After all the wedding planning, honeymooning, and thank you note writing, the next biggest chore you’ll face is getting your name changed. I didn’t have a huge emotional attachment to my maiden name – it was hard to pronounce and remember – and it was a big deal to my husband that I take his name, so I was happy to do it. Or so I thought, until I realized how much work it would be! I think, all-in-all, my name change process took close to a year.
You may be a lot more proactive and efficient than I was, but just to help you out here’s a breakdown of the process:
Before the Wedding
- Tell your employer so they can start the process of changing your email address and your business cards.
- Tell your bridesmaids and family members that you’re changing your name just in case any of your guests ask about monogrammed gifts!
- Make your honeymoon reservations using your maiden name. You won’t have a passport or drivers license in your new name yet, so you’ll need your tickets to match your documentation.
After the Wedding
- Get a new social security card: once you get your marriage license (which usually takes a couple of weeks to arrive in the mail), download a form from the Social Security website. Take that completed form, your marriage license and your identification to your local social security office.
- Get a new drivers license: yep, that means a trip to the DMV! Most DMVs only require a copy of your marriage certificate, but some require the social security card with your new name on it. Check with your local DMV for their requirements.
- Visit your office’s HR department again with your new social security card to change your name on financial information, including your tax deductions. You’ll want to be credited properly with those deductions come tax time, and with your social security contributions when you retire.
- For everything else, including bank, insurance policies, credit cards, utilities, creditors, and membership organizations, type up a letter with all of your information on it, including name, address, new name, account number, and possibly your social security number, and include a copy of your marriage license. No one should charge you a fee to change your name. To help keep yourself organized, here’s a printable name change checklist.
- Don’t forget to order new checks and credit cards!
- And last but not least, start using your new name! It will sound a little funny at first, but as you start using your new last name, everyone else will catch on. Don’t be afraid to courteously correct people when they erroneously use your maiden name.
Here’s a basic checklist of everyone that needs to be notified of your name change.
Congratulations on getting married!