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I want to go back to my maiden name after being divorced for 27 years

Q) Hello, I want to go back to my maiden name after being divorced for 27 years. I have my divorce decree Nisi (from Massachusetts), birth certificate (Massachusetts), Social Security card.

I always believed I had to do this via probate court. However, when I called my town (North Kingstown) they told me a woman can change her name to her maiden at any time at the social security office and then at the DMV without going to court or advertising the name change publically.

I just read on the website that the wait is long at your office and I work full time. Therefore, I need to know if I can do this at your location or not. The info on your website states one of the documents I may need is a court order. Now I am confused. I need to know before I go to your office as I don’t won’t to wait only to be turned away and sent to the probate court in my town.

Can you advise? I thank you!

Donna M. B******




A) According to Social Security administration, to change your name on your Social Security card:

Step 1: Gather documents proving your:

Legal name change;

Marriage document;
Divorce decree;
Certificate of Naturalization showing a new name; or
Court-ordered name change.
Identity; and
U.S. citizenship (if you have not established your citizenship with us) or immigration status (including Department of Homeland Security permission to work in the United States.
Step 2: Complete an Application for a Social Security card.

Step 3: Take or mail your completed application and documents to your local Social Security office.

All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. Any documents you mail to us will be returned to you along with a receipt.

Important Information

We will mail your card as soon as we have verified your documents. You should receive your card within 10 business days from the date on your receipt. The new card will have the same number as your previous card, but will show your new name.

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