Feature Image from the Boulder Wedding Guide | Photo by Sarah Joy Photo
Congratulations! Now that you’ve married the love of your life, it’s time to make it official by changing your last name. But, where do you start? Lucky for you, we’ve secured all the details you need in order to change your name. Follow the checklist below and you’ll be set.
Get your marriage license!
This may seem obvious, but the first item to secure is a marriage license. We recommend keeping the original document from the county clerk’s officer and purchasing 2-3 certified copies of it. Why? You’ll need to supply your marriage license to many government agencies and companies in order to complete your name change elsewhere. By sending a certified copy, if it gets lost in the mail you won’t be out the original document. Keep the original document somewhere safe like a safety deposit box at the bank or in an in-home safe.
Many couples wait to sign the official document until after the ceremony, so if that’s the case you will need to supply the signed document with a fee in order to get the stamp of approval on it a.k.a. raised seal!
Remember, every state is different. So be sure to check out the process in the state which you’re planning to say I do!
The next (2) steps may seem like a bit of pain, but they’re really quite simple! Just don’t put them off otherwise you’ll be held up on the steps to follow.
Change your Social Security Card
Apply for a new Social Security Card by visiting the Social Security Administration’s website and filling out this form. We know it took years for you to memorize your Social Security number, but don’t worry, it won’t be changing just your name will! You can either mail in the application or visit your nearest Social Security office to complete the process in person.
Your new card will take about 10 business days to arrive.
Change your License at the DMV
After you receive your new Social Security Card, you can head to your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to get a new driver’s license with your new last name. You’ll need this to officially change your name at many institutions. It’s important to check with your local DMV on what items they will need in order to process your request. Most likely, you will be required to bring your current state issued driver’s license, marriage certificate, and new Social Security Card. To save time waiting, many DMV locations now offer the option to schedule an appointment. We highly recommend doing so.
Pro tip: If you are traveling immediately after your wedding or soon after, we recommend waiting to change your driver’s license and passport until you have traveled. If your flight is booked with your maiden name, it’s vital that your ID matches the name on your plane ticket!
Change your Bank Accounts
Whether you’re setting up a joint bank account or not, it’s vital you get your name changed on your bank accounts to ensure it matches your identification. The easiest way to do this, is to visit your nearest branch location of your banking institute. Be sure to bring your new driver’s license and marriage certificate. You can always call ahead to see if they require any additional documentation. Once your name is changed in the system, you’ll want to get new checks, credit cards and debit cards.
Remaining Places to Secure your Name Change
Now that you have the important steps taken care of: Social Security Card, Marriage Certificate and Driver’s License — the rest of the places should be pretty simple!
• Employer(s) + Payroll
• Post Office: There is no official way to change your name with the U.S. Post Office (USPS), however, if you are moving in with your new spouse, you will want to notify the USPS of your address change!
• Credit Card Companies
• Mortgage Company
• Insurance: Auto, Home, Life, Health, AAA
• Doctor and Dental Offices
• Passport: Visit the U.S. Department of State to change your name on your passport. You will need to submit Form DS-5504, current/most recent passport, original/certified marriage certificate, and one color passport photo.
• Airline Accounts
• Voter Registration: For information on how to update your voter registration, visit usa.gov
• Clubs or Associations (ex: alumni association)
• Utility Companies: Gas, Electric, Cable, etc.
• Cell Phone Company