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almostthere2010

N-400 2 last names listed in Certificate - Question

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Hi All!

I need some help. During my n-400 interview the IO asked if I wanted to list my 2nd last name in my Certificate. At the time I wasn’t thinking straight and told him that will be ok. I believe he asked that because that’s how my name was listed in my original Passport. So now I have a dilemma.

My Naturalization Certificate shows:

First Name, Middle Name, Last Name, 2nd last name (mother's maiden name)

My SSN card and DL shows:

First Name, Middle Name, Last Name

Now, I don’t want to change my name, can I just continue to use just 1 last name? I will be going to the SSN and DL to let them know I’m a Citizen, but are they going to try to update my SSN and DL with the other last name as well? How about for my passport?

Your help is appreciated.

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At the Oath Ceremony we were told to check out our certificate with eagle eyes whether or not there was made a mistake, any mistake. Once we would leave the building, changing the certificate would require paying for a new one and if the name on their Certificate was wrong, that would be our name from then on unless a court-ordered name change would take place.

So your legal name on the certificate is now your name for life. If you don't like it, you will petition the court for a name change. Understand, it's not a correction anymore; it's now an entirely new petition. "I didn't think clearly" and "I didn't check" combined is not a valid excuse. USCIS didn't make a mistake. You made not one, but two.


There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all . . . . The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic . . . . There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.

President Teddy Roosevelt on Columbus Day 1915

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:blink: I'm not blaming USCIS or trying to figure out if I made a mistake or two like you said. In the Spanish culture we sometimes use two last names. My question is, do I have to now put the two last names in my Driver License and SS? For some reason I'm thinking that the second last name is not required. If anyone else have anything of value to say I'll appreciated it

Thanks

At the Oath Ceremony we were told to check out our certificate with eagle eyes whether or not there was made a mistake, any mistake. Once we would leave the building, changing the certificate would require paying for a new one and if the name on their Certificate was wrong, that would be our name from then on unless a court-ordered name change would take place.

So your legal name on the certificate is now your name for life. If you don't like it, you will petition the court for a name change. Understand, it's not a correction anymore; it's now an entirely new petition. "I didn't think clearly" and "I didn't check" combined is not a valid excuse. USCIS didn't make a mistake. You made not one, but two.

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I didn't assume you blamed anybody, nor did I try to be mean. I'm always like that, for no other reason than being the genuine me. I almost always go straight to the point, especially when I'm typing with two oversized thumbs on a tiny notebook, as it was the case this morning. So please take this with a grain of salt. Nothing personal nor unusual.

As I said before, the name on your certificate is now your legal name. If you apply for a passport, it will show your name exactly as it is written on your certificate. If you need a new driver license and they want to see your proof of legal presence or citizenship, they will issue the new driver license in the same manner. Same for the SSA. If you show up to update your status, your new SS card will have both last names on it. Especially since it's not a middle name, but the last last name, this can be a bit awkward.

If you absolutely think you can't or don't want to live with the name as written on the certificate, you need to petition for a name change.

I don't know how long ago you became a US citizen. If it happened just a day or two or three ago, you may want to try to have USCIS have it corrected. It will still cost you $345 but at least it won't take a year or so. If you became a US citizen weeks or months ago, that train has left the station and you need to petition for a name change like any celebrity does. It's a straight forward procedure but it cost time and money.

Now . . . another thing to consider is that your certificate is your one and only proof of citizenship. If you lose it or send it off you are document-less. I also don't know if you have applied for a US passport yet, so if you haven't, do it now. If you are absolutely sure that you don't need to travel internationally any time soon, you can go and just get a passport card for $25.00. Even the passport card will require you to send in your original certificate, but at least you have proof of citizenship then, aside from your certificate, just in case your certificate will be somewhere, for some time.

Depending on when you became a citizen, what you will have to go through is a big bag of trouble, or a really big one. Sorry, but that's the way the cookie crumbles right now and I don't see any way to deal with this in any other way.

Good luck!


There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all . . . . The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic . . . . There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.

President Teddy Roosevelt on Columbus Day 1915

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Thank you Bob. What a mess. I guess the easiest route to take now is to keep both last names. I became a USC last Friday. I should have told the IO not to include that other last name, but didn’t. I can’t go back, what is done is done. During the ceremony I did try to get it corrected but it was too late. They told me that since that is what it was in the Application/etc that is what will stay.

I’m going to apply for a Passport tomorrow and then will have to change the name in the DL and SSN when I get a chance.

Thanks again.

I didn't assume you blamed anybody, nor did I try to be mean. I'm always like that, for no other reason than being the genuine me. I almost always go straight to the point, especially when I'm typing with two oversized thumbs on a tiny notebook, as it was the case this morning. So please take this with a grain of salt. Nothing personal nor unusual.

As I said before, the name on your certificate is now your legal name. If you apply for a passport, it will show your name exactly as it is written on your certificate. If you need a new driver license and they want to see your proof of legal presence or citizenship, they will issue the new driver license in the same manner. Same for the SSA. If you show up to update your status, your new SS card will have both last names on it. Especially since it's not a middle name, but the last last name, this can be a bit awkward.

If you absolutely think you can't or don't want to live with the name as written on the certificate, you need to petition for a name change.

I don't know how long ago you became a US citizen. If it happened just a day or two or three ago, you may want to try to have USCIS have it corrected. It will still cost you $345 but at least it won't take a year or so. If you became a US citizen weeks or months ago, that train has left the station and you need to petition for a name change like any celebrity does. It's a straight forward procedure but it cost time and money.

Now . . . another thing to consider is that your certificate is your one and only proof of citizenship. If you lose it or send it off you are document-less. I also don't know if you have applied for a US passport yet, so if you haven't, do it now. If you are absolutely sure that you don't need to travel internationally any time soon, you can go and just get a passport card for $25.00. Even the passport card will require you to send in your original certificate, but at least you have proof of citizenship then, aside from your certificate, just in case your certificate will be somewhere, for some time.

Depending on when you became a citizen, what you will have to go through is a big bag of trouble, or a really big one. Sorry, but that's the way the cookie crumbles right now and I don't see any way to deal with this in any other way.

Good luck!

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Friday? Today is Monday!

Call USCIS tomorrow morning and insist on speaking with an Immigration Officer. Tell the phone drone that you are a US citizen and that it's about a mistake on your citizenship certificate. There's nothing to lose, but a lot to gain, so do it tomorrow. Who knows, maybe they will be able to help you out quickly. In any case, it would be "another" name change back to where you want it, and it will take a judge to sign off on it and thus I'm sure, absolutely sure, that they'll ask you to give 'em $345 for that favor in any case.


There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all . . . . The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic . . . . There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.

President Teddy Roosevelt on Columbus Day 1915

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Never objected to my wife using her maiden name after ours, that was ingrained into her in her home country. But she decided to leave it off on her N-400 and thus on her certificate. I was the eagle eye at her oath ceremony. Practically all in our business world, her maiden name was left off, not enough space. Changing her drivers' license, SS card, and getting a US passport was not a problem in dropping off her maiden name. Nor was petitioning for her unmarried son with her maiden name on our marriage certificate.

My stepdaughter on the other hand elected to keep her biological fathers' name plus her moms maiden name as in on her SS card, her US passport will be the same. She's over 18 and that is her decision. But all that will change if some guy asks her to get married, either way, no big deal. Just make sure all of your government documents include your name like it is on your certificate, nobody else really cares.

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I called the 800 # and it was no help. They told me I need to fill out form N-565, but honestly I'm afraid of doing so as it may take too long. Next InfoPass appointment in Orlando is in two weeks. I may wait and go there but if is too much of an issue I'll just keep the name listed in the certificate. Is just a little annoying as my last names are a little long but I can live with it :lol:

I wont stress over it, after all I'm now a USC!!!

Thanks you all for the advice

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