TN 11 (09-06)
PR 02706.007 Colorado
A. PR 06-316 Validity of a Foreign Marriage in the State of Colorado - Antigua (N~)
DATE: September 11, 2006
SSA can process the name change because the State of Colorado acknowledges a foreign marriage in Antigua, and the wife is taking the husband's last name.
You requested an opinion on whether Colorado would recognize the Bahamas marriage at issue as valid and the basis for a legal name change.
Colorado would recognize the Antigua marriage at issue as valid and the basis for a legal name change.
You provided us with a copy of an application for a replacement Social Security number card in the name of Tanya M. F~ (nee N~). The application indicates that Ms. F~ is a U.S. citizen. You also provided us with a copy of an Antigua marriage certificate, which appears to be a custodian-issued certification of the record. The marriage certificate states the surnames of the bride and groom, and the ages of the bride and groom.
Colorado statutory provisions provide that “all marriages contracted . . . outside this state that were valid at the time of the contract or subsequently validated by the laws of the place in which they were contracted or by the domicile of the parties are valid in this state.” Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 14-2-112 (2006). Ms. F~ presented what appears to be a custodian-issued marriage certificate, which under Agency policy may serve as evidence of a valid foreign ceremonial marriage. See Program Operations Manual System (POMS) GN 00305.020, GN 00301.050. Furthermore, in Colorado, a, marriage certificate is recognized as documentary proof of change of name. See, e.g., 3 Colo. Code Regs. § 716-1; 4 Colo. Code Regs. § 734-1 (2005). For example, the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles would accept a foreign issued certified marriage certificate to substantiate a name change. See http://www.revenue.state.co.us/mv_dir/wrap.asp?incl=faqdrli/faqdrlil; Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 42-2-107, 42-2-302 (2006).
Lastly, as you noted in your request, the marriage certificate reflects Ms. F~'s age, and this entry agrees with the Numident data. Therefore, an identification document in the new name is not required for a name change. See POMS RM 00203.210A.1.
Accordingly, we advise that:
(1) The State of Colorado recognizes foreign marriages; and
(2) The State of Colorado would recognize the foreign marriage at issue as valid.
Deana R. E~-L~
Regional Chief Counsel
Thomas H. K~
Assistant Regional Counsel