Post # 1
What last name do I put on the marriage license? I’m not sure if I want to change my last name to his, but I guess I’d still like to leave the option open for the future. If I put his last name on the marriage license, does that mean I have to change it? So confused by this!
I will be getting married in California.
Post # 2
- Wedding: April 2017 - Valleybrook Country Club
This differs between different states and counties, I would contact the municipal building or where it is that you are filing the license to ask. For mine you put your name as it is when you apply no matter if you plan on changing or keeping your name.
Post # 3
I would call and ask. Where I am, whatever you put on the license is what you want to be after the wedding. So if you wanted to change your name, you’d need to do it then. You can always change it later, but then you’d have to go through the court process with is much more time consuming/complicated than changing it with marriage.
ETA: Where I live, there is a spot where it asks you what your name will be after the marriage. So you have your maiden name at the top of the application, and then you fill in your married name at the bottom. Clearly, it is different everywhere, so you really need to get info from the officials in your specific area.
Post # 4
my husband used my maiden name on the marriage license because that was my legal name at the time. i changed my name right after the wedding (well as soon as we got back from our honeymoon).
Post # 5
In my state, you put your maiden name on the license whether or not you intend on changing it because at the time you are getting married, you are still legally your maiden name.
Post # 6
My maiden name is on the license since that was my legal name at the time I signed it. I had no issues changing my name afterwards.
Post # 7
It depends on your state. Just ask how you should sign when you go in there. I did, and the lady was shocked that there was any question as to which name I sign with. She said I sign with my current legal name, ie. maiden name. I’m in Texas.
Post # 8
I’d call. Every state is different. I’m in Texas and we put maiden name.
Post # 9
- Wedding: March 2017 - Nepal
namsayin : We were also married in California. I put his last name on the marriage certificate, though I am still undecided about changing my last name. We were told that it would be much easier if I decide to do so and it didn’t mean I had to run out and change everything. I was told there is no time limit to change my name on any government documents or accounts so it just expedites the process if I decided to change it.
Post # 10
namsayin : I got married in CA.
Just an FYI, if you DON’T put his last name on the marriage lisence and decide to change your last name later, it’s a MASSIVE hassle to get it changed in CA. You have to fill out all this paperwork, you need to have the name change run in the newspaper for 4 weeks, you need to go to a hearing in front of a judge at a courthouse, you have to pay filing fees (that plus the newspaper add means it’s costing us upwards of $600), etc. etc. etc.
If I could go back and do it again, I would think long and hard about the name change, hash out all the details beforehand, and do it via the marriage lisence. It’s MUCH easier that way.
Post # 11
Wow thank you ladies for your response! I didn’t know it was so specific to which state I’m in. I’m whatever about changing my last name so I’ll probably just have Fiance research into the paperwork since he’s the one who wants me to change my last name! Ha!
Post # 12
- Wedding: October 2017 - Preservation Park, Oakland CA
Late replying here but I just went through this exact same thing and I am in California. You have to put the name you will want to change it to if you will want to change it at all on the marriage certificate the day you apply for it. This wasn’t explained to us well by the clerk and I was thrown for a loop when they I had to choose right then, so I just put my maiden name and told them I would not be changing it. Now I kind of want to change it and can’t. So if you think you ever might then yes put your future married name on there.
This isn’t a be all end all though, as I found out. If you just put your maiden name on the certificate and decide to change it later, you can do a legal name change by petitioning the court. This does cost $435 though in addition to all the other costs of changing your name (new passport, DL, etc). This is the option I would now have to use but its not the end of the world so if you just arent sure at all you can put your maiden name and use this process to change it down the line.
Post # 13
namsayin : I’m also in Cali. When you sign the certificate, it will be with your current (maiden) name. But the last section on the certificate is the name change (if you want it). As other bees have pointed out, it’s pretty much on the spot in from of the registrar. So, if you’re sure you want to change it, that is the time. If not, you can still change it later on but it’s more of a hassle and cost.
Post # 14
The California Name Equality Act of 2007 provides an option for one or both parties to the marriage to change the middle name and/or last name. So, you can opt to just change your middle name, while leaving your last name untouched. Or change both your middle and surname in one fell swoop. While the choice is yours (and quite flexible to boot), the decision must be made at the time you apply for your marriage license application. Specify the new name(s) you intend to take after marriage on the provided form.