What You Need to Know Now that You Are a U.S. Citizen
Congratulations, you’re a U.S. citizen! Now that your naturalization ceremony is complete and you have your naturalization certificate, what should you do? Here is a list of what steps you should take next:
- Register to Vote: Voting in elections is a responsibility that comes with U.S. citizenship. As a U.S. citizen you have the right to vote. Exercise your rights and register to vote in your place of residence (state, territory, or District of Columbia) today.
- Update Your Record with the Social Security Administration: It is important to provide evidence that you are a U.S. citizen to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and create or update your SSA record. After you receive your naturalization certificate, you should submit Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, to update your record with the SSA. You may submit your application by mail or in person at your local SSA office. Note: Please wait at least 10 days after your naturalization ceremony to update SSA records. You can also register for an online account, request a replacement of your Social Security card, update your legal name, and learn about available benefits on the SSA website.
- Register for a My Social Security account. Creating your My Social Security account allows you to gain access to SSA services online. You can register on the SSA website.
- Apply for a new or replacement Social Security card. SSA allows online filing for certain applications. Visit ssa.gov to learn how to replace your Social Security card.
- Update your legal name. If your legal name has changed and you need to update or correct the name on your Social Security card, you can find guidance on the SSA website.
- Explore supplemental security income benefits. You may be eligible for supplemental income through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The SSA website also has information about SSI benefits.
- Apply for a U.S. Passport: In addition to your Certificate of Naturalization, a U.S. passport serves as official proof of citizenship. As a U.S. citizen you are now eligible for a U.S. passport. You will need to submit your original Certificate of Naturalization AND a photocopy when applying for your U.S. passport. Visit the Department of State website to apply for your U.S. passport. Note: USCIS does not prohibit photocopies of certificates when providing proof of U.S. citizenship for official purposes, such as to the Department of State.
- Update Your Record with the Agency that Issues Driver’s Licenses in Your State: If you have a U.S. driver’s license or state-issued identification card (ID), you can update your record with the agency that issues driver’s licenses in your state, often called a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). To update your address or legal name on a DMV-issued ID card, contact the DMV agency in your state.
- Engage with Your Community: Americans have a strong tradition of volunteerism and engagement in civic life and institutions. USCIS has a webpage with helpful links to help you find available volunteer opportunities in your community!
If you have any questions about becoming a new U.S. citizen, please contact our office to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys today!