(Closed) Changing names? DIY or use a service?

posted 10 years ago in Names
Post # 3
244 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

All the online services do are populate the forms you will need with your data (name, dob, etc.).  They won’t actually do the mailing or leg work for you which is really the biggest part of the job. Personally I thought all the forms were easy to find and fill in so I wouldn’t think paying a service to do it is necessary. But if you aren’t internet savvy or don’t have the time to find the forms you need perhaps it’s worth it. 

As far as order it really depends on your state. I know in VA you can change your driver’s license with just your marriage license. In general though I’d say the most important thing is getting your new social security card. Most everything else will be easy once you have that. You will have to visit your local SS office and wait (mine was quick and easy and I got a new card in less then 2 wks in the mail). 

Post # 4
208 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

I agree that the legwork is the hardpart. I haven’t found changing my name difficult, just time consuming and I doubt an online program will help with that. I’ll give you the tips I have from doing it in Oregon. Might be different in your state.

First, you’ll need a certified copy of your marriage licence. The pretty certificate won’t get you anything. I had to go in person to the county office and purchase copies. I was recommended to get two copies, so that you don’t have to go back to the county if an institution keeps a copy.

The first place to go is Social Security. It was surprisingly easy. There’s a simple form, and I just showed them my marriage certificate. I received a letter that day stating that I had changed my name, and a new copy of my SS card arrived in the mail a few days later.

Next, DMV. Since I did it the same day that I went to SS (and therefore did not have my new card), I showed them my marriage licence, my old SS card, and my letter from SS saying that I had changed my name with them.

I had to wait until my actual SS card arrived before I could change my name at work, because they needed to make a copy of it for their records. 

Then there’s the banks, retirement funds, health insurance, car and house title, frequent flyer programs, etc. You’ll have to check with all your own institutions to see how they do it. Some will require you to mail a copy of your marriage licence. Do the ones that only need to see a copy in person first, to reduce the number of copies that you need. That hasn’t been too bad, since I have to contact them all anyway to add my husband to the accounts.

Post # 5
90 posts
Worker bee

Just FYI….if you have a passport, get it changed as soon as possible.  If you wait too long, you have to pay a fee, but if you do it right away, it won’t cost you anything.  Good luck! 

Post # 6
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Actually, whether you have to pay a fee to change your passport  depends on how long you have had your passport, not how long you wait to change your name after you get married.  If you have had your passport less than a year, there is no fee.  If not, you pay for a new passport. 

Post # 7
90 posts
Worker bee

Is that what it is?  Thanks for clearing that up.  This happened to my sis-in-law who didn’t do it in the time allotted (it was a brand new passport which she got for the honeymoon), but she must have waited a year and then couldn’t get it changed for free.  Thanks for the info!  Looks like I’ll have to get a new one either way, so I’ll just wait to get it renewed…thanked for savin’ me the trouble!

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