Taking her maiden name as a middle name after marriage is one of the more popular name change choices of newlyweds today. Many women are attached to their maiden names for various reasons: they built a career using it, they are the only child to carry on the family name or they can’t imagine “being anyone else”. Adding her maiden name as a middle name allows for a woman to “keep” her maiden name while taking her husband’s last name, but avoid the mouthful of a hyphenated name.
News flash! More and more states are no longer recognizing a woman’s right to change her middle name based on marriage. What does this mean to newlyweds in the middle of name change? If you live in California, New Jersey, New York, New York City, Ohio (unless your Marriage Certificate shows your intended middle name), Pennsylvania or Washington you are unable to take your maiden name as your middle name as part of your married name change.
Be aware of your state’s policies regarding name change. If you file your government forms with a new middle name, but live in a state that disallows maiden to middle name change you will end up with mismatched identification documents. The reality of having a different name on your state driver’s license and your U.S. Passport can be unsettling. Travel will be tedious as you need to book any international flights in the name on your passport, but local flights should match your state driver’s license. There can also be issues if security is requiring two forms of ID (as yours won’t match). We highly recommend choosing one married name option and using it on ALL of your documents.
Petitioning the Court System
If a bride is dead set on changing her middle name, she will have to petition the U.S. court system via an attorney for a legal name change. This can be a very long and expensive process, but it might be the only way a couple can come to a married name they can agree upon. The moral of this blog posting is be sure to research your state’s name change policies before you begin your name change.
If you’d like to speak with a married name change expert about your particular state and situation, call the gurus at MissNowMrs. They’ll provide you with the most up-to-date information on your state for free! They can also help you consider alternate name change options if you end up being in a non-middle name change state.
Have you tried to change your name and run into red tape and state-specific issues? Share your story today and help another newlywed avoid unnecessary name change hassle! You can also check out our name change checklist for more help.