How to Change Your Name on Your Social Security Number Card
Process Guides
November 9, 2020

How to Change Your Name on Your Social Security Number Card

Before changing your name on your social security card, you must meet several requirements for a name change in Colorado:

  • You must live in the county where you are filing your name change
  • You must be 18 years old or older
  • You are not a felon or a juvenile delinquent (if you are a separate petition applies to you)

The above qualifications are required to change your name in Colorado, and if you want your new name to show up on your social security card.

If you are changing your name on your social security card from taking your spouse’s or partner’s last name due to a marriage or a civil union, you can skip the previous steps.

Changing your name on your social security card is FREE. To start this process, you need to fill out the Application for a Social Security Card form on the Social Security Administration’s website.

Additionally, you will need to submit additional documents with this form. You need proof of your age, proof of your identity, and proof of your citizenship, especially if you were born outside of the United States. If you are an immigrant that needs a social security card, you will need to have proof of your age, proof of your identity, and proof of your immigration status. If you are completing this process for someone else, you will need proof that shows your authority to sign the application as well as documents to prove your identity.

The Social Security Administration will only accept original documents or documents certified by the custodian of the original record. Notarized copies that have not been certified by the custodian of the record are not acceptable.

Proof of Age

In general, you must provide your birth certificate. In some situations, the Social Security Administration will accept another document that shows your age.

Some of the other documents accepted are:

  • U.S. hospital record of your birth (created at the time of your birth); or
  • Religious record established before the age of 5 showing your age or date of birth; or
  • Passport; or
  • Final Adoption Decree (the adoption decree must show that the birth information was taken from the original birth certificate)

Proof of Identity

You must provide current, unexpired evidence of identity in your legal name. The documents must also provide biographical information (your date of birth, age, or parents’ names) and/or physical information (photograph, or physical description – height, eye and hair color, etc.). The document having biographical information is essential if you send a photo identity document but do not appear in person. For documents without an expiration date, the document should have been issued within the past 2 years for adults and within the past 4 years for children. Generally, the Social Security Administration prefers documents issued in the United States.

You need to provide one out of the three documents to prove your identity:

  • U.S. Driver’s license; or
  • U.S. State-issued non-driver identity card; or
  • U.S. Passport

If you do not have one of the documents above or cannot get a replacement within 10 workdays, other documents that show your legal name and biographical information are:

  • U.S. military identity card; or
  • Certificate of Naturalization; or
  • Employee identity card; or
  • Certified copy of medical record (clinic, doctor, or hospital) maintained by the medical provider; or
  • Health Insurance card; or
  • Medicaid card; or
  • School Identity card/record

For young children the following are another set of accepted documents:

  • Medical record (clinic, doctor, or hospital) maintained by the medical provider; or
  • Final adoption decree; or
  • School identity card or other school record maintained by the school

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must use your current Immigration document(s) and your foreign passport with biographical information or photograph.

Photo by Levi Ventura on Unsplash

Proof of Citizenship

In general, you must provide:

  • U.S. birth certificate; or
  • U.S. Passport.

Other documents you may provide are:

  • Consular Report of Birth; or
  • Certificate of Citizenship; or
  • Certificate of Naturalization

Proof of Immigration Status

If you are an immigrant, you must provide a current unexpired document issued to you by the Department of Homeland Security, showing your immigration status. Some examples are:

  • Form I-551; or
  • Form I-94; or
  • Form I-766

If you are an international student or exchange visitor, you may need to provide additional documents such as:

  • Form I-20; or
  • DS-2019; or
  • A letter authorizing employment from your school and employer (F-1) or sponsor (J-1)

If you are not authorized to work in the United States, you can only be issued a social security card for a valid non-work reason. Additionally, your card will be marked to show you cannot work and if you do work, the Social Security Administration will notify the Department of Homeland Security.

How to Submit

In most cases, you can take or mail the signed application with your original documents to any Social Security office. Click on the social security office to find an office near you. Any documents you send will be returned to you.

Protect Your Social Security Number and Card

To protect your social security number card from loss or identity theft, DO NOT carry it with you. Keep it in a secure location and only take it with you when you need to show the card. Some instances that require a social security number card include getting a new job, opening a new bank account, or obtaining benefits from certain U.S. agencies. Always exercise caution when sharing your social security number with others, especially over the phone, mail, email, and internet requests that you did not start.

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

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