Post # 1
Can someone please walk me through this?
- We currently live in NYC
- We are getting married in the county/state of our hometown, MI, and we still have valid licenses in that state/county.
- After the wedding we’ll come back to NYC for a couple of months and then move to Vermont.
So…..where do I change my last name? What office and in what state? Do I wait to do name change until we are settled in Vermont and I have to get a new driver’s license?
Help me – because we’re super confused!
Post # 3
I would change it when you live in NYC, then hold off on getting a new license until you move to Vermont!
(PS-I lived in Vermont for like 10 years! It’s a pretty great state!)
Post # 4
I moved 2 months after getting married. I got my SS card updated but waited to change my license until moving. It wasn’t a problem.
Post # 5
I’m curious about this as well! We’re actually in Vermont now The wedding is in my hometown in the midwest, and then we’re moving ~3 weeks after the wedding to NY for FI’s med school. I think I probably won’t change my name until we’re all settled… but still have time to think it over.
Post # 6
I’d change your SS card before you move, and wait on the drivers license just to minimize the amount of time waiting at the DMV you’ll have to do in a short period of time. Some states have different regulations on name changes. For example, in NYS you can’t put your maiden name as your middle name or even alter your middle name at all without going to court and paying court fees. Other states have no problem. If you want to do something other than just simply drop your last name and take his, I might look into which state would give you an easier time with it.
Post # 7
@FleeSircus: I would change my SSN while living in NYC and then get a new license when you move to VT. There is nothing that says you have to do everything at once!
Post # 8
@FleeSircus: First, what type of name change do you plan to make? That is one factor you may want to consider, as there is a handful of states that will not permit a woman to take her maiden name as a middle name as part of a rountine name change following marriage. As I recall, at least some portions of NY fall in that category. So, if you wanted to make that type of name change, you may not be able to do it in NYC.
Also, I wanted to note that if you have been living in NYC but your driver’s license and vehicle registration are still from MI, you could potentially face some significant penalties for this unless you qualify for an exemption of some sort (full-time student, etc.)
Post # 9
@Brielle: Well we don’t own or operate a vehicle.
Post # 10
Thanks! I’ve heard that changing your name right after the wedding is “easier” than if you wait to do it. Why would that be? Did I hear wrong information?
Couldn’t I just wait 4-5 months until we were in VT to change SSN and license?
Post # 11
I’ve heard that too, although I’m not sure why either. I think if you don’t change your name on your passport within 1 year of marriage, then there’s a fee involved. But other than that…?
Post # 12
@FleeSircus: The only problems we had with the delay were wedding checks– all were to Mr. and Mrs. HisName. That wasn’t me and Darling Husband had to learn how to share.
My coworker waited a year and had no more problems than I did (we are keeping our maiden name professionally, but need to change the name for tax records). For DMV, SSN, and banks it was no problem. I changed my name 6 weeks in because we were buying a house. If we had waited to buy a house I would have waited several more months.
Post # 13
@Pollywog: Ohhhh ok – well I have a question about wedding checks.
If BOTH of your names are on the check (first and last) like Ms. Lisa Brown and Mr. David Kelly can Lisa deposit that check into her own account (even if David isn’t a joint party on her account?)
Post # 14
@FleeSircus: Yes. But that requires your wedding guests to play nice. We got 75 checks for our wedding. NOT A SINGLE ONE was made out to anything with my name. And I am a liberal, feminist, with a graduate degree and publications. I am not the type of person you would ever expect to change my name. I never said I was changing my name to people. Not a single check could go into my account. I got the cash (like 3% of the total) and Darling Husband got all of our checks. It wasn’t joint and my name was no where near the account. I am bitter.
If they play nice then you can share your money. From here on out, if I know the couple has not combined finances, I make the check out to both using her maiden name. If you do have a joint account, they will normally connect who you are and will have no problems with the deposit.
Post # 15
Going off topic to note that @Pollywog‘s complaint is why I almost always give gifts rather than checks- I don’t know what to put on the check. I don’t always know the bride’s plans for her last name, and I’m not just going to make the check out to the groom. I worry about leaving a card with cash on a gift table, so I give cash only if I can hand the card directly to the recipient.
@FleeSircus: If the check has both of your names and “and”, then you both need to endorse it. He should be able to deposit it in his personal account, but some banks may make both of you jump through some hoops. If there is no “and”, then he can endorse it and deposit it without your signature.
Post # 16
Like others have said, I’d change it with social security and wait until you’re settled in Vermont to change it with the DMV. Regarding your passport, if it was issued less than a year before the date of your marriage, you don’t have to pay to have it changed. If it’s been more that a year, you have to pay the full application fee to have it changed. The only issue I could see with waiting to change it with the DMV is if you need to show two forms of ID, especially if you don’t have a passport.
Make sure that you don’t have to go down to the county clerk’s office and pay for a copy of your marriage certificate. I was married in Ca and was under the assumption that I would be sent a copy of it within a few weeks of the wedding. I was wrong. I had to go in person and pay a fee per copy to get it.
As far as the bank is concerned, I didn’t have any issues depositing checks before I changed my name on my account. I was even able to deposit checks into my own account that were made out to my husband. We both signed the back of the checks. I put them all into the ATM instead of dealing with a teller so it was less likely to be an issue. I had no problems and I put in about 75 checks.