How to Change Your Name After Marriage?


There are a number of options you can choose from regarding changing your name after marriage. The belief that it is legally incumbent upon the bride to change her last name after marriage is a popular misconception that has no reference in the laws of our country. The list of options that a bride possesses include keeping her own name, hyphenating her name with her husband’s, adopting her husband’s last name or even taking up a whole new name. The couple can also decide to adopt the bride’s name as their common last names as long as the name change is not done deceivingly or with criminal intentions. Now let’s show you how to change your name step by step.

Step 1: Get a certified copy of your marriage license

The first step is to get legal documentation that shows your change of name and the reason for it. This role is fulfilled by your marriage certificate or license issued by the court in whose jurisdiction you lie. When obtaining your marriage license, you should be asked whether you want to get your name changed in which case the marriage certificate will contain your new full name along with your husband’s.

It is important to remember that you need to obtain a certified or attested copy from the issuing authority and not just a simple photocopy. This certified copy will be one of a kind and can only be used at a single avenue due to which it is better to obtain multiple certified copies of the marriage license than just the one.

Step 2: Head to the social security office

The social security office should be your first destination as soon as you obtain your marriage license. This is due to the fact that your social security number acts as an ID for a number of purposes. Most importantly the Social Security Office is responsible for payroll tax withholds along with retirement benefits for which it requires your correct full name.

If there is a mismatch between your social security number and full name, then complications can arise regarding your tax returns and benefits. Likewise, getting a new social security number will also help you modify your name registered with financial institutions and other organizations you have to deal with.

How to change your name on the SSD? The formalities for this procedure include filing Form SS-5 with the Social Security office whose jurisdiction you lie in. This will also notify the Internal Revenue Service of your name change. It should take not more than 10 days for the agency to complete the process and provide you with a new name and new social security number.

Step 3: Get a new driver’s license/Identification card

Getting your name changed on your driving license and ID card should be your next priority. This requires you to visit the most nearby office of your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. To process your name change they would require your old driving license and ID card along with the new Social Security Card for verification. This will also allow you to update your voter and vehicle registration along with change in titles.

Step 4: Change name on your bank account, credit account, and other financial/investment account

Apart from government requirements, it would also be necessary to get your name updated with different financial institutions you are a client of.

Most importantly you will have to update the bank about your change of name so that your account name is updated as well and there is no mismatch between your record with the IRS and your account name or number.

How to change your name of your bank account? It would require a personal visit to the bank or financial institution. The only documents they would require for verification would be your new driver’s license.

Likewise, you would also need to notify lenders of your name change otherwise there would not exist a credit history under your new name which might make it difficult to obtain loans later on.

Step 5: People you must inform

It is also important to inform the firm or organization you work for of your change of name. Informing your firm of your name change will allow them to direct your paychecks and other benefits to your bank account under the new name.

Same goes for other organizations and individuals you are in contact with for example mortgage companies to modify your line of credit, insurance companies to get the beneficiaries changed due to addition of a family member (husband) along with other government agencies such as the passport office and utility stores.

Step 6: Don’t forget about your alumni association and clubs

It would also be a good idea to notify alumni associations and clubs of your change of name. This would most importantly help them in delivering letters, newsletters and invitations to your correct address registered under your new name. Likewise, clubs hosting female only or wives’ specific events would also be able to contact you directly if your husband is a member of them. Might be good for getting a few more wedding gifts in as well!

Step 7: Update your name on your social network

We have answered the question - how to change your name, now it’s time for you to use your new name. Updating your name on social media sites such as Facebook and twitter will help you connect with the new connections you have made after your wedding who only know your name after the wedding. This will help you build more common connections as your people on your husband’s friends’ list and friends of friends would also be able to look you up.

Likewise, changing the name on sites such as LinkedIn will allow companies to look for you and start recruitment activities under your new name aiding in references and endorsements. As is the case with Facebook and Twitter, notifying LinkedIn will also help you gain more endorsements from your husband’s professional contacts.