Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wedding Wednesday { Changing Your Last Name }

So you wore the big white dress, married the man of your dreams and now you are ready to officially and legally become a Mrs. but you don't know where to start? Trust me, I was there and was thoroughly overwhelmed. It took me about 4 months after our  wedding to take my booty to the social security office to start the process! 

one // certified copies of marriage license
You can get these from the clerk in the county your marriage license was filed in at any time. We requested ours when we submitted our signed marriage license. I would also recommend getting a couple certified copies because some places where you change your name will request you to send it in, but they will return it. But to keep the process moving along I got multiple copies so I could submit multiple name changes as once and not worry about having to wait for the other to return.

two // social security card
The very first place you need to go in the social security office to change your name - you will be getting a "corrected" card. The cost for this is free. You will need to bring your old social security card, original or certified copy of birth certificate or passport, your certified copy of marriage license, proof of identity - i.e. passport or license and the application for social security card filled out. After you have waited in that long line and met with the worker for about 5 minutes you will be done and you will receive a temporary social security card until the new one arrives in about 10 business days.

three // drivers license or dmv
Unfortunately in NC, which is probably the case in most states, you can't go directly to the DMV after your social security meeting, but you can go the next day! I would suggest going to a DMV not in a major town or high traffic area and make an appointment. Some DMVs require you to physically have the new social security card in your hand and some will accept the temporary social security card as long as it is showing up in the system you are in the process of a name change (NC takes 24 hours, so I was able to go the next day), so I would call the DMV before going and waiting. Here you will need certified copy of your marriage license, new social security card, drivers license, vehicle/registration. The cost for this will depend on the state you live in.

four// bank accounts
If you kept your maiden name as your middle name, you may not need or want to do this as quickly, but if you didn't I would suggest doing this as soon as your new drivers license and social security card comes in. Nothing is worse than going to pay for something with a card and they ask for ID and your ID doesn't match the name on the card. For me, I kept my maiden name as my middle name so I was able to easily explain it and still almost 2 years later still have some cards with my maiden name on them. In order to change your name on bank accounts you will need certified copies of your marriage certificate, new social security card and drivers license (you will need the new cards in hand - not the temporary ones). Most banks do not have a fee for this, but some may.

five// passport
To change your name on your passport, it requires a little more paperwork. In my case my passport was about to expire, so it didn't cost me the full price to change my name and I could do it all by submitting it through the mail because I was already going to have to get a new one. Look on the passport information website to see which category you fall into to know which form you will need to fill out and if you need to go to the post office that hosts a passport agency to complete the necessary documents. You will also need a passport color photo - if you are not required to set up an appointment and you can do it all by mail you can go to Walgreens or a place that takes passport photos and they will take it and print for a small fee. To change your name you will need certified copy of marriage license, social security card, drivers license and passport photo. Note that the process of getting your new passport back has a wide range so my suggestion would be to plan any vacation accordingly. The cost for this service can range anywhere from $0-$200 depending on the category you fall into.

These are the five most important places to make sure you change your name. Below is a list of other places you should consider changing your name as well.

  • Work
  • USPS
  • Email accounts
  • Bills
  • Memberships & subscriptions
  • Schools
  • Social Media accounts (if you are like me you did this as soon as you woke up as a Mrs)
  • Voter Registration
  • Doctors Offices

And there you have it! Hopefully this helps some of the bride-to-be's out there!

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Coral said...

If only it was all done for you! I'm not married but I can only imagine how much there is to do alongside a wedding and the things that nobody tells you about! This was a great insight

Tori said...

I haven't decided if I'm going to change my last name when I get married. It seems like a lot of work!!! Thankfully when that day comes I'll be able to use this list as a resource! :)


Carly Kontak said...

I was SO glad I had a list like this when I changed my last name! I had no idea where to start, but it wasn't as bad as I expected!

Rachel said...

I got all the legal stuff done within the first month, because I was between semesters at college and wanted everything settled with my name at the new college before I started the next semester!

Allison said...

We've been married for 8 months (today!) and I still haven't changed my name on my bank account or passport!

Roxy C said...

Gosh these sounds like a lot. I'm engaged now and hadn't thought to much about the logistics of changing my name. I saw a company called miss to Mrs that offers a name change service. Sounds like something I need to invest in or put on our registry!

Helen Bailey said...

Whew. Name changing is no joke. I still haven't finished this whole process and I used a name changing service... haha. Unfortunately they can't do everything for you, so I'm only about halfway done!