By Vonda Vantil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist
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 at www.socialsecurity.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf and follow the instructions to ensure your Social Security card is delivered in a timely manner. You can also locate your local field office at www.socialsecurity.gov/locator so you can apply for your updated card and show your required documents in person.
For complete instructions, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber, 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 at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccounnt.
Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.