TN 1 (02-10)

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

Evidence of the name change event, the new name, and identity is required to process a name change based on a marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership event.

NOTE: For instructions on subsequent name change requests based on the person’s current marriage, civil union or domestic partnership refer to the name correction policy in RM 10212.150.

A. Evidence of name change event

Refer to RM 10212.010 for the list of name change events and the sections describing acceptable evidence of those events.

B. Evidence of new name

Accept a name change document based on marriage, civil union or domestic partnership as evidence of the new name to be shown on the card, if the new name can be derived from the document.

Any of the following changes to the last name, using the names shown on the evidence, are permitted:

  • bride takes the groom’s last name;

  • groom takes bride’s last name;

  • spouse or partner takes the other parties’ last name;

  • spouse or partner takes one part of the other parties’ compound surname;

  • compound name (with or without hyphen) of each spouse’s or partner’s original surname for either or both parties; or

EXCEPTION: An entirely new first and last name as shown on the name change document which is permitted under statutory law per Regional Chief Counsel Precedent is acceptable evidence of a change to the first and last name. To determine if the request for a change to the first name is permitted based on a marriage document, see PR 02712.000, State Law on Name Changes based on Marriage.

NOTE: If the document itself has an entry specifying what new name will be used, the SSN card must be issued in the legal name specified on the document.

C. Evidence of number holder’s identity

Refer to RM10212.015 C and RM 10212.020 for evidence of identity requirements. There are no special circumstances related to marriage, civil union or domestic partnership events.

D. Example of acceptable evidence to process a name change based on marriage

Lisa Foster submits evidence of the name change event, her US ceremonial marriage to Bryan Lee-Walsh. She wants to change her surname to a compound surname, Foster Lee, with only part of Bryan’s surname. Since this new name can be derived from the prior names shown on the marriage document, the marriage document is acceptable evidence of the new name. We may also change Lisa’s surname to one of the following if she requests it:

  • WALSH,

  • LEE-WALSH (or reverse, with or without space or hyphen),

  • LEE FOSTER (with or without space or hyphen, Foster Lee could also have a hyphen or not have a space)

  • FOSTER WALSH (or reverse, with or without space or hyphen)

  • FOSTER LEE WALSH (in any order, with or without spaces or hyphens)

The marriage document can also be used as acceptable evidence of identity, if it shows Lisa’s prior name (Lisa Foster) and either her age, birth date, or parents’ names, that matches the data on the Numident, and if the marriage took place within the prior two years.

E. Reference

  • PR 02700.000, Name Change Due to State Law, Marriage Certificates

  • RM 10210.405 Evidence of Identity for an SSN

  • RM 10212.025, Evidence of a Name Change on the SSN Card for a US Ceremonial Marriage

  • RM 10212.030, Evidence of a Name Change on the SSN for a US Common Law Marriage

  • RM 10212.035, Evidence of a Name Change on the SSN for a US Same-Sex Marriage

  • RM 10212.040, Evidence of a Name Change on the SSN for a US Civil Union

  • RM 10212.045, Evidence of a Name Change on the SSN for a US Domestic Partnership

  • RM 10212.050, Evidence of Name Change on the SSN for a Foreign Marriage and Foreign Same-Sex Marriage


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110212055
RM 10212.055 - Evidence Required to Process a Name Change on the SSN based on Marriage, Civil Union and Domestic Partnership - 10/27/2010
Batch run: 10/27/2010
Rev:10/27/2010