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How to Change Your Name After Marriage

Did you recently get married? Congratulations!

Changing your name after the wedding is simple. However, determining how to change your name after marriage can be time-consuming.

It can easily become a hassle and frustration. That’s why we wrote this detailed step-by-step guide to help you change your name.

Click here to download the FREE name change checklist printable PDF

The best ways to change your name after marriage (officially and legally)

There are two options to choose from:

⇒ Option 1: Do everything yourself.

Get all the necessary and correct forms, addresses, fees etc., and a visit your local offices for Social Security Administration (SSA) and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to change your name.

Just keep in mind that it can be frustrating, tedious, and could require countless hours.

⇒ Option 2: Pay a name changing company to do the heavy lifting and save you hours.

Name change companies like HitchSwitch will help you get all the correct forms you need, irrespective of which state you live.

In addition, they will help you fill the forms, addresses, fees, etc. in a short amount of time. Hitchswitch takes away all the stress of changing your name.

If you decide to do it yourself, follow the steps below to change your name.

How to change your name after marriage in 8 simple steps

This is the same process we used to change Ashley’s last name after we got married. It only applies to couples who want to change their name in the United States (US).

The simplified 8-step checklist for changing your name:

1. Get certified copies of your marriage certificate.

2. Change your name at the Social Security Administration office to get a new Social Security card that reflects your new name.

3. Change your name at Department of Motor Vehicles to get a new drivers license.

4. Change your name on your Bank accounts to keep your identity intact.

5. Change your name on your passport for easier travels. (If you have one)

6. Change your name and other relevant information at Work.

7. Change your name (and address if applicable) with the United State Postal Service so you don’t miss your mail.

8. Notify other places you need to change your name.

Click here to get the summarized version of all the steps in a beautiful and printable PDF format.

What do you need to change your name after marriage?

For most places, you will need the first three items below to change your name.

Certified copies of your marriage certificate.

 Social Security Number card.

 Drivers license card.

State ID.

Birth Certificate.

Vehicle Title/Registration.

Now let’s get started:

1. Get certified copies of your marriage certificate.

This is the first step that will help you to change your name after marriage.

Your wedding officiant in most cases will file your marriage license with the appropriate county after your wedding. Visit this website to find out how to get a marriage license in the state you are getting married in.

Your marriage certificate will be mailed to you after your marriage license has been received and processed by the county it was filed in. You can request certified copies of your marriage certificate after your marriage license has been filed.

To get an official certified copy of your marriage certificate with a seal on, call the local clerk or county office your license was filed in and request the number of certified copies you need. Three Certified copies should be enough.

2. Change your name and address at your local SSA office.

Visit your local SSA office to apply for a new Social Security card. You will need to fill out and file Form SS-5. Please follow the instructions with it.

If you decide to print a copy of Form SS-5 from the SSA website, you will have to mail it back when you are done filling it.

Remember, your Social Security number will be the same, only your name will change. For more information, read this article and this article from the SSA website.

After you receive your new card in the mail, go to step 2 below.

Costs to change your last name: Free, $0.

Documents needed: Certified copies of your marriage certificate, old social security card, drivers license or current form of ID.

3. Change your name and address at your local DMV office.

This requires an in-person visit. Call your local office to see if you can do it online.

Your new Social Security card will be required to change your last name. So bring your new Social Security card and all the items in the checklist above when you visit the DMV.

You will need to fill out the correct form and follow the instructions with it. Don’t forget to change your vehicle registration and titles too.

Costs to change your last name: Depends on the state you live in. It’s mostly less the $50.

Documents needed: Certified copies of your marriage certificate, new social security card, drivers license, Vehicle Title/Registration, and State ID.

4. Changing your last name on bank accounts.

You can do it online or via phone with your bank. So call your bank and ask them about how to change your bank account(s) name.

We did this in-person because we lived very close to the local branch of our bank. It’s also the fastest way to do it.

Keep this in mind:

After changing your name, you will need to request new check books, debit and credit cards too. Be ready to pay applicable fees along with your request.

Costs to change your last name: Depends on your bank.

Documents needed: Certified copies of your marriage certificate, new social security card, drivers license.

5. Change your name on your passport. (If you have one)

According to the Department of State, here’s what to do:

If you received your passport less than one year ago, you will need to fill out, print and mail Form DS-5504. Enclosed in your application should be your current passport, a document with you new name change on, color passport photos, and applicable fees.

If you received your passport more than a year ago, you will need to fill out, print and mail Form DS-82. (Only if you are eligible to use it.) Check the eligibility requirements before using it.

Enclosed in your application should be your current passport, a document with you new name change on, color passport photos, and applicable fees.

If you are not eligible to use Form DS-82, fill out and print form DS-11. You will have to submit it in person at a Passport Agency or Acceptance Facility.

You will need proof of your US citizenship, a valid ID and copies of that ID, a document with your new name change on, color passport photos, and applicable fees.

For more information about changing your passport name, read this excellent article from the US Department of State. It gives detailed instructions on what to do based on how long you have had your passport.

Note: It can take days, weeks, or even months to get your passport processed so keep this in mind as you plan your vacations, honeymoon, travels, etc.

Costs to change your last name: Between the $0 and $200.

Documents needed: Certified copies of your marriage certificate, new social security card, drivers license, color passport photos.

6. Change your last name at work.

Talk to the Human Resource Department at your work to make the changes necessary. It is very important for payroll to know your name has changed.

In most instances, the changes will be made to your W-2 and W-4. Change your deductions if needed.

Costs to change your last name: Free

Documents needed: Certified copies of your marriage certificate, new social security card, or drivers license.

7. Change your name at US Postal Service (USPS).

To do this, use the change of address form. You can do this online or at your local USPS office.

If you have a new address, make sure you change it and set up mail forwarding.

If you have a UPS address, P O Box, or an address which is not a USPS address remember to change it too.

Costs to change your last name: Free

Documents needed: Certified copies of your marriage certificate, new social security card, drivers license.

8. Change your name everywhere you need to.

You will have to notify these places about your name change. Use this simple name change letter template to notify companies about your new name change.

Include a certified copy of your marriage certificate where necessary. Some of them will require you to fill out a form and the costs will vary from free to paid.

Utility bills. E.g. Electric, telephone, heating, water, etc.

Credit cards

Mortgage

Email accounts. E.g. Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo Mail etc.

ID Cards

Schools. E.g. High school, college, alumni associations, etc.

Insurance policies. E.g. Health, Life, Term, Disability, Car, Renters, Homeowners, Dental, etc.

Debt. E.g. Student loans, car loans, etc.

Car title(s)

 Business documents (if you own a business). E.g. Business name, legal documents, contracts with vendors, clients, partners, etc.

Memberships & subscriptions. E.g. Gym, stores, yoga classes, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, Spotify, Homeowners association, cable TV, etc.

Investments. E.g. Stocks, mutual funds, bonds, IRA’s, 401K’s, money markets, CD’s, pension, etc.

Last Will and Testament

Power of Attorney

Professional license(s)

Medical Providers. E.g. Primary Physician, Dentist, Therapist, Counselor, Chiropractor, Midwife, Pharmacist, Special Care providers etc.

 Immigration services

⇒ Military and Veterans offices

Attorney’s office

Registrar of Voters

Public Assistance office

Department of Records

Social media accounts. Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Blab, Periscope, Flickr, etc. In fact, Facebook required us to submit an electronic copy of our marriage certificate in order to change our status to married.

 Other accounts

Click here to download the FREE printable version of the checklist of items you need to change.

This checklist includes everything you should consider changing your name on.

Don’t have time to change your name on your own or deal with any complications?

Use HitchSwitch name change service to change your name.

Thousands of couples have used them to change their names successfully without stressing over the name change process.

You will be glad you did.

how to change your name after getting married

9 Tips for changing your name after getting married

Make sure you fill out all the forms correctly. Review them at least twice before submitting them for processing.

Changing your name with the SSA, DMV, and getting your marriage certificate are the most important things you need to do.

Before changing your name at places like banks, post office, work, etc. make sure you have changed your name correctly with the SSA and DMV.

Changing your name at the DMV will cost you some extra money so be prepared for it. The same applies when you change your name on your passport.

Confirm with your State about what you are allowed to do when it comes to changing your name. You might get surprised by with what your state allows or does not allow.

Request for certified copies of your marriage certificate when you initially apply for it. Three copies should be enough.

If your address has changed, don’t forget to change them as you go through this process.

 If your honeymoon will take place before your name change, make all your reservations in your maiden name. Because you will have an ID to proof your purchase.

 When you talk with someone, use your new name. It might feel weird at first but you will get used to it soon.

name change after marriage

Answers to the most commonly asked questions about changing your name after marriage

Can I change my name before my wedding?

No. You have to get married first, then get your marriage certificate.  So your marriage can be recognized by your State and Government. Your certified marriage certificate is one of the most important things you need to change your name.

When you get married does your last name automatically change?

No. You have to change your name officially.

Can I do it myself?

Yes, you can. Follow the steps we listed above.

Can I use a marriage name changing service or kit for brides?

Yes. A name changing service will save you the time spent in having to do a lot of research because they will provide you all the forms, addresses etc you need to change your name.

All you will have to do after filling the forms is to print, file, and pay some fees if it is required. For the name changing kit, follow the instructions that come with.

You can use the HitchSwitch Name Change service or a name change kit.

Is a marriage name change kit simple to use?

Yes. It also make’s it easier to change your name after the wedding.

Is it worth it to pay a marriage name changing company?

Yes, if you do not have the time to do it yourself or you live far away from your DMV and/or SSA office. Most of them will make sure your name change is done quickly.

You will also avoid waiting in line to change to your name. Becuase, you can do it from the comfort of your own home.

Do l need to hire a lawyer?

No. However, if you feel you need to communicate with a lawyer before changing your name, do so. Your circumstances could be different from others.

Do l have to go to court to change my name after getting married?

No. However if you are changing your name to a name that is completely new, you will need a court order.

What should l do if I see an error after l receive my name change results?

Contact the Agencies or places you applied to have your name changed immediately. Politely tell them about the errors and ask them how you can make the corrections.

How long after the wedding do l have to change my name?

As of today, there isn’t a set time limit. however, the earlier you do it, the better. You can change your name any time after you get married and have your marriage certificate.

What documents do l need to change my name on first?

Your Social Security card, drivers license, passport, post office address, and bank accounts. After these all the other accounts that have your old name.

Can I keep my maiden name after marriage?

Yes. For example, let’s say you are called Jane Doe. You want to add the last name “Peters” to your maiden name. Your new name will become Jane Doe Peters.

Do l need to officially change my name if l am hyphenating?

Yes! Becuase a hyphenated name is legally considered a new name.

When should l change my name?

After you receive your marriage certificate. While you are waiting for it, start preparing the necessary documents you need to change your name from the checklist above.

Can l change my last name to something different from my husband’s last name?

Yes. You will need a court order for your name change. Call your state to determine the best way to do it. Becuase it varies from state to state.

Do I need to change my name with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)?

If you have already changed your name with the SSA, you do not need to do this step. The SSA will notify IRS of your name change within 10 days of updating your social security information.

However, verify with the IRS to make sure they have your name changed in their systems. For more information read this article from the IRS website.

What is the difference between a marriage license and a marriage certificate?

A marriage license is a legal document you need to get married.

A marriage certificate is a legal document you need to proof you are married.

how to change your name after the wedding

How we changed Ashley’s last name after our wedding.

A marriage certificate does not mean your name, especially your last name has been changed officially. You still have to go through the official process of changing your last name.

For us, we did it ourselves because we did not know there were companies that could make the process easier. It took us hours to complete the whole process. (Driving to and from the local SSA and DMV offices, going through lines and filing the correct paperwork.)

Using a marriage name change service can be a huge time saver. So definitely check out Hitchswitch before you decide to change your name on your own.

Final thoughts

Dedicate time to change your name if you have already decided to change it. You do not want this simple task to be hanging over your head. It can drive you nuts before and after your honeymoon. So don’t put it off for months.

Whether you are hyphenating, taking his/her last name, or something in-between, just follow the 8 steps in this article to change your name.

We hope you now know how to change your name after marriage. Enjoy using your new name.

Welcome to married life. 🙂

Your turn:

If you recently got married or are about to get married, have you decided to change your last name after marriage?

If you are married, how did you change your name after your wedding? Share your experience in the comments section below.

Images courtesy NGDPhotoworks, Jbl94, inkim3330, and fzofklenz.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be taken as legal advice.

P.S. Want to build a strong foundation for your marriage? Read this book today.

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