A social security number is a unique number comprising of nine-digits that the American government issues to all its American citizens who are eligible and who go through the application process. The American government uses it to track all its citizens for the purpose of keeping record. This record needs to be maintained so to gain information about the number of years you have worked along with your earnings.
Your social security card is one of the most important pieces of identification you own as an American citizen. You must present it to prove your identity in a variety of situations, including when you start a new job or go to a new doctor. That’s why it’s important to change your name on your social security card if you get divorced. By handling the change right away, you can make sure that your card is ready to go when you need it. You can do this on your own by visiting your local SSA office. They will provide you with the free forms to fill out. If you prefer to do this from the comfort of your own home check out our online application assistant.
Is a Social Security Card Divorce Name Change Required?
In short, no. You are not legally required to change the name on your social security card after you get divorced — after all, your social security number remains the same throughout your life. However, if you are planning to change your name after you get divorced, it’s a good idea to update your card to match your new name.
Why does it matter? Imagine that you apply for a new job, and you use your new name. To prove your identity and get you registered as an employee, the employer asks you for your social security card. When it doesn’t match the name on your application, it automatically raises questions. Alternatively, the IRS might not report your earnings correctly, which means that you won’t be credited appropriately for Social Security purposes. The same type of confusion can happen when you file your taxes, apply for passports, or handle any other official, government-related business.
So, while you are not legally required to change the name on your social security card after divorce, it’s a good idea. When all of your official identity documents match, you can avoid a great deal of hassle and confusion.
Required Documents for a Social Security Card Name Change After Divorce
Once you’ve decided to change the name on your social security card, you’ll need to follow the government’s requirements to the letter. The first step in the process is gathering your identity documents. Before it can change your name, the Social Security Administration needs to verify that you belong to your old name and your new name. To establish this, they need you to provide either a decree of divorce or a court order that approves your new name change.
Keep in mind that the SSA can decide whether or not to accept your documents. If they decide that your documents aren’t enough to connect you to your record in the system, they may require additional proof. Usually, you’ll need to provide an identity document that shows your old name, such as a driver’s license or a passport.
The IDs that the SSA prefers include:
- U.S driver’s license
- Identity card issued by your state
- American passport
Don’t have any of these forms of ID? The SSA will ask you to get a replacement within 10 days. If that’s not possible, they will accept one of the following IDs. Keep in mind that these documents must not be expired; they also need to have your name, age or birthday, and a photo.
- ID card for your employer
- School ID card
- ID card for your health insurance plan; Medicare cards are not accepted
- ID card from the U.S. military
How to Fill Out the Application for a Name Change
Once you have your documents together, it’s time to fill out the social security card application. You can fill out the application and print it on the SSA website; alternatively, you can go to a local branch and get a paper copy.
You’ll need to complete the entire application. Take care to be accurate, and complete every field — even a single mistake or omission can result in your application being denied.
As you prepare to fill out the form, you’ll need to have a variety of personal information available, including your address, name, birth name, and any other names you have used (including your married name). You’ll also need to provide information about your parents, including their social security numbers and their names at birth. Pay special attention to Line 12, which asks for the name on your most recent social security card.
Not sure about a field on the application? It’s a good idea to verify the answer before filling it in. If your application doesn’t match what’s in the SSA system, it can cause delays or rejections. You may even need to start the process over again.
Once you’ve filled out the application completely, you’ll need take it to your nearest Social Security office, along with all of the required documents. Keep in mind that you need originals — photocopies are not accepted. Alternatively, you can mail your application and documentation. The SSA will mail your card and your documents back to you after they process your name-change application.
How Long do You Have to Change Your Name on Your Social Security Card After Divorce?
Technically, you can change your name on your social security card at any point. However, the SSA recommends that you do it quickly to avoid any delays or trouble with your paperwork. For example, if you wait more than two years to change your name, officials will require you to present an identity document with your old name. This sounds simple, but if you can’t find an older ID, it can cause problems.
It’s always a good idea to change your name as soon as possible after divorce. That way, you can ensure a smoother transition.
How We Make it Easier to Get a Social Security Card Divorce Name Change
Feeling overwhelmed by the process of changing your social security card name after you get divorced? That’s understandable — the process can be time-consuming and confusing, especially if your application is denied.
That’s where our service can help. We take the hassle and confusion out of the application process. First, we walk you through a simple online process; then, our experts take over and complete your application for you. You can relax — we’ll let you know if we need any additional information. The best part? You don’t have to worry about chasing down forms or standing in lines. Plus, you get your new social security card quickly, complete with your new name.
After a divorce, the last thing you want to do is fill out more forms or stand in line at government offices. With our application filing service, you can take all of the stress out of the process and move forward with your new name and new social security card.