How do you change your Social Security number?


Quick Answer

To change your Social Security number, you must apply in person at a Social Security office. After filing an application and providing original documents to verify your identity, you must also file a statement to explain the reasons for the change. It is also necessary to provide credible third-party evidence to document the reasons.

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Full Answer

According to the Social Security Administration, there are only five reasons that it assigns new numbers: if the sequential numbers assigned to family members are causing confusion; the same number has been assigned to two people, or two people are using the same number; victims of identity theft continue to have problems using their original numbers; there is a situation of harassment, abuse or life endangerment; or an individual has religious or cultural objections to certain numbers or digits in the original number.

The Social Security Administration can also require specific kinds of third-party documentation to process a request for a new Social Security number. For instance, in the case of a religious or cultural objection to a number, the applicant must provide a letter or other evidence of an established relationship with the group in which he claims membership.

If the Social Security Administration grants a change, the individual’s original Social Security number is not destroyed but is cross-referenced with the new number so that the person receives credit for all earnings and other benefits assigned to each number.

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