Changing Your Name After the Wedding

All right, so how do you go about changing your name after the wedding is over? Everything else is done, the wedding ceremony has passed, but you’ll still need to complete this big step if that is what you decided to do. Just know that this DIY name change process can definitely be a long thing and quite aggravating too if you don’t know how to do it or if you miss some of the steps and don’t follow everything in the best order possible. 

So, do your best and try to not be super frustrated if it seems like you’re never going to finish this process. Let’s talk a little bit about the process of changing your name after your wedding.  We will do our best here to give you some tips for the easiest things to do and a great way to make this process as simple as possible and still keep all your hair and remain relatively wrinkle-free even after it’s all over with, LOL. In this article I will give you information on 2 options here when it comes to changing your name and will list out lots of details if you want to do the process all yourself.

First of all, I’m assuming you have talked with your new spouse and have decided to change your name. You don’t have to do this but most women do. Legally you can take your spouse‘s last name or you can create a new last name along with your partner if you’re having a same-sex marriage. Either way, you’ve probably already thought a little bit about how to do this process and that’s a good idea because there are quite a few legal steps involved that you have to do in order to change your name correctly and with as few hassles as possible.

In order to change your name you will need certified copies of your marriage certificate. Certified - let me stress that. So if I were you I would get as many certified copies of that marriage certificate as possible because plain copier copies will not work in most cases and many institutions will actually keep the certified copy that you give them so that is why I suggest you get several when you pick them up. 

Just be patient and remember that this process can take time if you’re handling all the details yourself, so be patient and try not to get so frustrated when it seems like it’s taking forever to get it all done. So, first, to start changing your name legally after you get married you’ll need to get a few certified copies of your marriage certificate. I would suggest no less than three, and if you can get more, definitely do it. It’s better to have too many than too few I think. 

Also, if I were you I would get all your old IDs together - including things like drivers license, Social Security card, passport, student IDs if you’re going to school, or any other sort of ID that you may now have. And once you’ve done that you can start the process of legally changing your name. Go ahead and get them all, even if you don’t think you’re going to need them, because more than likely someone will want that old ID that you left at home and didn’t group with all the others.

The DIY Changing Your Name Process

1) The next thing you need to do, assuming you’re in the US, would be visiting your local Social Security office. It is also called Social Security Administration or SSA in some cases. You can’t do this online, you will need to do this in person. Make sure you take all your IDs with you including a copy of your new certified marriage certificate and possibly even proof of citizenship if that is a necessary requirement in your state. 

It’s better to get the Social Security card taken care of first. Why? Because in a lot of states other offices such as the DMV, your bank or other institutions will require you to show a current Social Security card with your new married name before you start the process of changing your drivers license or status with them. So I always suggest starting with your Social Security card first when changing your name.

2) The next step I would do if I were you would be to change your drivers license if you have one. One of the easiest ways to start the process would be to google something to the effect of “changing my name on my drivers license in Georgia” or “changing my name on my drivers license in California” or wherever you live and then you’ll probably find everything you need to know about how to do it in your own state. 

I would encourage you to make sure that you also visit your states official DMV website where you can probably find loads of details on the process of changing your name on your drivers license, what is required and more. Make sure when you do go to your DMV office that you have a photo ID, your drivers license, a copy of your certified marriage certificate, and your new Social Security card (if it is ready with your new name already on it).

3) If you do have a passport, changing your name after you get married is a very similar process as in changing your name on your drivers license or your Social Security card. So make sure when you do this that you have a certified copy of your new marriage certificate, your current passport, photo IDs, etc., and also be prepared to show proof of your citizenship if that is needed, just in case. In other words, at all of these places it is better to over prepare than under prepare because in the end it will save you time, multiple visits, gas, stress and so much more.

4) Then, once you’ve finished all these steps you can go on and complete your other items that also need changing. The next big things I would worry about concerning changing my name would be all my information on my bank accounts, debit cards and credit cards too. The best way to do this is to go in person and speak to one of the bank officials as far as your banking information goes. 

You can tell your bank officials you’re newly married and that you are in the process of changing your name and in most cases they’ll be more than happy to walk you through the entire process. Don’t forget to also bring copies of your certified marriage certificate, your photo IDs, your Social Security card, etc. Concerning your credit cards you may be able to do this over the phone or via email or mail depending on the institution.

And once you’ve completed all the big steps above, the next thing you’ll need to do would be change your name on all the smaller accounts you may have. Accounts such as the following are a good start but certainly not all of them, such as; loans, car titles, your employer information, utility bills, credit card companies, alumni associations, mortgages, doctors, insurance companies, voter registration and more. So be patient - you will get it all done but it does take time. 

Or, if you decide you don't want to do it yourself you now have another choice - a shortcut that can save you loads of time and stress. Have you ever thought about buying a New Bride Name Change Kit?

These kits can make this process so much easier and stress free for you. Basically, you order the name change kit that fits your needs, you complete all the paperwork that is included, you send it back and then they take care of the majority of the process for you! What’s easier than that? 

So you now have 2 basic choices in completing the name change process.

  1. Do it yourself (see the steps listed out above) or
  2. Choose to buy a name change kit and save yourself some time. 
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