The Law Dictionary

Your Free Online Legal Dictionary • Featuring Black’s Law Dictionary, 2nd Ed.

Best Way To Change Your Name On Your Social Security Card

Free Consultations Available Now

Connect with a family law attorney in 60 seconds.

Various instances might occur in which people’s names change. The most common times when people change their names is when they get married, divorced, become adopted or simply have their names legally changed for whatever reason. When people change their names, though, they should update their name changes on their Social Security cards. There might also be instances when there is an error on people’s Social Security cards, and they need to have them corrected.

Social Security Office

The most traditional and common way to change the name on a Social Security card is to visit a local Social Security office and fill out the application for a new Social Security card. No matter whether individuals need to make a legal name change or simply need to make a correction to an already existing Social Security card, the same application form is used. Generally, individuals must have the required documentation to prove what their new names are in order to have their names changed on their Social Security cards. Copies of marriage certificates, divorce decrees, court-ordered name changes, adoption papers and proof of citizenship must usually be presented to the Social Security Administration official in order to validate an individual’s identity. It is essential that original copies of the documents are presented to officials as well, as copies are not acceptable.


Thanks to modern technology, perhaps the best and easiest way to change the name on a Social Security card nowadays is to simply do it online at the Social Security Administration’s secure website. It basically entails the same process as that of doing it in person at a Social Security Administration office, but it is more automated and can be done from the comfort of individuals’ homes at their convenience. They simply fill out the application form online and then follow the remaining instructions as to how to provide their proof of identity. For instance, usually, individuals are given the option to mail in original copies of their marriage certificates, proof of citizenship and so on, and then the documents will be mailed back to them after the Social Security Administration receives them and verifies them. Alternatively, they can simply stop by a Social Security Administration office in person to present the documents to officials.

Regardless of the method an individual chooses to update the name on his or her Social Security card, it is essential that it is done once an individual’s name is changed. To be in accordance with state and federal laws, all of an individual’s identification documents must be kept up-to-date.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

Recent Family Law Articles