Post # 1
Hi all! I’m a long time lurker, and finally registered. I’ve poked my way through these boards, but couldn’t seem to find a specific answer to this specific question.
After debating between making my maiden name a second middle name or doing the double barrel (two last names, no hyphen), I’m leaning strongly towards the latter. I work in higher ed, and I just feel gross about relegating my last name to middle name status, where it’ll disappear. So basically, I’ll be Jane Ann Smith marrying James Jones, and will then be Jane Ann Smith Jones, with both Smith and Jones being legal last names. At work, I’ll probably make it through Fall semester with just maiden name, then transition over to the full Jane Smith Jones.
Anyhow, after that lengthy preamble, my question: how much flexibility do you have with two last names that don’t have a hyphen. I know that since my SS card and driver’s license will have the full name, that all legal documents and plane tickets will need the full name. But outside of that…work, bank cards, library cards, the doctor…how much flexibility is there?
I’d really love to hear all the pros and cons from people who have been here, done this! Thank you!
Post # 2
I wanted to take my maiden name as a second middle name to become Jane Ann Smith Jones. I decided not to for two important reasons. The DMV in my state said that I could not have two, non-hyphenated last names (which wasn’t what I was intending — I wanted two middle names, so I’m honestly not sure how any entity would know the difference between what I wanted to do and “double barreling.) The second reason is that I have a friend who did what I wanted to do, and she said that, in hindsight, she wished that she hadn’t. She told me that her employer hyphenated her name and her doctors’ offices were all over the place — some had her with her new last name, some had her under her maiden name first, etc.
Given all of that hassle, I simply dropped my given middle name from my current legal name (but it will follow me through life on my birth certificate, so it’s still there essentially) and am now Jane Smith Doe, with Smith in my case being my maiden/middle name.
I have no regrets. I love this formal, traditional name change, because it shows clear continuity of my identity while allowing me to have my husband’s last name.
Post # 3
Brielle : It’s awesome that you found a solution that worked so well! I know that First MaidenAsMiddle Married is a super common choice people make these days, and it’s what I’d do if I lived in a more restrictive state. I’m lucky in that my state allows two legal last names, and it’s important to me that my maiden name stay a legal last name.
Post # 4
I generally hate the idea of bumping my own threads, but bumping just in case anyone else has experience.
Post # 5
- Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse
dianaj17 : I don’t know if this is what you’re looking for.
I really like my maiden name and it’s super unique so I didn’t want to change it. However, I like my husband’s last name.
I’m lazy and didn’t want to deal with the legalities of changing my name. So what I did is socially I go by Mrs. MyHusbandsLastName and professionally I just started changing my email signature, resume and got a new email with Sara MyMaidenName HisLastName. That way I can go by both and it’s no work or hassle.
In terms of everything else legal, it’s just my first name and maiden name. On our mortgage, my passport, most of the bills are in my name, etc. It hasn’t been an issue so far. And that way, I can always legally double barrel my last name, hyphenate it or just change to his last name.
Post # 6
dianaj17 : it depends in your jurisdiction . I am a Justice of the Peace in Canada . In most provinces, you can assume the names as such:
….take yours, his or any use of the two.
You can do it how you asked about.
And I did also, with my first marriage.
You can be Michael Clarke Duncan, or Michael Duncan, or Michael Clarke. Or Michael Clarke-Duncan.
This requires no change of name, uou can switch back and forth, you are not required to change any or all of your id’s. However having them.cohesive can be easier. Your birth certificate does not change
Post # 7
I double barreled and have had zero problems. Super easy to change at the SS office/DMV etc, and almost acts like a catch all for items I didn’t immediately update since both maiden and married last names are both applicable. Socially, I tend to go by just my married name, but I’m so very glad I have the option as well as maintaining my “original” identity.
Post # 8
mrs2b70 : That’s great to hear! I know that I’ll need to use both on contracts/IDs, but what about plane tickets? Google hasn’t been especially helpful there.
Post # 9
If you are traveling you will book with what is on your travel documents. I have always kept my passport and travel in my maiden name as my birth certificate of course, is maiden. I changed all other pieces of ID to two last names.
Remember those are normally your only two citizenship documents .
Post # 10
bctoquebec : I think that the whole process works quite differently in the US…we don’t get to assume any name. We don’t change our birth certificate, but we do change our Social Security card, driver’s license, and passport. I only use my passport to travel if I go out of the country…otherwise, it’s my license. I don’t use my birth certificate for anything. As Jane Ann Smith, I often only put Jane Smith on my airline tickets, even though Ann is on my ID. That’s why I wondered if I could just put Jane Jones, and leave the other two names out.
Post # 11
I have two first names no middle name and two last names (no hyphen). So they only appear on my DL and SS. My passport is in “my” name – i hate the term maiden name; i haven’t been a maiden in 20 some years and it is what it is: “my” name. I am currently oversees and I booked the tickets with one first and my last name. No problem. No question, no nothing. I always book everything this way as both (two first – two last) are always to long to even fit anywhere properly.
my bank cards were issued also with one first and my last name. After they issued them with only my husband’s last name and I called and told them it’s rude to just assume things. There was no option to put all 4 names on it. One card I have with tow first name initials and both last names.
I hate going by his last name and two names are just a hassle. I make appointments with s short version of my first name and my last name and when they need my full name I just hand them a card or my iD depending on how official it is.
Actually the double barrel name is just on paper…. my friends don’t even know that I have a double barreled name.
I am very torn about the choice: I never wanted to change my name and compromised by taking two to make my husband happy. It’s annoying though because I just don’t want to be “Mrs Hislastname”. By now the husband says just to drop it if it would make me happy and give me inner peace.
Post # 12
dianaj17 : Yes we in Canada, can and may change our names on everything related to identification as well. With ONE exception.
However… I think there is alot of confusion about a legal change of name vs being married.
Changing your name on one’s ID… as per marriage …. does not constitute a legal change of name. It is a legal “permission” to use that name as your identity. And you are legally entitled.to change your name on those documents. Anything from this point on, relating to your identity.
The best you can do is contact vital statistics or the marriage registry in your own state or province as these processes can and do, vary. Myself and an American judge were just speaking about this last weeek. Certainly that would be the appropriate venue for exacting questions and instruction pertinent to your jurisdiction.
As far as I am aware – zero places allow you to alter the name on your birh certificate – just due to marriage alone. It uses a seperated process not attached to marriage
Who you were born as, does not change with marriage.
Post # 13
dianaj17 : I did exactly that and I love it! I changed my passport and my drivers license at their normal renewal times (i.e. not immediately after I got married) and nothing else. I made sure to specify that I was adding my husband’s surname to the end of mine, rather than pushing my surname to the end of my middle name. My credit cards, bank accounts, degrees, financial documents all remained the same. Another benefit is that I can use either portion of my surname to conduct business and they are equally correct. I’ve easily cashed checks made out to Elizabeth Anne Baines Locke, Elizabeth Anne Baines, or Elizabether Anne Locke with no trouble. On the con side, computers kinda hate my name though (filling out forms that don’t allow for special characters). And spelling it over the phone is somewhat of a hassle.
Post # 14
I double barrelled. It can be a pain in the a** sometimes just because I can never keep track of who has me as my maiden only, who has me as both, and in the very rare occassion, who has me as only my husbands name. To be honest though, it’s usually an additional 2 minutes of time to figure it out and we’re good to go.
I’m in the US and my driver’s license and passport have my full legal name First Middle Maiden HusbandsLast. Typically I have always seen when booking flights that the name on the boarding pass should exactly match the name on your passport or ID you will be using, so I put the whole thing. The boardinb pass never has enough room to fit it anyway, but when I buy the tickets online and enter that info, I always use my full legal name that matches my state licensed documents.
As far as pretty much everywhere else, it’s always a mix. My bank documents have both last names but I have credit cards still under just my maiden and it’s not a problem. Dr’s offices are my favorite because I never know. The nice thing is that usually it’s either just my maiden or both, so my maiden will appear first anyway, whether DH’s last name is tacked on or not. I also like it because my ID still shows my maiden, so if there’s ever an issue with something only having my maiden name, I still have that as my legal last name. It’s just got a “friend” now but it’s alleviated many potential issues with that mess.
Honestly with as many women who change their names up in some way period, you’d think it would be easier to deal with all of that but unfortunately it can be difficult at times. I always carry a notarized copy of my marriage license in my purse in any event I’d need to prove that my new name is my married name. I’ve only ever needed it once but boy was I happy I had it!
Post # 15
For ladies who double barrelled and found it difficult, why not just hyphenate?