Changing your legal name: Social security impact

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Whenever an individual legally changes his or her name, it is important to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) as soon as possible. Failure to notify the SSA of a name change could prevent your wages from being posted correctly to your Social Security earnings record and might even result in a delay when you file your taxes.

To obtain a new card with your new legal name, you need to provide the SSA with a recently issued document that proves your identity and legal name change. Acceptable documents include:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce decree
  • Certificate of Naturalization showing new name
  • Court order for approving the name change

 If the document you provide doesn’t offer enough information for the SSA to identify you in their records, you must also provide an identity document in your old name (expired documents with your old name are allowed).

In addition, if you were born outside the United States or you aren’t a U.S. citizen, you typically must provide documentation to prove U.S. citizenship or lawful noncitizen status.

Once you have gathered the appropriate documentation, you need to complete the SSA Application for a Social Security Card. However, Social Security card applications are not accepted on the SSA website. As a result, you need to take or mail you application, along with your supporting documents, to your local Social Security office.

For more information on applying for a new Social Security card or finding a Social Security office in your area, visit the Social Security Administration website at www.ssa.gov. 

 Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2016.

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