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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    2

    Default First Name Spelled Differently on Birth Certificate

    My question involves name change laws in the State of South Carolina:

    I recently found out that my first name is spelled slightly differently on my birth certificate than on all my legal documents (one letter different as in Susan vs Suzan). The only explanation I have for the difference is that the spelling was changed in elementary school by a teacher, I assume to keep track of the names other students in the class with the same or similar first names.

    When I applied for SSN before getting my first job, apparently a birth certificate was not required as ID so spelling difference did not come up and my parents obviously did not apply for SSN for me at birth. This was prior to the requirement for having to do so when an infant is born, etc.

    I prefer to use the name my parents wanted me to have and the one placed on my birth certificate. How should I go about changing everything (SS card, DL, bank acct, work id, tax records) to the correct spelling? I prefer NOT to change my birth certificate to match everything else.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: First Name Spelled Differently on Birth Certificate

    You'll probably have to contact each institution individually with a copy of your birth certificate in hand.

    If your parents are still alive, you may want to verify how they wanted it to be spelled - the error might be on your birth certificate. When I was a sophomore in high school, we completed the SS card paperwork in homeroom.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: First Name Spelled Differently on Birth Certificate

    unfortunately, both parents deceased. DL expiring soon and planned to get Real ID so got birth certificate so that's when I realized first name spelled differently than everything else.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,866

    Default Re: First Name Spelled Differently on Birth Certificate

    The way to proceed depends on which name you want to keep. If you want to keep the name you have been using (not the one on the birth certificate), you'll have to change it legally at this point:

    https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t15c049.php

    If you want to change the other stuff to match the birth certificate, I'd start by going to your local SS office and getting the SS card changed to match. The DMV should be relatively straight forward after that.

    Real ID has been extended until October 2021 (if not longer).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    2,693

    Default Re: First Name Spelled Differently on Birth Certificate

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    I recently found out that my first name is spelled slightly differently on my birth certificate than on all my legal documents (one letter different as in Susan vs Suzan). The only explanation I have for the difference is that the spelling was changed in elementary school by a teacher, I assume to keep track of the names other students in the class with the same or similar first names.
    Can you elaborate? I can't figure out how anything an elementary school teacher might have done could impact your driver's license (or any other "legal document"). I'm also assuming you're at least in your early 20s, which means that it's been at least a decade since you've been in elementary school. A misspelling of your name on your elementary school records should never have impacted anything after that.


    Quote Quoting debasket
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    When I applied for SSN before getting my first job, apparently a birth certificate was not required as ID so spelling difference did not come up and my parents obviously did not apply for SSN for me at birth. This was prior to the requirement for having to do so when an infant is born, etc.
    Not that it really matters, but a birth certificate is generally required to obtain a social security number. Also, there is no "requirement for having to [apply for a SSN] when an infant is born," but most parents do exactly that because it's necessary to claim the child on income tax returns.


    Quote Quoting debasket
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    I prefer to use the name my parents wanted me to have and the one placed on my birth certificate. How should I go about changing everything (SS card, DL, bank acct, work id, tax records) to the correct spelling? I prefer NOT to change my birth certificate to match everything else.
    You should contact the Social Security Administration about changing your social security records. You should contact the DMV about your driver's license. You should contact your bank about your bank account. Etc., etc.

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