Name Change After Marriage Checklist
- Gather Certified Copies of Your Marriage Certificate
- File for Your New Social Security Card
- Get your new Driver’s License, Vehicle Title, and Registration
- Change your Voter Registration Information
- File for your new Passport
- Change your name with the US Postal Service (USPS)
- Update Bank Accounts, Credit Cards, and Mortgage
- Update Professional Organizations, Utilities, and Vendors
Many Newlywed find that changing their last name after getting married poses a bit of a challenge. Name change after marriage does requires some work.
I had the horrible experience changing my name after my wedding because I didn’t know where to start or what to do, and I made some mistakes along the way. But I don’t want you to feel frustrated like I did, so I created something MissNowMrs.com to make it easier for newlyweds like you to change your name after getting married.
I also made this special guide and checklist just for you if you want to change your name yourself and It includes a checklist that tells you all the things you need to do. It will help you through the whole process if you decide to do it on your own.
But remember, changing your name after marriage takes time and patience. You might need a few months to finish everything but don’t worry if it feels like it’s taking a while.
Changing your name after getting married might seem like a big task, but you can use this guide to make sure you are moving in the right direction.
Avoid These Mistakes When Changing To Your Married Name
- The name on any flights you book MUST match your passport
- Allow 16 weeks for your new passport
- Not all states allow you to hyphenate or change your last name to your middle
- A complete name change will probably require a separate court order
- You Cannot Make Your Own Copies of your Marriage Certificate (You have to order them)
Gather Certified Copies of Your Marriage Certificate
In the married name change process, you will typically need your Marriage Certificate as proof of your marriage. Your wedding officiant usually provides you with the original certificate, which you should keep safe. However, you will need certified copies of the marriage certificate for most steps.
Obtaining certified copies is a relatively simple task. You can contact the office that issued the marriage certificate, usually the county where the marriage took place, via email or phone. Request the certified copies, and it is advisable to order three copies to ensure you have enough. The office may charge a small fee for this service and will send the certified copies to you by mail.
File for Your New Social Security Card
You Social Security Card is required in many of the other steps towards changing to your married name, so you will want to do this first. You will need to file with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and provide them some paperwork via mail or in person. To find your local SSA Office use this link SSA Office Locator.
You will need to complete the Social Security Administration form which can be downloaded SSA Form SS-5. When signing, use your new married name.
For your married name change you will need to provide proof of age, identify and citizenship. If you have a valid US Passport then that will meet all these requirements. Otherwise you will likely need to provide two documents.
Evidence of Age:
In general, you must provide your birth certificate. Some of the other documents they might accept are:
- U.S. hospital record of your birth (created at the time of birth)
- Religious record established before age five showing your age or date of birth
- Final Adoption Decree (the adoption decree must show that the birth information was taken from the original birth certificate)
Proof of your identity:
- U.S. driver’s license; or
- U.S. State-issued non-driver identity card; or
- U.S. passport
Evidence of U.S. Citizenship:
- U.S. birth certificate; or
- U.S. Passport
- Consular Report of Birth
- Certificate of Citizenship
- Certificate of Naturalization
You can mail these documents along with the SS-5 to the local SSA office, or take them there in person.
Get your new Driver’s License, Vehicle Title, and Registration
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) is different in every state, but in general, for a married name change, you will need a certified copy of your marriage license and your new social security card. Check with your DMV/MVA before heading into their office because it is important to make that you have all the documentation they require along with the appropriate payment method. Additionally there are usually multiple forms for your driver’s license, Title and Registration.
The MissNowMrs.com name change kit has detailed instructions for each state.
Change your Voter Registration Information
In some states voter registration is changed at the same time your change your driver’s license, in other states it is a separate process. A married name change can often be done through the US Postal Service, otherwise check at Vote.Gov for the requirements in your state.
File for your new Passport
The US Department of State issues passports and has three different passport forms that can be used for married name change, depending on your situation
- Use DS-5504 if your passport was issued less than a year ago
- Use DS-82 if your passport was issued more than a year ago
- Use DS-11 if you have never applied for a passport before
- Use DS-11 if your passport has expired for more than five years
NOTE that you will need a properly taken passport photo printed on properly sized paper. Some post offices offer this service or the MissNowMrs Mobile App can take care of this for you.
You will need to mail the application and fees, along with supporting documentation (including your current passport) to the State Department.
An Adult Passport Book cost $130, but other fees might apply if you want a passport card, or wish to expedite service.
NOTE that as of 7/1/2023 the State Department is reporting a 13 week delay in processing passports, and that is in addition to the time to mail the application in and have the new passport mailed back. Expect 16 weeks.
Change your name with the US Postal Service (USPS)
You only have to change your name with USPS if you are moving. The USPS will use the name on your credit or debit card to confirm your last name, so the best process is:
- Change your address, old address to new, using your MAIDEN name on USPS Website
- Change your name on your credit or debit card
- Change your address again, old address to new, using your new MARRIED NAME on the USPS Website
Update Bank Accounts, Credit Cards, and Mortgage
It is usually easiest to visit your local branch to change your name on your bank accounts and make sure to bring a certified copy of your marriage certificate and an updated passport or driver’s license.
If visiting the local branch is not an option, then it’s best to call the bank and see what they require. Not all banks will require that you mail your certified marriage license, many will take a photo-copy, but you will need to check.
Update Professional Organizations, Utilities, and Vendors
This process might take a little longer, as you identify each organization that has your maiden name on file. A simple form letter usually work, accompanied by photo copies of your marriage certificate and updated drivers license.
To: [Organization Name] [Organization Address] From: [Your Maiden Name] [Your Address as the organization has it on file] Account: [Account ID] To whom it may concern, I am writing to inform you of that I have changed my name [and address]. Please update your to reflect my new name and address which is: [Your New Married Name] [Your New Address]