Changing my name post-wedding was exciting, but yet so frustrating. There was so much paperwork! I was happy to make the change and share my husband’s name. (But it’s certainly not for everyone. More and more women are keeping their names after they get married.) If you’re a soon-to-be bride who plans to take her husband’s last name then read on for my steps to new name bliss.
1. Marriage Certificate: Before you can do anything. You need an original copy of your marriage certificate. Call the vital statistics office in the town you received your marriage license to find out what you need to request a copy. I had to send in copies of our licenses, the date and location of our wedding, a self-address envelope and a check for $20.
2. Social Security: Next you need a new social security card. Visit www.ssa.gov to find an office near you. I thought it was easier to go in person, but you can also mail your application in. Here’s what you need: marriage certificate, a valid U.S. driver’s license or passport and an SS-5 form. They will mail all original documents back.
3. DMV: It takes about two weeks to receive your new social security card. Once you’ve got that, put it in a safe place. Grab your marriage certificate, driver’s license, $30, a completed Change of Name request form—here’s Connecticut’s—and a good book before you head to the DMV. I had to wait in line for some time, but aside from that it was fairly simple.
4. Registration: If you own a car you also need to change the registration on your vehicle. I had to wait in another line after I was issued a new license for this.
5. Miscellaneous: You’ve lived a long life with your maiden name and it’s a lot of places. Don’t forget to update your passport, bank account, credit cards, health insurance and student loans. You also need to contact your doctors and employers and update your voter registration, club memberships and magazine subscriptions.
Phew! That’s a whole lot of change. The whole process took me a couple months, but I took my time. And I’m still working on step 5.
If you’re changing your name, good luck! If not, share your reasons why. I’d love to hear your thought on taking a man’s name.