Congratulations on starting your name change adventure! The very first item on your list is your Social Security name change. This needs to be your first stop because so many organizations use the SSA to verify your new name.
Full Disclosure: The SSA provides access to it’s name change form for free (see link below to access it). Their customer service agents are all on hand to answer any questions you might have (contact details, also below). We check-in with them every few months to see if there have been any updates and the SSA form in our I’m a Mrs. database is always kept up-to-date (it even auto-populates with all the info you enter during registration!).
How do I make the change?
You can complete your social security name change either by mail (in approximately 10 business days from the date application is processed) or in-person. In both cases you need to send documentation or go in-person to your local social security administration office – you can find that here.
What do you need to bring?
You must bring a completed SS5 form (available below) and the following documents:
- Marriage Certificate – Original or Certified* Copy
- Current Social Security Card
NOTE: Send in your current card as the SSA may want to destroy it for security reasons. If you do not have an SSA Card that is not a problem – you are not required to have your old card to get a new one.
- Proof of Identity – send the Original of ONE of the following:
- U.S. Driver’s License
- U.S. State-issued Non-Driver Identification Card
- U.S. Passport
If you have not already established citizenship with the SSA, then you must also submit Proof of Citizenship. Please send the Original of ONE of the following:
- U.S. Birth Certificate
- U.S. Passport
NOTE: You may use one document for two purposes. For example, you may use your U.S. passport as proof of both citizenship and identity.
*NOTE: The SSA will only accept original documents or documents certified by the custodian of the original record. Notarized copies or photocopies which have not been certified by the custodian of the record are not acceptable.
Other than your original Social Security card, the SSA will return any original documents that you mail to them.
If you are able to go in-person, your application will be processed that day and your new card will be sent to you by mail within 10 business days.
Time Saving Tips!
- Mail: Save time and avoid the stress of visiting the SSA office by sending your form in by mail.
- Go Early: If you do go in-person, go early (they open at 830 or 9am – listed in the locator details here)
- Go Late: If you are in the doors before closing they are required to see you that day.
- Avoid the first week of the month: It’s considered ‘rush hour’ internally because of so many time-sensitive requests.
- Double check that you have all the supporting documents: We list all the required documents for you – but be sure to double check. You’ll be sent away if you are there in-person…and your documents returned to you if sent by mail.
Access the SS5 form here.
Hope this makes you social security name change easy! If you have any name change questions that need answering, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.