Planning a name change? Contact Social Security!

If you are a bride-to-be, there’s one more important thing you may need to put on your list: contact Social Security if there’s going to be a name change.

It’s important tell Social Security if you legally change your name–if you don’t it may delay your tax refund and prevent your wages from being posted correctly to your Social Security record, which may lower the amount of your future Social Security benefits.  Obviously, you should also notify your employer of your new name.

Changing your name with Social Security can be simple, if you prepare everything you need before visiting an office.

First, go to the Social Security website. Here you can print out an application for a new social security card. You will learn what important documents you may need to take to the Social Security office. You can also send them the mail along with your application. (They will photocopy them and send them back). You will probably need the following documentation:

  • A recently issued marriage document as proof of your legal name change.
  • Some form of ID that shows your old name, preferably with a recent photograph (driver’s license, passport, etc) .
  • If you are a U.S. citizen born outside the United States, you may need to bring provide proof of your U.S. citizenship.
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, Social Security will ask to see your current immigration documents.

Keep in mind that all documents need to be originals. If you do not feel comfotable sending original documents in the mail, you can bring them in person to your nearest Social Security office, US Consulate or embassy, or VARO.

Thanks to UC Daily News for giving us this important reminder!


  1. Great article! Many people can get caught out with changing their name, and they bank and social security details matching. If you are getting married and chamging your name, a name change kit for your state can make things easier and help guide you through what can be a tricky exercise.

  2. Thank you for your help! This was what I needed to know.

  3. Great advice for people changing their name in the USA!