Post # 1
So, I was reading about the requirements to obtain a marriage license in Iowa and it mentioned on the Iowa official website that you can use the marriage license to change your name. I plan on changing mine to match FIs because hers is prettier and flows nicely and we both like. it. I’d always just assumed I’d have to go to court/pay out the nose to get it done though.
So the instructions on the marriage license application say that you fill out the appllication with your name before marriage then indicate what your name will be after, and then after the ceremony you sign the license with your “new” name if you are changing it (or something along those lines).. and then it’s filed and your new name is “official”.
My question is, how does this apply to same sex couples when the federal gov’t or your home state doesn’t recognize your marriage? Is the marriage license going to be “enough” to get my Social Security card changed, or my driver’s license, or my school records (I’m a college student), if I live in Texas where my marriage won’t be recognized?
should I do it anyway, then still plan on having to go through the courts here in Texas to make it official or should it suffice regardless of where we live?
So confused on this one..
Post # 3
hmmm. wish i could be more help!!! they may let you, i would call the socialy sucurity office, because if you can change it with them, eveyone else has to change it too!
Post # 4
The marriage certificate will be enough to get your name changed with the federal government. Even though the federal government still does not recognize same-sex marriages, it treats them as though Iowa had given you a court-ordered name change at the same time.
The situation at the state level is more complicated. In some states, a person who has had his or her name changed for Social Security purposes as the result of a same-sex marriage has been unable to get a driver’s license in the new name.
You may want to check what documentation your home state requires for a name change. If the documentation required is something you would be able to provide, without reference to the marriage certificate (e.g., if a passport is sufficient), then you shouldn’t have a problem. If it is not, you could try to persuade them that your marriage certificate is the legal equivalent of a court change of name. However, your success may depend on who is on duty at the motor vehicles department that day.
Post # 5
@2dBride: Thanks. That’s what I have learned as well. From the TX DMV website:
You are required to notify the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) of a name change within 30 days. A fee is required. Name changes cannot be processed online. In order to change your name, you must apply at any Texas Driver License office and present your marriage certificate/license or court order to initiate the change. No name will be used that has not been previously documented . In all cases, documented proof of name change shall be presented. 37 Texas Administrative Code 15.23, 37 Texas Administrative Code 15.36, Texas Transportation Code 521.054.
Ugh. I didn’t read the actual code yet (I was doing that all yesterday for another reason and legal-ese gives me a headache)..
I just don’t want the TX DMV to refuse it after I get the SS office to change it, then I’d be in some weird 2-name limbo with my new name on the Marriage certificate and SS card but not on my license. If I’m going to do it I will need to do it quickly because I am going to be transferring to a university after that (I’m a community college student) and I don’t want to risk any big problems with my school records being under the wrong name.
I guess if that did happen I could still go to court and do it that way to get it done..? I am worried, because we’re in Texas, that they’ll give me trouble based on the stupid law here about SS marriage in general, that they will use the fact that it’s not recognized to deny my name change.
Wow, it’s starting to dawn on me just how many different agencies I will have to notify when I do it.. the property tax people for the paperwork on my house (deed/title), my car title, car insurance, bank, credit cards… yikes! Oh well, I REALLY want to do this!
Post # 6
@MsInterpret: Yeah, you could try to persuade them that the marriage certificate is a court order changing your name, even if they won’t accept the marriage itself. That’s basically the theory on which the Social Security Administration is operating, since the feds also don’t recognize same-sex marriage, and you might want to take in the Social Security rules to back up your case. However, I suspect that whether you succeeded would depend on which employee processed the request. At worst, you’d need to go through the legal change of name procedures.
And my sympathies on all the places it needs to be done! I am very thankful that I have never wanted to change my name, either as a result of my previous (straight) marriage, or as a result of the current (same-sex) one.
Post # 7
@2dBride: Thanks again.. and I never wanted to change my name either the first time around (hetero marriage), but that’s because my name plus his surname was ridiculous and rhyming and there was just no freakin way!! But now, FI is changing her name through the courts before the wedding and then I will change mine to that after. Her name change choice is to honor the side of her family that’s been good and kind and dump the name she’s had all her life which is her mom’s ex-husband’s name (a man she never even met!)
I wonder if she could just wait and choose the new name at the time of the wedding too, vs. going through the courts beforehand? Hmmm.
Post # 8
My fiancee and I live in MD, where same-sex marriages are recognized but not performed. We are getting legally married in DC in a couple of months and then having a destination vow renewal/big party in Mexico for our first anniversary (10/2011). She is taking my last name and is having it legally changed (has a court date for November) so that it will be the same, across the board, no questions. It cost a hundred bucks or so but will prevent that weird two-name limbo.
Post # 9
If you are getting married in Maryland, why does she need to go to court to change her name? The Social Security Office, passport office, etc., will accept the name change based on the marriage. And it would seem that the MVA should, too, now that same-sex marriage is recognized in Maryland.
Post # 10
Well on that note… we are thinking about (TOTALLY depends on money of course) having a little minimoon in Mexico or somewhere else where I’ll need a passport. Do I have a limit on how long I have to do the name change? I think it would be much easier to travel BEFORE I change my name or start the process…
Post # 11
- Wedding: September 2010 - Heritage Square Museum
So we changed our names on our Domestic Partner Registry here in California and had no problem getting our new social security cards or drivers licenses…
Sure the lady at the Social Security office had to “find that email about this stuff” and call over a few looky lous to “help” her, but she got it done.
Same story at DMV. Here in CA the DMV website is pretty explicit that you need a “True Full Name” document that shows the legal change- it then lists true full name documents, including domestic registry.
I printed out these pages just in case I needed ’em, but in the end it wasn’t a problem…
I know you’re talking about changing your name in a different state then you marry in, so I’m not sure all the rules- but I would just do your homework so you can be prepared.
AND I think most peeps actually travel using their original name due to time concerns with getting a new passport- again here in CA our Domestic Partnership requires us to have all our name changing done within 2 years.
I’m sure a similar (although maybe shorter?) window of time exists for marriage?
AND yippee! 🙂
Post # 12
@stripes: thanks for all that! My SIL keeps insisting that she just “knows” that the texas DMV will give us trouble. Or me trouble anyway. We shall see. Thanks on the passport thing though… hopefully we can just leave that out of it and travel with my pre-wedding one so I can get it in the next six months. God, I haven’t had a passport since I was in 4th grade and my father was going to take me to Venezuela and Alaska. And then didn’t, thanks to my stepmom. 😛
But yippee for sure!!
Post # 13
@MsInterpret: Just wondering what ever became of the name change since I’m now in the same situation.
Post # 14
Had no idea this was a year old post until I opened it! I am living in IL where civil unions are performed and recognized. MY FI wants us both to change our name and we’re hypenating. Is the civil union license all we need?