Can I change my name during the N-400 naturalization process?
Yes. You can request that your legal name be changed on your N-400 application. If your application is approved, your name will be changed during your oath ceremony.
Can I change my name while I am applying with an N-600 application for deriving citizenship through a U.S. parent?
No. Name changes cannot be done as a part of the N-600 application. Instead, N-600 applicants must change their name separately through a court.
When will my name change?
If you are approved for citizenship, you will attend a ceremony where you take an oath of allegiance to the United States. During this oath ceremony, the judge decides whether to approve the new name you chose. If approved, your new name will be printed on your naturalization certificate. Since your name will not change until your oath ceremony, all of the notices you receive from USCIS until your ceremony will be in your current legal name.
Are there any names that I cannot choose?
Yes. Although the judge will probably accept any name that you choose, there are some exceptions. You cannot choose a name for an illegal reason, like to avoid debt or avoid being arrested. You should not choose a name that is intentionally confusing, like “Officer,” or “Doctor,” or a name that is offensive. You also should not choose a name that belongs to a famous person like “President Barack Obama,” and you should not choose a name that belongs to a well-known company, like “Boston Baked Beans.”
Do I need to change my name on my other documents?
Yes. You can use your naturalization certificate to change other legal documents you may have such as your Social Security card, driver’s license, and credit cards. You must go through a separate process to make each of these changes.
How do I change my name on my other documents?
Below are some guidelines to help you change your name on your other legal documents. You should always speak with the agency directly to verify any specific procedures to follow or documentation to submit.
- Social Security Card
- You will need proof of your identity and proof of your U.S. citizenship.
- Proof of Identity: driver’s license, state issued ID card, or passport
- Proof of Citizenship: Naturalization certificate or U.S. passport
- You will fill out an application for a Social Security card.
- You must deliver or mail these documents to your local Social Security office.
- Your new Social Security card with your new name will be mailed to you as soon as all the documents have been verified.
- Driver’s License
You must change your name on your license in person at a Massachusetts RMV office.
- The RMV requests that you change your name with the Social Security Administration before you apply to change your name on your driver’s license.
- You must fill out a name / address change request form. (https://www.mass.gov/doc/nameaddress-change-request-form/download)
- You will have your picture taken, and will need to provide your signature for your new license. There is a fee of $25.00.
The requirements for having your U.S. passport name changed depend on whether and how long you have had the passport.
If you already have a U.S. passport, you can find the information about how to change your name here.
If you do not have a U.S. passport and you are applying for the first time, you will need:
- Application form for a new passport; which you can fill it out online or download and then present the form in person
- Evidence of your name change (Naturalization Certificate)
- Passport fee
If you have had your U.S. passport for less than one year, you will need:
- Application for a passport name change
- Your current valid passport
- Evidence of a name change (Naturalization Certificate)
- Passport fee
If you have had your U.S. passport for more than one year, you will need an application form for passport renewal.
For foreign passports, please contact the appropriate consulate for more information.