TN 1 (02-10)
RM 10212.015 Evidence Requirements to Process a Name Change on the SSN
A. General Evidence Requirements
To process a name change on the SSN you must obtain evidence of the:
name change event that complies with the evidence requirements detailed for each event in RM 10212.010;
new name; and
number holder’s identity as shown on the latest Numident record.
B. Evidence of Name Change Event
Consider an acceptable name change document evidence of the name change event. To determine what is acceptable evidence of a name change refer to RM 10212.010.
NOTE: When a legal opinion precedent is required to determine whether the document submitted is acceptable for a name change, SSA does not follow common law. SSA generally follows statutory law in these situations.
C. Evidence of new name
The new name to be shown on the SSN card is obtained from the name change document, except when the name change is based on the following events:
Name Change Events
New name based on Marriage, Civil Union, and Domestic Partnership
New name based on Divorce, Dissolution, or Annulment
D. Evidence of identity
Evidence of identity in the new name to be shown on the SSN card and in the prior name on the latest Numident record must always be established in order to link the new name to the Numident record and to establish that the person applying for the name change and the number holder are the same person.
The name change document can also serve as an acceptable identity document for a name change if it is not a birth certificate and:
the name change event occurred within the past two years (if under age 18, within the past 4 years), and
the document has the number holder’s prior name and biographical information such as age, date of birth, or parents’ names, which matches the data on the latest Numident record.
EXCEPTION: See exception in RM 10212.015 D.1, in this section.
If the name change event document does not meet both criteria the applicant must submit an identity document in addition to the name change document. The applicant must submit either:
one identity document in the prior name as shown on the latest Numident record. The identity document in the old name is acceptable even if no longer current or is expired. (See exception in RM 10212.015D.1, in this section), or
one identity document in the new name (to be shown on SSN card) when the requirements described in RM 10212.020 are met.
NOTE: Use the priority lists of acceptable identity documents when requesting identity documents following RM 10210.420.
EXCEPTION: Accept expired identity documents in the prior name if submitted in connection with a name change.
1. When surname(s) on name change or identity document does not match the latest Numident
When establishing identity in the name on the latest Numident through the name change or identity document and the surname shown on the document(s) does not exactly agree with the surname on the latest Numident record due to the lack or addition of part of the surname, the document is acceptable if the surname(s) shown on the name change or identity document can be linked to the Numident record (e.g., parent’s name, name at birth). Parts of a surname shown on the name change or identity document that cannot be linked to the Numident raise questions regarding the applicant’s identity and must be resolved by requesting prior evidence of a name change event proving the applicant may have used the name in the past. If no name change event has occurred, request evidence of the person’s legal name (e.g., birth certificate) per RM 10212.001.
NOTE: Special circumstances regarding evidence of identity for name change events may be provided in the following sections referring to specific types of name change events.
RM 10212.010, Evidence of a Name Change on the SSN card.
RM 10212.020, Evidence Required to Process a Name Change when Evidence of Identity in the New Name Only is Submitted.
RM 10225.058, How to Process an SSN Replacement Card Request When an Adopted Child is Changing His or Her Name.