Identification Number:
RM 10212 TN 12
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:ORDP OISP
Title:Legal Names and Changes to the Numident
Type:POMS Transmittals
Program:Records Maintenance (Earnings & Enumeration)
Link To Reference:
 

PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM
Part RM – Records Maintenance
Chapter 102 – The Social Security Number, Policy and General Procedures
Subchapter 12 – Legal Names and Changes to the Numident
Transmittal No. 12, 10/04/2021

Audience

PSC: CA, CS, ICDS, IES, ISRA, RECONR, SCPS, TSA, TST;
OCO-OEIO: CAQCR, CR, CTE, FCR;
MAMPSC: DMS, ISRA, OAS, SPIKE;
FO/TSC: CS, CS TII, CS TXVI, CSR, CTE, DRT, DT, FR, OA, OS, RR, TA, TSC-CSR;

Originating Component

OISP

Effective Date

Upon Receipt

Background

We are updating this section to clarify that, based on established policy, Canadian marriage, divorce or annulment documents can be accepted as evidence of a name change event for updating Social Security cards when the applicant presents sufficient evidence of identity. In addition, this section provides instructions for when an applicant presents a Canadian Certificate of Name Change for a name change application. The new instructions will allow Regional Offices to make a case-by-case decision based on the acceptability of the applicant’s identity documents when they are presented in conjunction with a Canadian Certificate of Name Change.

Summary of Changes

RM 10212.096 Evidence of Name Change Based on a Canadian Document

Background and Rationale

Summary of Changes

We re-organized the POMS to delineate the policy for Canadian documents for which we have long-standing policy from the policy we are establishing for Canadian Certificates of Name Change.

We have removed references to the defunct Foreign Evidence Workgroup and OISP Foreign Evidence mailbox.

Subsection A. Name Change based on a Canadian document

Serves as an overview of the requirements for a name change (with appropriate references) and introduces the distinction between a Canadian Certificate of Name Change and other name change event documents.

Subsection B. Acceptable evidence for Canadian name change

Contains instructions and references for Canadian marriage certificates, divorce decrees and annulment decrees.

Subsection C. Canadian Certificates of Name Change

States we require proof of identity in both the prior name and the new name, and what additional evidence is required if proof of identity is only available in the new name.

Provides a review of the security and other visible features that are common to Canadian Certificates of Name Change across all issuing provinces.

Provides instructions for submitting evidence to the ROs, who will subsequently determine on a case-by-case basis if the evidence is sufficient to process the request by using the One Time Special Processing (OTSP).

 

RM 10212.096 Evidence of Name Change Based on a Canadian Document

A. Name change based on a Canadian document

As with all name change applications, applicants requesting a name change on their Social Security records based on a Canadian-issued name change event document must provide evidence to establish:

  • Identity as shown on the latest NUMIDENT iteration,

  • Identity in the new name, and

  • Evidence of the name change event

NOTE: Name change event documents can often be used as proof of the applicant's identity in the new name as well as evidence of the name change event, see RM 10212.015 D. However, when an applicant presents a Canadian Certificate of Name Change, refer to RM 10212.096 C in this section, and consult with your regional office (RO).

IMPORTANT: All documents submitted for a name change must be reviewed under the SSN evidence guidelines described in RM 10210.210

If the NUMIDENT shows a prior name change, request the name change event document that matches the most recent iteration on the NUMIDENT.

B. Canadian marriage certificates, divorce and annulment decrees presented with a name-change request.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) may accept Canadian-issued marriage certificates, divorce decrees and annulment decrees as acceptable evidence for a name change if the documents meet agency evidence requirements and guidelines. For acceptable marriage documents (including same-sex marriage documents), see RM 10212.050. For acceptable divorce and annulment decrees, see RM 10212.060 .

Review RM 10212.015 to determine if the evidence is sufficient to process the name change request and RM 10212.150 to determine if the request should, instead, be processed as a name correction.

C. Canadian Certificates of Name Change

A Canadian Certificate of Name Change cannot be used as evidence of identity. However, SSA may accept Canadian Certificates of Name Change, on a case by case basis, as evidence of a name change event, if the applicant provides additional supporting evidence of identity, as outlined in this section.

Provincial governments in Canada issue Certificates of Name Change to Canadian residents who have legally changed their name. However, when the name change is due to marriage, divorce, or annulment, the applicant may also have a marriage certificate or appropriate decree. Therefore, if an applicant presents a Canadian name change certificate, ask if the applicant can provide a marriage certificate or court decree, as appropriate, and refer to RM 10212.096 B.

1. Acceptable identity documents to be submitted with a Canadian Certificate of Name Change.

If a Certificate of Name Change is the only document the applicant provides as evidence of the name change event, have the applicant submit the name change certificate along with the following evidence:

  • One identity document in the new name (to be shown on the SSN card) that meets the requirements described in RM 10212.020, and

  • One identity document in the prior name as shown on the latest NUMIDENT iteration. The identity document in the prior name is acceptable even if no longer current or is expired.

NOTE: The identity document in the new name serves as proof of identity and provides supporting evidence that a name change event occurred. An identity document in the prior name provides the link from the applicant to the name as shown on the NUMIDENT.

2. Applicant only has identity evidence in the new name

If the applicant cannot provide an identity document in the prior name, or the document does not show sufficient biographical information to match against the NUMIDENT, request a:

  • U.S. birth certificate for a U.S. citizen, or

  • foreign birth certificate for applicant born outside the U.S. See GN00307.000

The birth certificate must provide sufficient biographical information (name, date of birth, place of birth, parents’ names) to match against the NUMIDENT.

NOTE: The identity document in the new name serves as proof of identity and provides supporting evidence that a name change event occurred. A birth certificate provides the link from the applicant to the name as shown on the NUMIDENT.

D. Verifying authenticity of Canadian Certificates of Name Change and Consulting the RO

1. Authenticating the Canadian Certificate of Name Change

The individual Canadian provinces and territories have jurisdiction over name change and the issuance of Certificates of Name Change. The security features, information and appearance of the certificates may vary, however, all name change certificates issued by the Canadian provinces and territories should have the following features:

  • Name of the issuing province or territory

  • The applicant’s former name and new name

  • Date of Registration or Effective Date

  • Date Issued

  • Printed Signature of the Registrar or issuing authority

  • Seal or certification

See RM 10210.210 for general guidelines on reviewing documents for authenticity.

2. When to consult with the RO

Submit a vHelp request to the RO (or follow component protocol) when an applicant submits a Canadian Certificate of Name Change or other Canadian name change event document other than those discussed in RM 10212.096B. ROs should review the application and all documents submitted by the applicant and determine if the evidence provided is sufficient to authorize a name change. If the evidence is sufficient, the RO will provide instructions for using the One Time Special Processing (OTSP) option in the Social Security Number Application Process (SSNAP). For more information on the OTSP see RM 10210.170.

If the RO is unable to make a determination, they should submit their questions to the ^Enumeration Policy Questions controls box.

See Also:

RM 10210.210 Reviewing Age, Identity, Citizenship and Lawful Alien Status Evidence for an SSN Card

RM 10210.405 Evidence of Identity for an SSN Card

RM 10210.415 How to Prioritize Acceptable Identity Documents

RM 10210.420 Priority List of Acceptable Evidence Identity Documents

RM 10210.425 (A) (10) What are the Procedures for Specific Document Situations

RM 10211.001 Who Must Submit Evidence of Lawful Alien Status

RM 10211.075 Evidence for a Social Security Card for an Alien Lawfully in the U.S. Without Immigration Documents

RM 10212.015 Evidence Requirements to Process a Name Change on the SSN

RM 10212.020 Evidence of Name Change on the SSN When Evidence of Identity in the New Name Only is submitted

RM 10212.050 Evidence of Name Change based on a Foreign Marriage or Foreign Same-Sex Marriage

RM 10212.060 Evidence of Name Change based on a Divorce, Dissolution, or Annulment

GN 00312.078 Canada - Vital Statistics Record

National Identity Document Database (NIDD)

SSNAP User Guide


RM 10212 TN 12 - Legal Names and Changes to the Numident - 10/04/2021