Post # 1
So my fiance and I are having our “real wedding” decemeber 1 of this year. 200 people big ta do blah blah blah.
I am American and he is from the UK. We met a few years ago when he came to NYC from London on a H1B work VISA. That VISA expires early 2014 so we were advised by a friend to go to the courthouse next month and get “legally” married so that he can get his green card expidited so he can work anywhere in the US. (right now he is only here legally to work at his specific country that sponsored him).
My question is this – we are planning on going to the courthouse in NYC and for some reason the law there is that if I want to change my name to his (which i do – MAIDENNAME – HISLASTNAME) I must do it when we file our papers at the courthouse. If not we have to remarry again in NYC for me to change my name to his and go through the whole process again.
Now the issue is this – we are just doing this 6 months before our wedding so that he can expidite his green card and we don’t want friends and family to know that we are already married before our event in December.
DO I HAVE TO CHANGE MY LAST NAME ON MY SSCARD, DRIVERS LISC., CREDIT CARDS, etc right when we get married? Or can i legally wait till after our wedding in december? I don’t want people at work or friends to pick up that we’ve already tied the knot.
Any advice would be great. Thanks
Post # 3
Are you sure that is the law in NYC? I have never heard of a place that will make you get remarried to change your name.
I changed mine like 2 months later and it wasnt an issue.
Post # 4
- Wedding: March 2014 - Glen Sanders Mansion
I’m fairly certain you can change it whenever you want on your license, SS card, etc. I have a friend who waited a year I think to change all that stuff (we all live in Albany, NY).
Post # 5
I would change your name on your SS card and DL. Then tell HR at work so all your tax info is the same. But tell them that professionally you are keeping your maiden name so your email and stuff wont change. Then if you want change back accts and CC (who actually sees their friends CCs?) I still have a CC with my maiden name and it’s been 2.5 years.
With all of the changes, no one in real life will know that you legally changed your name. Then once you have your wedding, change your name professionally (email, etc) and FB. Because really the only name change that matters to your friends is on FB!
Post # 6
I agree with PP’s… I think you can change it whenever you want. I waited like 4 months before changing my SS card because I was so busy. BUT when you sign your marriage license (at least in NY state where we got ours) .. they ask you to put what your intended new name will be and you should write in your new last name there. This is the last name that will be printed on your marriage license and that is the document you will take to SS office to prove to them that is your new legal name.
Post # 7
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@angthrice: Depends on the state. Some limit the amount of time you have to change your name to 3 months or 6 months or even 1 year after the wedding. If you want to change it after that you have to go through the normal name change process instead of the expedited (and cheaper!) post wedding name change. A normal name change process involves filing fees, a background check, and a hearing in a majority of cases. An expedited post wedding name change usually involves a nominal fee, showing your marriage license, and filling out some forms.
Post # 8
@beachbride1216: In NYC since I filled out the paperwork wtih the new name – if we get married I will have already done the name change process – my question is can i legally wait another 6 months to file that new name with Social Secuirity, IRS, Credit Cards, etc – or is there a time limit after you have legally changed your name.
our honeymoon is already booked in my maiden name so I know I’d have to wait on the passport.
Post # 9
OP, it’s impossible to “remarry” someone you are already married to. In the eyes of the law, you can only get married once, unless you get a divorce or annulment (or your spouse dies) before you remarry. Also, you do not have to get married to change your name. So why don’t you just wait to change it?
Post # 10
@angthrice: Putting your new name on the paperwork isn’t legally changing your name. You name isn’t legally changed until you change it with social security.
@KoiKove: My credit card still has my maiden name too (almost 3 years later). I probably ought to get around to getting that changed – lol!
Post # 11
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
I don’t see anything where social security sets a time limit. As long as you aren’t trying to defraud anybody, I think you could reasonably take up to one year to change everything over.
P.S. IRS changes over when you change your name with social security. This means you will need to file your taxes under the name you have with social security as of December 31, 2013.
Post # 12
@Mrs.KMM: THANK YOU. Ok, I was having a panic attack that i would miss some timeframe and end up in trouble. I’ll file all that paperwork after the wedding in december. THANKS!
Post # 13
@Mrs.KMM: I have a friend who’s been married 10 years. When they had their first child, almost 5 years ago, she changed her name (so they would all have the same last name). She still has CC and bank accnts in her maiden name. LOL
Post # 14
@Mrs.KMM: NYS is unusual in that you have to indicate what your married name will be when you apply for a marriage license, and the legal name change takes effect at the conclusion of the marriage ceremony. You then bring your marriage certificate (which constitutes a legal name change order) to SS, DMV, etc.
@angthrice: I know many people who have waited years after marrying in NYC to change their name with SS, DMV, etc.
Post # 15
@angthrice: In NYC since I filled out the paperwork wtih the new name – if we get married I will have already done the name change proces
That’s actually not true…the name change process begins when you go to the social security office, which is the first step before you can change it on your driver’s license or anything else. So you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Post # 16
@angthrice: Can you call the NYC courthouse and ask someone there? They would know better wouldn’t they?
I’m in Canada so I’m definitely not an expert, but I know that my sister (who has been married almost 3 years) has bank accounts in her maiden name, her married name on her DL and passport, and goes by her maiden name hyphenated with her married name professionally. So I don’t think it really matters.
If I was in your situation, I would legally change my name everywhere that that gov’t sees, so your SS, DL etc. Then just carry copies of your marriage certificate with you on your honeymoon to explain why your last name is different on your passport. I would wait to tell work/friends/family and change emails, or online identities etc until December.