21 Dec How to Change Your Name After Marriage: 5 Actionable Steps
How to change your name after marriage in 5 steps
For many brides, becoming a Mrs. means taking on a new name, too. But changing your name can be a hassle if you’re unprepared. To help you change your name to your new married last name we have 5 easy steps for you to take including letting the professionals handle it with Hitch Switch.
1. File Your Marriage License with the Right Name
In many states, your name change starts the moment you file for a marriage license. You may be required to state your preferred married name at the time of filing. Once that new name is recorded, you can’t change it. Make sure you know what new names are allowed in your state so you’re not caught unprepared at your county office.
2. Prioritize the Most Important Changes
The first step to changing your name is getting your Social Security Administration (SSA) record updated. Complete form SS5-Application for a Social Security Number and file in person or by mail. Once the SSA updates your name you should then update your driver’s license. Having an updated driver’s license is important as some companies may accept this as proof of your name change.
Make a list of your various bank accounts if multiple accounts are held. Many have online administration of personal information; however, you may want to contact your local bank to understand the process. If you have paper checks, you can order new ones with the changed name or if you are adding joint accounts then this is good to complete at the same time.
Make a list of your credit cards and contact information for each of these. You can check the online account management or call customer service on the back of your card. If you are adding your partner to your credit card by adding a card, this might be the time to complete this also.
Check with your specific state on how to update. Some states provide online tools to change address and you can receive a change of name card to carry with your drivers license prior to your new photo id. Some require a newly updated photo id card with your updated name.
Don’t forget your place of employment, update your human resource, payroll and benefits data bases as soon as you can. This is also a good time to update your beneficiary and emergency contact information. This includes any life insurance policies you may also have.
TSA and TSA pre-check
Check the TSA website for guidance on how to update your name with the TSA. Typically, it is a call to the customer service center to walk you through the process. Processing time varies but can take up to 3 months to complete.
Car Title and Registration
Some states allow you to update these when you update your driver’s license. Others keep the process separate. Visit your states DMV website for instructions on how to change your name on your car title and registration.
Car, home, life insurance should all be changed to reflect your new name and also any beneficiaries for life insurance.
Check with your specific state, but most states allow a mail-in application to change your name.
United Stated Postal Service
It is not required to change name with the postal service, but if you are changing your address, you can easily do this online.
Don’t forget utilities, home mortgage, doctors/dentist/health care providers, cable/internet and cell phone.
Business cards, LinkedIn profile, resume, alumni associations and other professional sites that you are associated with.
If you use your last name for social media accounts or if you use them for professional reasons, be sure to update them if you desire to. Keeping your maiden name of personal social media accounts if you use your last name is your choice going forward if you want to make the switch. Some accounts can be linked so be sure to check on this based on which product(s) you are using.
Note: if you are also changing where you live, this may be a time to update your change of address request along with your name change.
3. Decide When to Update Your Passport
There’s no hard and fast rule here, it depends on your situation. If your passport was issued in the past 12 months you’re eligible for a free replacement, so act fast! Full renewal fees are due for older passports and there’s no credit given for any time remaining, so you may choose to wait until your passport is due for replacement before applying. It’s okay to travel with a passport in your maiden name even if you have changed names everywhere else. Be sure any international travel in your former name is completed before you apply for a new passport.
4. Set a Time Limit
Once you’ve decided to get started with your name change, embrace the task and be sure you finish within 2 to 4 weeks. Name changes that drag on for months or even years make proving your identity very difficult. Keep an eye out for correspondence that is still being sent in your former name and be sure to make the change immediately.
5. Buy a Name Change Kit
You could manage your own name change if you have the spare time to contact all of the necessary companies and learn what to send where. Or you could save yourself a day of writing letters, hunting for forms, and figuring out which companies need what proof by purchasing a name change kit from Hitch Switch.
Now that you’ve successfully crossed “name change” off your wedding planning To-Do list, celebrate by treating yourself to a personalized item with your new monogram!