For some couples, one of the most exciting moments of being newlyweds is officially having the same last name. Before you’re able to celebrate, there are a few steps to take, places to visit, tips you need to consider first (hint: changing your name is not nearly as difficult as you may think!). Below, I’m explaining all of the details, plus I’m sharing the names of companies that can help your name changing cause. Take a peek!
1 | MARRIAGE LICENSE
First things first, your marriage license must be approved by your state and your county before you can officially begin the name changing process. After signing their portion, your officiant will likely offer to mail your license on your behalf. I completely recommend taking him or her up on the offer! However, make sure to follow up with your officiant if you haven’t received a certified copy of your marriage license in the mail within 2-3 weeks.
2 | SOCIAL SECURITY CARD
Apply for a Social Security Card: Pop onto the Social Security Administration’s website where you will have access to each of the forms you will need to print, sign, and mail. Yes, mail. You cannot complete the forms online. Note: You will want to make sure you’re applying for a corrected card NOT a new social security card. Your social security number will remain the same, but your name will be changed.
3 | DMV
Visit the DMV: The top piece of advice for this step is to make sure you have received your new social security card before visiting the DMV. Your social security card must list your new last name in order for you to successfully obtain a new driver’s license. Also, make sure to bring a copy of your marriage license, your current driver’s license, and your passport (even if your maiden name is listed!) in order to prove your identity.
4 | EVERYTHING ELSE
Contact All Other Entities: Your marriage license, corrected social security card, and updated driver’s license are the most formal pieces you will need in order to officially change your name. However, you will want to make sure to check in with anyone and everyone who has your name listed (think: employers, banks, USPS, credit card companies, utility companies, insurance companies, and the like). Tip: As you receive billing statements and emails, pause to make sure they note your new last name. You will likely forget to contact someone, which is totally fine! Just make sure to note the change to the company at your earliest convenience.
5 | OR, USE A NAME CHANGE COMPANY
Contact a Name Change Company: In order to ease (and quicken!) the process of changing your name, there are companies who will happily guide you through the process for a fee (prices tend to range from $30-$60). I’ve heard rave reviews about HitchSwitch and Miss Now Mrs. If you use a service, the company will check in with your state, send you all of the required documents you need to complete, and have you mail them to the appropriate place.
HONEYMOON + TRAVEL TIP!
Whether you are boarding a plane days after your wedding or planning a trip a few months down the line, I highly suggest creating plane, car, hotel, and excursion reservations under your maiden name. This also means you will press pause on updating your passport or changing your name until after you return. The name change process tends to move quickly, but there’s always the scenario where a piece takes longer than expected. There are so many things that can happen while traveling, and being questioned by a host of security personnel (particularly at the airport!) because your last name does not match the one they have on your reservation is an avoidable moment that is completely in your control. Think of your name change as something to look forward to upon your return!
Have you changed your last name? What is your best tip? Let us know in the comments!
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