How to Change Your Name After Marriage

By Jay White

February 11, 2015   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Planning a wedding can be a costly and complicated thing. Luckily, changing your name after marriage is much quicker and simpler than finding the right mate and planning a wedding with them. By following these steps, you can complete the name change process relatively quickly:

1. Don’t count on your new name to be official for a few weeks. This means it is better to use your current last name when it comes to things like plane tickets for your honeymoon. If you need photo ID, be safe until you are certain the process is complete.

2. Take your official marriage certificate that is certified by your state, and bring a copy of it to your local social security office, along with either your birth certificate or your US passport. Ask for a new card with your married name. If you mail this application in, it can take a few weeks to process. However, going in person can expedite this process.

3. Take your changed social security card and marriage certificate to the DMV to get a new driver’s license. They will issue you a temporary license on the spot that you can use with most places, and your more permanent card will usually come in the mail within about ten business days. Now you have a new last name, and the documentation to prove it.

4. Use your new drivers license and/or marriage certificate to change your name with other entities. Here is a list of different places where you may need to change your name: <ul>
<li>US Passport Agency</li>
<li>The Human Resource Department at work</li>
<li>Your Bank</li>
<li>Any credit cards you have</li>
<li>Your magazine subscriptions</li>
<li>Any online subscriptions</li>
<li>Your email account</li>
<li>Your school</li>
<li>Your doctor, dentist and other medical professionals</li>
<li>Your retirement account</li>
<li>Any registered items in your name, like your home and car title</li>
<li>Anyone with whom you have debt, like car payment agencies and mortgages</li>
5. Try and get as many places as you can up front, but keep your information in a handy location for about a year, as more places come to mind. Because there are many services you only use once a year, you will likely be changing your records for about that long. This is about how long it takes most people to get used to their new last names, so it is good practice.

Jay White

I started Dumb Little Man many years ago so great authors, writers and bloggers could share their life "hacks" and tips for success with everyone. I hope you find something you like!

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