Say My Name, Say My Name: Changing Your Name After the Wedding

by Lisa Beth Miller

Changing your name after the wedding is a personal choice. If you do decide to make the traditional change, it is important to be organized and thorough in this endeavor. Where to start?

Step one: Get your marriage license.
An original, or certified copy of your marriage license will be required before you speak to other agencies. Call the clerk’s office where your license was filed to get copies.

Step two: Change your social security card.
Fill out the Social Security Administration’s application for a new card. Take or mail your application and required documents to your local SSA office.

Step three: Update your driver’s license.
In most states, this must be done in person, so prepare yourself for a trip to the DMV. Bring your original license, your marriage certificate, and your new Social Security card.

Step four: Update your bank accounts.
Request the change in person at your local branch (bring your new driver’s license and marriage certificate). Ask for new checks and debit and credit cards, as well.

Step five: Apply for a new passport.
The fees and process change depending on whether your current passport was issued within the last year. Except to wait 4-6 weeks for processing.

What else? Additional details vary by person, but you should update records for your payroll. Email accounts, insurance policies, utilities, legal documents, doctors’ offices, school alumni offices, credit cards, checking account, loans, and social media accounts.

If this seems overwhelming, use these suggestions to create a checklist. Tackle a few items each week until everything is updated.

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