The Name Game

Most people know that if they marry or divorce and begin using a different last name, they must obtain a new Social Security card. What seems to be less-widely known is that a new Social Security card must also be obtained for each dependent child whose name is changed (e.g., in the case of divorce or adoption).

So, how do you get that new card? You can begin by downloading instructions and an Application for a Social Security Card. Once you’ve filled out the Application and gathered your supporting documentation, you can submit them online or by mail. Your supporting documentation will be returned to you if you submit your Application by mail. Alternatively, you can always hand deliver the Application to your local Social Security office. (Although, if you’ve ever visited a Social Security office, you probably know that the wait can be long!)

When you notify Social Security of a name change, IRS records are automatically updated to reflect your new name. At that point, you must remember to use your new name on all your tax returns!

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