, must be an original or certified copy, current (not expired) and show your name, and other identifying information (date of birth or age). We offer the option to mail your completed application with original or certified documents to your local Social Security office or nearest Card Center in your area. We hope this helps!

  3. Tiffany A.

    This is the second time I am changing my last name. I am not getting a divorce, the name is just too long and I prefer to drop it completely and replace it with my middle name. Is this the same process, or will this cost a fee?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Tiffany. You can replace your Social Security card for free. 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), and another identity document with your new name. We prefer a government issued document with your picture, as proof of identity. Any document you submit, must be an original or certified copy, current (not expired) and show your name, and other identifying information (date of birth or age). We offer the option to mail your completed application with original or certified documents to your local Social Security office or nearest Card Center in your area. We hope this helps!

  4. Danette D.

    I mailed my documents to my local office over 30 days ago and haven’t heard a thing. Who do I follow up with??? Please advise. Thank you

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Danette. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. It might be best to call or visit your local Social Security office for further assistance. You can also call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. and speak with one of our representatives for further assistance. Thanks.

  5. Marisol C.

    I need to change my name to my married name. I have the marriage certificate but to proof my identity can I make a copy of my driver’s license or my passport?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Marisol. 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), and another identity document with your new name. We prefer a government issued document with your picture, as proof of identity. Any document you submit, must be an original or certified copy, current (not expired) and show your name, and other identifying information (date of birth or age).
      We offer the option to mail your completed application with original or certified documents to your local Social Security office or nearest Card Center in your area. We hope this helps!

  6. Stacey H.

    what do i need to show if i want to change my name on my social security card

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Stacey. 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), and another identity document with your new name. We prefer a government issued document with your picture, as proof of identity. Any document you submit, must be an original or certified copy, current (not expired) and show your name, and other identifying information (date of birth or age). We offer the option to mail or bring your completed application with original or certified documents to your local Social Security office or nearest Card Center in your area. We hope this helps!

  7. Maureen

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  8. Randa B.

    Idk where my birth certificate is anymore do I really need that to get my name changed bc I got married or no.

  9. Elnora P.

    How too change last name with social security

    • Ray F.

      Hello Elnora. To learn more on the process and what documents he will need to get a “corrected” card, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page for complete information. Thanks!

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