(Closed) How soon before the wedding should you change your name and sign paperwork?

posted 8 years ago in Names
Post # 3
5977 posts
Bee Keeper

In PA, you can’t change your name until you’re legally married. So I didn’t do that until about a month after the wedding. Our honeymoon tickets were booked in my maiden name – so my passport was still fine since it was in my maiden name. I wouldn’t do anything until after the wedding. It makes travel and things before the wedding entirely too difficult.

Post # 4
18637 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I don’t think you can change your name until after the marriage is finalized and the marriage license is returned to you.  I got mine back a week after the wedding.

If you are traveling right after the wedding, have the tickets in your maiden name and use your passport with your maiden name.  You can’t get a new passport back in less than a month or so.

Post # 5
1222 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@2PeasinaPod: Same rules apply in CA. I didn’t change anything until after the wedding.

Post # 6
3521 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I wasn’t able to do anything until we got the marriage license back, which was about 10 days after the wedding. We’ve been married a month today (!!!) and I just finished changing everything to my new name last week.

Post # 8
505 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

You do have to go and get the marriage license from the courthouse and bring it to the wedding for your Minister to sign.  Usually, depending on your county, you have 30-60 days to use your license before it expires and you have to buy a new one.  After the wedding you mail it in to prove you have been married and they mail you back a certified copy within 2 weeks or so.  For any travel, they want you to use your maiden name because you can’t change your name before you are married, and definitely not in time for a honeymoon that is immediately following.

So I would recommend going to get it 2-3 weeks in advance.

Post # 9
2476 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

In CA, you have to get and use your marriage license within 90 days.  Both people in the party have to show up in person to the County Clerk’s office to obtain the license. 

Post # 10
333 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

In most states, you can’t change your name until you have the marriage certificate which you get after the officiant and your witnesses have signed/sent in the marriage license.  I didn’t get mine until ~2wks after the wedding and we live in a less urban county.  

You should probably also check on the laws governing name change in your state as they will ask you what your new name will be on your marriage license.  After you get your marriage certificate, the social security office is your first stop.  They will give you a piece of paper that says your new card is on its way.  Then the DMV and then everything else.  

If you are traveling for your honeymoon, make sure that your airline tickets are in whatever name is on your passport/drivers license.  I know of a couple of people who had to repurchase expensive tickets to go on their honeymoon or pay for an expensive change of ticket fee because they booked it under their married name rather than the name on their ID.  

Post # 11
7587 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

Your license, passport and tickets all have to be the same. If you change ahead of time you will not be able to travel. Wait until your home and know you will stay put before changing your name.

Post # 12
4480 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

Before the wedding, you’ll have to pick up the license, but you can’t fill it out/send it in until after it’s signed at the wedding. Even then, your name isn’t actually “changed” until you take the marriage certificate, which you can pick up at the recorder’s office or have mailed to you, to the Social Security Office, and you can’t get new identification in your married name until you then go to the DMV. Book your travel in your maiden name, since that name will still be on your passport. Your government ID name has to match the name on your passport if you’re traveling internationally, and they both have to match your ticket if you’re flying. You can change allllllll of it when you get back; there’s no time limit, as far as I know. 🙂

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