Post # 1
Hey there bees!
So FH and I went to get our marriage license a few weeks ago for our October wedding. We were super excited and all was fairly quick and easy.
However when asked for the name I’d be using I said I’d be taking his. This has been an ongoing source of uncertainty for me since we’ve become engaged. I have a few publications under my maiden name so I’m somewhat establishing myself in my work. I know I could use my maiden name as a pen name, however something like my diploma would have my maiden name and I’d feel kind of separated from my work if I published under one name and lived socially under another.
The question is, if the marriage license says that I’m changing my name do I have to change it? Do I need to get a new license if I know i’m probably not going to change it? I’ve read plenty of posts where women don’t legally change their names for years so I guess that means I could keep my maiden name and the marriage license would still be signed and such. I was just wondering if I needed a new marriage license if I’m pretty sure I’m not legally changing my name.
FH also writes so he’d have to understand why I wouldn’t just want to start publishing under a different name. When my future mother in law asked I said I was taking their name so I guess that would be another something to deal with in the future. Although now that I think of it people could call me whatever they fancy and I could just legally keep my maiden name.
Post # 3
my marriage license has a hyphenated name on it even though I never plan to change my name to have a silly hyphen in it. But for where we live it it is imporrible to get a new drivers license and pass port etc without spending a week in a city 800 miles away. this way I can use both for IDs until I get them all changed over, but there is no rush to do so. I will probably wait until my pass port expires to change my name over officially anyways.
Post # 4
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
The way I understand it– by changing it on the marriage license you’re stating that you intend to change your name… but there’s no timeline on which you need to have this process completed.
The only thing I caution you is don’t change it 1/2 way (for example, curently, I’ve changed it with SS & most of my bank/loans, but not on my driver’s license, voter’s registration, mortgage, passport, or employee files) If, for example, I don’t get my paperwork completed by the end of the year– my SS# will be one name, and my I-9 and W-4 would be another– BIG problem when I go to pay my 2012 taxes next April.
The decision either way is up to you– for me, I have elected to legally hyfinate my name (because I didn’t realize I had to decide right then and was still too indecisive) but socially, I’m going by my married name, and professionally I’m sticking with my maiden name; mostly because all of my business contacts already know my unique last name which is part of my e-mail and there is another woman with the same first initial/last name combo that I would have if I made the switch.
It seems a bit complicated, because I basially have 3 identities– 1 for work, 1 for social events, and 1 on paper & planes. But I like it this way– the only thing that ticked me off was when my credit card company cut off part of my new last name from my card because it was “too long” but I have 2 other cards which had no problem fitting my name on the same sized piece of plastic.
Post # 5
@juliette.eliza: Thanks for this post! I am also planning to have 3 identities, so it is good to know that you are happy with your choice. I was planning to have 2 identities (work and social), but my state doesn’t allow me to add FI’s name legally without a hyphen, so I ended up with a 3rd (paper & planes):
LittleRiver Smith Jones (work)
LittleRiver Jones (social)
LittleRiver Smith-Jones (paper & planes)
Post # 6
My marriage license says nothing about me changing my name versus not changing it. Do some marriage license’s indicate a name change?
Post # 7
@les105: Yes, mine lists my “New Surname,” which takes effect at the conclusion of the marriage ceremony.
Post # 8
I changed my name on my marriage license but it doesn’t “activate” unless I take action to do so by taking the license to the dmv to get a new license, social security office, passport office, etc.
Post # 9
Thanks so much! What I’m gathering is that it’s the best of both worlds to have it on the license just in case. That way I can change it if I want or not if I don’t. Phew! Kind of awesome to have more time to think about this social vs professional vs legal name situation.
Post # 10
Huh, I just put my birth name on it because that is what my legal name is at the time of the signing.