You have said your vows, the ceremony is over, and now it is time to take the next important step. Even though you have taken the name of your spouse at the ceremony, it does not mean that it has been legally recognized. Changing your name after marriage is a short yet sometimes necessary step you need to take.
Whether you want to hyphenate your name or replace your last name, it is important to examine how you can change your name on your official documents. Before getting wrapped up in your honeymoon, consider finishing official business to fully enjoy your get-away.
Discover How to Verify the Change with Your State
When you decide to change your name, verify the laws for name change after marriage in the state you live in. The state laws for a name change vary, so reviewing the rules and regulations will ensure whether they apply to your situation or not.
However, several states will allow a legal name change after marriage by directing you to complete paperwork without having to attending court.
Despite these general regulations, state regulations may differ in the case of a woman not taking the surname of her husband. You may have to file a formal name change to the court if you:
- Are a man taking the surname of your wife.
- And your partner are choosing a surname different from either partner.
- Are a same-sex marriage partner changing your last name.
It is important to note that you must meet residency requirements to make the name change in your local court.
Present Your Marriage Certificate
The document you will need the most is your marriage certificate. Remember to have a couple of extra copies in your possession. You can request the copies of your marriage certificate from the office of your local county clerk.
If the state you reside in offers short form and extended marriage certificates, then ask for copies of the extended form. The extended form certificate provides more information such as names of parents and their countries of birth, the name and location of the marriage ceremony and the marriage officiant.
Learn About Priority Documents When Changing Your Name
Certain legal documents must show your new name and those should be your primary focus. You will need to make changes to your Social Security card, your driver’s license and your bank accounts.
You must visit the website of the Social Security Administration and you must fill out an application for a new Social Security card. The number will remain the same, but you will write down your new name. After completing the application, you may mail it in or take it to your local Social Security office.
To change the name on your driver’s license, go to the designated office in your local area that administers vehicle registration and driver licensing, and apply for a new license.
Contact your local vehicle registration office and confirm with them the proper documentation necessary to apply for the new license. Some documents the local vehicle registration office may ask for are:
- Your current driver’s license.
- An acceptable form of your marriage certificate.
- Your Social Security card.
Changing your name on your bank accounts will require your new driver’s license and your marriage certificate. Visit your local branch to change it, and make sure to request new checks, a new debit card and new credit cards. It may require more documentation depending on the state that you live in and branch, so confirm with your local branch.
Other Places that Require Name Change
Changing your name on more urgent and official documents were the principal step. Now that has been completed, the next step is to make the final changes in other areas of your life. Below is a list of some places or organizations that need to be notified of your recent change:
- Your employer
- Landlord or mortgage company
- Voter registration office
- Passport office
- Insurance company
- Investment account providers