name is misspelled on social security

My Name is Misspelled on Social Security

It’s a more common occurrence than you might think. Sometimes when a baby is born, a clerical mistake happens and the incorrect information is recorded on the documents submitted to the vital records agency. While these mistakes aren’t the norm, it isn’t unlikely that these mistakes aren’t noticed until the individual reaches their adult life. How do these things happen? And how does someone amend their vital records or IDs when they discover these mistakes? The problem is a fairly easy one to rectify, but when the mistake is noticed it’s important to take the proper steps to remedy the issue. We’ll discuss correcting or amending your IDs or vital records below. 

Name is Misspelled on Social Security Card or ID – What Do I Do?

In some instances, someone may discover long into their adult life that birth dates or their name is misspelled on one or more of their vital documents. Maybe their birth date is one day off, or perhaps the name they’ve been using on their driver’s license does not in fact match the name given on their birth certificate. In most cases, a name misspelling isn’t a huge deal – it’s an issue you can readily fix. Unfortunately however, it’s best to ensure your name and date of birth are accurate across all vital records and government issued ID’s to ensure you won’t have issues in legal matters or travel situations throughout your lifetime. Below are the steps to take if you discover there is a misspelling on your social security or other important vital documents.

  1. Social security card – In the event you notice your name is misspelled on your social security card, the process is fairly simple. In the event that you just need to amend your social security card to match your birth certificate, visit the U.S. social security website and follow the instructions for making a social security correction. The steps for making a correction to your social security card is much different than if you underwent a legal name change. You’ll need to fill out the application and submit it to the Social Security office. Be sure to obtain certified copies of your birth certificate as you will need to legally verify your given birth name. 
  2. Birth certificate – Errors such as birth dates, parents names, and even a misspelling of your given name are examples of reasons you may need to amend your birth certificate. In some cases, you may be required to contact the vital records office that handled your birth certificate when you were born. In some cases, a simple clerical error can be cleared up by the agency, but they may need to do some digging in order to remedy the situation. To learn more about amending a birth certificate, read our blog here.
  3. Passport – As is the case with many errors on forms of ID, it’s sometimes merely due to an incorrectly marked box, or a character or letter that wasn’t recorded correctly when the government agency is processing your paperwork. No need to fret though, the process to amending or correcting your passport is a moderately easy one. You’ll need to submit a DS-5504 form along with the passport containing the error to the passport office. For more information on correcting a passport, click here.
  4. Driver’s license or government issued ID – If your situation only requires a name or data correction on a government issued license or ID, you’ll need to contact your local DMV office first. If your name and other information is already correct on your social security card, simply visit your local DMV to speak to an agent. You will need to ensure you have your certified copy of your birth certificate on hand to prove your identity. 

In some cases, you may find your birth date, name, or other important information is incorrect across multiple vital records or forms of identification. It’s important to begin with your birth certificate and correct or change your documents from there. Your name on your birth certificate must be corrected in order to correct your social security card, and you’ll need both of these documents to be correct in order to amend any forms of ID you may need to change. It is also important to bear in mind that if the corrections you need to make are due to a legal name change, the process is much different. 

2 Comments

  1. I just received my originals birth certificate. O lists my mother correctly, but list her husband, who died 4 years before my birth as my father. This is of course ridiculous. My mother did try to get his name removed but was rejected for the good of the child. . I have theses requested. I have done dna testing through 233and me and have found both my maternal and paternal families. I would like my Beth fathers name on my birth certificate and my mother’s husbands name removed. How do I proceed?

    1. Hello Maryanne. Thanks for reaching out with your question. You might start the process by contacting the vital record agency that issued the certificate to find out their procedure for amending it.

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