How To Get a Social Security Card Name Change

If you legally change your name because of marriage, divorce, court order or any other reason, you need to tell Social Security so that you can get a card that reflects your SSA name change. If you are working, also tell your employer. Requesting a replacement card with your new name or number can take about 10 business days. In the mean time, you can optionally ask for a temporary social security card printout until your application is processed and your updated card is delivered.

Unlike some other Social Security applications, it is not possible to apply for an updated Social Security card online. This must be done in-person at your local Social Security Administration office or by mail. Depending on your preferred method, follow the steps below.

Method 1: Visiting Your Local Social Security Office

Many people prefer to submit their Social Security applications in-person. This provides security and peace of mind when it comes to your sensitive documents.

Step 1

Use the button below to view and print out the application for an updated Social Security card. You will need your Social Security Number to complete this form. Be sure to fill this application out using your latest information.

View the Application

Step 2

Gather the necessary documents and prepare to bring them with you when you visit the Social Security Administration office. Use the button below to view eligible documents.

View Eligible Documents

Step 3

Use our website to locate your nearest Social Security Administration office and to verify the office hours. Remember to arrive early and to bring your application and all necessary documentation with you in order to make your trip easier.

Find Your Local SSA Office

Method 2: Mailing Your Application

Mailing in your application for a Social Security card name change can be more convenient than visiting your local SSA office in person, since you don't have to leave the house. The trade-off is that you don't get to keep your documentation in-hand. Remember, photocopies of eligible documents aren't accepted.

Step 1

Use the button below to view and print out the application for an updated Social Security card. You will need your Social Security Number to complete this form. Be sure to fill this application out using your latest information.

View the Application

Step 2

Gather the necessary documents and prepare to mail them in to your local Social Security Administration office. Remember that photocopies of documents won't be accepted -- certified copies and original documents will be. Use the button below to view eligible documents.

View Eligible Documents

Step 3

Use our website to find the Social Security Administration office nearest to you and write down its address. This is where you'll mail your application along with the required documentation.

Find Your Local SSA Office

Documents Required for a Social Security Name Change

In order to get an updated name on your social security card, you will need to provide documentation that proves you are a U.S. citizen, proves your legal name change, and proves your identity. This is part of your Social Security Responsibility to update your personal information.

All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. The social security office will not accept photocopies, notarized copies of documents or receipts showing you applied for the document. Social Security may use one document for two purposes, such as using your U.S. passport as proof of both citizenship and identity. However you are still required to provide at least two separate documents. This page assumes you are an adult and a US citizen.

Documentation for U.S. Citizenship

Only certain documents are accepted as proof of U.S. citizenship. These include a U.S. birth certificate or a U.S. passport. This documentation is only required if you have not already established citizenship with the SSA.

If you're a foreign-born citizen, you may also be able to use:

  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Certificate of Report of Birth
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad

Documentation to Prove Identity

Certain documents are accepted as proof of identity. An acceptable document must be current and show your name, identifying information, which includes date of birth or age, and preferably a recent photograph. Some example documents used for proof of identity Social Security would be a US driver's license, State-issued non-driver identification card or a US passport.

If you do not have one of these specific documents or you cannot get a replacement document within 10 days then they will ask to see other documentation which may include an employee ID card, School ID card, Health insurance card (not a Medicare card) or a US military ID card.

Documentation of Legal Name Change

If you need to change your name on your Social Security card, you must show them a recently issued document as proof of your legal name change. Documents that may be accepted to prove legal name change are marriage documents, divorce decree, Certificate of Naturalization showing a new name or court order for a name change.

If the document you provide as evidence of a legal name change does not give enough information to identify you in their records or if you changed your name more than two years ago, you must show an identity document in your prior name. This is to protect your Social Security information so that nobody can take your current federal benefits from you. The SSA will accept an identity document in your old name that has expired. If you do not have an identity document in your prior name, they may accept an unexpired identity document in your new name, as long as they can properly establish your identity in their records.

Documentation for Non-Citizens

Non-citizens filing for a corrected or updated Social Security card must provide documentation proving your immigration status, work eligibility, name change, and identity.

Immigration Status

  • Form I-551 (Lawful Permanent Resident Card)
  • I-766 (Employment Authorization Document)
  • I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record)

F-1 or M-1 students must also show an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status).

J-1 or J-2 students must also show a DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibiltiy for Exchange Visitor Status).

Work Eligibility

Typically only noncitizens who have DHS' permission to work can apply. Foreign workers need to show their I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) or admission stamp in an unexpired foreign passport showing a class of admission permitting work.

Name Change

Proving your name change may include:

  • Marriage document
  • Divorce decree
  • Court order approving the name change

Identity

  • I-551 Permanent Resident Card
  • I-94 Arrival/Departure Record with unexpired foreign passport (or admission stamp in an unexpired foreign passport)
  • I-766 Employment Authorization Document