TN 8 (09-06)

PR 02706.046 South Dakota

A. PR 06-188 Validity of a Foreign Marriage in the State of South Dakota-Jordan

DATE: July 7, 2006

1. SYLLABUS

SSA can process the name change because the State of South Dakota acknowledges a foreign marriage in Jordan, and the wife is taking the husband's last name.

2. OPINION

Issue

You requested an opinion on whether the State of South Dakota would recognize the Jordanian marriage at issue. You also asked if the marriage certificate was valid proof of a legal name change for Amira M. Al-H~ (n~ M. S~).

Short Answer

South Dakota recognizes the validity of marriages contracted outside the jurisdiction of the state, provided the marriage is valid by the laws of the jurisdiction in which such marriage was contracted. South Dakota would recognize the Jordanian marriage at issue. South Dakota recognizes the common law right of an individual to assume a name, which upon common acceptance in the community becomes that person's name, so long as such name is used nonfraudulently. Because South Dakota recognizes the common law right to change one's name with no required documentation, a married woman may assume her husband's surname upon marriage, as long as it is not for fraudulent purposes. As such, the marriage certificate is valid proof of a legal name change for Amira M. Al-H~ (n~ M. S~).

Facts

You provided us with a copy of an application for a replacement Social Security Number Card in the name of Amira M. Al-H~ (n~ M~ S~). The application indicated that Ms. Al-H~ is a U.S. citizen.

You also provided us with a copy of a Jordanian marriage certificate, which states the surnames of the groom and bride and her birth date and appears to be a custodian-issued certification of the record; an English translation of the marriage certificate by a certified Agency translator; and a copy of a U.S. passport (number 2~~~~~) in the name of Amira M. S~.

DISCUSSION

South Dakota statutory provisions provide that any marriage contracted outside the jurisdiction of the state .... which is valid by the laws of the jurisdiction in which such marriage was contracted, is valid in South Dakota. S.D. Codified Laws § 25-1-38 (2005). Ms. Al-H~ 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 POMS GN 00305.020, GN 00301.050.

With regard to the question of whether the marriage certificate is Valid proof of a legal name change, POMS RM 00203.210B provides that in order for a marriage certificate to be acceptable as an identity document it must show, in addition to the new name, the person's age or date of birth or parent's names. The marriage certificate that you provided contains the required information necessary to be acceptable as an Agency identity document. In addition, POMS RM 00203.210B.1.d provides that whether a legal name change for a U.S. resident based on a foreign marriage is valid depends on the law of the State where the applicant resides. There is no South Dakota statutory provision or case law that provides a definitive answer to the question of whether a marriage certificate is valid proof of a name change; however, South Dakota recognizes the common law right of a person to assume a name which upon common acceptance in the community becomes that person's name, provided such name is used nonfraudulently. See Ogle v. Circuit Court, Tenth (Now Sixth) Judicial Circuit, 227 N.W. 2d 621 (S.D. 1975). No specific event is required for an individual to change his/her name as long as it is not being changed for a fraudulent purpose and is being used consistently (a fact implied if he/she is commonly and generally known by the assumed name). See S.D. Codified Laws § 21-37-2 -37-5 (2005); S.D. Op. Atty. Gen. 65, 1977 WL 35969.

The information that you provided to us indicates that Ms. Al-H~'s application for a replacement Social Security Number Card reflects her husband's surname. On its face, it appears that Ms. Al-H~ intends husband to become commonly and generally known in her community under her husband's surname, which comports with the common law requirement to legally change your name, i.e., common acceptance in the community of the assumed name.

Moreover, the information you provided does not reflect that Ms. Al-H~'s requested name change is for fraudulent purposes. Therefore, we believe the marriage certificate is valid proof of a legal name change.

CONCLUSION

Accordingly, we advise that:

(1) The State of South Dakota recognizes foreign marriages;

(2) The State of South Dakota would recognize the foreign marriages at issue as valid; and

(3) The marriage certificate Amira M. Al-H~ (n~ M. S~) presented is valid proof of a legal name change.

Deana R. E. L~
Acting Chief Counsel, Region V

By:
Robert L. V. S~
Assistant Regional Counsel

B. PR 06-187 Validity of a Foreign Marriage in the State of South Dakota-Mexico

DATE: July 6, 2006

1. SYLLABUS

SSA can process the name change because the State of South Dakota acknowledges a foreign marriage in Mexico, and the wife is taking the husband's last name.

2. OPINION

Issue

You requested an opinion on whether the State of South Dakota would recognize the Mexican marriage at issue. You also asked if the marriage certificate was valid proof of a legal name change for Terra M. P~ (n~ H~).

Short Answer

South Dakota recognizes the validity of marriages contracted outside the jurisdiction of the state, provided the marriage is valid by the laws of the jurisdiction in which such marriage was contracted. South Dakota would recognize the Mexican marriage at issue. South Dakota recognizes the common law right of an individual to assume a name, which upon common acceptance in the community becomes that person’s name, so long as such name is used nonfraudulently. Because South Dakota recognizes the common law right to change one name with no required documentation, a married woman may assume her husband’s surname upon marriage, as long as it is not for fraudulent purposes. As such, the marriage certificate is valid proof of a legal name change for Terra M. P~ (n~ H~).

Facts

You provided us with a copy of an application for a replacement Social Security Number Card in the name of Terra M. P~ (n~ H~). The application indicated that Ms. P~ is a U.S. citizen. You also provided us with a copy of a Mexican marriage certificate, which appears to be a custodian-issued certification of the record, and a copy of an English translation of the marriage certificate by a certified Agency translator.

The marriage certificate states the surnames of the bride and groom, the names of the parents, and the birth dates of the bride and groom.

DISCUSSION

South Dakota statutory provisions provide that any marriage contracted outside the jurisdiction of the state .... which is valid by the laws of the jurisdiction in which such marriage was contracted, is valid in South Dakota. S.D. Codified Laws § 25-1-38 (2005). Ms. P~ 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 POMS GN 00305.020, GN 00301.050.

With regard to the question of whether the marriage certificate is valid proof of a legal name change, POMS RM 00203.210B provides that in order for a marriage certificate to be acceptable as an identity document it must show, in addition to the new name, the person's age or date of birth or parents names. The marriage certificate that you provided contains the required information necessary to be acceptable as an Agency identity document.

In addition, POMS RM 00203.210B.1.d provides that whether a legal name change for a U.S. resident based on a foreign marriage is valid depends on the law of the State where the applicant resides. There is no South Dakota statutory provision or case law that provides a definitive answer to the question of whether a marriage certificate is valid proof of a name change; however, South Dakota recognizes the common law right of a person to assume a name which upon common acceptance in the community becomes that person's name, provided such name is used nonfraudulently. See Ogle v. Circuit Court, Tenth (Now Sixth) Judicial Circuit, 227 N.W. 2d 621 (S.D.1975). No specific event is required for an individual to change his/her name as long as it is not being changed for a fraudulent purpose and is being used consistently (a fact implied if he/she is commonly and generally known by the assumed name). See S.D. Codified Laws § 21-37-2-37-5 (2005); S.D. Op. Atty. Gen. 65, 1977 WL 35969.

The information that you provided to us indicates that Ms. P~'s application for a replacement Social Security Number Card reflects her husband's surname. On its face, it appears that Ms. P~ intends husband to become commonly and generally known in her community under her husband> '> s surname, which comports with the common law requirement to legally change your name, i.e., common acceptance in the community of the assumed name.

Moreover, the information you provided does not reflect that Ms. P~ requested name change is for fraudulent purposes. Therefore, we believe the marriage certificate is valid proof of a legal name change.

CONCLUSION

Accordingly, we advise that:

(1) The State of South Dakota recognizes foreign marriages;

(2) The State of South Dakota would recognize the foreign marriages at issue as valid; and

(3) The marriage certificate Terra M. P~ (N~ H~) presented is valid proof of a legal name change.

Deana R. E~-L~
Acting Chief Counsel, Region V

By:
Robert L. V. S~
Assistant Regional Counsel

C. PR 06-096 Validity of a Foreign Marriage in the State of South Dakota

DATE: March 17, 2006

1. SYLLABUS

South Dakota recognizes the validity of foreign marriages, provided the marriage is valid by the laws of the jurisdiction in which such marriage was contracted. The claimant presented evidence of a custodian-issued marriage certificate, which under SSA policy, may serve as evidence of a valid foreign ceremonial marriage.

2. OPINION

Issue

You requested an opinion on whether the State of South Dakota would recognize the German marriage at issue. You also asked if the marriage certificate was valid proof of a legal name change for Jennifer L. F~ (n~ Y. B~).

Short Answer

South Dakota recognizes the validity of marriages contracted outside the jurisdiction of the state, provided the marriage is valid by the laws of the jurisdiction in which such marriage was contracted. South Dakota would recognize the German marriage at issue. South Dakota recognizes the common law right of an individual to assume a name, which upon common acceptance in the community becomes that person's name, so long as such name is used nonfraudulently. Because South Dakota recognizes the common law right to change one's name with no required documentation, a married woman may assume her husband's surname upon marriage, as long as it is not for fraudulent purposes. As such, the marriage certificate is valid proof of a legal name change for Jennifer L. F~ (n~ Y~ B~).

Facts

You provided us with a copy of an application for a replacement Social Security Number Card in the name of Jennifer L. F~ (n~ Y~ B~). The application indicated that Ms. F~ is a U.S. citizen. You also provided us with a copy of a German marriage certificate, which states the surnames of the bride and groom and appears to be a custodian-issued certification of the record; an English translation of the marriage certificate by a certified Agency translator; a copy of a South Dakota Driver's License in the name of Jennifer L. F~; and a copy of an Oglala Sioux Tribal ID card in the name of Jennifer L. Y. B~.

DISCUSSION

South Dakota statutory provisions provide that "any marriage contracted outside the jurisdiction of the state …. which is valid by the laws of the jurisdiction in which such marriage was contracted, is valid in South Dakota." S.D. Codified Laws § 25-1-38 (2005). 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 POMS GN 00305.020, GN 00301.050.

With regard to the question of whether the marriage certificate is valid proof of a legal name change, POMS RM 00203.210B provides "that in order for a marriage certificate to be acceptable as an identity document it must show, in addition to the new name, the person's age or date of birth or parents' names." The marriage certificate that you provided contains the required information necessary to be acceptable as an Agency identity document. In addition, POMS RM 00203.210B.1.d provides "that whether a legal name change for a U.S. resident based on a foreign marriage is valid depends on the law of the State where the applicant resides." There is no South Dakota statutory provision or case law that provides a definitive answer to the question of whether a marriage certificate is valid proof of a name change; however, South Dakota recognizes the common law right of a person to assume a name which upon common acceptance in the community becomes that person's name, provided such name is used nonfraudulently. See Ogle v. Circuit Court, Tenth (Now Sixth) Judicial Circuit, 227 N.W. 2d 621 (S.D. 1975). No specific event is required for an individual to change his/her name as long as it is not being changed for a fraudulent purpose and is being used consistently (a fact implied if he/she is commonly and generally known by the assumed name). See S.D. Codified Laws sections 21-37-2 through 21-37-5 (2005); S.D. Op. Atty. Gen. 65, 1977 WL 35969.

The information that you provided to us indicates that Ms. F~' application for a replacement Social Security Number Card reflects her husband's surname. On its face, it appears that Ms. F~ intends to become commonly and generally known in her community under her husband's surname, which comports with the common law requirement to legally change your name, i.e., common acceptance in the community of the assumed name. Moreover, the information you provided does not reflect that Ms. F~ requested name change is for fraudulent purposes. Therefore, we believe the marriage certificate is valid proof of a legal name change.

CONCLUSION

Accordingly, we advise that:

(1) The State of South Dakota recognizes foreign marriages;

(2) The State of South Dakota would recognize the foreign marriages at issue as valid; and

(3) The marriage certificate Jennifer L. F~ (n~ Y.~ B~) presented is valid proof of a legal name change.

Deana R. E- L~
Acting Chief Counsel, Region V

By:
Robert L. V. S~
Assistant Regional Counsel

D. PR 06-070 Validity of Foreign Marriage(s) in the State of South Dakota

DATE: February 16, 2006

1. SYLLABUS

South Dakota recognizes the validity of foreign marriages, provided the marriage is valid by the laws of the jurisdiction in which such marriage was contracted. South Dakota recognizes the common law right of a person to assume a name which upon common acceptance in the community becomes that person's name, provided the name is not used for fraudulent purposes. The marriage certificates presented are valid proof of a legal name change.

2. OPINION

Issue

You requested an opinion on whether the State of South Dakota recognizes foreign marriages. Specifically, you asked if the State of South Dakota would recognize the Slovakian, West Indian, and Canadian marriages at issue. You also asked if the marriage certificates were valid proof of a legal name change for the wives.

Short Answer

South Dakota recognizes the validity of marriages contracted outside the jurisdiction of the state, provided the marriage is valid by the laws of the jurisdiction in which such marriage was contracted. South Dakota would recognize the Slovakian, West Indian, and Canadian marriages at issue. South Dakota recognizes the common law right of an individual to assume a name which upon common acceptance in the community becomes that person's name, so long as such name is used nonfraudulently. Because South Dakota recognizes the common law right to change one's name with no required documentation, a married woman may assume her husband's surname upon marriage, as long as it is not for fraudulent purposes. As such, the marriage certificates are valid proof of a legal name change for the wives

Facts

You provided us with copies of applications for replacement Social Security Number Cards in the names of Skye L. R~ (n. V. M~), Priscilla J. G~ (n~ D~), and Sarah L. P~ (n~ S~). The applications indicated that all three women are U.S. citizens. You also provided us with copies of the respective foreign marriage certificates, which state the surnames of the bride and groom and appear to be custodian-issued certifications of the records and copies of driver's licenses, which state the maiden names of the women.

DISCUSSION

South Dakota statutory provisions provide that "any marriage contracted outside the jurisdiction of the state …. which is valid by the laws of the jurisdiction in which such marriage was contracted, is valid in South Dakota." S.D. Codified Laws § 25-1-38 (2005). All three women presented what appear to be custodian-issued marriage certificates, which under Agency policy, may serve as evidence of a valid foreign ceremonial marriage. See POMS §§ GN 00305.020, GN 00301.050.

With regard to the question of whether the marriage certificates are valid proof of a legal name change, POMS section RM 00203.210B provides "that in order for a marriage certificate to be acceptable as an identity document it must show, in addition to the new name, the person's age or date of birth or parents' names." The marriage certificates that you provided contain all of the required information necessary to be acceptable as an Agency identity document. In addition, POMS section RM 00203.210B.1.d provides "that whether a legal name change for a U.S. resident based on a foreign marriage is valid depends on the law of the State where the applicant resides." There is no South Dakota statutory provision or case law that provides a definitive answer to the question of whether the marriage certificates are valid proof of a name change; however, South Dakota recognizes the common law right of a person to assume a name which upon common acceptance in the community, becomes that person's name, provided such name is used nonfraudulently. See Ogle v. Circuit Court, Tenth (Now Sixth) Judicial Circuit, 227 N.W. 2d 621 (S.D. 1975). No specific event is required for an individual to change his/her name as long as it is not being changed for a fraudulent purpose and is being used consistently (a fact implied if he/she is commonly and generally known by the assumed name). See S.D. Codified Laws sections 21-37-2 through 21-37-5 (2005); S.D. Op. Atty. Gen. 65, 1977 WL 35969.

The information that you provided to us indicates that all three women submitted applications for replacement Social Security Number Cards with the proposed name change reflecting their respective husband's surnames. On its face, it appears that the three women intend to become commonly and generally known in their communities under their respective husband's surnames, which comports with the common law requirement to legally change your name, i.e., common acceptance in the community of the assumed name. Moreover, the information you provided does not reflect that any of the requested name changes are for fraudulent purposes. Therefore, we believe the marriage certificates are valid proof of a legal name change.

CONCLUSION

Accordingly, we advise that:

(1) The State of South Dakota recognizes foreign marriages;

(2) The State of South Dakota would recognize the foreign marriages at issue as valid; and

(3) The marriage certificates Skye L. R~ (n~ V. M~), Priscilla J. G~ (n~ D~), and Sarah L. P~ (n~ S~) presented are valid proof of a legal name change.

Deana R. E- L~
Acting Chief Counsel, Region V

By:
Robert L. V. S~
Assistant Regional Counsel


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/1502706046