You have found the perfect partner you are ready to commit to for the rest of your life. The wedding planning is underway. The dress, the reception, band or DJ, we know that involves endless decisions to create a memorable day.
But once the wedding is over and the thank you notes are written, there’s one more important thing to take care of. If you plan to change your name after marriage, there are some things you need to do after the wedding and the marriage is official.
Read on to learn all about the steps to name change after marriage and all the places you will need to notify about your official name change.
Considering the Name Change
In today’s modern world, first, you need to consider if a name change is right for you. This is a personal choice, yet one steeped in culture and tradition.
For many couples, it is assumed there will be a name change for the bride post-wedding. But as times change, for other brides, they are considering whether a name change is right for them.
Process to Change Your Name Post Wedding
Finally done with the wedding planning, now there is the detail of letting the world know your new name. How do you go about making that change? What are the things to change?
Here are the things you should remember need a name change and how to handle making the change.
1. Marriage Certificate – Get Certified Copies
Before you can get married, of course, you need to get a marriage license. One smart thing to do at the same time you get your license is to request several certified copies of the marriage certificate if the option is available.
Then once you are married, you already have one of the documents needed to make an official name change. You will get your official license and marriage certificate. Those you want to keep in a safe place. But already having the certified copies saves you another trip and you are prepared to start officially changing your name.
2. Social Security Card
To update your name with the Social Security Administration you will need to visit the local social security office and complete IRS Form S-55.
You will need to bring:
- Birth Certificate or Passport to prove citizenship
- Valid Driver’s License or Government ID Card
- Certified copy of your marriage license
- Social Security Card
3. U.S. Passport
It may be best to do this after the honeymoon as the passport application process can take a few months, and many travel companies require that the name used to book travel tickets match your passport at the time of travel.
If you have had your passport for less than one year, you can change it without a fee. It is considered a simple name change.
If you have already had your passport for longer than a year, you need to complete an application for a new passport. The U.S. State Department offers guidelines for how to go through that process. You can apply for a new passport at many U.S. Postal offices or by mail.
4. Driver’s License
You will need to visit a local office of your state’s department of motor vehicles to request a name change on your driver’s license. State requirements vary, but most do not allow you to change your name online or by mail.
You will need identification, a copy of the marriage license and proof of address. Many states also require an updated social security card or passport for identification purposes. You can check with your state’s DMV website for specifics.
5. Bank Accounts
Once you have new identification, you will want to visit your local bank to change your name on bank accounts. If you have joint accounts, the person doing the name change will need to be present with appropriate identification and a copy of the marriage license.
Any changes to accounts, like adding a person the account or setting up a joint account with both partners, you will both need to be present.
6. Employer Human Resources
You will need to officially change your name with your employer. They will want documentation to make the official changes to your file for payroll purposes.
If you have direct deposit for payroll and made any changes to your accounts at the bank, your employer will also need to be notified of these changes.
7. Insurance Changes
If you carry health insurance through your employer, you will also need to make the necessary changes to your policy so it carries the correct name.
Even if it is not an open enrollment period, you can change around your insurance carriers because you have had what is considered a change in status. For example, you might have been using your own employer’s insurance before your marriage. But now that you are married, you might go under your spouse’s plan.
8. Mortgage, Rental Agreements, Credit Cards and Utilities
This category involves all those places you pay bills to each month. Whether you pay a mortgage or rent, the official papers need to be changed. Your credit cards need a name change and new cards need to be issued.
Your utilities, like gas and electric bills, need to be changed too.
Company policies may vary. Most will have information via their website about how you go about making those changes. Some will require you to visit local offices in person to make the official name change. You will also likely need a copy of your marriage license to prove the marriage.
Change Your Name, Start Your New Life Together
Many are now deciding to use name change services like UpdateMyName to help save time and take the hassle out of the name change process. Married life is sure to be full of exciting new moments. Let’s face it, you want to enjoy being in the honeymoon phase of your marriage. And you certainly don’t want to be bogged down with all the details of making all these name changes.