Anastasia Greer
Legal Intern at JUSTLAW
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How to Easily Change Your Name After a Marriage

It is estimated that 2.6 million weddings will take place by the end of 2022. While your wedding is one of the best days of your life, it still requires a lot of planning and preparation. This planning doesn’t stop after you get married, either!

One thing you need to consider as a newlywed is how to complete your name change after marriage.
Do you want to learn more about the steps to an easy name change and how you can get help as you change your name after a wedding?


Keep reading this guide for the top tips to follow to make changing your name simple.

name change checklist

Decide What You Want Your Name Changed To

Changing your name after a wedding is an exciting thing! You can start your new life with your partner and have a name that binds you together to have the best marriage possible.

While you may be excited to change your name, it can be difficult to decide what you want your name changed to. After all, this isn’t something that you typically talk about in your wedding vows.

There are a few different options for you when you change your name after marriage. First, you can simply take the last name of your spouse. This is the most traditional option for changing your name.

You can also hyphenate your last name with the last name of your spouse. Many people also choose to replace their middle names with their maiden names. This way, you do not have to give up either name and you can include both names in your new life.

Once you have decided what you want to change your name to when you are newly married, you can start the process of your name change.

Get Certified Copies of Your Marriage Certificate

Getting certified copies of your marriage license or your marriage certificate is the first thing you must do to change your name after a wedding. Whether you are changing your name at the DMV, with the Social Security Administration, or on your passport, you need a certified copy of this certificate.

This will prove that you got married and will greatly simplify the process of changing your name. If you are changing your name without getting married first, you have to file a petition with your state court.

Make sure you pay for the certified copies of this certificate, as photocopied versions will not be accepted.
Gather Legal Documents

Not only do you need to send in copies of your marriage certificate to change your name, but you also need other legal documents.

There are a few things that you will need to have with you when you change your name on your Social Security card, your license, and your passport.

For example, you need your current form of identification with your prior name. This will prove your identity on your current license, Social Security card, and passport.

Change Your Name on Your License

Once you have all of your documents gathered, you can start the process to change the name on your license! This process will vary depending on the state you live in.

Typically, you will need to complete a new form for your driver’s license application. Then, you will show the DMV your marriage certificate to prove that you got married and to qualify for a legal name change.

Update Your Social Security Card

When you start your Social Security name change, you will first need to fill out an application on the Social Security Administration website. Even though you are getting a completely new card, it will have the same number!

If there is a local Social Security Administration office, you can complete the process in person. Otherwise, you need to mail in your application and documents.

To change your name, make sure you show documents that prove your identity with your current name as well as documents that prove your legal name change.

You may also need to provide a document that proves that you are a citizen of the United States.
Once you have completed the application, you can expect your new Social Security card to arrive within 10 to 14 business days.

Get a New Passport

Next, you can get a new passport with your new legal name. This will require you to bring your current passport, an application for a new passport, and proof of your name change.

To get a new passport, you also need to bring a passport photo that meets these criteria.

If you are planning a trip or a honeymoon, it is important to consider your name change when you are booking tickets. If you are flying out of the country, you need to make sure the name on your passport matches the name on your plane tickets.
This should not be a problem if you booked the tickets with your maiden name and wait to get your passport until after you get back from your trip. The process of changing your name on your passport is even easier with the global entry name change process.

Notify Other Organizations

While your Social Security card, license, and passport are the most important things to consider when you change your name, you also need to notify other organizations of your name change.

Finding a name change checklist can make it easy to remember the places that you need to notify.
When you are changing your name, you should ensure that you remember to change it on your:

Voter Registration
Vehicle Title & Registration
Banks and Credit Card
Workplace Information and Payroll
Professional Licenses
Insurance and Medical Providers
Landlord or Mortgage Company

Work With a Lawyer

Even following each of these tips, you will find that the process to change your name is stressful and time-consuming. Something that can make it much easier is working with a lawyer to change your name.
If you have an attorney that specializes in family law, they can help you with every step on this post-wedding checklist to get your newly named information updated.

Name Change FAQs

When you are changing your name, learning more about the process can help you save time and money. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that people have when changing their names.

How Much Does a Name Change Cost? 

When it comes to changing your name after your wedding, you may need to know how much the process will cost.
While the cost will vary depending on the state where you live, there are a few costs you can expect when you change your name.

First, you need to pay for the additional copies of your marriage certificate.
Getting a certified copy will usually cost around $15 and you may need a few different copies.

Next, you need to pay to change the name on your license. Most states will not charge you more than $50 for this process. Some may even do it for free.

The Social Security Administration will not charge you to change your name, but you will still have to pay to update your passport.

Typically, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to several hundred dollars depending on your state.

How Long Does It Take to Change Your Name? 

One reason why many people wait so long to change their names is that it is a very time-consuming process. Not only do you have to change your name with several organizations, but you also need to wait for them to process your applications.

For example, when you file for a new Social Security card, it can take up to 14 business days for them to receive your documents and process the information.

The process is also slowed down because you usually need to change your name with the Social Security Administration before you can change the name on your license and passport.

Depending on how long it takes for these organizations to send you your new forms of identification, it can take a few months to complete the name change process.

Is There a Deadline? 

Is there a deadline for changing your name after you get married? No! You can take as long as you want to change your name after your wedding.

Do You Have to Change Your Name Everywhere? 

Finally, do you need to change your name everywhere after you get married?
While it is not legally required that you change your name on your bank account or on other documents after you get married, it is more practical to change your name.

This way, you will never have to provide additional documents to prove your identity!

Need Help With a Name Change After a Wedding? We Can Help

Changing your name after a wedding can be a time-consuming and stressful process. Rather than pushing it off for months or years after your marriage, you can get help speeding up the process!

If you need help with an easy name change, Just Law can help! We specialize in family law and can help you through every step of the name change process. 

Contact us today today to learn more about our family law and name change services or to get a free consultation with our legal experts.

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