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Changing Your Name After Marriage

The vows have been said, rings exchanged, and now comes marriage! Except there’s more to be done behind the scenes. There are multiple accounts, Identification cards/government documents, and financial accounts that need to be changed should you choose to change your name. This process should begin soon after marriage, and here’s how:

Order marriage certificate:

  • These can be obtained at the County Register of Deeds.
  • Order multiple copies (about 4 – 5). Some places will require a certified copy and don’t always return it or take a while to send it back.
  • NOTE: A marriage certificate is not the same as a marriage license. The certificate is a record-keeping document, proving the marriage has been completed and registered.

Apply for new Social Security Card:

  • Use the original marriage certificate (not a photocopy).
  • The Social Security number will remain the same, a new card will be issued with the new name on it.

Apply for a new driver’s license (or state identification card):

  • Use new Social Security card to do so.
  • See list of Driver Licensing Locations to find an office.
  • Call ahead to ensure proper documentation is in hand. Many people get turned away because of a lack of required documents when they arrive.

Update Passport:

  • If the passport is less than a year old updating the name is free. Otherwise, there is a processing fee.
  • Fill out one of the three different forms: DS-82 if the passport was issued more than a year ago, DS-5504 if the passport was issued less than a year ago, or DS-11 if the passport has been expired for more than five years.

 Update vehicle title and registration information:

  • Some DMVs cover driver’s licenses and vehicle title/registration, but most states have separate departments.
  • Call ahead to ensure proper documentation is in hand. Many people get turned away because of a lack of required documents when they arrive.
  • Typically takes a few weeks to arrive in the mail.
  • If currently leasing or financing a vehicle, contact lienholder and inform them of the name change. They will provide the steps to update title.

 Update voter registration information:

 Update name with United State Postal Service (USPS):

  • It’s not required to tell the USPS about a name change, but make sure to update the name and address if moving after the marriage. Visit usps.com.

 Update bank accounts and creditors:

  • Use the newly obtained ID’s. The bank will explain their process for getting new debit cards and checks.
  • Creditors include auto loan lender, mortgage lender, credit card companies, and student loan lender

Request new credit/debit cards:

  • Start by calling the number on the back of the card, and the company will provide their protocol issuing a new card.
  • Most will want a photocopy of a photo ID (Driver’s License or passport) and a photocopy of the marriage certificate.

 Update payroll information:

  • Give HR department necessary paperwork to get your name changed.
  • Check if the tax bracket has changed due to the combined income. If it has changed, review withholding amount to see if it should be adjusted.

Update Life insurance and retirement accounts:

  • Give HR department necessary paperwork to get your name changed
  • Check if the tax bracket has changed due to the combined income. If it has changed, review withholding amount to see if it should be adjusted.

Other things to update:

  • You and your spouse’s employers
  • Medical providers
  • Attorney – for any legal documents, such as a trust or a will.

For more information, call or search the 211 database:

  • helplinecenter.org/211database
    • Use the following keyword search terms:
      • Marriage Licenses
      • County Register of Deeds
      • County Auditor Offices
      • Driver Licenses
      • Social Security Numbers
      • Passports
      • Post Offices
    •  

Sources:

Disclaimer: This HelpSheet is developed by the Helpline Center for informational purposes only. HelpSheets provide a brief overview of the designated topic. For more information, call 211 or text your zip code to 898211.

Updated: July 2020

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