How To Change Your Name On Your Social Security Card

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If you decide to change your name because of marriage, divorce or any other reason, it is very important that you notify the SSA (Social Security Administration) about the same as soon as possible. The SSA requires anyone who undergoes a legal name change to request a corrected Social Security card. In this article, we will discuss how to change your name on your Social Security card.

Why change your name on your Social Security card?

Following are the likely reasons why you need to change your name on your Social Security card:

  • You took your spouse’s last name after marriage or adopted a hyphenated name as a couple.
  • You want to go back to your original name after divorce.
  • You have been adopted.
  • You don’t want your birth or family name due to personal reasons.
  • You want to be identified with a new name. For instance, you transitioned and want to be identified as a different gender.
  • You recently became a U.S. citizen.
  • If you had to change or correct your birth certificate, you will also need to change your name on your Social Security card.

Documents needed

To change your name on your Social Security card, you will have to provide SSA with up-to-date documents. The documents you submit must be originals or copies certified by an authorized agency. You need to provide documents to verify the following:


Since your Social Security card is a legal record, you will have to furnish documents to prove you are who you are saying you are. To prove this, you need to provide documents that carry identifying information, such as your date of birth.

So, you can submit your U.S. driver’s license, U.S. passport, or a Nondriver ID card issued by your state. The SSA prefers that the document you submit has a recent photograph.

If you don’t have any such documents, you can request the SSA for use of a different document, such as a health insurance card, or a document from your school or employer.

Name change

You can provide the following documents to show that you legally changed your name:

  • Marriage certificate.
  • Divorce decree.
  • Document showing the court approved the name change.
  • Certificate of naturalization with the new name.


You will have to provide proof of your U.S. citizenship to the SSA. You can provide your U.S. birth certificate or U.S. passport to verify your citizenship status.

How to change your name on your Social Security card

You can submit a request for a name change to the SSA in three ways:


You can easily request a name change online if you are at least 18 years old and have a U.S. mailing address. Follow the below steps to request the name change online:

  • Visit the online application portal.
  • Click the “Apply Now” button.
  • Click the “Next” button after reading the Privacy Act Statement.
  • Now answer the question on the screen. Click the “Next” button to submit your answer and move to the next question. Race and ethnicity questions are optional. You can choose not to answer them and it won’t affect the approval of your application.   
  •  Next, you need to select the documents that you will provide to support your application. Fill in the relevant details of each document.
  • After submitting the details of the document, you will get a summary of the information provided so far. You need to review it and make changes, if required.
  • Lastly, check the box that says you have understood how to submit the required documents. Now click the “Submit Application Package” button.
  • Gather all the required documents and take them to the SSA office within 45 days to complete your application.

Printing application form

If you aren’t comfortable filling out an online application, you can download the application form online, make a printed copy and fill it out offline. Follow the below steps to request the name change this way:

  • Go to the SSA website to download the “Application for a Social Security Card” form.
  • You can either download and fill it out on a computer and print it out, or download it, print it out and fill it out by hand. Instructions to fill out the form are on page 3 of the document.
  • Gather all the needed documents. Although the SSA will return any original documents after verification, it is recommended that you send certified copies.
  • You can either mail the application and documents to an SSA office or submit them in person at an SSA office.

Visiting a local SSA office

If the above two methods are not your choice, you can also complete the process to change your name on your Social Security card offline. You can visit your nearest SSA office to complete the process. It is, however, important that you schedule an appointment first because some offices may be too busy to take walk-ins.

Follow the below steps to request a name change offline:

  • Search for the nearest SSA office at
  • Call the office to inquire if an appointment is needed. If not, then learn about the average wait time.
  • Gather all the required documents.
  • Visit the SSA office with the documents, fill out the application form and submit it along with the documents.

Irrespective of the method you are using to complete the process, you can always call the SSA at 800-772-1213 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.) if you have any trouble in completing the application. If you are deaf or have difficulty hearing, you need to call the SSA at TTY 800-325-0778.