Curious how to change your name? Whether you decide to use an online name change service or handle the tedious 13 hour process yourself, there are a series of steps to change your name after marriage. As with any project or challenge, understanding the process is the key to its successful completion. Use our eight steps below for the process of going from Miss to Mrs.
Step 1: Select Your Ideal Name Change Option
Whether you opt for two last names, take your maiden name as a middle name, or use your spouse’s last name, knowing all of the name change options available to you in your particular state is critical. Hopefully playing the Married Name Game helped you narrow your choices and encouraged you to talk with your spouse about the concept of changing your name and how you feel about your new name.
Step 2: Marriage License/Marriage Certificate Details
Depending on your state, the name you write on your marriage license request form can dictate the married name change options available to you. Read the name section of the application form carefully and write exactly the name asked for.
If you live in California, and wish to take your maiden name as a middle name or blend your last name with your spouse’s, you will need to write the exact married name you desire on your marriage license in order to affect either of those name change options. If you write your maiden or spouse’s last name, you will no longer be able to use the married name change process to take your maiden name as a middle name or take a blended last name.
Step 3: Federal Name Change Forms
Once you receive your certified marriage certificate, you can begin filing your federal name change forms. The Social Security Administration, IRS, State Department and United States Postal service all have name forms that must be completed and filed with specific forms of identification as well as a certified copy of your marriage certificate.
Step 4: State Name Change Forms
After filing federal name change forms for a new social security card, U.S. passport and to update your name with the IRS and USPS, it is time to change your name at the state level. You will need to file a form at your motor vehicle administration for a new driver’s license in your married name, and a new photo will be taken (hooray). Next in the filing process are vehicle title and registration forms as well as a voter registration form to update your maiden name in your home state.
Step 5: Notifying Creditors
Following federal and state level name change forms comes the rather daunting task of updating your name with your banks, credit cards, insurance providers, utility providers, health care offices, investments, 401ks, professional licenses, magazines and gym memberships, to name a few. Many companies require written notice and proof of your marriage, while others will change your name over the phone.
Step 6: Update Your Virtual Existence
As you wait for your name change forms to be processed and your new forms of identifications to be issued, it is time to update your moniker across your social media platforms and email addresses. Everything from twitter to instagram to facebook and tumbler should be transitioned to match your new married name. Regardless of the option you choose, consider keeping your maiden name and adding your spouse’s name on your accounts so that friends and colleagues can search for and find you.
Step 7: Save Time & Stress
Feeling overwhelmed by the process? There’s a simple solution that condenses the 13 hour process into 30 minutes. Use the MissNowMrs app or easy online service to auto-complete all of the necessary government name change forms and letters and then follow their simple instructions on how to file by mail and skip endless office lines! Their API allows you to send notification letters to over 6 million creditors and ensure that you won’t forget any step along the way. With over 500,000 customers they are truly the one stop shop for transitioning to Mrs.!
Step 8: Celebrate Your New Name
You’ve filed all your forms, submitted all of the appropriate supporting documents and now have a new Social Security card, driver’s license and passport showing your new married name. Now what? It’s time to celebrate your new status as a Mrs! Indulge in monogrammed jewelry, stationary or soap. Print new business cards and begin signing and saying your new name. You are officially a Mrs.