(Closed) Name change questions

posted 9 years ago in Legal
Post # 3
467 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

1) In some posts, it sounds like bees were automatically sent their legal marriage certificate after the wedding.  (From anywhere from 1-3 months after.)  Is that standard?  Should we be receiving something, or do I have to go get it?

I think this differs from state to state. We had to go to the county clerk and pick up copies. We had the option to order copies by phone, pay with credit card & have them mailed, but it was much faster & easier to go in person.

2) I see marriage license and marriage certificate seemingly used interchangeably.  Are they the same thing, or different?

License means you are legally able to marry; certificate means your marriage has occurred and is legal. License is obtained before the wedding & signed by bride & groom, 2 witnesses & officiant. Certificate is obtained after the wedding and in our state bears a raised seal.

3) To get my name changed, I know the first piece I need is our marriage certificate.  After that, what’s the next step?  Sounds like my SS card needs to get changed?  And then its that plus the certificate that I take to get everything else changed?

Take the marriage certificate to social security administration and they will issue your new card. They’ll give you proof of the request to use in the meantime & that is what you take to motor vehicles—along with the marriage certificate— to get your name updated on your driver’s license. Once you have the driver’s license, your name change is legal.

4) How many certified copies of our marriage certificate do I need to get?  (IE- I imagine some places will just need a photocopy or faxed version, others may need an original.  Is there a list somewhere that indicates which is which?)

We got three copies and we still have them all. We had to give them social security, motor vehicles, the bank, etc but they just looked at the certificate, some took a copy & then gave the original certified copy back to us. For the passport I had to mail them the copy & they will mail it back.

5) What are all the things that need to be changed? (I’m listing everything I can think of, but please comment if I’m missing anything!)

  • SSN card
  • Bank
  • Other money accounts (savings, retirement, IRA, CDs, investments, etc.)
  • Credit cards
  • Car registration
  • Drivers license
  • loans (car, school, house, etc.)
  • passport
  • other miscllaneous accounts (library, gym, club memberships [ie Petco, grocery store, airline miles points, etc.])

Don’t forget payroll at work, AAA, utilities (phone, electric, gas, etc), phone listing (for other people’s caller ID when you call)

I kept one bank account and one credit card in my maiden name as a back up in case I run into something where I need it. For example, we ordered airline tickets, hotel rooms & concert tickets last year for an event this June. Those were done in my maiden name & require me to show ID & the credit card used to make the purchase. I don’t want to have to travel with my marriage certificate, so the “back-up” credit card & my old driver’s license will take care of that.

6) At what point after all of this is my name officially/legaly changed?  When it’s on the marriage certificate?  When it’s on my SSN card?  On my Driver’s license?

Once it’s on your license it is legal.


Post # 5
467 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

My pleasure! Oh, also remember to change health insurancem life insurance and will.

Post # 6
3525 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

1) I think this differs by state and probably even county and what season. If you’re getting married in the summer it’s busy wedding season so your local town clerk might get more backed up. For mine it took less than 2 weeks to arrive.

2) Ditto to @tootietoo2:

3) SS is the next logical step. Be sure to bring all original documents. Birth Certificate if you are US born. If not the original of your naturalization certificate.

4) SS only needs to see your original marriage certificate then they make a copy. Same with the DMV. For your passport you have to send in a certified copy but they are suppose to mail it back to you. Most everything else -for me at least- only needed a copy.

5) Besides health insurance etc that @tootietoo2: already said. Also don’t forget all your utilities.

Do you have to change your birth certificate?

6) I would assume when it’s on your marriage certificate it is legal.

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