Online Services, Social Security Number and Card

Need to Change Your Name on Your Social Security Card?

October 9, 2018 • By

Last Updated: March 17, 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; or
  • 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; or
  • 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; or
  • 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; or
  • 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 website, 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 my Social Security account.


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Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Comments

  1. Anna Tesi

    To correct name due to marriage do I have to have parents social security number?

    • kimberly

      I just successfully changed my name due to marriage and did not need to include my parents’ SS numbers. The instructions are unclear, but you only need to include parents’ SS numbers when you are under 18

  2. Allison P.

    I just received a court order for name change and went to get a new California DL. First thing it says is to update name with SSA prior to applying. Now SSA says I need an updated DL to change my name with SSA. Am I getting something wrong? Is there something other than DL I can provide? I have an employee ID but it’s literally just a photo, my name (First and Last) and my employee number. Is this acceptable?

    • Sue

      Hi, Allison. Thank you for reading our blog and for your questions. You may use the court order (an original or copy certified by the record holder) to change the name on your 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. For complete instructions, go to the Social Security Number and Card web page. We hope this helps!

      • Megan Straile

        My local office is closed for COVID, how can I change my name after getting married via online? I have all the documents I need.

        • Vonda

          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.

  3. Julia

    im not sure how comfortable i feel with sending all those documents especially my drivers license I cant have no form of ID with me for two weeks. it says on the website if we don’t feel comfortable that we can come into the office and do it in person. so can I make an appointment to do it in person?

  4. Pamela C Smith

    All I want to do is change my last name as I recently got married? Why is this so hard? I have gone to website after contacting my local social security office. There was no form which indicated it was for marital name change. Not logical to me??? Help!

    • Sue

      Hi, Pamela. Thank you for reading our blog and for your question. Check out our Social Security Number and Card web page for instructions how to get a new, replacement, or corrected Social Security card. Step 2 is the form you need: the SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. You’ll find the address of your local office using the Office Locator. Remember, any documents you mail to us must be originals or copies certified by the record holder. We will return them to you. We hope this is helpful.

  5. Megan Cadwell

    My husband and I were married in November 2020 and he would also like to change his name by combining it with mine. The combined name is on our marriage application as our intended name and was signed by the GA probate courthouse. Will this suffice for him as well for new Social Security Card?

  6. Kimberly

    Hello,
    I was recently married and changed my last name. I just got my social security card with my new last name, but my middle name is incorrect (spelled wrong). Do I need to submit all of the same paperwork again to fix the middle name? or is there another way of doing it?

    • Vonda

      Hi Kimberly, 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.

  7. Ann

    My step son is trying to get his driver’s license but they will not allow him to as his Social Security card and birth certificate have different names. He recently applied to have his Social Security card last name match his birth certificate last name. His Social Security card last name is his mother’s and his birth certificate last name is his father’s. He sent in all the documentation, including birth certificate, and the card came back with the same last name as the original (his mother’s last name). He’s been waiting for a couple months for this to be returned just to have it come back the same, making it impossible to get a driver’s license. What can we do to fix this?

    • Vonda

      Hi Ann. 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.

  8. Kendra

    I went to the SS office in person and dropped off all my documents for my name change since I recently got married . Its been almost 6 weeks and no one gotten back to me. I have been driving around without a DL for 6 weeks. Can someone please give me an update on my SS card. I have called the SS office in West Palm Beach, Florida everyday for a week now and no one answered. I have been on the call for almost 2 hours and no one picked up. What’s taking so long to received my new card?

    • Vonda

      Hi Kendra, thanks for using our blog. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can call your local Social Security office. Please make sure you’re calling the correct local number. 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. Sheila

    I want to resume my former name due to my marriage being annulled and want a new social security card. Do I really need to get a court order for name change first?

    • Vonda

      Hi Sheila, 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. Kym J Ryan-Jeffries

    Hello, I need to change my last name due to marriage. I don’t want to put my driver lic in the mail as have been instructed. Can I send an alternate form of ID, such as my Medical Insurance card? Also, how long does the process take? Thank you.

    • Vonda

      Hi Kym, 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.

      You can call your local Social Security office for the time frame. 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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