- Get a few copies of your certified marriage certificate. You will need to use them as legal proof of your marriage.
- Get a Social Security Card with your new name. You will need to complete an application and submit it with proof of identity and proof of legal name change.
- Update your driver’s license or ID from your state DMV. Each state has a process for name change on a driver’s license or ID card. Make sure to bring your current license/ID, proof of legal name change, and proof of residence if you have moved. It is also a good idea to wear something cute, since your photo will be re-taken.
- Notify the IRS of your name change. You will need to complete a form to notify the IRS. This ensures that when you file your taxes under your new name or jointly with your husband the IRS will not hold your returns while they investigate who you are (ex: We have Caroline Green on file, but not a Caroline Smith with this SSN).
Name Change Advice
Looking for name change advice or some tips for newlywed life? The MissNowMrs experts have created state-specific name change articles and checklists for you. We’ve chronicled our recommendations for how to travel while changing your name AND how to handle voting during the transition.
We’ve also compiled our best guidance for how to handle difficult sister in laws, holidays as newlyweds, the ever-annoying baby questions, and much more. Why? Because, while we are name change experts, we’re also newlywed wives, moms, and sisters.
We hope our name change advice articles help smooth your transition to your new name, and a whole new phase of life. Congratulations and best wishes from the entire MissNowMrs team!
- Take some time to consider what name-change avenue you will be taking and discuss it with your future mate.
- Tell your family and wedding attendants of your planned name change. They will then be able to advise anyone asking monogramming or gift-personalization questions before the wedding.
- **Please make your honeymoon travel plans and reservations using your maiden name. You will not have time to change your driver’s license and passport prior to your trip.**
- Inform your employer of your intended name change so they can begin the process of changing your email, business cards, and any other items bearing your maiden name.
- Consider using a website such as www.missnowmrs.com to help you prepare for your name change.
Here are several options to consider to make an easy name change compromise
- Hyphenate your last name with your spouse’s. He can keep his name the same or add yours too. You can also choose whose name should be first in the hyphenation.
- You can keep your maiden name as your middle name. This option allows you to change your last name, but still keep your maiden name as part of your title.
- Adding your maiden name as a second middle name is also a great compromise. If you have a long middle and maiden name, consider that this option may make your name quite a mouthful.
- Using your maiden name as your child’s first or middle name to preserve family history is also a popular choice. If your name was Sophia Carlin you could name your child Henry Carlin Green or Carlin Henry Green.
- Your husband could take your last name. While this is not the most common choice it is a great way for a man to support his wife and potentially escape a terrible last name of his own.
- Change your name legally and use it socially, but use your maiden name professionally. You can be Mrs. Green at school and church, but still be addressed as Ms. Smith at work.
Ready to have some fun? Play the married name game to show what other brides with similar personalities have selected for their name change option.
- You may have established yourself in a career and depend on name recognition for your business and reputation.
- You may not believe in the politics of women changing their last names after marriage since men don’t have the same expectation.
- Your identity may be closely tied to your name and you don’t want to lose your sense of self.
- You may be the last person to carry on your family name and want to make sure it lives on.
- Your husband’s last name may be difficult to pronounce or create an annoying joke when combined with your first name (ex: Mrs. Mary Christmas).
Want some ideas about your name change options that you may not have thought of? Play the Married Name Game to see you options
- Changing your last name after marriage is still the socially acceptable thing to do, and people will automatically start addressing you as Mrs. Green regardless of whether you have decided to legally change your name or not.
- If you plan on having or do have children it is easier to share a last name as parents then to continuously explain to teachers, doctors, playmates, and other parents that you are indeed married and the mother and father of your child.
- His name may be easier to pronounce than yours, or it just sounds nicer with your first name.
- Some women feel that changing their last name joins them to their husband and makes them a family.
- Booking travel plans, making dinner reservations, and monogramming will be much less complicated if you share a last name with your husband.