TN 17 (01-24)

RM 10212.080 Evidence of a Name Change based on a US Issued Court Order Name Change

In most States, a person may apply to a court to legally change their name. This includes US adoptions granting a legal name change to the adoptee. When the request is granted, the court issues an order for the name change. Accept as evidence of the name change a US court order for a name change. If the name was changed through an adoption, the adoption decree may not show the child’s prior name. The name shown on the adoption decree is the child’s legal name.

NOTE: Read the US court document to insure its validity. Use extra caution when reviewing court documents to ensure that the document presented is approved by the court and is not just a petition for a name change or a document issued by an entity other than a U.S. court jurisdiction.

Court orders or decrees issued by a U.S. court jurisdiction are always issued on the court’s letterhead (e.g., Superior Court of Los Angeles, Circuit Court of New York ) and include at least one of the following:

  • have a raised stamp, or affixed seal of the court,

  • statement of the order of decree that it was filed with the U.S. court jurisdiction and signed by the clerk of the court; or

  • judge’s signature on the order or decree.


EXCEPTION: When either a US citizen or foreign national applies for an SSN card at a Foreign Service post (FSP) or Veterans Administration Regional Office (VARO), a foreign court order name change may be acceptable evidence of a name change under the SSN and foreign evidence guidelines.

See also:

  • GN 00307.000, Foreign Evidence

  • RM 10210.200, General Information on Reviewing and Verifying Evidence for an SSN Card

  • RM 10212.085, Evidence Required to Process a Name Change on the SSN Based on a US Court Order Name Change

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RM 10212.080 - Evidence of a Name Change based on a US Issued Court Order Name Change - 01/18/2024
Batch run: 01/18/2024