(Closed) When do you change your last name?

posted 5 years ago in Names
Post # 3
3942 posts
Honey bee

i had to bring our signed marriage certificate to be able to change it.

i did it after we were back from our honeymoon, since we were traveling out of the country.

Post # 4
5956 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

@echolove:  I received the offical wedding certificate after our honeymoon and took that down to the SSI office, it helped that the form I needed for the name change was online, so I had printed that out ahead of time and filled it in, after waiting around for a half hour, I filed my name change, they printed out a confirmation and several weeks later a new Social Security card was in the mail with my new name showing Nona 99….I was also able to take the confirmation sheet to the DMV and get the name changed on my id…it was harder to get the banks, credit card companies and utility people to change it on the bills…so after the third request, I gave up….

Post # 5
965 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

You’ll have to wait until after the wedding – or at least that’s how it’s done in TN.  They require the marriage certificate at both the DMV and the SS office.  And just a little side note: I was told that it didn’t matter if you went to the DMV or SS office first, but apparently this particular DMV where I went required that you go to the SS office first.  It was a big hassle, but thankfully you only have to do it once!  I’d do a little Google search beforehand just to make sure 🙂

Post # 6
11747 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I changed my name affter the honeymoon once we had our marriage certificate.  Did your step-dad legally adopt you?  If not, it will be a different process to change your last name to his, then it is to change your name to your FIs.  Once you have the correct documentation of your name change, your first stop should be social security. 




Post # 7
9482 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

I finally changed it after 6 months. I originally went the Friday before Superstorm Sandy, but there was so much traffic and headache from people preparing. Afterwards, I kept putting it off though it was so simple. I downloaded the SS form on their site and mailed it along with my passport, birth and marriage cErtificate. I had it in a matter of 10 days. =)

Post # 9
1581 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

In Hawaii you have to have the official marriage license before you can start the name change process.  We could both only change our middle and last names.   It took about 8 weeks to get the official papers so I changed my name immediately. I filled the papers right away and then 2 months later, I had to do the SSC, DL, IDs, car registration, banks, etc. We cut it close since we were moving 6 months after the wedding and I had to ship my car ,book flights, get our household items from Hawaii to AL, get power of attorney from Darling Husband who was on the other side of the US, and get all the paperwork in order. Ugh, just remembering it is giving me anxiety!

In the end, my married name was officially changed over about 9 weeks after the wedding but it took another 6 or so weeks to get all the new documents in (SSC, passport, etc.) for proof.

Post # 10
1581 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

@cooperlove:  I had to go to the Hawaii Dept of Health to file the paperwork first.  From there, the SS office with the official paperwork, sent all the info to the banks, then update car title/registration, then Drivers License, then military ID, then passport.

Once I had the DL and military ID, I could start changing my name with my university (transcripts and things) and other little stuff.  I ran around a lot!   

Post # 12
1130 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@echolove:  I’m from CA and getting married there.

You should change your name after the honeymoon. If you want to change your name to your step dad’s, you will need a court order. The marriage license only allows the two people getting married to change their names to each other’s names, names one of you had legally in the past or some variation thereof. Unless you previously had your step father’s name, you may not change your name via the marriage license.

Also, when you travel, all documents must have the same name on them, which is why people wait until they come back from any honeymoon overseas travel to change their name.

If you received your passport within the past year, you do not need to pay for a new one, otherwise the full fee applies.

Here is some more info: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/birthdeathmar/pages/marriagelicenseinformation.aspx

Mor information on allowable name changes: http://www.lavote.net/clerk/marriages.cfm

Post # 13
2646 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California

I’m from CA & got married here :].  We go married in September & I didn’t change my name til like December!  I took our marriage license to the SS office, waited 10 days for my new card to come in the mail, went to the DMV changed my name there, & after my new DL came in, I changed it at my bank & everywhere else.  With that said, I just dropped my maiden name & picked my DH’s last name.  No stepdad name or extra anything so your process might be a little different.

Post # 14
789 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@echolove:  For whatever its worth, I don’t think it’s any different process to change your name to a married name and add your step-father’s name. For instance, if you were changing your name from Mary Jones and adding your new husband’s name you could go to Mary Smith-Jones But if you wanted to be Mary Johnson-Jones, there shouldn’t be any reason you couldn’t. You will need a marriage license regardless, but what you decide to go by shouldn’t matter. I could be wrong of course, so you will need to check into it in your state.


I kept my married name when I divorced because it was my children’s last name. However, I hated that name and when I remarried last summer I considered adding my maiden name to my new married name and dropping the previous married name completely. That would not have been a problem. No one really cares what you call yourself as long as it can be documented as to why you’re making the change. I ended up just taking my husband’s last name, but it wouldn’t have mattered if I added my maiden name.

Post # 15
18637 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Since you are doing something more complicated than just adding your husband’s name as your new last time, you are going to have to go to court to change your name and pay for it.

I would probably wait until after the wedding and your honeymoon if you are going soon after the wedding to make sure that you are able to get all your paperwork ready.

I changed my name with SS a week after getting married when I got the license in the mail but waited until we moved to change my driver’s license a few months later.

Post # 16
11747 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@echolove:  Yes, then you’ll have to go to court. You can’t just choose a name without any valid supporting documentation for the change, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce decree, adoption papers, etc. 

As for the passport, you may have to pay for a brand new one.  it depends how long you’ve had your current one.  Their website lays it all out for you.

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