Once you get married, you may be anxious to change your name on your official documents. However, this is a process that might not be straightforward for everyone. Here’s a look at how to change your name after marriage.
Is name change mandatory after marriage?
It is not mandatory to change a last name after marriage. However, this is what many people choose to do once they tie the knot. Some people choose to take their spouse’s last name, and others prefer to hyphenate their last name along with their mate’s.
Within certain cultures and groups, a woman may choose not to change her name at all. You can decide together what approach you wish to take.
If you are wondering can you legally change your last name, the answer is yes. You are able to change your last name anytime you want, but you have to fill out documents and there may be a fee as well.
At the same time, many people only change their names when they get married.
Some studies suggest having your name changed may be apredictor of how long your marriage will stay intact.
How much does it cost to change your name?
The cost of the name change process will vary depending on where you live. You can find information online if you want to know for sure what the amount is in your region. It may be helpful to check out government websites for details.
Along with this, you may be wondering where do I go to change my last name. This is something else that will be dependent on your location.
However, once you know which documents you need changed, it may be easier to decipher where you should go for specific items.
10 steps to change your name after marriage
There are a number of steps to changing your last name that you may want to know more about. Keep reading for the breakdown of name change steps.
1. Determine what documents you need changed
When you are interested in finding out more about how to change my last name after marriage, the first thing you will need to do is determine all the documents and accounts that you would like to change your name on.
Be sure to make a list, so you will be able to check these items off as you complete them. A comprehensive list may prevent you from skipping or forgetting about something important later on.
2. Gather all your paperwork
If you are seeking a legal name change after marriage, you need to gather all of your paperwork, so you have it all in the same place.
This includes your identification, birth certificate, social security card, or other sources that prove who you are, your citizenship, and show your name. These will be needed throughout the process.
3. Get an official copy of your marriage license
One of the most important documents you will need is your marriage license. If you didn’t get one when you got married or you would like an extra, you can order official copies from your local government office or court system.
You will likely be unable to get a name change after marriage if you don’t have this document.
4. Gather any other documents that prove your marriage
In some cases, there might be other documents that prove that you were married and when. For instance, if you have a wedding announcement or newspaper article about your nuptials, this might be helpful to have on hand as well.
5. Apply for a new social security card
Another step in how to change your name after marriage is applying for a new social security card. You may have to download and fill out aform and take it to your local social security office to get a card with your updated name on it.
Once you get your new card, you can begin to update other documents.
6. Obtain a new identification card or driver’s license
The next step in changing your name after marriage is to get a new ID or driver’s license.
You should bring all the documents you have when attempting to update your identification card since you may not know what they will want to see. It is a good idea to have your birth certificate, marriage license, updated social security card, and anything else you have available.
Once you have your updated identification, everything else you want to change should be easier to accomplish.
7. Have the name changed on your bank documents
To have your bank documents updated, you can visit your local branch. If you have your updated documents and the other official documents you used to have your ID changed, you shouldn’t encounter any issue with having your name changed on your bank accounts.
Simply talk to a banker and tell them how you are changing your name after marriage, and they will guide you through the process.
8. Ask for changes on other accounts
Something else you might want to look into when it comes to how to change your name after marriage is how to change your name on other accounts. This process will differ, depending on what these accounts are for.
In some cases, it may be as easy as updating your contact information, or you may have to call some companies and send paperwork.
9. Update contact info at work
At work, you may also need to ask for a change of names after marriage. Some individuals decide to keep their name for professional reasons or because they consider themselvesfeminists and others like to have their details updated after they change their name.
Again, it is up to you to determine the best choice for you.
10. Change your name on social media
The final place you may want to change a name after marriage is on your social media accounts. This might be as easy as updating your name and saving your settings, but it will differ based on which site you are using.
You can also consider contacting support on any site where you want to know how to change your name after marriage. They may be able to provide you with further information.
Watch this video for further details on what you may need to update after marriage:
Legal name change documents
When you need to know how to change your name after marriage, you should also know about legal name change documents. These are documents that you might be able to find online and print in some areas.
On the other hand, you may have to go to your local courthouse or government building to find out more.
It may also be helpful to ask a friend who has been through the process for advice. They might share how they completed their name change and provide you with details that you didn’t think of.
Name change checklist
When it comes to how to change your name after a wedding, there is a checklist for you to follow. You can find many checklists online if you want to take advantage of one.
However, if you follow the ten steps above, this may also act as a checklist if you are wondering how to change your name after marriage.
Name change options after marriage
When you are finding out how to legally change your name, there are numerous options available. One partner will take the other person’s last name in most cases.
However, some people wish to hyphenate their last name, using their current and married names. Keep in mind that this option may be more expensive and time-consuming than simply changing your last name to your spouse’s last name.
If you decide you don’t want to change your name, you will not have to update your name on any of your official documents, but you should still tell some of the companies you do business with that you have gotten married.
For instance, your bank or loan provider may need to know this information.
There is another question you might be asking – can I change my first name when I get married? You can change your first name in many locations, but you will probably have to petition the court to do so, and this rarely has anything to do with getting married.
Benefits of a name change kit:
When you don’t want to go through the process yourself or don’t have the time to figure out how to change your name when you get married, companies will help you with this.
You can simply search online for resources or talk to your lawyer. Either way, you might be able to find the help you need regarding how to change your name after marriage.
How to change your name by state
Every state may be a bit different regarding how to change your name after marriage. You can visit a courthouse in your area for more information or look online to find additional details.
The bottom line
Keep in mind if you need to know how to change your name after marriage, there are many steps that you must take. Having a checklist is helpful as you gather documents and approach various organizations to make the change.
Be sure to take all the time you need and be thorough throughout the process. You can also opt for help if you need it by using a company that specializes in changing your name after marriage.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships Read more and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.
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