Name Change After Marriage Step by Step Guide
Did you know that 88% of women change their name after marriage? A recent newlywed survey from Zola found that the #1 hardest part of marriage is name change. As MissNowMrs name-change experts with over 500,000 name changes under our belts, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to change your name after marriage!
Do I have to change my name after marriage? No! In the US name change is not required.
1. Marriage License
Taking the time to research and understand your state’s name change laws is a crucial step before finalizing your marriage license. The name you choose to write on the marriage license can significantly impact your name change options after marriage. By familiarizing yourself with the specific regulations in your state of residence, you can make informed decisions regarding your desired name change.
In some states, like with California married name change, the name you choose to write on your marriage license holds significance. If you have particular preferences, such as using your maiden name as a middle name or creating a blended name with your spouse, it’s essential to indicate these intentions on the marriage license itself. Doing so will streamline the married name change process and ensure that your desired name is recognized and legally accepted.
Planning ahead in this matter ensures that you can confidently embrace your desired married name without encountering legal hurdles. Whether you choose to maintain your maiden name, adopt your spouse’s last name, or create a unique combination, being well-informed about your state’s name change laws empowers you to navigate the process smoothly
Remember, the name you choose to write on your marriage license can have lasting implications. It’s essential to carefully consider your options and make an informed decision. Additionally, taking these steps will enable you to embark on your new married life with the name you desire, avoiding unnecessary complications and enjoying a seamless transition into your chosen identity.
2. Family Members & Name Change
Deciding whether or not to change your name after getting married is a deeply personal decision. You may want to keep your family informed about your chosen name.
Doing so provides a couple of benefits. First, it allows those who may be considering giving you a personalized gift, such as a monogrammed towel set or a custom engraved piece of jewelry, to have the correct initials or name. This can save them time and effort, and ensure the gift they’ve put thought into is as perfect as they intended it to be.
Second, if someone is planning to give a financial gift in the form of a check, knowing your chosen name ensures they write it out correctly. This could save both you and them an unnecessary trip to the bank to correct a name on a check.
Additionally, it can help avoid potentially uncomfortable situations. No one wants to have to return a gift because the monogram is incorrect. It can also save the awkwardness of having to ask someone to rewrite a check because the name isn’t correct.
By communicating your decision, you’re helping your family members avoid mistakes, save time, and prevent awkward situations. Therefore, while the decision to change or not change your name is yours alone, keeping your family informed is a simple way to make life easier for everyone involved.
3. Marriage Certificate
After the wedding ceremony, the pastor or officiant signs the marriage license, which is then submitted to the County Clerk’s office. Following this, the office processes your certified marriage certificate, typically within 2 weeks. This certified document is crucial for most government offices to facilitate your name change after marriage.
To simplify the name-change process, we recommend requesting 2-3 additional certified marriage certificates (not copies) from the County Clerk’s office. These documents are invaluable for updating your name with various entities.
Having multiple certified marriage certificates ensures a seamless name change experience and avoids delays in the future. Request them promptly after receiving the initial one to streamline the adoption of your new married name.
By managing these essential documents strategically, you can confidently embrace your new marital identity across all legal and official spheres.
4. Social Media/Email
One of the most satisfying and seamless changes that often follow marriage is the process of updating your name across various social media platforms. This seemingly daunting task becomes a breeze on Facebook, where the transition is made super easy. You’ll have the flexibility to decide whether you want to maintain your existing Instagram, SnapChat, and Twitter handles. You can keep them untouched, while merely modifying the name associated with your account. On the other hand, if you desire a fresh start or wish to share an account with your spouse, the platform allows you to create a new or joint account accordingly, catering to your unique needs and the dynamics of your relationship. Furthermore, email accounts can also be effortlessly updated using the account settings tabs, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience.
5. Social Security Name Change
One of the primary federal tasks on your post-marriage to-do list is the accomplishment of the Social Security name change. This crucial process begins with the completion of the SS-5 form, which subsequently needs to be filed either in-person or conveniently through the mail. As part of the submission, it is imperative to include your certified marriage certificate as well as present a valid photo ID, such as your driver’s license or passport, ensuring that all necessary documentation is in order.
Once you have dutifully provided all the required information, the Social Security Administration will promptly process your request with utmost care and attention to detail. Now anticipate the exciting moment in just about two weeks when your eagerly awaited new Social Security card arrives, prominently bearing your freshly acquired married name.
Taking the time to address the Social Security name change is more than just a bureaucratic formality; it holds significant importance in keeping your records accurately updated. Additionally, beyond its administrative significance, this process marks the beginning of a shared journey as a married couple, and it signifies the union of two lives intertwining to create a beautiful and enduring partnership.
6. IRS Married Name Change
When you go through the process of changing your name after getting married, one crucial step is ensuring that the IRS is aware of your new married name. Social Security is responsible for notifying the IRS about this change when they process your SS-5 form. However, it is highly recommended that you take an extra step to safeguard against any potential issues. To do this, you should consider filing the IRS 8822 form for free, which serves as an additional measure to ensure the IRS is duly informed about your new name.
Having two different names across government records, such as those held by Social Security and the IRS, can lead to complications. Tax-related matters are especially sensitive and need to be handled with utmost care and accuracy. If there are discrepancies between your names, it could cause delays in tax processing, refund delays, or even result in complications with your tax returns. These kinds of issues might take a long time to resolve and could result in unnecessary stress and financial implications.
Given the potential consequences, the IRS 8822 form seems like a small effort compared to the significant advantages it brings. By ensuring that both Social Security and the IRS are on the same page regarding your new married name, you minimize the chances of any future tax and/or tax return snags that could arise from having different names on file.
7. U.S. Passport Name Change After Marriage
Three distinct forms exist to modify your name with the State Department. Excitingly, if your passport’s age is under a year, the DS-5504 form can be used to request your marital name at NO COST! You can view this as a matrimonial gift from the State Department! However, if your passport is older than a year, it’s necessary to use the DS-82 form, along with the associated fees, to obtain a new passport in your new married name. For those who’ve not yet applied for a passport, the DS-11 form is to be filled out.
It can take a few months for the State Department to process and distribute new passports. Therefore, your application should align with your international travel schedule. Furthermore, those feeling nostalgic about their past passport needn’t fret. In conjunction with your new passport, the old one, identifiable by two puncture marks, is returned to you.
You will also need to send a propertly printed and formatted 2×2 passport photo. You can use the MissNowMrs mobile app to take the photo!
8. United States Postal Service
Start the name change by filling out the USPS Change of Address (or Name) form. This form guides you through the necessary details, requiring both your new and old name for a smooth transition.
If digital convenience appeals to you, go to the USPS website for their online application. This user-friendly tool allows secure and swift data input for any account modifications, including name changes.
Upon submitting the form or the online application, expect a waiting period of about seven days. During this time, your mail carrier adjusts to your name change. They will know to place mail bearing your new married name in your mailbox.
In essence, USPS has designed this entire process for your comfort. Whether marriage or another personal reason prompts your name change, USPS accommodates it seamlessly. Rest assured, your mail will continue to reach you promptly, now addressed under your new name.
9. State Driver’s License Married Name Change
The process for modifying your married name on a driver’s license varies from state to state. It’s a unique endeavor, with no uniform form or set of prerequisites. While it can seem daunting, understanding the specifics can help you navigate this journey.
At some DMVs, your current license and certified marriage certificate are all that’s needed. They promptly alter your driver’s license to reflect your new married name. It’s surprising how uncomplicated this procedure can be!
However, not every state offers such a simple process. Some DMVs might require you to present evidence of residence. The complexity can vary greatly.
No matter what your state’s rules are, one element remains constant – the need to visit the DMV office. They require your presence primarily due to the necessity of a new photo for your updated driver’s license.
Although the need for a new photo might seem like a minor inconvenience, it actually provides an opportunity. It lets you refresh your image and name on a document that you carry daily. Thus, instead of viewing the name change as just another bureaucratic task, you can consider it a step into a new chapter of life. This isn’t just about paperwork – it’s about personal growth. Therefore, visiting the DMV for a name change is much more than a regulatory requirement. It’s a significant personal journey.
10. State Title and Vehicle Registration
The application for a driver’s license in your state might also update your vehicle title or registration. However, some states use different forms. For the specifics, check your state DMV’s website. It’s a good idea to have your VIN and license plate numbers ready. It also helps to bring a copy of your vehicle insurance for an easier filing process.
The process to fill out vehicle-related documents varies by state. Some may require a driver’s license application that automatically updates your vehicle’s title or registration. However, this isn’t universal; some states use separate forms.
Additionally, having a copy of your vehicle insurance can simplify the process. This step offers an added layer of assurance, making the filing process smoother. By being prepared, you can ensure a smooth transition for your vehicle document updates.
11. State Voter Registration Name Change
Every cote counts! So, making sure your voter details are up to date is your civic responsibility.
Some states simplify this process by offering a specific section in the driver’s license application. Here, you can easily update your new marital name with the voter registration bureau. However, not all states follow this method. Some require you to fill out individual forms to update your details.
Don’t worry if the process seems daunting. A quick online search can help you navigate through the procedure in your state, or this central voter registration site might assist. It can show you whether you need to fill out an individual form or if your state allows updates via the driver’s license application.
So, remember that updating your name on your voter registration after marriage is crucial. If your state’s driver’s license application includes a section for updates, use it. If not, an online search can guide you to the right form. Either way, your voter registration should always reflect your current information, ensuring that your vote counts.
Changing your name after marriage can feel like a bureaucratic hurdle, but it is a critical step for maintaining accurate official records. After successfully updating your name on your Social Security card, it is important that you share this new information with your employer as soon as possible. This action could entail submitting important documents such as a certified marriage certificate and a copy of your new Social Security card or simply having a meeting with the Human Resources department. Acting promptly ensures a seamless alignment between your employer’s payroll records and those maintained by the Social Security Administration and the IRS. Once your employer receives this update, they will then proceed to adjust your name on all employment-related benefits, such as health and dental insurance, ensuring that all records reflect your new married name accurately.
You now hold your new Social Security card, reflecting your new married name. Next, you should update your personal insurances. Usually, your employer handles the changes for any insurance provided through your job. Got a local insurance representative? You could give them a call or visit their office. Don’t forget to bring your certified marriage certificate for the update. Be ready to answer some questions about you and your spouse. Here’s an idea – how about merging your accounts? This can be a smart financial strategy as an insurance bundle could lead to significant savings.
14. Bank Accounts
When changing your name on your bank and savings accounts or ATM cards, it’s likely that you’ll need to make a personal visit to your local branch. Before heading there, it’s a good idea to call ahead and schedule an appointment to avoid any potential wait time.
Don’t forget to bring the necessary identification documents with you. These usually include your photo ID and a certified copy of your marriage license. In most cases, the bank will need these to verify your identity and confirm the legitimacy of the name change.
Moreover, if you’re planning to add your spouse as a signer on your accounts, you might want to consider bringing them along to the appointment. Having your spouse present can streamline the process, reducing the need for a follow-up visit. With these preparations in place, you’ll be set for a smooth and efficient name change process at your bank.
15. Credit Cards
Updating your credit cards with your married name is scary easy. Simply call the 800 number on the back of the card and request to have your name change. You may need to answer a few security questions to verify your identity before the change is made. After this, your new credit cards will be mailed to you within 5-7 business days. American Express is the biggest exception to this rule. They have a name change form that must be completed and submitted before an updated Amex card is issued in your new married name.
Updating your name on your investments involves a phone call with your financial planner. Or, you can notify the companies that invest on your behalf. Many will make the change over the phone. Unfortunately, E*Trade requires a certified marriage certificate to be mailed to them, and they do not return it. If you have a 401K through your employer, your HR department will make the name change update on your behalf.
Changing your name on your mortgage can be quite the process. So, contact your lender by phone to find out their process and requirements. Many times they will need a copy of your marriage certificate to process your name change. Now is also a good time to add your spouse to your mortgage if they will be assisting you with payments.
Most utility companies include a section on their bills for information to be updated. You can opt to fill in your new name and mail in a photo copy of your marriage certificate. Or, you can call the number on your statement. Larger utility companies typically have an area for you to update your information within your account settings.
19. Professional Licenses
Doctors, nurses, pilots, lawyers, and any other person with a professional license must contact the board that issues the license to request a name change after marriage on their certificate.
20. Frequent Flyer Accounts
Every airline has a different set of requirements for changing the name associated with your account. So, it is easiest to contact them by phone or scan their FAQ pages. Many airlines require you to scan them a copy of your certified marriage certificate. *Please note that you need to book all travel in your maiden name until you have received your new driver’s license for domestic flights. And the same goes for waiting for your new U.S. Passport for international flights.
21. Change Your Name The Easy Way
If you’re feeling daunted by this checklist. Don’t stress! You have easier name change options available. Use the MissNowMrs name change app or online service to change your name in 13 minutes, NOT 13 hours. We’ve helped over 500,000 newlyweds make the switch. And, would be honored to help you too.
22. Married Name Change Fun
Once you’ve made the legal switch to Mrs. it’s time to celebrate! Treat yourself to a monogrammed necklace. Make swank dinner reservations under your new married name. And/or do anything else that lets you luxuriate in your new name and newlywed status!