Wednesday, February 22, 2012

the bride guide: how to change your last name


Joy of joys! The wedding is over and it was the best day of your life. Everything went off without a hitch and now you are husband and wife. What do you do now? Well, there are many answers to that question... but one thing to do is change your last name! (If you are the kind of girl who chooses to do so) This was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make. But, once I decided how I wanted the government to recognize my name, I had to figure out what all needed to be changed and how to do it. Here is the order of what you have to do and how to go about doing it. Good luck, brides!


1. Find that little piece of paper at the bottom of your marriage license. Carry this around with you as you go from place to place changing your name.


2. Go to your area social security office and change your social. You will need this first before going out and changing everything else. It is simple to do. Go in, take a number, fill out the form, show them your marriage license slip, and swear you are telling the truth. 


3. The next step is your drivers license. Either wait to get your new social, or bring the receipt with you to the DMV (along with your handy marriage license slip). 


4. You have a year to change your name on your passport for free. All you need to do is mail: this form, your old passport, 2 new passport photos, the fee, and that handy marriage license slip. You do this last because they keep the slip.
***A year from issue, not a year after getting married. 
But you still don't have to pay full price to update it. 

Now the US government recognizes your new name! Congrats! 

Other things to change:

Your W2 info at work
Insurance info
Credit Cards
Bank Account Info


Good luck!



28 comments:

  1. thanks, i needed this one stop blog post when i was going through all of this. thought i could help some future bride out there

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  2. I got all my credit cards switched over NO problems. I just got married in January and everything was switched by mid March (because I procrastinated a bit). I just called the companies, let them know my name change and that was it.

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  3. Unfortunately, I don't believe changing your name on your passport is free, per Paragraph 3 of the linked form. Bummer! :(

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  4. You have a year from when you get/renew your passport to change your name free of charge. Example: I renewed my passport in March 2013 and I'm getting married in January 2014 so I have from January to March of 2014 to change my name for free (because its a year from when I renewed it). I hope this helps!

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  5. For #3, you will also need to bring in two proofs of residency. Good thing my sister told me this. They will accept bills that have your name and address on them, bank statements, the form from the post office for request that your mail be forwarded to your new address, etc. all government things. They'll give you a list of things they will accept and they are strict with it. And anything you bring in can be no more than 3 months old. I had to change my license quick, because we also needed to get a new plate for our car and had to add my name to the title. Oh goodness. It was a stressful mess.
    Also. You can't go to the license bureau the same day you change your social security card. It takes a day for the new name to be processed and they won't fo anything until it is.

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  6. I had to prove my prior last marriage and married name which was more than 38 years ago. This meant going to the county building trying to prove I had a previous marriage certificate. Requesting copies of documentation was somewhat difficult. At the DMV I had an unpleasant experience as I was presenting the information I had finally gathered. I have been a citizen born here 55 years ago and it seemed as if they thought I was a criminal. Treatment was not at all what I expected. I hope all states and counties are not like what I was subjected ti in New Jersey.

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  7. don't forget to change your name on professional licenses such as nursing, physical therapist, cosmetologist, real estate, etc.

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  8. also don't forget about the title and registration for your vehicle

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  10. I went to the social security office and changed my license the same day no problem. All I needed was our marriage certificate. I also called and changed my credit cards and bank info a day or two later also no problems. Just sent off my passport to get changed since they have it for a while. My only problem was one student loan company needing a copy of our marriage certificate and I don't have a scanner at home so I couldn't make a copy right away. Other wise it was super easy and was done within 2 weeks of being home from our honeymoon. Good luck to everyone else, hopeit goes as easy!

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  11. Do u get a new social security number or same number just a new name?

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    1. same number, they just update the name

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  12. Does it change your social security number as well as your last name?

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  13. I changed my name on my Social Security card. It didn't change my number. Still the same number since my parents got my card for me!!

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  14. ummm. I don't have that little slip Im supposed to take from place to place to change my name. All I have is my marriage certificate.... Help? And it's been almost 15 months since I married.. Can I still change my last name??

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  15. Yes you can still change your name! and Just take the marriage certifcate with you, they will just need a copy of it. Did you happen to get a few certified copies of you license when you filed your marriage license? The extra copies are great when you have to mail in info to change a name on something like your credit card.

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  16. awesome! I just got engaged so this will come in handy when the time comes :D

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  17. mmm, state of md does not provide a marriage slip. just fyi, social security and dmv do not recognize certified copies, only original documents.

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  18. or, you know, you can keep your name and not have to do any of this. that's awesome too!

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  19. Many women and cultures around the world do NOT change their name. Do you think that your husband would change his name for yours? ...that's what I thought.

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  20. Many women in our culture DO change their names, regardless if the husband would or would not...
    Thank you for your thought, Mireille :)

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  21. The slip of paper on our marriage license was not enough in the state of Arizona. They required a certified copy from the court. I had to wait for my license to be processed. 30 days! Then I was able to get my certified copy that I had to pay $27.00 for and take that to Social Security. Just FYI some states require more or less info. Best to visit the state you live in Social Security website and make sure you have what you need. It would be a shame to wait there for nothing.

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  22. Quick question! Do you need your Social Security Card when you go to change that?

    Thanks!

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  23. Does social security charge you when you change your name?

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