There are many things about getting married that have you so excited. You’re getting to marry your best friend, celebrate with friends and family, and start this new journey together. It’s seriously a blast! Something that not enough people talk about, however, is the logistics of getting married. Specifically, changing your name after marriage. This little tidbit is purposely left out by many people because it can be an absolute PAIN. Don’t worry though, having experienced this myself, I will give you some of the best tips for changing your name after marriage for a seamless transition.
Remember, It’s Your Choice To Change Your Name
First things first, please remember that it is completely your choice whether or not you want to change your name after marriage. Many of you may actually not want to change your name, and that’s totally fine. For whatever reason you choose, to either change your name or not, just remember that at the end of the day, the choice is yours.
However, if you’re someone who has discussed with your partner whose last name will be changing then this blog is for you.
Get Your Marriage Certificate
First things first, you’re going to need to have your marriage certificate ready and on hand. The marriage certificate basically proves that you got married and that your name is changing from ___ to ___. It’s a legal document that is verifying your marriage and you will need to use it many times throughout the process of changing your name after marriage. You should receive your marriage certificate by mail for you to have on record.
Make Copies Of Your Marriage Certificate
I recommend making several copies of your marriage certificate ahead of time and leaving the original marriage certificate at home. That way you have a copy with you at all times during this process and don’t run the risk of ruining or losing the original. I recommend heading to your county office (the one where you got your marriage license) and requesting official government issues copies for your records. Most of the time you will need to purchase additional copies, but it is well worth it and not too expensive usually!
Keep in mind that your marriage certificate and marriage license are two different things. A marriage license shows that you are eligible to marry, while a marriage certificate proves that you have completed and registered your marriage.
Update Your Social Security Card
Next, you’re going to need to go and update your social security card with the Social Security Administration. This will need to be your absolute first step since every step afterward will your SS number as a reference. In order for you to change your social security, you will need to provide 1.) proof of identity, 2.) proof of citizenship, and 3.) proof of legal name change. In order to do this you can provide documentation such as:
Your Proof Of Identity
- U.S Driver’s License
- U.S Passport
- Employer Identification Card
- Health Insurance Card
- U.S Military Identification Card
Proof of U.S Citizenship
- U.S Birth Certificate
- U.S Passport
- Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship
- U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad
Proof of Legal Name Change
- Your marriage certificate
Get A New Driver’s License
Once you have updated your social security card with the SSA, then it’s on to getting a new driver’s license! You will need to head to the DMV and fill out any forms required to have a new license. Make sure that you bring:
- New social security card
- Current driver’s license
- Certified copy of your marriage license
- Proof of address
Update Your Vehicle Title & Registration
You’re also going to want to update your vehicle title and registration. Each DMV and state may follow different steps for you to register your vehicle and register it with your new name. I recommend checking out your local DMV website to see what they require in order for you to go through this process.
Update Your Passport
If you are big on traveling like me, especially internationally, you will also need to update your passport with your new name. Keep in mind that you may need to pay processing fees to re-issue your passport. This is especially the case if your passport was issued more than one year ago.
If your passport has been issued more than a year ago, you will need to fill out this DS-82 form.
If your passport has been issued less than a year ago, you will need to fill out the DS-5504 form.
Change Bank Account Info & Credit Cards
You will also need to make sure that you are updating your bank account information as well as your credit card info. For your bank account, contact your bank and see if they require in-person appointments or not in order for you to do this. Most banks will require you to provide support documentation such as a copy of your marriage certificate, your new social security card, and your new driver’s license.
As for credit cards, each credit card company may have different processes. It’s best to call them and ask them what are the proper steps in order to change the name on your cards.
Update Your Bill Payments
This is another huge step that a lot of people tend to forget, is to update your bill payments. This includes gas, electricity, water, car payments, student loans, etc. The majority of the time this is a quick fix and can be done all within the comfort of your home and computer.
Update Your Insurance
You also want to make sure that you are updating your insurance as well with your new name change. This can include home, health, flood, auto, etc. Again, like most things each company and its processes may be different in how to change your name within their system. I recommend calling a customer services representative and asking them for the best solution to this to have the easiest and most smooth transition.
Let Human Resources Know
If you work in an office with a human resources office, you’re going to want to make sure you notify them of this name change. This way they are able to update your payroll, health insurance, and your 401(k).
Change The Socials
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to update your socials with your new name change! This can include your Facebook Name, IG and Twitter handles, etc. While this isn’t the most absolute necessary change if you’re wanting things to be consistent I recommend going for it!
Changing Your Name After Marriage
If any of you were stressing over changing your name after marriage, hopefully, this little guide helped walk you through the process. This may seem a bit daunting in the beginning. However, just know that once you get through this there is light at the end of the tunnel.
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