Maiden to Middle Name Change

Maiden Name to Middle NameTaking her maiden name as a middle name after marriage is one of the more popular name change choices of brides 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.

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.com. 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!

0 thoughts on “Maiden to Middle Name Change

  1. Ashlee

    I live in PA and it has been such a run around! I went to the Social Security office and had no problems with my name change (FIRST MAIDEN NEWLAST). I received my new SS card in the mail 3 days later and headed to the DMV. Once there, I was told that I could not change my middle name, only my last with both my maiden and new last name or drop my maiden name altogether. Now my SS card and DL do not match! I will need a court order to change it the way I want it to be so instead I’m giving up my maiden name just to make it faster and less expensive.

    Reply
    1. Danielle Tate

      I think it’s so unfair that only 7 states don’t allow maiden to middle name change, and you happen to live in one of them. Best wishes for finishing your name change and transition from Miss to Mrs.!

      Reply
  2. Lindsay

    Did FL change their laws? Because I went today to change my name, at the SS office they wouldnt let me change my middle name to my maiden name, and told me I had to go to clerk of courts. At Clerk of Courts they told me it would cost $400, and I’d have to get a background check and fingerprints?! I broke down and started crying bc I use my last name professionally, and I lose my identity if I lose my maiden name!!!!!

    Reply
    1. Danielle Tate

      We haven’t heard about FL changing their laws….and if they had it would only affect your state driver’s license and title/vehicle/voter registration. The SS office should accept your maiden to middle name with no issues. Please call 800.772.1213 to talk to someone in the main office. I think the clerk you were filing with was incorrect.

      Reply
  3. Meghan

    I live in OH, and I had all four names put on my social security card: FirstName MiddleName MaidenName LastName. Then I went into the DMV and simply asked the woman working to type my license as MarriedLN (where they put your last name), FirstName MaidenName (where before I had my first name and original middle initial). She did so with no problem, so I guess I was lucky enough to circumvent the “can’t-change your middle name” law, since I essentially did? (The intended name change was also not listed on my marriage certificate).

    Reply
  4. Leslie

    I live in Indiana, and after changing my name to First Maiden Married at the SSA, the BMV wouldn’t allow me to change my middle name to my maiden name as the SSA had done. They said I had to have a court order to change my middle name. I ended up with a social security card and an ID that didn’t match. I had to go back to the SSA and get my name changed on my social security card to be First Middle Married like my ID shows. Unfortunately, that used one of my ten allowed replacement social security cards in a lifetime (whereas changing it the first time due to getting married didn’t Chung toward that ten card limit). To their credit the SSA called and argued with the BMV for about twenty minutes, but the BMV wouldn’t budge. When I went into the BMV, they wouldn’t even look at my social security card as proof of my name change–only my marriage certificate, which in Indiana only shows First Middle Maiden name.

    I don’t know when Indiana started requiring a court order for a middle name change at marriage, but the people at the SSA seemed like it was news to them.

    Reply
    1. Danielle Tate

      Thanks for the heads up on Indiana and maiden to middle name change. We’ll give them a call and get the full scoop!

      Reply
  5. Amy

    I got married in 2010 and now think I want to take my maiden name as my middle name. I live in Florida. I wonder if it’s too late to change it now. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    Reply
  6. Nicole

    Any update on the Indiana middle to maiden name change? I just tried to go first, maiden, married (which my ssn shows) and I got denied too. They ended up doing: first, middle, maiden, married.

    I am a formal employee of Illinois’ Sec. of State (Their DMV) and we always treated the marriage licence as a legal doc allowing the applicant to change their name how they saw fit (within reason, of course). Because of this job experience, I also KNOW that sometimes it just depends on who to talk to–if you get the right person, you’ll get the information, service, etc.

    So frustrating!! I hope to see more info about Indiana because I want all docs to match but I’m not ditching my maiden name!

    Reply
  7. Megan

    WOW, really? I live in PA, I’ve had PLENTY of friends take their maiden name as their middle name. I wanted to keep my middle name, add my maiden, and take my husband’s last name as my new last name (I got married in September, and it’s taken me 6 months to decide this) and I come on here and the website tells me that I CANNOT do this now? I do not want to ditch any of my names….why are they making this so difficult? Has anyone from PA had any luck keeping her maiden name?

    Reply
  8. Danielle

    Don’t even bother trying to change it in New York State. I’m just going to go by my new name, as I want it- First MaidenMiddle HusbandLast- and wait until I move to change it legally. I can just as easily petition to court to change my name to Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop than to change it to include my maiden name as my middle.

    This is truly ridiculous. #NYyouaredrunk

    Reply
  9. Sara

    I just went to change my name today in FL. They (at the SS office) told me I couldn’t put my maiden name as my middle name. They said it was a Homeland Security thing. I’m extremely distraught, as I got married in 2010, and if I’d just done it then I could have kept my maiden name. So I just dropped my maiden name and I’m just Sara Ann NewLastName. I feel like I’ve lost a limb.

    Reply
  10. GTW

    I came across the same problem in NY. SS card name change was a breeze. I just spent 3 hours waiting at DMV and they wouldn’t add my maiden name for my middle name (as is reflected on my ss card). They said if I had 6 points worth of ID with new name then they could do it(credit cards, passport, etc..). How I do that if I don’t have a license reflecting new name??! What’s funny is that I never had a middle name so I am trying to go from Firstname Maidenname to Firstname Maidenname NewLast. I was told I need to get a court order.

    Reply
  11. Victoria

    I’m just married and live in California. On my marriage certificate, my new name is now listed as First Maiden NewLast. I went to the SSA and had no problem updating my SS card. Then I went to the DMV and they told me I’m not allowed to change my middle name because it is not my True Legal name. I had no idea, but according to what I’ve read– if it’s on my marriage certificate, they should honor it. They didn’t. The woman helping me insisted on keeping my old middle name and added my new last name after my maiden last name. Does anyone have any tips? I’m so irritated that my license and voter registration (done thru the dmv) won’t match. Help!

    Reply
  12. Brandee

    I live in California and got married this past June. California DOES allow a bride or bride groom to change their middle or last name on the marriage certificate.
    (http://arcc.co.san-diego.ca.us/services/marriage_licenses.aspx)
    Between the two offices I literally spent 3 hours in one day. All my cards IDs and voter registration read my first, maiden (as my middle), new last.

    If you are a resident of the state of California you will not have any problems at the SSA office or DMV getting your IDs to match. You must first go to the SSA office and present your marriage and birth certificates. Then go to the DMV and present your new SSA card, birth certificate and marriage certificate.

    If you get married in California, but reside in a different state, your resident state laws govern your name change.

    Victoria- CA DMV tip….. always (even if you have a good experience) get the badge number of the person your dealing with. When I initially moved to CA and registered my car the newbie teller didn’t process my paperwork properly and left my car registration as an open application for a year. When I went to renew my registration the DMV had no record of my car, plates or tags. No one wanted to help me, I started asking for badge numbers so I could report them. Suddenly the whole office wanted to help and because I had proof of everything they gave me the year before I didn’t have to pay any penalties.

    Reply
  13. Melissa

    I live in PA, I went to the Social Security office and had no problems with my name change to FIRST MAIDEN NEWLAST. I received my new SS card in the mail about a week later and now I’m going to head to the DMV but I read on here that PA will not change my middle name without a court order stating the legal name change. So now my SS card will not match my driver’s license. What should I do? Will the social security office change my name back to my old middle name and just add my married name? Had I known this would be such a problem I would not have even tried to change my middle name. HELP!!

    Reply
  14. Jill

    FYI, I live in New Hampshire and ran into issues trying to do First Maiden Married with the state DMV. I researched ahead of time and, based on various internet articles stating all but 7 states (not NH) allow the middle-to-maiden switch, I decided to go that route.

    I went to the SSA first and had no trouble, as experienced by many of the above commenters. Then to the DMV with my SSA receipt, but was told I would have to go to probate court and pay $90. After my second wasted day taken off work, I got upset. I think the clerk felt bad, so she left my middle name off my license completely, changing it to just First Married. But she said I still have to petition the court and change it one way or the other. She also said that she might have been able to do it if the marriage certificate said something about what I intended my new name to be, and that I could try changing it with my Town Clerk, but she seemed less confident about this, and my Town Clerk didn’t know anything about how she would modify my marriage certificate.

    I tried again a few days later at another DMV office, thinking it might be a clerk inconsistency issue (after reading about other NH residents who had no problem), but I still had no luck. I am giving up and paying the $90 to petition the court. Luckily I can file by mail and I am crossing my fingers that I won’t have to appear before a judge (the woman at the DMV said her sister just did it and didn’t have to see the judge). With all the government offices in rural NH over an hour away and open less than bankers hours, it’s a logistical nightmare to have to make repeated visits in person when you work during business hours.

    Reply
  15. Tracey

    I live in PA and was going to change my name to Firstname MaidenName HusbandsLastName and was also told by PennDOT (DMV) that I have to get a court order to change my middle name to my maiden name. Darn!

    Reply
  16. Jocelyn

    I live in PA and have been going through the middle name change problem. I was told that besides going to the courthouse, If I showed 2 other documents acknowledging my new name then they could change my drivers license. The 2 forms they told me that would be easiest are my passport (not difficult, just a pain) and my voter registration card (easy you just mail in a form). Hope this helps!!

    Reply
  17. Michelle

    I also live in PA and was told if I show my SSN card AND 2 other forms of ID with my new name, they will let me change my driver’s license. Jocelyn, were you able to make this work and get your license? If so, did you have to get your SSN card changed first, before applying for the new passport?

    Reply
    1. Danielle Tate

      Thanks for the scoop! We checked with the PA DMV and are releasing a new blog post about maiden to middle name change being allowed in PA with a specific set of documents. :)

      Reply
  18. Bryan

    This is actually misinformation. Particularly in PA. The DMV does not have the authority to say that you cannot change your name. The can make it difficult, but cannot deny you if you have the proper documentation. My wife and I went to the DMV in PA today and they explained that because in their eyes she is changing her complete name, she needs to provide 3 forms of government documentation or a court order. Yes it is ridiculous but not a denial.

    Reply
    1. Danielle Tate

      Thanks for your comment Bryan. PA did just update it laws and we’re putting up a new post about it today. :)

      Reply
  19. hannah

    Just go get a court order- Problem solved! I got a court order in nyc to change my middle name. It was not hard at all, and plenty of other people there were in the same boat. Just start at the name change office, and you won’t have any problems! Now I have an official court order, and no one can reject that. Cost me $65, and no, I didn’t need a lawyer or anything. Form was online and very simple. I’ve learned it is quite rare that the NY courts deny a name change, and they had a whole stack of people doing the same thing. Just not a big deal at all. The judge told me that my choice was very common, in fact, and he waived the publication requirement. So I was in and out with my official documents that day (although I had already filed the petition a week earlier, so two trips total). Everyone I encountered was very nice and helpful too, so it really was a pleasant experience, and the judge congratulated me on my marriage.

    Reply
  20. Greer

    I also had a similar experience in NH, but fortunately (or UNfortunately), the SS office gave me a partial warning. I changed my name to FIRST MAIDEN MARRIEDLAST at the SS office without issue but was told that in order to get my new license, I would need to go to the probate court and pay a fee. I thought this was strange, but went over to the court and the filing fee was $110! I was shocked how much it was and also, the clerk said I would receive my hearing notice in the mail. From what I’ve read online, often, judges will simply grant new marriage name changes without a hearing, so I hope what I receive in the mail is an approved petition and I can proceed with my name change at the DMV. On one hand, if I had known at the SS office of the hefty filing fee AND the hearing, I would have kept my middle name… perhaps. What a pain!

    Reply

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