PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEMPart RM – Records MaintenanceChapter 102 – The Social Security Number, Policy and General ProceduresSubchapter 12 – Legal Names and Changes to the NumidentTransmittal No. 15, 10/04/2023
In September 2022, we updated this section because we no longer require supporting evidence to change the sex on the NUMIDENT. We provided instruction not to update other records when changing the sex marker on the NUMIDENT. However, it has come to our attention that there may be some downstream issues. Therefore, we revised the instructions stating that other records (Master Benefit Record (MBR), the Supplemental Security Record (SSR), or the Representative Payee System (RPS)) should be updated when changing the sex on the NUMIDENT. In addition, we have made a few minor changes in language, such as using sex “marker” rather than “indicator,” as given in the Quality Initiative for Commissioner's Correspondence (QUICC) Handbook.
Summary of Changes
RM 10212.200 Changing NUMIDENT Data for Reasons Other than Name Change
"The purpose of this revision is to revert to our previous policy of updating any other Social Security Administration (SSA) records when we change the sex marker on the NUMIDENT. However, we revised the entire section for clarity."
We divided subsection A into parts 1 and 2, delineating the policy for changing or correcting the current NUMIDENT iteration when there is a documented keying error by using the Numident Correction Process (NCP) (1.) from the policy for updating the NUMIDENT by creating a new iteration, when there is no keying error, or when a keying error cannot be documented (2).
In subsection B.2. in chart, and in subsection B.3, we are removing instructions, "Do not update the MBR, SSR, RPS or any other SSA record with the new sex designation, and inserting, Change the sex marker immediately, if different, on the MBR, SSR, or RPS to agree with the NUMIDENT.
The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) suggested including information for requests by applicants wishing to renounce their U.S. citizenship. At this time, Office of Income Security Programs (OISP) has been working on an administrative message (AM) that will instruct technicians to refer such applicants to USCIS (U.S. residents) or DoS (residents outside the U.S.). However, additional policy is needed for those who have already successfully renounced their citizenship. Therefore, we will not include the topic in this Program Operations Manual System (POMS) at this time. OGC agreed and concurs with the current version.
The NUMIDENT houses specific information for each number holder. We only correct or change information on an existing NUMIDENT iteration when there is a documented keying error.
However, when an applicant wishes to update information previously submitted, or to correct information when we cannot document a keying error, we update the NUMIDENT by creating a new iteration appended to the previous iteration.
A keying error has occurred when the data on the paper application for a Social Security card (SS-5) does not match the data on the NUMIDENT. Therefore, the only way to determine whether a keying error has occurred is to compare the information on the paper SS-5 or SS-5 microprint with the NUMIDENT.
After reviewing the paper SS-5 or SS-5 microprint, if we determine that a keying error has occurred, we correct the incorrect NUMIDENT record information using Numident Correction Processing (NCP) in the Social Security Number Application Processing (SSNAP). This action does not add to the number of NUMIDENT iterations and will not count against the annual or lifetime SSN card limits.
However, when, for any reason, we are unable to review the SS-5 or SS-5 microprint, we do not use the NCP process. We do not correct or change the current NUMIDENT iteration. Instead, we update the information on the NUMIDENT by creating a new iteration as provided in RM 10212.200A.2.
Keying Errors: For instructions see details
RM 10215.051 Correcting Keying Errors in Fields Other than "Name on Card" Field
RM 10210.295 Date of Birth Change on the NUMIDENT
RM 10215.055 Correct a Coding Error that Resulted in an Incorrect Employment Legend on the SSN Card
RM 10220.415 Numident Correction Processing (NCP)
The applicant must submit a completed SSN application accompanied by evidence of identity and evidence, if required, to support the update. We will create a new NUMIDENT iteration with the new information, following RM 10212.200B.
Individuals requesting an update of information on their NUMIDENT record must submit:
An application for a replacement SSN card; and
Evidence of identity to establish that the individual for whom the SS-5 is submitted is same person to whom SSA assigned the SSN as provided in RM 10210.420; and
Evidence to support the update, if required in RM 10212.200B.2.
Use this table to determine when supporting evidence is required for the update and additional actions needed.
For this update
Obtain this supporting documentation, when required, and follow any additional instructions
No evidence is required to support an update in the sex field on the NUMIDENT. Accept the sex designation as indicated by the number holder or proper applicant.
The sex field on the NUMIDENT should not be used to make any determination about initial or continuing benefit eligibility.
Request for binary change (male/female): Accept the applicant’s self-identified sex designation of either male or female, even if it is different from the sex marker shown on identity documents, such as a passport, or state-issued driver’s license, or identity card.
See RM 10212.200B.3.a. for additional processing information.
If the applicant is requesting a replacement card, and all criteria are satisfied, issue the replacement card according to RM 10205.015.
If the applicant only wants to update the record, and does not want a replacement card, see RM
Request for non-binary change (neither male nor female): For requests to update the NUMIDENT with a non-binary sex marker, such as an X, explain that we can only accept a sex marker of male or female, using the following script:
Currently, SSA’s record systems are unable to include a non-binary or unspecified sex
markers. SSA is examining ways to address this in the future. Would you like to request a
Even though we cannot update the sex marker to an X, if the applicant would still like a replacement card and all criteria are satisfied, issue the replacement card according to RM
If the applicant does not request a replacement card, follow procedures to provide written notification of why the request to update the NUMIDENT record cannot be processed, see RM
10212.200B.5. In the Social Security Number Application Process (SSNAP) select "Other" and annotate, "Currently, SSA's record systems are unable to include a non-binary or unspecified sex markers."
Date of birth (DOB) field
See Date of Birth Change on the NUMIDENT in RM 10210.295.
Place of birth (PLB) field
Evidence of place of birth:
a birth certificate (BC) established before age five and issued by a state or local bureau of vital statistics (BVS) for an individual born within its jurisdiction; or another acceptable proof of age document listed in RM 10210.265, provided the document also lists the individual's PLB.
an acceptable document such as a foreign BC or another acceptable proof of age document listed in RM 10210.265, provided the document also list the individual’s PLB.
See RM 10212.200B.3.b. for additional processing information.
Evidence of U.S. citizenship:
U.S. public birth record showing birth in one of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the U.S. (on or after 01/17/1917), or the Northern Mariana Islands (on or after 11/04/1986, NMI Local time),
U.S. passports may be current or expired but must meet the criteria in RM 10210.505 to be acceptable evidence of U.S. citizenship.
Certificate of Naturalization,
Certificate of Citizenship, or
Other documents listed in RM 10210.505, RM 10210.510, RM 10210.520, and RM 10210.525.
Interviewers should request and obtain the U.S. citizenship document with the highest probative value available to the applicant ("available" means the applicant either possesses the document or can obtain it within 10 working days) before accepting a document of a lower probative level.
You may use primary, secondary, third-level, or fourth-level evidence to change the citizenship data on a NUMIDENT record.
EXAMPLE: If primary evidence of U.S. citizenship is not available then the interviewer may accept secondary evidence to update the citizenship data on the NUMIDENT record.
Parent's name field
Evidence of parent's name:
Original or amended BC, or
Final adoption decree issue by the court or court determination of paternity
an acceptable document such as a BC or another acceptable proof of age document listed in RM
10210.265 , provided the document also list the individual’s parent’s name.
If you update the sex marker on the NUMIDENT
In the "Remarks" field on the SSNAP Summary screen, enter "Self-Attestation".
Change the sex marker immediately, if it is different, on an existing Master Beneficiary Record (MBR), the Supplemental Security Record (SSR), or in the Representative Payee System (RPS) so that the records agree with the NUMIDENT.
If you update the PLB field or parent's name field on the NUMIDENT
In the “Remarks” field on the SSNAP Summary screen, list any evidence or documents the individual submitted to support the change on the NUMIDENT, if not previously captured in SSNAP.
When changing a parent’s name on a child’s NUMIDENT record, ask if the parent is a title II beneficiary, an SSI recipient, or a representative payee. If so, review the MBR, SSR, or RPS record and initiate or complete actions necessary to update the record (for example, correcting a parent’s name on the SSR record or ensuring that actions are taken to complete a new representative payee application).
Process the requested change but suppress the issuance of a replacement SSN card when the correction will not affect any data on the face of the SSN card (as with a change of the sex, DOB, PLB, or parent’s name fields on the NUMIDENT) unless the applicant is requesting a replacement card. (See RM 10205.400 for information on replacement card limits.)
Send a written notice if you are unable to update the record or to provide the individual with a replacement card. Follow these instructions:
RM 00299.020 Form SSA-L676 – Refusal to Process SSN Application, or
RM 10205.090 Form SS-5 Received, and Additional Documentation is Needed, or
RM 10215.110 Policy on Providing Written Notice and Second Review When SSN or Card May Not Be Issued, or
RM 10215.115 Procedures for Providing Written Notice to an SSN Applicant.
RM 10210.505 Primary Level Evidence of U.S. Citizenship
RM 10210.510 Secondary Level Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a U.S. Born Applicant
RM 10210.520 Third Level Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a U.S. Born Applicant
RM 10210.525 Fourth Level Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a U.S. Born Applicant
RM 10220.210 Evidence Requirements for Documentation of Harassment, Abuse, or Life Endangerment (HALE)
GN 00301.030 Acceptability of Documentary Evidence
GN 00301.080 Certification by Custodian of the Record
GN 00301.045 Validity of Documents