Occasionally I’ll have a client ask me whether a name should be changed with Social Security.
This is a good question. Whether you’ve recently gotten married or divorced, you might have changed your name. There are other times when you might have changed your name as well, such as becoming a US citizen and changing your name at that time. (Sometimes immigrants want names that are Americanized, or easier for Americans to pronounce when someone immigrates).

Here’s the answer:

Whenever a person legally changes his/her name, it is important to contact the Social Security Administration as soon as possible. Failure to alert the Social Security Administration of a name change can make it difficult for them to properly credit you with the correct amount of taxes being taken from your salary. It could also cause a problem for you when you file your taxes.

How to change your name with Social Security:

To obtain a brand-new card with your brand-new name, you need to provide the Social Security Administration with a recently issued legal document that proves your identity and lawful name modification. Acceptable documents include:

– Marriage certificate
– Divorce decree
– Certificate of Naturalization revealing new name
– Court order for approving the name modification

If the document you give doesn’t give enough info for the Social Security Administration to find you in their records, you also need to give some sort of ID in your old name.
Furthermore, if you were born outside the USA or you aren’t an U.S. citizen, you generally must give paperwork to show UNITED STATES citizenship or your legal right to be here like a “green card”.
Once you have gathered the documents, you’ll have to complete the application for a new Social Security card. Keep in mind that Social Security card applications are not accepted on their website. As a result, you need bring it to an office in person, or mail your application along with your documentation to your regional Social Security office.

For more details on making an application for a brand-new Social Security card or discovering a Social Security office in your location, see the Social Safety and security Administration website at www.ssa.gov.
In conclusion, it’s best to apply for a new Social Security card as soon as your name is changed.
This will help minimize the headaches you may get if the name on your tax account doesn’t match the name on your Social Security account.