Steps To Take For Changing Your Name After The Wedding
So, the best day of your life is here! You finally get to marry the person of your dreams and have the wedding day that you always wanted. The wedding is over and you start calling yourself by your new last name, but is that really your new last name? The truth is that just because you said “I do” and got a marriage license with your new last name on it, does not make your name change official. Unfortunately, there are several other steps you must take in order to have a new last name, and the list can seem never-ending. There are lines to sit through, what seems like 100 places to go, mountains of paperwork to file, and you cannot leave off anything! Luckily There are some easy steps you can take to make the process of changing your last name a little easier on yourself. Below is a guide of all the things you will need to change, and how to make sure you get it done right the first time without leaving anything off!
1.) Take the original marriage license
Before you can do anything to change your last name, the very first step you must take is to go and get your marriage license. You must have the original license or a certified copy of it; as long as it has the raised seal to prove it is certified it should not matter. If you did not receive your license the day you applied for it or get one in the mail a few days later, you need to call the clerk’s office or probate court where you originally filed for the marriage license and they can get your original or a certified copy sent to you immediately.
2.) Your social security name
Right after you get your marriage license and get married, the next most important thing you have to do is go get your name changed on your social security card. This is the step that typically stresses people out, and for a good reason. The process used to be incredibly difficult and took a long amount to get done. Nowadays, thanks to modern technology, the process is a little simpler. All you have to do is go to the website for the Social Security Administration, print out and fill in the online application. Once filled in all you have to do is mail in the application to the Social Security Administration Office. The new card will get mailed to you between a week and ten days later.
3.) Go to the DMV to change your license
This may the most unpleasant part of the entire process; the long lines at the DMV. These lines may deter you from wanting to change your name in the first place, but it is well worth it in the end. The process is overall painless and not difficult, it simply takes a while to get it done when you are at the DMV. In order to change your last name on your license, you will need to take every form of identification with you that you have. This will typically include your current driver’s license, your certified marriage license or certificate, your new social card with your new last name on it, and in some cases your birth certificate. If you are unsure of everything you need to bring, you can check the website of your local DMV to find a list of documents you will need to bring along with you. The document can vary slightly from county to county or state to state, so it is always a good idea to check online or call if you are uncertain.
4.) Change Your Name on Bank Accounts
This one is a big deal, especially if you plan or may plan in the future on joining bank accounts, or if you have a joint bank account already you will need to get your name changed on that account name. This is not a fast process, but the easiest way to do it and make sure it gets done correctly is by finding one of your bank’s branches that is near you and going there in person. They will ask you for your new driver’s license and will probably request to see your marriage license, so you should have both of those when you go. Once they change the name they will send you new checks, a new debit card with your new last name on it, and credit cards as well. One thing to be aware of is that you may or may not get charged a fee for your new cards, just depending on the bank that you use and its policies.
5.) Think About Everything In Between
Your social security card and driver’s license is probably going to be the most daunting thing to get on this list, so once you conquer that and obtain those, everything else is downhill from there. There will still be quite a few things you will need to think through to change your name on, so you may want to make a list in writing of everywhere your name is and needs to be changed. Most of the other places require nothing more than a quick phone call or five-minute visit to the location, so they are not something to stress over by any means. If you have to go in person to change your name, they may ask you for your new social card and your marriage license, so it is wise to have them with you at all times until you complete your name change at each of the following places. These locations will include your employers, probably the payroll or HR division, the post office (especially if your address is changing as well), all your utility companies if you have any utility bills in your name, anyone you have a credit card through, any schools you attend currently or are did attend and are on a mailing list, your landlord if you rent and mortgage company if your name is on your mortgage, any company you have an insurance policy with, your doctor’s offices, the voter registration office, your provider if you have any investment accounts, your attorney if you have any legal documents, the passport office so you can get a new passport issued to you, and any airlines you have points or miles with so they are sure to transfer over.
6.) It Is Normal To Feel Overwhelmed
This list is incredibly long and can seem neverending especially when you are in the midst of it. It can feel overwhelming and like you are drowning in paperwork, but there is an end in sight! In fact, there are websites out there that can do virtually everything for you and make the process much faster and less stressful on you. One of those such programs is the Hitchswitch Name Change website. You have to pay for the program, but it is well worth it when it can take care of everything except your driver’s license and social card for you. This process does not have to be dreaded! It can be much simpler than you think and you can be on your way to enjoying your new last name in no time.