TN 1 (02-10)

RM 10212.035 Evidence of Name Change based on a US Same-Sex Marriage

Accept same-sex marriage documents validly issued by a U.S. State, which permits ceremonial same-sex marriage as evidence of a name change. The documents should comply with the criteria of the issuing State listed in RM 10212.035 A, in this section.

For SSA purposes, applicant’s State of residence is not a factor in determining whether the same-sex marriage document is acceptable evidence for a name change.

A. Acceptable same-sex marriage documents for a name change

1. California

Accept marriage documents issued to same-sex couples for marriages that took place between 06/17/08 and 11/04/08 and June 28, 2013 or later by jurisdiction (town, county or State) in the State of California as evidence of a name change. See PR 02712.006 California.

The following is a brief description of marriage documents issued by jurisdictions in the State of California beginning on 06/17/08 at 5:01 p.m.:

  • Each is titled License and Certificate of Marriage.

  • On the title it may also indicate the marriage is Confidential, a Declaration, or Denominations Not Having Clergy.

  • Documents show biographical data (date of birth and parents' names).

  • The names of each party appear as Name of Party A and Name of Party B.

NOTE: As of November 5, 2008, the names of each party appear as First Person (box should be checked Groom or Bride) and Second Person (box should be checked as Groom or Bride).

Applicants requesting a name change based on a California same-sex marriage document who had also entered into a California Registered Domestic Partnership with the same party are not required to show evidence of dissolution of the domestic partnership before we process the name change.

2. Connecticut

Accept marriage documents issued to same-sex couples for marriages that took place on 11/12/08 or later by jurisdictions (town, county or State) in Connecticut as evidence of a name change.

Connecticut marriage documents display the names of each party as Bride/Groom/Spouse. Parties to the marriage are not required to specify by crossing out or circling a party to reduce it to one of the three.

Applicants requesting a name change based on a Connecticut same-sex marriage document who had also entered into a Connecticut civil union with the same party are not required to show evidence of dissolution of the civil union before we process the name change

3. Iowa

Accept marriage documents issued to same-sex couples for marriages that took place on 04/30/09 or later by jurisdictions (town, city or State) in Iowa as evidence of a name change.

On April 27, 2009 Iowa county recorders began accepting applications for marriage licenses from same-sex couples and beginning April 30, 2009 same-sex couples could marry. The same marriage documents will be used for all couples and will display the parties names as “Party A” and “Party B.” Parties may designate a title of bride, groom, or spouse, but this is not required. Parties are permitted to adopt a name change at the time of marriage. This includes a change to the first name. Both the old and new names will be listed on the marriage certificate. The marriage certificate will also contain biographical information including date of birth and parents’ names.

4. Massachusetts

Accept marriage documents issued to same-sex couples for marriages that took place on 05/17/04 or later by Massachusetts as evidence of a name change.

5. Vermont

Accept marriage documents issued to same-sex couples for marriages that took place on 09/01/09 or later by Vermont as evidence of a name change. See PR 02712.050 Vermont .

6. New Hampshire

Accept marriage documents issued to same-sex couples for marriages that took place on 01/01/10 or later by New Hampshire as evidence of a name change. See PR 02712.032 New Hampshire .

7. District of Columbia

Accept marriage documents issued to same-sex couples for marriages that took place on 03/09/10 or later by the District of Columbia as evidence of a name change. See PR 02712.010 District of Columbia .

8. New York

Accept marriage documents issued to same-sex couples for marriages that took place on 07/24/2011 or later by jurisdictions (town, county or State) in New York as evidence of a name change. See PR 02712.035 New York.

9. Maryland

Accept marriage documents issued to same-sex couples for marriages that took place on 01/01/2013 or later by jurisdictions (town, county or State) in the State of Maryland as evidence of a name change. See PR 02712.023 Maryland.

10. Maine

Accept marriage documents issued to same-sex couples for marriages that took place on 12/29/2012 or later by jurisdictions (town, county or State) in the State of Maine as evidence of a name change. See PR 02712.022 Maine.

11. Washington

Accept marriage documents issued to same-sex couples for marriages that took place on 12/06/2012 or later by jurisdictions (town, county or State) in the State of Washington as evidence of a name change. See PR 02712.053 Washington.

12. Delaware

Accept marriage documents issued to same-sex couples for marriages that took place on 07/01/2013 or later by jurisdictions (town, county or State) in the State of Delaware as evidence of a name change. See PR 02712.009 Delaware.

13. Rhode Island

Accept marriage documents issued to same-sex couples for marriages that took place on 08/01/2013 or later by jurisdictions (town, county or State) in the State of Rhode Island as evidence of a name change. See PR 02712.044 Rhode Island.

14. Hawaii

Accept marriage documents issued to same-sex couples for marriages that took place on 12/02/2013 or later by Hawaii as evidence of a name change. See PR 02712.014 Hawaii.

15. Minnesota

Accept marriage documents issued to same-sex couples for marriages that took place on August 1, 2013 or later by jurisdictions (town, county or State) in the State of Minnesota as evidence of a name change. See PR 02712.026 Minnesota.

16. New Mexico

Accept marriage documents issued to same-sex couples for marriages that took place on August 21, 2013 or later by jurisdictions (town, county or State) in the State of New Mexico as evidence of a name change. See PR 02712.034 New Mexico.

B. Unacceptable same-sex marriage documents for a name change

The following marriage documents, listed by State, are invalid. Therefore, unacceptable evidence for a name change on the SSN card.

1. Oregon

a. Marriage documents issued by Multnomah County, Oregon

Do not accept marriage documents issued to same-sex couples from March 3, 2004 through April 20, 2004 by Multnomah County, Oregon. The validity of these documents is unresolved.

Same-sex marriage documents issued by Multnomah County show the same sex for each member of the couple on the marriage document. For example, the marriage document shows “M” for male in the SEX line for both groom and bride; or “F” for female in the SEX line for both groom and bride.

2. New York

a. Marriage documents issued in New Paltz, New York

Do not accept marriage affidavit documents issued to same-sex couples on 02/27/04. The mayor of the Village of New Paltz, New York, and some clergy in the area issued affidavits for marriages performed for same-sex couples. Marriage licenses were not issued to these same-sex couples; therefore, the affidavits are not valid.

Do not accept these marriage affidavit documents issued to same-sex couples as evidence of a name change.

3. California

a. Marriage documents issued by San Francisco city and county

Do not accept marriage documents issued from 02/12/04 through 03/11/04 by San Francisco City and County. San Francisco City and County issued marriage certificates to same-sex couples and locally modified the marriage license applications and marriage certificates.

Because these locally modified same-sex marriage documents have been declared void, do not accept same-sex marriage documents issued by San Francisco City and County during the specified time period above.

The locally modified form, which is in the form of a marriage document labeled “License and Certificate of Marriage,” refers to members of the same-sex couple as “1st Applicant” and “2nd Applicant.” Do not accept marriage documents issued by San Francisco City and County with the terminology “1st Applicant” and “2nd Applicant.”

C. Same-sex marriage documents from other States

See the Regional Chief Counsel Precedents, PR 02712.000 Name Change Due to Marriage based on State Law, for additional name change guidance on same-sex marriage documents issued by other States.

D. Procedure for the Regional Office for obtaining a Regional Chief Counsel Precedent when a State legalizes same-sex marriage

When a State legalizes same-sex marriages, the RO should obtain a Regional Chief Counsel precedent opinion requesting the following information:

  • whether the State permits parties to the same-sex marriage to change their names based on the marriage;

  • the date the State will begin issuing marriage licenses and certificates to same-sex couples;

  • any change to the status of prior or new civil union or domestic partnership entered into in the same State; and

  • whether a prior entered civil union and domestic partnership must be dissolved before entering a same-sex marriage

E. Reference

  • GN 01010.815, FOs Initial Request for a Legal Opinion

  • RM 10212.055, Evidence Required to Process a Name Change on the SSN based on Marriage, Civil Union, or Domestic Partnership


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110212035
RM 10212.035 - Evidence of Name Change based on a US Same-Sex Marriage - 02/28/2014
Batch run: 02/28/2014
Rev:02/28/2014