You are getting married and have decided to change your surname. It all sounds good and well, you’ll now be able to start your life together as a family with the same name, but you’re probably wondering one thing – How do you change your last name? I mean, you can’t just start using another name, can you? What’s the process and how do you do it?
There are a couple of ways to change your last name when you get married. One of them is super-easy and you can do it without too much trouble. The other way is kind of a pain and takes extra time and money. Which is why it’s fantastic that you’re reading the blog. Now you can do it the easy way and save yourself the hassle.
First Things You Need to Do to Change Your Surname
Now, this is just for people who got married, but once you sign your marriage license with your new name, you’ve got the document you need to start changing everything.
What do we mean by everything? We mean all of the following and more. Just remember to carry around that original marriage license or a certified copy for proof.
- Your Social Security card will need to be updated but you can just visit their website and request a name change application.
- Your Driver’s License obviously need to be changed and it’s best to visit your local offices in person.
- Have any bank accounts and other financial institutions that need to be notified of your name change? They’ll all want copies of the marriage license, maybe your driver’s license and social security card, and they’ll have forms for you to complete.
- Passports need to be updated.
- Credit cards need to be notified of the name change, your major ones and your store ones.
Also, Take into Consideration
- Bills and other regular statements that you get will need to know your name has changed.
- Medical offices – doctors, dentists, chiropractors, podiatrists, whomever you see needs to be updated.
- Gym memberships and other clubs you belong to.
- Your work and your HR department, who will probably take care of your insurance if it’s through work for you but just for good measure…
- Insurances, not just health insurance but your car insurance, homeowners, and anything else you have insured.
- Don’t forget your email. Is your email address attached to your last name in any way? Well, it’s time to change that, too.
There are Companies that Make The Process Easier
Here’s the bad news – that’s the easy way to change your name, it’s halfway there once you sign that marriage license but you still have to contact every place your old name was attached and let them know of the change. As if planning you wedding wasn’t hard enough – right?
The Hard Way to Change Your Name
Most of the time a last name is an easy change in a marriage because both people are signing the certificate and there’s not a lot of variation in the way it’s done. Most of the time. Sometimes there can be a hitch and you’ll have to petition the court for a name change.
Summing Up How to Change Your Surname
Check out what the requirements are in your region because they do differ, but most of them include the following steps:
- Fill out a name change order
- File your forms with the court clerk and pay a filing fee
- Go to court at your appointed time and stand before the judge
- Advertise your new name in the newspaper
This process takes at least a few weeks and can take a couple of months, depending on the court backlog where you live. You’ll find there are a few different fees attached and there is a lot of jumping through hoops. But once you get that court decree, you then get to start at the “easy” stage and begin notifying everyone of your name change.
If you’re going to have a destination wedding, you might be wondering how to handle your passport and name change – will you have a different last name when you return? We’ve got all of your answers – just connect with us at Bella Honeymoons.
Kristin Kizer is an award-winning writer, television and documentary producer, and content specialist who has worked on a wide variety of written, broadcast, and electronic publications. A former writer/producer for The Discovery Channel, she is now a freelance writer for Bella Honeymoons Destination Weddings.