If you're changing your name, it's important to let Social Security know so we can update the information we maintain, send you an updated Social Security card, and ultimately ensure we pay you accurate benefits when you retire or if you become disabled.
To change your name in our records, you must provide Social Security with documents proving your legal name change and identity. If you are a U.S. citizen, you also must provide our agency with documentation proving your U.S. citizenship. 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
To get started, fill out the form at www.socialsecurity.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf and carefully follow the instructions. In most cases, you can mail your signed application with your documents to any Social Security office. We will return any documents you mail to us. You can also locate your local field office at www.socialsecurity.gov/locator to show your required documents in person.
In the event you need to replace a lost Social Security card to get a job or obtain government services, but you don't need to change your name, you can - in most states and the District of Columbia - request your replacement card replacement card online using your my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
For additional information about Social Security Numbers, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Nicole Tiggemann, Social Security spokesperson.