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How can I keep my maiden name?

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SSN record should be in a person's legal name. If her legal name has changed, she should change her SSN record. I currently have an a different name on my SSN card than on my driver's license. In California, SSN alone is not enough proof of legal name, you must provide something else. The DMV wouldn't accept the SSN name as the name on my driver's license. They used the name on my citizenship certificate and passport.

The citizenship certificate is also a legal name document.

SSA has no regulation that requires you to change the name on your SSN record, just if you want to change it on your SSN record you need a legal name changing document, i.e. marriage certificate, divorce decree, naturalization certificate, adoption papers, court legal name change papers.

You need to work using the name on your SSN record if you don't change it on the SSN record. Might also cause you problems filing taxes if you don't use the name on your SSN record, since IRS matches the tax return info against the SSN record.


(SSA FAQ 1566) How can I make sure that the employee's SSN and name given to me are correct?

You should record the name and SSN shown on the card in your business' personnel and payroll records that will be used to prepare W-2 reports.

If the employee indicates he or she prefers to use a different name for employment purposes, advise the employee that you must use the name as it currently appears on the card. Also advise the employee to request an updated Social Security card with a name change and to show it to you so that you can update your records and so that your records and the Social Security records will agree.



Do I need to change my maiden name to my married name on my social security card for us to file jointly?

You can still file Married Filing Jointly without changing your name with the Social Security Administration. However, you do need to show your maiden name on the tax return instead of your married name.

I got married and I have not changed the name on my social security card to my married name. My Form W-2 is in my married name but my tax forms came in my maiden name. Should I file with my maiden name or married name?

It is important that the name the Social Security Administration (SSA) has in its system for your social security number agrees with the name on your tax return.

You have a choice. You can file with your maiden name and contact the Social Security Administration after you file your return. Or, if you have enough time before the due date of your return, you can contact the Social Security Administration and have your records changed. Please wait 10 days to file your tax return.


When I was talking about most states want the DL name to match the SSN record I wasn't talking about you showing DMV your SSN card, it's done electronically by DMV connecting to SSA's records.

This is instructions from the Boston Regional Office for Vermont DMV and I would assume other states probably do something similar. However, not knowing every state's DMV procedure, some may make allowances for the name on your DL once they determine your are the person that is applying for the DL.


RM BOS00206.008 Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles SSN Verification Process

For each DL or ID applicant, the VT DMV queries SSA's database of Social Security Numbers. The query includes the applicant's name, date of birth (DOB), and SSN. SSA compares this information with information in SSA's Master File of SSN holders and SSN Applications records. SSA provides VT DMV an immediate on-line response indicating whether the information provided by the applicant matches the information contained in SSA's records.

If the data provided by the VT DMV do not match the data in SSA's records, the VT DMV receives one of the following replies:

-- Invalid SSN

-- Name does not match, DOB matches

-- DOB does not match, name matches

-- Both name and DOB do not match

-- SSA is unable to process.

When the DMV receives any of these responses, the DMV refers the applicant to the local Social Security Administration Office to resolve the problem. The DMV gives the applicant a letter designed for this purpose. There is one letter format for personal drivers' license and identification card applicants/recipients, and another for commercial drivers' license (CDL) applicants/recipients. These letters advise you what data on SSA's records do not match the information the applicant provided to the DMV.

To correct the discrepant data you must obtain and process an SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card.

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In the US, there are no laws that say you have to use a certain name. Hence many people take pseudonyms and professional names. But you only have one legal name at any given time. There are several ways to establish a legal name. One is obviously the name you were given on your birth certificate.

Other ways to establish one's legal name is to get married and change one's name on the marriage certificate, get divorced/marriage anulment/legally separated and change one's name with the judgment, become naturalized as an US citizen and change one's name at the naturalization ceremony, obtain a citizenship certificate with a new name, or goto court and get a legal name change through a court order.

In your case, your legal name is your maiden name if that is the name on your marriage certificate. Unless you have changed it through the methods above, then that is your legal name. You are of course free to use any names you wish, but on your legal documents like passports, driver's license, SSN card, tax returns, etc. you should really use your legal name.

My wife's legal name is her maiden name, which is the name on our marriage certificate. She can use my last name anytime she likes at work, on credit cards, bank accounts, etc.. She can be known as Mrs.XXXX but that is NOT her legal name. Her legal name remains her maiden name until she changes it.

I kept my maiden name and really thought I had to use that on everything. I didn't think you could use your husbands name on other documents if your legal name was your maiden name. You learn something new every day! :D

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Sounds to me like this person changed her legal name on her marriage certificate.

I'm confused by this statement. My marriage certificate shows my maiden name (my name as the party entering into the marriage) and as such, I signed it with my maiden name. On the notarized copy of the marriage certificate it shows the same information as described above (i.e. not designating which name I use in practice).

Is my marriage certificate not the norm from the 'usual'? (I've only been married the once so have no basis for comparison. ;) )

Anyway, it's still weird to me, as my maiden name is still my legal name, and the married name I use is also legal (through the legal marriage). I can and have used both. To make my maiden name 'defunct' as a legal name I would have to have my birth certificate amended and go through a legal name change in Canada.

And the OP isn't changing her name, simply using the one she's had all along. So why does she lose the privilege to use it?

(I know that's what she's asking. I'm sleepy still. LOL)

Thank you, guys, for your useful information.

On the Arkansas marriage license, the statement goes, "Mr. Husband and M. Wife (my maiden name)." On the license application, I signed my maiden name too.

Arkansas DMV doesn't take SSN or Translated foreign Birth Certificate as ID. The lady first asked for my GC, which of course I didn't have back in February, and then she only wanted my passport and marriage license. She didn't want EAD either, saying it didn't prove anything.

The reason I can't go back and not say anything about being married is because they put my married name on the permit. DMV issues the permit but Revenue office issues the license. I'm thinking about going back to DMV and asked to change the name on the permit back to my maiden name. I hope the corrected GC will arrive in time so I can have another ID. It is frustrating but I'll try till it's done.

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The DMV is SO messed up. My best friend's DL has her full name INCLUDING maiden name on it - they wouldn't let her have her first, middle and married last name on it (despite the fact that her SSN card is that way). So she has had 4 full names on it now for 15 years.

When I got married, had only my first, middle and married last name on it - same state, just different office. It now has my first, middle and maiden name on it again and I had no problems doing it (just took in my divorce decree to get it back).

I swear it depends on who you talk to and on what day.

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