Changing your name after marriage

Changing your name after marriage

Follow these steps to legally change your name following a marriage.

1. Get your marriage license

Legally changing your name begins with locating the original (or certified) marriage license, including the raised seal and your new last name on it.

If you cannot locate the original or a certified copy, call the clerk's office in the county where your marriage license was filed to get a copy.

2. Change your Social Security Card

Visit the Social Security Administration's website and fill out the application for a new Social Security card. You'll keep the same Social Security Number - only your name will change. Deliver or mail your application to your local Social Security Administration office. Your new Social Security Card should arrive within 10 business days.

3. Change your license at the DMV

Book an appointment at your local Department of Motor Vehicles office to get a new license with your new last name. Be sure to bring multiple forms of identification, ones that show your old name and ones that display your new name. For example, your old drivers license, your certified marriage license, and most important, your new Social Security Card.

4. Change your bank accounts

This step is particularly important if you and your spouse are setting up a joint bank account. The fastest way to change your name at a bank is to go into a local branch -- bring your new driver's license or your new social security card, and your marriage license.

Be sure to request new checks, debit cards, and credit cards.

5. Change other miscellaneous accounts

Changing your Social Security Card and Driver's License allows other changes to be made fairly easily. Some places only require a phone call; others may ask for a copy of your marriage certificate or social security card.

You should notify the following organizations:

  • Employers/payroll
  • Post office
  • Electric and other utility companies
  • Credit card companies
  • Schools and alumni associations
  • Landlord or mortgage company
  • Insurance companies (auto, home, life)
  • Doctors' offices
  • Voter registration office
  • Investment account providers
  • Your attorney (to update legal documents, including your will)
  • Passport office

Tip / Trick:

Make sure to keep old passports, Social Security Cards, and drivers licenses in a safe place. Should you ever need to change your name in the future - these will come in handy.

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