How to Change Your Name after Marriage, Easily

Getting your name changed after marriage is really not as big of an ordeal as everyone makes it out to be, I promise. I know numerous people who’ve been married for months, even a year or more, and haven’t done it yet because they’ve built it up in their mind to be way more difficult than it actually is.

I’m going to cover three steps:

  1. Changing your name on your Social Security Card and Driver’s License
  2. How to make the time to do it
  3. Other name-change items

ALRIGHT, here we go. You can probably gather everything up you need and be to the vehicle in the same amount of time or less than it will take you to read this post.

Changing your name on your Social Security Card and Driver’s License:

I’m going to cover every item you’ll need to bring with you to get your new Social Security Card and Driver’s License.

Social Security Card:

  • Current Social Security Card
  • Current Driver’s License or Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage License (make sure you bring the official one and not the one for show)
  • (optional) Application for a Social Security Card printed and filled out

Simply go to your local Social Security Card Center with these items, it’s free and it should be a breeze. My visit didn’t take more than 30 minutes not including drive time but plan for at least an hour.

Driver’s License:

  • Social Security Card
  • Current Driver’s License
  • Birth Certificate or Passport
  • Two proofs of residency—utilities mail or lease/rental agreement
  • Marriage License (once again, the official one)

If it’s been more than 30 days since you were married, you MUST HAVE your new Social Security Card with your new name (the receipt or old SS card will not work).

Literally all you have to do is go to your local DMV, show them the items listed above and pay a $5 fee. This process can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour or so, depending on your wait time.

How to make the time to do it:

There are three key ways to making time to change your name––take a couple hours out of your day, go at the right time to avoid long waits, bring as much proof of identification and residency as possible. If you’re not sure, bring it; it’s better than getting there and not having what you need.

The Social Security Card Center and DMV are only open Monday–Friday. If you don’t work every week day, it’s extremely easy to take a couple hours out of your day and go do it. That is absolutely all there is to it. So, GO, now if possible!

Social Security Card Centers are generally open from 8 a.m.–3 p.m. and DMVs from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Times do vary from place to place so look up hours of operation to be sure here and here.

For those who do work every week day, you have a few options:

  1. Take a personal day. Use a couple hours to get your new SS card and license then use the rest of the day to be productive––get that thing you’ve been meaning to do out of the way, make all your other small name changes or call a friend or relative to meet for lunch. Everyone has to take a personal day at work sometime, so just plan for it. If you know you’ll be taking a day off for something else, plan this into that day too. Think about it this way, in all honesty, it will probably take you the same amount of time as sitting down to watch a movie or a couple episodes of that show you DVRed, so spend a couple hours out of one week day doing this instead.
  2. Take an extended lunch break or leave work early. You’ll probably have to spend longer waiting in line during these times, but if your work schedule isn’t flexible and you can’t take a day off, this is your best option. If you have to talk to a boss to do so, not a problem. Chances are they’ve had to go to the DMV before and will understand.
  3. Get your SS card one day and license another. If you only have a small window of time, just do one in a day, and it will cut your time significantly. If it’s been more than 30 days after your wedding date, you’ll have to do this anyway.
  4. Go during the least busy times if possible. Monday and Friday are the busiest days, and lunch time is the busiest time. The best times to go are in the middle of the week, mid-morning or mid-afternoon.

Other name-change items:

After you’ve accomplished getting a new SS card and license, it should be effortless to get the rest of your accounts and information changed.

Here’s a list of all the other name-change items:

  • Bank accounts
  • Work––payroll, name displays, business cards (talk to HR)
  • Credit cards/checks
  • Passport
  • Insurance––auto, home, health and any others
  • Utilities and bills––gas, water, electric, phone, cable, internet
  • Loans and leases/rental contracts
  • Mortgages
  • Titles
  • Voter registration
  • Memberships––gyms, stores, clubs
  • PayPal
  • Email address
  • Online accounts––Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, eBay, Amazon, iTunes, etc.
  • Organizations––active member or alumni

10 thoughts on “How to Change Your Name after Marriage, Easily

  1. You do make it sound easy but in reality it is time consuming. I had to order my marriage cert online, so had to wait for it in the mail. SS office was fairly fast, but their hours were strange. Then you have to wait for the new SS card in the mail. I think I was able to get a license amendment card in lieu of new ID, online I think. Again, had to wait for the mail. Once I had all that, I would recommend scanning all three, because almost every credit card, student loan, utility bill, mortgage company, etc requires it. For my water bill I had to fill out a form and mail it in. It wasn’t “hard” per se, but it was time consuming. It is nice to see a how-to list to help people who can get overwhelmed. Good post!

    1. Yeah, definitely no way on getting around waiting for the SS card in the mail. Not fun! I got my license ID at the actual DMV and surprisingly fast, but I do know they’re now implementing new IDs that have to be sent via mail as of right now as well. Scanning, definitely! I was able to just fax or email a copy into all my utilities, banks and loan holders, etc. along with a form for some. Thanks for the feedback and stopping by-glad it was helpful!

  2. Or you could keep your maiden name and not have to deal with any of this. It’s always and option. Nothing against wanting to change your name, but sometimes I think women forget keeping their birth name is an option.

  3. Rarely heard tip: If you’re changing jobs post-wedding, try to consider the timing of your legal name change. A friend of mine failed a background check because she submitted the application before the name change, but it wasn’t run until afterward. Eek!

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