What’s in a name?


The employee’s name must appear EXACTLY as it does on the employee’s Social Security card.

Incorrect spellings

If the employee says that his/her name is not spelled correctly on his/her Social Security card, then the personnel representative must still enter it as it is spelled on the card. The employee must complete form SS-5 and get a corrected card before the personnel representative can change it in the HR system.


If an employee prefers to go by a nickname such as Bob, but Robert is printed on the card, then Robert must be entered into the HR system.

Name change

If an employee notifies a personnel representative that he/she has changed his/her name (such as due to marriage or divorce), then the employee will need to show the personnel representative a Social Security card with the new name. Until the employee shows his/her new name on a Social Security card, the personnel representative cannot change the name in the HR system. The employee will need to complete form SS-5 for a name change and file it with the Social Security Administration (SSA). When the employee shows this new card to the personnel representative, then the HR system can be updated.

Hyphenated last name

The same instruction applies if a person hyphenates his/her last name after getting married. The name in the HR system must exactly match the name on the Social Security card.

Example: Mary Jones marries Bob Smith and her name is now Mary Jones-Smith. However, her name appears as Mary Jones Smith (no hyphen) on her Social Security card. The personnel representative would enter Jones Smith in the Last Name field (not Jones-Smith).

Multiple middle names

If an employee has more than one middle name on his/her Social Security card, then the personnel representative must enter it exactly the same way in the “Middle Name” field in the HR system. If both names will not fit, then key in as many letters as will fit.