Looking on how to change your name? Recently married and don't know where to begin? Girl, I got you! As a recently married gal myself I am here to save you the hours of research and help you in 10 easy steps.
You probably have a marriage license already, but that doesn't mean you have changed your name. You thought the wedding planning process was a lot? Think again....now it's time to change your name.
Wait until you see the lines at the BMV or Social Security Office, or have to deal with the restrictions of COVID on top of changing your name. Welcome to 2020 ya'll!
1. Get Your Marriage License and Certified Copies
These documents are KEY and you cannot move to step two without them. When you apply for your marriage license, ask if you can purchase certified copies in advance. They are inexpensive and will save you through this process. This way, instead of having to go back to get copies once you've received your marriage certificate after your wedding, you'll get your certificate and your certified copies all at once. Put the certificate and copies somewhere safe, but keep the certified copies on hand as you will be pulling them throughout the process.
2. Update Your Social Security Card
With COVID you now can't go into the branch so you send everything through the mail. Find your nearest location Here. You'll keep the same number—just your name will be different. Print and fill out the application for a social security card in advance. Mail in your application to the local Social Security Administration office. You will also need to send in :
3. Change Your License at the BMV / DMV
Once you receive your new Social Security Card you can update your license. Bring every form of identification that your local DMV instructs you to—including your current license, your certified marriage certificate and, most importantly, your new Social Security card. You will need to take a new photograph, as well as pay the renewal fee. Small tip: BRING EXTRA copies of your proof of address. These can be: your lease or mortgage documents, insurance documents, or a bill or bank statement that is mailed to your home address. If you want to update your voter registration as well make sure to bring your Birth Certificate. This process typically takes 2 weeks for you to be mailed a new license.
4. Get a New Passport and Travel Documents
Changing your name on your passport is considered a correction. If your passport was issued less than a year ago, you'll be able to have the correction made without paying a fee. If you can do this I highly recommend (a reason why you shouldn't wait to change your name) However, if you've had your current passport for a year or more, the fee for a change and a new passport book is $110 (plus an expedite fee if you're in a rush (maybe you have a honeymoon planned) But with COVID probably not anywhere you might need a passport. Again, welcome to 2020!
All passport changes must be applied for by mail. The U.S. Department of State has put together a convenient tool that will help you fill out the change form, which can be found here. Once you've filled it out, send the following to the National Passport Processing Center: (Also if you go to your local post office, they are a huge help, and can take your passport photo for you) This process typical takes 8-10 weeks but with COVID can take more.
If you're honeymooning out of the country, you'll naturally need your passport, and your passport must match your tickets. If you'll have your new passport by the time you'll take flight, go ahead and book the ticket under your new name. If you won't have your new passport at that point, stick with your maiden name when you book the ticket.
5. Change Your Name on Your Bank Accounts
As soon as you have your new license you can head to your bank and update your name there. Note that most banks require that these changes be made in person, or will require you to mail in a certified copy of your marriage license if you don't live near a physical location. If you do not live near your branch some will let you email them the information. If you're going in person, bring the following documents with you:
6. Change Your Name on Your Credit Cards
This process is easier than your bank because you can do it all through a phone call. Now this process will vary from company to company. Contact your credit card company directly to determine the best way to have a card issued with your new name.
7. Change Your Name with Your Employer
Contact your company's human resources office or payroll processor to provide your new information as soon as possible. This way your checks will be issued with the correct name, and direct deposits will be processed correctly. Also don't forget to contact IT to get your name changed in Outlook / email, as well as other systems.
8. Update Your Insurance Information
Whether you're combining insurance policies or are simply updating the information on your own policy, this is a major change you need to make as soon as possible to ensure you're covered in the event of a claim. You will need a copy of your marriage license to move this along.
9. Update Your Mortgage, Rent, and Utilities Companies
Be sure to update the payment information as well as the info on your account. Most can be easily updated online in your account portal or on the phone, and should be as simple as typing in your new last name and entering your new credit card number or bank routing information.
10. Fill in the Blanks
Once you have a Social Security card and driver's license in your married name, other changes should be fairly easy. Most places you can do it online or only require a phone call.
Tip: Dealing With Your New Last Name at Work
Decide which name you will be using professionally and send an email to your work colleagues, clients, and vendors when you return from your honeymoon, reintroducing yourself with the name you are using. This is especially important if your company will be changing your email address to reflect your new last name. If you're not changing it, you should let your colleagues know that, too.