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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. 

You must also change your legal name in DEERS separately

Your information on file with VA must match what's in DEERS. When you change your name on file with VA, it doesn't automatically get updated in DEERS. So you'll need to contact the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) separately to change your name in DEERS.

This is true for Veterans and for family members who are in DEERS because they get TRICARE or other benefits—or have a DS Logon account.

Change your name for VA health care

Documents you'll need to send us

If you receive 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 that shows your date of birth and your new legal name. We accept a passport, driver's license, or government ID (federal, state, or local ID).

If you receive VA health care and want to request that we completely remove any part of your name or change any full part of your name to an initial, send us all of these documents:

  • A letter asking us to update your VA health care records with your new legal name, and
  • One form of unexpired primary identification, and
  • One form of secondary identification that displays your requested name.  All identity traits must match on the document provided.

What we accept as primary identification

  • A state-issued driver's license with your new name, photo, and date of birth
  • A passport with your new name, photo, and date of birth
  • A federal, state, or local government-issued photo ID with your new name and date of birth

What we accept as secondary identification

  • A Social Security card or a letter from the Social Security Administration with your requested name
  • A court order for a name change 
  • A certificate of naturalization that includes an official name change

Where to send your request

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

Find contact information for 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 

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