Can I change my Social Security number?

Can I change my Social Security number?

We can assign a different number only if:

  • Sequential numbers assigned to members of the same family are causing problems;
  • More than one person is assigned or using the same number;
  • A victim of identity theft continues to be disadvantaged by using the original number;
  • 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. (We require written documentation in support of the objection from a religious group with which the number holder has an established relationship.)

When we assign a different Social Security number, we do not destroy the original number. We cross-refer the new number with the original number to make sure the person receives credit for all earnings under both numbers.

People who want to ask for a new Social Security number must:

  • Apply in person at a Social Security office;
  • Complete an application;
  • Provide a statement explaining the reasons for needing a new number;
  • Provide current, credible, third-party evidence documenting the reasons for needing a new number; and
  • Provide original documents establishing:
    • U.S. citizenship or work-authorized immigration status;
    • Age;
    • Identity; and
    • Evidence of a legal name change, if appropriate.

For more information about changing your Social Security number in domestic violence cases, see New Numbers For Domestic Violence Victims.

To request a different Social Security number, contact your local Social Security office for an in-person appointment.

Battling ID Theft Takes Concerted Effort

In the state of New Mexico, we have a law in place to help victims of  identity theft. The problem we have is that so many people are still unaware of it even though it has been around since 2009. This includes many people within the criminal justice system and law enforcement agencies. The law that I am referring to is the “Identity Theft Passport;
Database,” Section 31-26-15 NMSA 1978. Within the statute it states that the Attorney General, in cooperation with the Department of Public Safety and the Motor Vehicle Division of the Taxation and Revenue Department, shall issue an identity theft passport to a person who claims to be a victim of identity theft pursuant to Section 30-16-24. 1 NMSA 1978.

How the program works is: 1) fill out a police report stating your identity was stolen; 2) resubmit the report back to the agency with whom you filled out the report; 3) wait for the agency to upload the information into the New Mexico State ID Theft Victims Database that is housed by the Attorney General’s office. This process usually takes a couple weeks.
The Attorney General may provide access to the database only to criminal justice agencies; and 4) once the information is uploaded the victim can then go to a state run MVD and be issued a driver’s license with a “V” endorsement on the back.

How does this help the victim? If their driver’s license or state-issued identification card is run and something they did not do comes up, it will alert the officer to look into it further. In most cases the officer will be able to pull up the mugshot of the person arrested for the crime in question.

Some very good news – help for victims of ID theft is just a phone call away. ID theft victims no longer have to suffer in isolation and feel that they have nowhere to turn to for support.

ID theft Resolutions, Ltd. Is a 501 c(3) nonprofit dedicated exclusively to educating the public, public officials and legislators about the challenges presented by the identity theft phenomenon and how to prevent and respond to ID theft and helping ID theft victims recover their identity and protect their credit.

We can be contacted by calling (505) 417-1902 or 1-888-484-9118 or by email at markmedley@idtheftresolutions.org.