How to change your name after saying, "I Do"
Your wedding vows have been said. Your wedding cake has been cut. You have successfully danced the night away. You and your new husband have been officially joined as one and, if you’re following tradition, changing your name to your husband's is one of the first post wedding to-do’s. Brittney Bell at My Wedding Chat would like to help you through this transition with as few headaches as possible. Contrary to what some believe, obtaining a marriage license that uses your new last name does not automatically mean you’ve changed your name to your husband’s. After your wedding, it’s now time to make the name change official. Your two most important forms of identification should be changed first. This would include your social security card and your driver’s license. These are going to help you get the rest of your important changes done hassle free.
Here’s a list of four basic steps to help you sign that new name of yours with ease:
- Proof of Your New Union Obtain a certified copy of your marriage license. To be certified, it has to include a raised seal which means it’s authentic. This should automatically be sent to you but if not, contact the office where your license was filed after signing to have them send you a copy.
- Social Security Card Your social security card and number is proof of your identity to the government. Being this is one of the most important forms of identification, it only makes sense that this is one of the first changed when your name is changed. To make a name change on your social security card, you will need to contact the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213; an automated system will talk you through the name change process and a new card will be sent to you for free.
- Next Stop: DMV Probably the most time-consuming part of the name change process is the visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles. In order to actually change your name on your driver’s license, you need to make a physical appearance. Remember to bring all and any other form of identification with you, especially your certified marriage license. It should be a painless task but may take longer than you're hoping.
- Last but Definitely not Least: Now that you have your driver’s license and your social security number in your married name, the other changes you need to make should be fairly easy. Some institutions will only require a phone call, others may require some face-time. To be sure of the documentation you will need to have with you, contact the various offices first.
Some of the other important documents you will need to change your name on are:
- Post Office
- Phone company and other utilities
- Banks and other financial institutions
- Credit card companies
- Insurance policies
- Voter registration
- Schools and alumni relations
- Mortgages and leases
- Passport (be sure to NOT change this before the wedding—your passport name MUST match the name on your ticket and all other travel documents! Plan on using your maiden name until the honeymoon is over.)
Knowing how to change your name after you’ve wed can be a daunting task but I hope this has helped to make the adjustment a little easier.
Keep checking with My Wedding Chat for more wedding and postwedding ‘How-to’ advice.