Changing your name after marriage

This process can be daunting for a busy couple. If you decide to have your name legally changed, here are some key steps and helpful hints to take to make the process less of a headache for you and everyone involved. 

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Your marriage license has your maiden name on it. 

This might be a stupid statement, but I definitely did not realize that until I started the process! 


Step 1: Change your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA). 

Doing this first step with the government will the steps below so much easier for you. It should take about 2 weeks to officially get your SSA card.


Step 2: Go to the DMV for a new license (hint: you'll need your SSA card with your legal name change).

Depending on the state, it takes about 5-7 business days for your new license to arrive in the mail.


Step 3: Call your HR department to notify them of your official name change. 

This is important if you want to get paid (and make sure your taxes are accounted for). A phone call to the department should take no longer than a few minutes (not including hold times!)


Step 4: Call your credit card companies to notify them of your official name change.

This should take no longer than a phone call and the timeline for change should be 1-3 business days.


Step 5: Fill out the application for a new passport.

  • This process will take the longest in terms of waiting for the official documentation (i.e.: meaning 2-3 months). If you have a honeymoon planned and you plan on changing your name for marriage, you can either officially marry several months before your actual wedding day to get the passport name changed OR you can officially change your name AFTER the honeymoon. 
  • Hint: in order to fly, you need a passport that matches the name on your airplane ticket. SO, whether it is your maiden name or your married name, just make sure both names on your boarding pass and identification MATCH! 
  • Items you'll need for a new passport include: the application, a 2x2 passport photo (recent), marriage license (no copies), and a check for the application fee

Step 6: Contact the IRS and notify them of a name change.

When you file your taxes the following year, make sure you notify the IRS of your name change to make sure you get your tax refund! 


Step 7: Other items on the list:

Consider calling retailers whom you subscribe with regarding a new name; these are generally low priority, but worthwhile to change when you have some more down time and can take a 'breather' after a whirlwind marriage and honeymoon!