After the stress of planning your wedding and getting officially married, changing your name after marriage may seem overwhelming. Or maybe you don’t know where to begin or where to go to change your name. Whatever your reason may be, don’t worry. It can feel like a project if you are planning on changing your name after you get married, but it’s totally worth it! Follow our guide for the most painless and easy experience as possible. Plus, we have important tips for the nitty gritty parts.
Changing Your Name After Marriage: Top 6 steps
There are some essential name change steps that must be done before you get into the more specific name change task lists. Make sure you update these first!
1. Gather Your Marriage Certificate and Copies
Your marriage certificate, which is different from your marriage license, is an extremely important document that will be used in the name change process. Make sure to buy certified copies (3 copies if recommended). This way you keep the original safe and use the copies in the name change process.
Tip: Ask the county or courthouse when applying for your marriage license (before you get your marriage certificate) in advance if you can purchase certified copies of your marriage certificate in advance!
2. Update Your Name On Your Social Security Card
Your social security card is another document needed in the name change process so it’s a great next step! This can be done by filling out an application and mailing it the closest Social Security office or going to the office in person. If you apply through mail it may take around 10 days to get your new card. If you are going in person make sure to fill out the application forms beforehand. Make sure to bring the correct documents:
- ID (any form of ID that has your date of birth/age, name, and photograph including your driver’s license or passport)
- Proof of Citizenship (passport or a certified birth certificate copy)
- A copy of your marriage certificate
- Current social security card (your social security number will be the same)
3. Get Your New Driver’s License/ID
Make sure to wait 24 hours after updating your social security card to let the system update before you get your new license! Depending on your state you may or may not have to bring a physical copy of your social security card. Make sure to check your state’s requirements before you go. You will need your photo ID along with your marriage certificate for sure.
4. Update Your Passport
If you’re reading this before you get married and are trying to apply for a new passport in advance, hold off! Changing your name on your passport can be done for free as it is considered a correction. You have a year from when your passport is issued to make a name change correction for free. Otherwise, if you’ve held your current passport for over a year, you do have to pay a renewal fee.
For international travelers, if you have Global Entry, simply bring your updated passport to your closest Enrollment Center and they can update your account information there.
Tip: If you’re planning on using your passport to travel internationally for your honeymoon, make sure all the names on your necessary documents match your tickets!
5. Update Your Bank Accounts and Request New Credit/Debit Cards
Whether you’re setting up a joint bank account or already have one, this is an important step. Head to your closest bank to make these changes. Here, you can change your name on your bank account, request new credit cards and debit cards, request new checkbooks and also change your address. You’ll need the following:
- Marriage certificate copy
- Driver’s license
- Social security card
- Proof of residence (for address update)
6. Update Credit Cards
Make sure to directly get in touch with your credit card company to figure how you should go about changing the names on your credit cards. You will need some of your newly updated forms of identification such as your state ID, passport, or driver’s license, and marriage certificate.
Other Important Accounts to Update When Changing Your Name After Marriage
After you update the essentials, make sure to update these other important things while you’re at it.
7. Post Office
Notify the UPS, USPS or any other postal services that you use of your name and address change if you have moved after you got married.
8. Insurance Companies
Whether it be life, health, auto, or home insurances, make sure to update your names on your insurances. This can be done through your insurance broker. For any insurance provided by your workplace, make sure to contact the HR department.
Once again, your newly updated social security card is needed! Show it to your employer so that they can change your name for your payroll account. Your employer will also need to update your new name with your benefit accounts such as dental, health and other accounts.
If you have a mortgage with your pre-marriage name on it, make sure to inform your lender.
11. Voter Registration
Might as well check off your name change on your voter registration so you don’t forget to when elections come!
12. Professional Licenses
If you hold any professional licenses such as doctors, nurses, or lawyers do and wish to change your name on it, now is a good time to do so.
13. Investment Accounts
Call your financial planner if you have one to get help on changing your name on your investments. If you have any retirement savings accounts, make sure to get those updated as well.
14. Social Media
This one of the easier ones and you might’ve already changed your social media handles and names in the excitement of it all! This could include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more!
15. Medical Offices
Inform any of your medical offices such as dentists and doctors about your name change just so that all insurances and ID’s are matching.
16. Email Accounts
If you wish to change your email address or contact name, now is also a good time to do this.
This includes your water and power, gas company, internet, cell phone, and other providers that are billing you!
Things To Consider When Changing Your Name After Marriage
Here are some other key things to keep in mind:
18. Hyphenated Last Names
If you are using creating a hyphenated or new last name you’ll have to file for a court order to petition the court.
As mentioned before, you’ll want to make sure all your documents match such as your passport, ID, and tickets when traveling. If you’re honeymooning right after you get married, make sure to book your tickets under your maiden name if you don’t have the new passport that reflects your name change.
20. Using Your Maiden Name As a Middle Name
Another option for a name change after marriage is to use your maiden name as your new legal middle name and change your last name. It has a lot of perks such as reconnecting with friends on social platforms. It’s also helpful if you’ve forgotten to change your name for something small.
21. When Should I Change My Name?
There is no name change deadline for your marriage so long as you are still married and have your marriage certificate. You can change it as soon as you are married and have received the marriage certificate.
After reading all 21 tips mentioned above, we hope that the stress of changing your name after marriage has melted away. Your marriage and wedding should be special and stress-free. Especially for a simpler task like changing your last name. Hopefully all of these tips and guide through the name change process has helped you and made the process easier. Enjoy your shiny new last name!
Written by Camryn Yuen