Post # 1
So my FH and I are getting legally married sometime really really soon (for insurance reasons in order to protect ourselves, you can check a previous post for the story). We are going to do the legal ceremony but will not be exchanging rings or doing personal vows until our ‘wedding’ with our friends and family. This will really not have much meaning to us besides the legality of him being able to be on my insurance.
I am going to change my last name to his but I plan on waiting until after the ‘wedding’ and reception with my family and friends since I won’t consider us married really until then (and this way our family doesn’t feel bad about missing the courthouse wedding). So do I sign the marriage certificate this month with his last name and then just wait until later to update the other stuff? (Like SS and passport). Or by signing my new last name did I change it already? I hope this makes sense but googleing is not working with this question. Thanks Bees!
Post # 3
@swimcat14: Depends on your state, but on the marriage license you sign your current name. It does not change until you take your marriage certificate post-legal marriage to the DMV, SS office, etc to legally change it. Have a copy of your marriage license sent to you after the wedding, and once you’ve had your weddin ceremony with family, send copies of your marriage certificate with the necessary fees to the appropriate organizations to change it.
Post # 4
Post # 5
Your name is not legally changed if you just sign with a new last name on the marriage license. In fact you have to get your name changed throug the social security office first using this appliation and your marriage license:
“If the name change event occurred over two years ago or if the name change document does not have enough information to prove your identity, you must also provide documents to prove your identity in your prior name and/or in some cases your new legal name.”
So it sounds like if you plan to change your name within 2 years of your civil wedding, then you are OK.
“So do I sign the marriage certificate this month with his last name and then just wait until later to update the other stuff?”
I was told to sign the marriage license with your current legal name. Others o nhere have signed their “would be name” but my certificate did not have that blank. When in doubt stick with the current legal name or ask the county clerk when you pick up the license.
I plan on changing my name, I’ve already been married 3 months. Not sure when I’ll get around to it, but sounds like both of us are delaying the name change for different reasons.
Post # 6
Thank you SOOOOO much for the replies!! I was looking everywhere for this information and couldn’t find it. Sounds like I should sign the license with my maiden name and then I can change it later. I thought I had to sign it with the name I wanted to end up with. I will definitely double check with the town clerk when we pick up the license though!
Post # 7
- Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island
It definitely depends on the state. Some states say that the marriage ceremony must take place within a certain amount of time after receiving the license. Otherwise, it’s not legal. You should be able to get a concrete answer from the courthouse. Go there and explain your situation and see what the options are. They’re the only ones who can really advise you.
Post # 8
” I thought I had to sign it with the name I wanted to end up with”
I got married in Canada (but I am from the US) so you could only sign with your current legal name. But then on the SS form it says bring the document with your old and new name (it’s on page 1). I was so confused as the new legal name does not exist yet! What did they mean by bring in your new name document? Turns out many US states have a blank on the marriage license whereyou can put your would be new name. Yep, state and probably county dependent!
When you do ask them, no need to explain the civil versus ceremony wedding, inusurance things. I’d just ask, “How long do I have to change my name with these given documents, because I may delay the name change.”