(Closed) Name change

posted 7 years ago in Names
Post # 3
1798 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

My name change was unrelated to marriage, but it really wasn’t very much trouble. The first thing you need to do is go to DMV with your marriage certificate and ask them to change your license, car registration, and car title to your new name. Then go to social security and file for a new card. In order to receive your social security care by mail, you have to file a name change with the post office. After that, you change bank accounts and other things pretty easily just by showing your ID and maybe sending a copy of your marriage license.


Post # 4
5984 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1999

@starlight31385: One thing I would recommend is to do this with a friend, if possible.  I went with one of my co-workers/friends who got married a few weeks prior to me.  We spent one of our days off going to the Social Security office, License Bureau, our places of employment, banks, etc. to change our names.  It made it much more fun with company and we stopped for lunch mid-day.  Good Luck! 

Post # 5
93 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

We’re using MissnowMrs.com for my FI’s name change… SO helpful!  It fills out the forms for you.

Post # 6
2261 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I’m NOT changing it right away but may sometime in the future. If it helps, no one anywhere says you have to do it right away! Maybe it’d be helpful to take some time and relax before attempting your next big legal event such as a name change. 

Post # 7
3618 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Yes!! I’m totally dreading it. I am also so confused where to start. I guess first thing is first, I need to get a certified copy of my marriage license. Still waiting for that to arrive…

Post # 8
56 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@starlight31385: it wasn’t that hard for me. I first went to the dmv to change the name on my learner’s permit. After i got that in the mail, i printed out a form from the social security administration website and filled it out. I attached a copy of my marriage license and social security card to the form and mailed it out. I received my new social security card in the mail a week and a half later. I lastly went to my bank and changed my name on my accounts. It takes some time but i am glad i got over it.

Also, i don’t know if it’s the same in other states as it is in NY, but i was told that if a person gets married through the court and decides to keep their last name but then a few years later decides to get a name change, the person would have to remarry through the court.

Post # 9
2065 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Honestly, it hasn’t been as bad as I was expecting. All my friends that changed their names talked about how awful it was…maybe I’m missing something?

I started with social security, then my driver license and passport. Then everything else just kind of gets changed as I go along. I changed it at work, who notified various insurance companies (health, dental, etc), then contacted my bank and all my credit card and loan (car and student) providers. Everything else I’m just doing as I come to it. Everything doesn’t necessarily have to be done right at once. The doctor you see once a year doesn’t need to know two weeks after your wedding that you changed your name!

Post # 10
152 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I would research before you go anywhere. I had to go to social security first, and wait for my new card before I could go to the DMV. Once I got my new social card, I got my new licence and registration. After that it was easy. Most places I only had to call, and only one required me to mail a copy of my marriage cert. 

I agree with the PP who said it wasn’t as hard as I was expecting. SS and the DMV were not hard, just long because of the wait times. After that all my banks, utilities, etc took a 5 minute phone call. 

Post # 11
843 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

@lobbyart: I used this, so helpful!

I didn’t go to the DMV first, I had to go to the Social Security office first, change my name there, then go to the DMV, then do all the other stuff.

Post # 12
519 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Once I had a copy of the marriage license, I went to the SS office to get a new card, then once I had that I went to the DMV to change my driver’s license. The DMV was a pain, but that’s not unexpected. I actually had more trouble proving my new address to change that on my license than my name, because virtually all of our bills that they would accept as proof come in my husband’s name. Make sure you bring the envelopes for anything you are bringing as proof because they gave me a really hard time about not having them to see the postmarks…even though a lot of mail is pre-sorted nowadays and doesn’t have a postmark anyway. You can just mail your credit cards a brief letter asking to change your name with a copy of the marriage license, and it’s easy to just go to banks and change your name. 

Post # 13
16195 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Start with the SS office; you need to it changed there you can do many other things. You can download an application online, fill it out ahead of time, and print and bring it with you, along with your marriage license and driver’s license. Although there was a wait at the office, once it was my turn, it took three minutes flat to do.

It only took four days for my new SS card to come in the mail.

Then, go to the DMV — some require your new SS card, but some allow you to bring the form from the SS office that shows your change. Bring your marriage license. If you’re changing your address as well, you probably want to bring a couple of pieces of mail, just in case.

I was able to change my name at the bank with only my marriage license. It probably varies from bank to bank. They issued me a new debit card.

All I had to do to change my credit card was email customer service. Easy peasy.

The change at work wasn’t bad either.

Overall, the entire process was pretty quick and painless. I’m definitely glad I didn’t spend money on any kind of kit. I didn’t need it.

Post # 14
215 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011


Honestly, it wasn’t that bad for me.  It’s time consuming and involves calling a lot of customer service people, but it’s not horrible or hard to figure out.  I had almost everything done within one month. It helps to make appointments at the SS office and DMV to cut down on time spent waiting in line.  Also either set aside a few hours on some weekend to make a bunch of phone calls all at once, or spread them out, whichever way you prefer.

Start with the SS office.  You need to bring your marriage certificate and a photo ID.  If you are a naturalized citizen, also bring either your naturalization certificate or passport.  Fill out and bring this form – http://www.ssa.gov/online/ss-5.pdf  They will issue you a new card (it will arrive by mail after a few weeks) and will also give you a piece of paper that confirms that they changed your name and what they changed it from and to.  They don’t charge anything.

Go to the DMV.  Bring your marriage certificate, license, and the piece of paper the SS office just gave you.  If you own your car and have the title, bring that too.  You will need to fill out forms to apply for a new license and to change your name on your registration and title (if you have the title).  You can also fill out a new voter registration form while you’re at it.  Check your state’s DMV website for the forms if you want to save time and fill them out before you go.  You will have to pay the fee to get a new license.  They will give you a temporary license and proof of registration and mail everything else to you.

Go to your bank with your marriage certificate (you can bring the piece of paper from the SS office too, just in case).  They will change your name on your accounts.  If you want to add your husband to your accounts, you can do it then too.

Call or email your credit card/department store card companies.  Some of them will want you to mail a photocopy of your marriage certificate to them, others will take your word over the phone.  Some department store cards just let you change it online.

Contact your HR person at work to have your name changed on your tax documents and any health insurance or retirement accounts you have through work.  They might want to see your marriage certificate or a photocopy.  You don’t need to notify the IRS directly until you file taxes, but there is a form you can send if you want to (I think it’s the address change form).

Call your non-work health insurance, car insurance company, and any financial accounts you have that aren’t through work or a regular bank (like Vanguard, for example).  Again, some will take your word over the phone, others will want you to fill out a form and mail or fax proof.

Call your utilities (I didn’t have any in my name, so I don’t know how necessary this is or what they ask for.  The other bees might be more helpful on this point.)

If you have automatic billing set up on anything and you changed the name on the credit card you are using to pay, update the billing information so it matches.

if you feel like it, you can change your name at your doctor’s office, the gym, online shopping accounts, facebook, email, etc.  You can also just wait to do it the next time they have to bill you for something.  You shouldn’t have to notify the post office, but if you want to or run into problems, you can fill out a change of address form.

To apply for a new passport you will need to fill out the passport renewal form, take new photos, pay the renewal fee (unless you just got a passport in your maiden name less than a year ago), and mail your current passport and a CERTIFIED copy of your marriage certificate (they will mail it all back).  Unless you plan on traveling really soon, you can put this one off until a couple months before you actually need the passport.  They are good for 10 years after you get them, so if you’re not going to use it for years and years, you might as well save your time and renewal fees.  

I also wouldn’t recommend changing your name on anything until after you get back from any international honeymoon trips because you probably won’t have time to get all the new documents made before traveling and having some documents in one name and some in another could cause problems.  Book your honeymoon travel in your maiden name if you are going right after the wedding.

No one, other than the DMV and the passport people, should be charging you anything.

 All of the sites that offer to simplify the name change process charge you fees just to fill out the various forms for you.  You still have to mail the forms, go to the SS and DMV in person, and make your own phone calls.  I personally wouldn’t bother with them, but if paying for getting forms filled out is worth it to you, go for it.  Just make sure that they treat all your personal information with the proper privacy.

Post # 15
77 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

My Fiance and I actually have the same last name. I’m happy I don’t have to change my name. However, I wanted to give my first child my maiden last name, but that won’t happen now.

If we had different last names, I would be ready to change my name the day after we get married. I heard it is a lot of work, but it would be worth it. Good luck ladies.

Oh, and no we aren’t related (hmmmm at least I hope not).

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