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How to change your legal name on file with VA

If you're a Veteran, spouse, dependent, or caregiver and you get VA health care or direct benefit payments, you'll need to tell us if you have a legal name change so we can change your name on file with VA. You must contact your VA medical center, each VA program office that you receive direct benefit payments from, and the DEERS support office. Keep reading to find out how to change your name with each of these offices. 

Change your name for VA health care

Documents you'll need to send us

If you have VA health care and want to request that we change your name, send us both of these documents:

  • A letter asking us to update your VA health care records with your new legal name, and
  • A copy of your unexpired government-issued photo ID (like a passport or driver’s license) that shows your date of birth and your new or old legal name

If your government-issued photo ID shows your new legal name, that’s all you need to send us. If it still shows your old name, you’ll also need to include 1 of these 2 documents: 

  • A copy of your Social Security card with your new legal name, or
  • A copy of a court order showing your name change 

Where to send your request

Send your letter and the required documents listed above to your VA medical center.

Note: You can also call your VA medical center to get help changing your name on file with VA. Ask for the eligibility department.

Change your name for VA benefit payments

Documents you'll need to send us

If you receive direct benefit payments and want to request that we change your name, please send us both of these documents:

  • A letter requesting that your VA benefit records be updated with your new legal name, and 
  • A copy of your unexpired government-issued photo ID (like a passport or driver’s license) that shows your date of birth and your new or old legal name

You'll also need to send us one of the documents listed below, depending on the reason for your name change.

If your name change is because of marriage, divorce, or an annulment, send us 1 of these 2 documents along with your letter and photo ID:

  • A copy of your marriage certificate, or
  • A copy of your divorce or annulment decree

If your name change is for any other reason (not because of marriage, divorce, or an annulment), send us 1 of these 2 documents along with your letter and photo ID:

  • A copy of your Social Security card with your new legal name, or
  • A copy of a court order showing your name change

Where to send your request

Send your letter and the required documents listed above to each program office that you get payments from. Find the benefit program addresses below.

Note: You can also call your regional office to get help changing your name on file with VA.

Benefit program addresses

  • Send your letter and required documents to this address:

    Department of Veterans Affairs 
    Claims Intake Center 
    PO Box 5235 
    Janesville, WI 53547-5235 

     

  • Send your letter and required documents to your regional processing office for GI Bill benefits.

    Note: You’ll need to contact your school or training institution separately.  

  • Send your letter and required documents to your regional loan center.

  • Send your letter and required documents to your VA life insurance office.

  • Send your letter and required documents to this address:

    Department of Veterans Affairs
    Pension Intake Center
    PO Box 5365
    Janesville, WI 53547-5365

  • Send your letter and required documents to this address:

    VR&E Intake Center 
    PO Box 5210 
    Janesville, WI 53547-5210 

Related information

VA benefits

  • Records

    Apply for a printed Veteran ID card, get your VA benefit letters and medical records, and learn how to apply for a discharge upgrade.

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