Post # 1
OK bees. I can’t believe what a fiasco this is turning into.
I am gay. My wife and I decided to hyphenate our names when we got married. So she used to be Smith, I used to be Jones, and now we both want to be Smith-Jones.
We had to fight to put Smith-Jones on our marriage license. They tried to tell us we either BOTH had to change to Smith or Jones, or we could each hyphenate onto our birth names (so she’d be Smith-Jones and I’d be Jones-Smith.) We didn’t want to do that. We both want the same hyphenated order. We had to get the city clerk to call the statewide licensing office to verify that we could, in fact, both change to Smith-Jones. So our marriage license says that both of us will take the surname Smith-Jones.
Now I’m trying to change my legal documents and running into the same problem. They (the DMV in this case) is telling me I can’t update my license to Smith-Jones, I can only take my spouse’s last name (Smith) or hyphenate onto my birth name (Jones-Smith.) Even after I showed them that our marriage license says we will both be Smith-Jones. They are telling me I have to get a court order to become Smith-Jones.
I am so frustrated and surely this is not just a gay marriage thing. There are plenty of straight couples that hyphenate, and they don’t become Mr Jones-Smith and Mrs Smith-Jones , they take the SAME hyphenated name.
Have you done this? Did you really have to get a court order? I want to learn more before I attempt to get this changed other places…
Post # 2
batbrain: that is super frustrating! I don’t have advice, but keep fighting for your name change.
Post # 3
Have you spoken with your local social security office? they might be able to help
Post # 4
I’m sorry this has been a pain for you.
I agree that you should try the social security office before the DMV. I changed my name quite a few years back (no longer wanted to be associated with my father, but that’s another story!) and went through the court process to do it. We were told to go to the social security office first.
Also, in the event you do end up needing to do a formal name change, don’t be intimidated by the process. It was very easy. I live in CA, so I’m sure the procedures vary a bit if you’re in another state, but it’s pretty straight forward so long as the state websites have enough instructions or you’re willing to put in some time asking clerks any questions you might have. I bought a “how to change your name in California” book to make it even easier.
Post # 5
- Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor
I suggest you send a PM to Mrs. Scone – she and her wife hyphenated their last names just as you described, and she may be able to provide some advice!! Good luck!
Post # 6
Whoa, that is really annoying! So sorry you are going through that. My DH and I both kept our own names (ex. Smith and Jones) and we hyphenated our son’s name (Smith-Jones).
Post # 7
This is dumb (of them). You’re in NY? Here’s the relevant law: http://www.cityclerk.nyc.gov/html/marriage/domestic_relations.shtml
It obviously says nothing at all about name order on hyphenations (and it would be highly out of character with the permissive nature of the law to require such a rigid idiocy). I don’t know if having the actual statute will help you negotiate with morons, but at least you can know the law is on your side here.