There are a number of reasons why you might adopt a new name. You may get married or decide to divorce your spouse. On the other hand, perhaps you don’t like how your name looks or sounds. Either way, it’s important to notify multiple government agencies and businesses of your new moniker. Don’t forget to inform the Social Security Administration. This step can prevent a variety of serious problems.
Why Change My Social Security Number Card?
If the SSA doesn’t have the correct name on file, you won’t be able to use your Social Security card for identification purposes. This situation could make it difficult to enroll in a university, gain employment or open financial accounts. It may also reduce any retirement or disability benefits that you eventually receive; the SSA needs to collect information about your earnings from employers. You could experience problems with tax refunds as well.
How to Update Your Name for Social Security
To avoid these difficulties, you’ll have to complete a series of tasks. The first step involves gathering official documents that verify your identity and contain information about your name change. You’ll need issuer-certified copies if you don’t use the original papers. With a few exceptions, it isn’t acceptable to present expired documents. The SSA will reject a copied item that has only been notarized.
To get started, you’ll have to verify your name. You must possess a document that confirms the new moniker’s legal validity. In most situations, it’s possible to use one of four different papers. You can provide a document that certifies your divorce, marriage or naturalization. The changed name should appear on this certificate. Another option is to supply the SSA with the court order that authorized your new name.
If your name was changed at least 24 months ago, the government will expect you to present proof of your previous identity. It’s acceptable to use an expired ID card. The SSA may also require you to take this step if the above-mentioned document proves that you changed your name but doesn’t offer sufficient details about your identity. The administration might accept current identification papers if you can’t find a suitable record from the past.
What Papers Can Prove Your Identity?
Social Security officials want to see a document that contains your photo and other details about you. They prefer state ID cards, driver’s licenses and passports. If you’ve lost your identification, it’s best to try to replace it before you apply. Nonetheless, the SSA might accept certain alternatives in some situations. They include military, medical insurance, employee and college ID cards. Unfortunately, applicants can’t use Medicare cards to verify their identities.
If the administration hasn’t confirmed your citizenship in the past, you’ll need to prove that you’re a U.S. citizen as well. You can accomplish this by presenting a passport or an official overseas birth report. It’s also acceptable to supply a birth, naturalization or citizenship certificate when you apply to change the name on your Social Security card.
Name Changes For Non-Citizens and Children
The process becomes somewhat more complex when foreigners adopt new names. Non-citizens need to present papers regarding their immigration status. You can use a DHS employment permit or a permanent resident card. An alternative is to show a passport issued by a foreign government. It needs to have an admission stamp or be accompanied by an official record of arrival and departure. Student and exchange visitors need to present DS-2019 or I-20 certificates.
When you want to update the name on a Social Security card held by an American child, you’ll need to present different documents. You can confirm the name alteration using a court order, updated birth certificate or adoption decree. In some situations, the SSA will request identification as well. This will definitely happen if the child’s name changed over 48 months ago.
The administration encourages parents to use their kids’ passports for identity verification. If a minor lacks a passport, SSA staff might allow you to present a state or school ID card. Other possible alternatives include records from a medical facility, religious institution or a child care center at a school. An adoption decree may also prove the child’s identity.
The above-mentioned requirements differ if a youngster was born abroad. Either way, the government will want to verify a parent’s identity as well. Administration officials favor passports, state identification cards, and driver’s licenses in this situation. Other types of photo ID cards may prove adequate if you can’t present one of these documents.
Submitting the Application and Papers
After you’ve finished gathering the necessary records, you’ll need to complete a relatively short application. It’s available as a PDF file that consists of a one-page form and four pages of directions. Be sure to follow the instructions regarding paper size and ink color. The SS-5 application asks for your name, contact information, Social Security number, birth location, ethnicity, parents’ SSNs and a few other details.
It isn’t possible to report a name alteration on the administration’s website. You’ll need to send or bring the form and other papers to an SSA office. If you don’t know the street address, you can call the agency or use the Social Security Office Locator at SSA.gov. After you apply and the government confirms the authenticity of your documents, it will send a new card to you in the mail.
Will This Change My Social Security Number?
The card won’t have a different number; it will only be updated to reflect your name change. Although this seems like a relatively simple modification, the process is seldom easy. You’ll probably spend hours collecting documents, reading instructions, waiting in government offices and making phone calls. The good news is that our convenient service expedites this stressful project and increases the likelihood of success.
We can fill out the SS-5 form and help you find the right documents. Our knowledgeable staff provides valuable advice via telephone, live chat or email. The SSA will likely approve your application on the first attempt; you won’t make mistakes that waste time and money. Unlike our competitors, we guarantee success. To get started today, please dial 707-948-6245.