Whether you’re following tradition and taking your partner’s name, or using both of your names, there is a long list of steps you’ll need to follow. You’ll be required to notify financial institutions, insurance companies, several government agencies, etc., of your name change.
Let’s start off with the good news; you don’t need to add the name changing task to your already long “TTD” list prior to the wedding. You can’t actually begin the official name changing steps until you receive your marriage certificate back from the registrar. The only changes you can make in advance are things like ordering new checks or submitting a name change to your magazine subscriptions. The majority of states automatically mail out a copy of the marriage certificate after it’s been processed, which generally takes about a month after the ceremony and the license has been signed. In some states a copy of the license needs to be requested so you’ll need to find out how the process works in your state.
Once you have the official marriage certificate in hand you’ll need to record your name change with the Social Security Administration. This part of the process is actually easy and free, and your social security number will remain the same. You can visit the Social Security website and download the form you need to request the change or pick one up from your local SS office. Once you’ve filled out the form you can mail it in along with any other required documents requested in the instructions or drop it off at the Social Security office. The SS administration will return your important documents immediately and in a few weeks you should receive your new Social Security card.
Department of Motor Vehicle
Next, you’ll need to have your driver’s license changed which requires a face to face appearance at the Department of Motor Vehicles. You need to bring your new Social Security card along with your marriage certificate and proof of your new address if you’ve moved. You’ll also need to take in your old driver’s license, which you’re required to give them in exchange for a temporary card until you receive your new driver’s license in the mail.
Miscellaneous Name Change Notifications
There are a long list of other organizations, financial institutions, etc., that you’ll need to notify regarding your name change, including your employer, mortgage company, banks, investment accounts, credit card companies, property leases or titles, utility companies, car registration (s) and insurance companies. You’ll also want to update your passport, notify any medical professionals you work with, special memberships (Alumni Assoc., health clubs, etc.) and voter registration.
Name Change Kit
Investing in a name change kit will definitely simplify the process. Sure, you can save money by working your way through the process yourself but most kits are affordable and well worth the price. Nobody looks forward to spending hours standing in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles, or trying to get all the pertinent forms together. A good name change kit can transform a process that could take days into something that can be taken care of in an hour or less. You can find New Bride Name Change Kits here.