The process of changing your name after marriage can seem like a frustrating and confusing ordeal. To ease the burden, Wedding Shoppe, Inc. offers a few tips on how to change your name after marriage, to help make it as painless as possible.
A step-by-step guide to changing your name after marriage.
Changing your name after marriage: Now that you're a Mrs. (or about to be!), you may be wondering how to change your name. Wedding Shoppe, Inc. is here to help! You would be hard-pressed to find a bride who hasn’t practiced a signature with her fiancé’s last name. After all, most of us have had lots of practice from all those years of scrawling “Mrs. Justin Timberlake,” “Mrs. Leonardo DiCaprio,” or “Mrs. Jonathan Taylor Thomas” in our diaries. Even if your future husband isn’t a former child star or member of the hottest boy band, you’ve likely still made a decision about whether or not you’ll take on his last name, and if you’ve decided to make the name change, you’ve probably also heard horror stories from other brides who have done it themselves: the mountains of paperwork, the hours spent in line or on the phone, and a handful of headaches in the process. The good news is that Wedding Shoppe, Inc. is here to help you with the process of changing your name after marriage, by providing you with some legal name change information. Every state is different, so make sure you double check with your local authorities as to what the process is in your area. By and large, however, the entire name change process can be broken down into four main steps.
How to change your name after marriage:
- Your certified marriage license: The certified section of your marriage license is what you sign immediately after the ceremony. Your wedding officiant usually sends this off to the local county court. You will get the certified section back in the mail, signed by a county clerk or county recorder, a few weeks later.
- Your Social Security card: This is the most important step. Download and fill out an application for a Social Security card, then head over to your local Social Security Administration office. Make sure you have the proper documentation to get your new card; the Social Security Administration has a great webpage to help you figure out exactly which documents you need. Most of the time, this includes (but isn’t limited to): proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport; your certified marriage license; some form of identification, such as a driver’s license (your passport would work here, too).
- Your money matters: Meet with your employer’s human resources department to ensure that your name is changed on your paychecks, benefits package and employee ID card, if necessary. Then go to your bank and repeat the name change process there. If you and your fiancé are merging finances, make sure your joint account is in your new name.
- Your driver’s license: Okay, nobody likes visiting the DMV, but it needs to be done, and you can usually change your name on your vehicle registration and voter registration at the same time.
- Miss Now Mrs: For $29.95, Miss Now Mrs will do most of the work for you. You supply all of the necessary information, and they fill out the name change forms (tailored to your state) with the information you provide. Once you verify that everything is correct, you can print all of the forms, along with detailed filing instructions. Gift certificates are also available.
- HitchSwitch: For $39.99, HitchSwitch follows a similar process to that of Miss Now Mrs. The main difference is that HitchSwitch sends you a packet in the mail with all of your completed name change forms, along with pre-stamped and addressed envelopes. All you have to do, is drop them in the mail, along with the required documents. Also neat: HitchSwitch even offers gift certificates.
- Name That Bride: Name That Bride is similar to Miss Now Mrs and HitchSwitch, in terms of the name change information the site provides. The main difference, is that Name That Bride allows you to access all of the name change forms you need, for free! For just $20, they will send you a kit with all of the forms that you need, but you will still have to fill them out once you receive them.
- Book your honeymoon reservations in your maiden name, since you won’t have any identification in your new name.
- Consider getting additional copies of your marriage license. These are usually available at the time you file for a nominal charge. Having multiple copies simply means that you can send out more than one form at a time, which expedites the process.
- When dropping off any of your name change forms in person, bring more documentation than you need. It’s always easier to have too much information than to not have enough, and end up having to come back another day.