Happy New Year! Was changing your name part of your 2018 New Year’s resolution? If so, you’re joining the millions of newlyweds who opt to change their names after marriage. As with any resolution, to be successful you need to break the goal into small steps. Below are the steps to changing your maiden name, and our suggestions on how to check this resolution off your list in the next two weeks and spend the majority of 2018 as a Mrs.!
Step 1: Find your certified marriage certificate and order 1-2 more from the county clerk’s office. This is the legal document you need to file all of your federal and state name-change forms. By having more that one copy, you can file several forms at the same time and become a Mrs. much faster!
Step 2: Select the name change option that best suits you and your life. You can option to hyphenate, take two last names without a hyphen, take your maiden name as a second middle name, replace your middle name with your maiden name, or take your spouse’s last name. If you’re torn between choices, play the Married Name Game to learn your ultimate last name.
Step 3: File your federal forms. We suggest filing the SS-5 with the Social Security Administration first, and then file the IRS 8822, notify the USPS, and file the DS-11, DS-82, or DS-5504 with the State Department for your new passport in your new married name.
Step 4: File your state-level forms. These include forms to update your name on your new driver’s license, voter registration, and vehicle title. Each state has different requirements, so we highly recommend researching what you need to file with your name change forms. Many states require proof of residence, your certified marriage certificate, and another form of ID such as your new Social Security Card or U.S. passport. Knowing the office requirements in advance will save you from making multiple trips to change your name.
Step 5: Notify your creditors. Call the 800 numbers on the backs of your credit cards, go in-person to your bank branch, and then begin notifying your employer, utilities, mortgage providers, professional licenses, loan providers, etc. of your new married name.
Newlywed Life Hack: Instead of re-inventing the married-name change wheel, use the MissNowMrs easy online name change service. They condense the tedious 13 hour process into 30 minutes… and after assisting over 400,000 brides with their name changes, they’re experts that can help you with any difficult situations or questions!