When a Minnesota resident marries, divorces or legally changes their name for any reason, they'll need to change all of their identifying documents. One of the things they must change is their Social Security card, which is typically used by federal, state and private agencies as an identifying document.
Individuals cannot change their name on their Social Security card online; they must go to their local Social Security Administration office to apply for a name change in person.
Changing a Name on a Social Security Card
After getting a legal name change via a marriage, divorce or court order, individuals must update their name with the Social Security Administration (SSA), which issues cards with their Social Security number.
All federal and state entities (and some private agencies) link a person's identity to their Social Security record. Often, individuals will need to update their information with the SSA in order to get a new passport, driver's license or other form of official ID.
Updating a Social Security card is easy to do, and it will typically take less than two weeks for a replacement card to arrive in the mail. However, the name change cannot be made online; individuals must visit a local SSA office in their area to apply in person. To apply, they must first download and fill out Application for a Social Security Card form.
Documents for a Social Security Card Application
Applicants must show original documents or certified copies from the issuing agency at their local SSA office when applying for a new card. The SSA cannot accept notarized copies or photocopies. To prove a legal name change occurred, applicants can show a marriage certificate, a divorce decree, a court order for the change or a certificate of naturalization showing their new name.
The SSA may ask to see identity documents showing the individual's old name (these can be expired) as well as those with their new name. They must also show proof of their identity with:
- State-issued driver's license.
- State-issued identification card.
- U.S. passport.
The SSA may also accept employee or school identification cards, health insurance cards or U.S. military identification cards.
Proof of U.S. Citizenship Required
Applicants must also show proof of U.S. citizenship by using one of these documents:
- U.S. birth certificate.
- U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad.
- U.S. passport.
- Certificate of Naturalization.
- Certificate of Citizenship.
Finding a Social Security Office in Minnesota
The SSA offers information regarding its offices in the Minnesota area on its Chicago Region page. If applicants need help with their documents or a form, they can contact their local Social Security office. For further information and other services, they can visit the SSA.
Applicants can also call the agency toll-free at 800-772-1213. The SSA answers calls from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. When attempting to speak to a customer service representative, wait times are typically shorter later in the day or when calling Wednesdays through Fridays. People can also use the agency's automated services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Michelle Nati is an associate editor and writer who has reported on legal, criminal and government news for PasadenaNow.com and Complex Media. She holds a B.A. in Communications and English from Niagara University.