How to Change Your Name After Marriage

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Traditionally, new brides adopt their husband’s name upon marriage, although sometimes they may choose to hyphenate both names together. Either way, you have to make it official. Your wedding certificate isn’t enough, but it’s a start.  Here is some information on going through the steps to legally change your name.  

First Stop, Social Security

You’ll need to contact the Social Security Administration to obtain a new card with your new name on it. Go to www.SSA.gov and print out the Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5). Take the completed form to your local SSA office, along with your marriage certificate with the official seal, which you should have received from the clerk’s office of the county in which your license was filed. You will also need your birth certificate and a proof of identity: your passport, driver’s license, or state identity card. (If you do not have a birth certificate, the passport may take its place.) A complete list of alternative forms of ID are on the SSA website.

Next, the DMV

In order to change the name on your driver’s license, you’ll need your marriage certificate, your new Social Security card, and other forms of ID. Please go to your state’s DMV website to find out what your state requires. Take these documents and any required, completed forms to your friendly neighborhood Department of Motor Vehicles to get your new driver’s license.

Other Important Records to Update

Passport: Changing your passport will require steps similar to changing your driver’s license. Check www.travel.state.gov for details. Unless your passport was issued within the last year, you will need to appear in person at a passport agency to receive a new passport.

Bank accounts: Inform your bank that you’re newly married and ask them what documents you need to show in order to change the name on your accounts or to open joint accounts with your spouse.

Other important records you may wish to update:

  •         Loans/lease agreements/mortgage/deeds
  •         Car title/registration
  •         Employer records
  •         Medical records
  •         Insurance (be sure to change beneficiaries, as well, but that’s a different blog post!)
  •         Investment and Retirement accounts
  •         Bills
  •         Voter registration
  •         Social media
  •         Licenses/rewards programs
  •         Post office records

You may have additional places where your name is recorded. It will take a little while to get them all changed, so don’t panic if it doesn’t all get done within a month. But maybe make it a goal to have your new name being used everywhere by your first anniversary, and it will make the celebration of your union even more perfect!  

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