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Wedding Planners:
Put Social Security on your List
By Brandon P. Smith
Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

If you are a bride-to-be planning a wedding, there's so much to do: get the dress; choose a caterer; book a venue; select the flowers. But there's one more important thing you may need to put on your list: contact Social Security if there's going to be a name change.

You should tell Social Security if you legally change your name for any reason. You should also tell your employer. Skipping this important step may:

  • Delay your tax refund; and
  • Prevent your wages from being posted correctly to your Social Security record, which may lower the amount of your future Social Security benefits.

Changing your name with Social Security can be simple, if you prepare before visiting an office. First, go to

You'll want to read the Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5), which you can find at Here you will learn what two important documents you may need to take to the Social Security office.

First, you'll need to show us a recently issued marriage document as proof of your legal name change. You will have to provide Social Security with additional documentation if the one you provide does not give us enough information to identify you in our records or if you legally changed your name more than two years ago.

Second, you also must provide an identity document that shows your old name. It also needs to have other identifying information, preferably a recent photograph. (We can accept an expired document as evidence of your old name.)

Finally, if you are a U.S. citizen born outside the United States and our records do not show it, you will need to provide proof of your U.S. citizenship. If you are not a U.S. citizen, Social Security will ask to see your current immigration documents.

Keep in mind we need to see original documents. We can only accept a copy of the original when it has been certified by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents.

Your new Social Security card will have the same number as your previous card, but will show your new name. We will mail your number and card as soon as we have all of your information and have verified your documents with the issuing offices.

For more information, visit or call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). - the home of professional expert advice and  information for women and their family

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