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Want to go back to my maiden name after being divorced for 18 yrs.

I've been divorced for 18 years and kept my husbands last name. Now I would like to go back to using my maiden name. I had the choice when I got divorced but chose his name. Are my divorce papers enough or do I need to get legal name change papers since it's been so long?

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This appears to be possible. However, you must provide recent proof of identification (such as a passport).

The following is an excerpt from Social Security's Program Operations Manual :


Example of acceptable evidence to process a name change based on divorce or annulment

Deborah Thompson wants to change her name on her SSN to her maiden name, Lewis. She submitted evidence of the name change event, her divorce decree. The decree does not specify the new name, Lewis. The divorce decree shows her married name and date of birth that agrees with the Numident and indicates the divorce took place three years ago. Her Numident record shows she previously had a card in the name Lewis, which is used as evidence of the new name. Since the divorce decree took place over two years earlier, it cannot be considered acceptable evidence of identity. Deborah submitted her US passport in the name shown on the most recent Numident (Thompson). Since Deborah submitted acceptable evidence of a name change and identity, we can process the name change on the SSN.

https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110212065

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