Congratulations on your wedding and God bless your marriage. Now comes the number one question most couples have immediately after their wedding; How do I change my name?
Well luckily for you, I have done the research for you, and here is your one-stop-shop for information on changing your last name after marriage.
There are many reasons why married couples decide to or not to have the same last name. Someday I’ll make sure to write a blog post about that.
Today, though, I want to walk you through changing yours. Keep reading for our complete guide on how to legally change your last name after marriage.
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How Do You Change Your Last Name after marriage?
Step 1: What documents do you need?
You will need the following documents to change your name:
- Certified marriage certificate
- Proof of identification: This could be a U.S driver’s license, State-issued ID, or U.S. passport.
- Proof of age: This may include a final adoption decree, hospital record of your birth, or birth certificate.
Your certified marriage certificate will be your primary legal document for your name change. This certificate comes in the mail about 10 to 20 days after you file your marriage with your local county clerk’s office.
You need to carry your certified marriage certificate alongside the other documents that prove your identity and your age to your local Social Security office and file for a name change.
A full list of the other documents that you must provide with your name change application is listed in the evidence documents section in the Social Security form. We talk about the form and share the link in step 2.
Step 2: What form do you need to complete?
While at your local Social Security office you will need to fill a social security form SS-5 to change your name. You can find the form here. Filling the SS-5 form in advance will save you time at the Social Security Office.
The Social Security Office staff will verify your personal documents. Upon verification, you will get a certificate showing that the Social Security Administration has approved your name change.
Photo by Kevin Kallombo
Step 3: How do you change your Driver’s License?
To change your name after marriage on your driver’s license, you must complete the process in person.
Once you have gone to the social security office and you have the certificate showing your name change has been approved, take the certificate to your Department of Public Safety and get a new driver’s license in your new last name.
Changing your name after marriage in many States is considered the same as renewing your license. Visit your State’s Department of Public Safety website to find the specific steps to renew your license in person and to find the application form for renewal.
Remember you can save some time by printing and filling it out in advance. If you live in Texas, you can find the information you need to change your name on your driver’s license here.
Your new Social Security Card and Driver’s License should be mailed to you in about 6 weeks. Use them to apply for your new passport and other legal documents.
Bonus helpful Tips
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the process and steps to legally change your name after marriage, some local Counties may have a kit to make the process easier. Visit your County website and check to see if they offer a name changing kit.
If you live in Dallas, TX and want to legally change your name, the Dallas County website has a third-party commercial name change kit on their official website.
This is a unique name change kit that they say should save you time and money. Here is the link to the kit.
If you have a passport you will need to update it with your new last name. Changing the information on your passport is done through the mail. The U.S Department of State website link has all the up to date steps to change your Passport. Here’s the link.
Important Things to Remember Once You Have Your New Name
Once you receive your new Social Security Card and new Driver’s License you may need to notify some places of your marriage or name change. The places to notify may include:
- Post office- also notify them of any address change
- Employers, payroll- also update them with any new banking information
- Bank and Credit card companies
- Electric and any utility companies
- Automatic bill pay accounts
- Landlord or mortgage company
- Insurance companies – health, auto, home, life
- Doctors offices
- Social media accounts
- Internet browser autofill
- Voter registration office
- Investment account providers
- Your attorney- to update legal documents, including your will
- Schools and alumni associations
- Airline reward programs
There you go! 3 steps plus some bonus tips to help you as you legally change your last name after marriage. I hope this simplifies it and makes the process easier for you.
Don’t forget to get the checklist to help guide you as you change your last name after your wedding.
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