Now that the wedding is over and the vows have been said, what’s next for a newly married couple? One of the big steps in the post-wedding time for many brides is changing your last name. However, just getting a marriage certificate doesn’t mean you’ve accomplished this. So, we’ve compiled a guide on the steps to take to change your name after marriage. We’ve also included some tips to remember when beginning this process. In addition, we’ll review some name change services and kits to make your life easier!
Why change your name after marriage?
While not required, it has long been tradition to change your name after marriage. In modern times, a growing number of brides are avoiding this step. However, if you are a traditionalist, this is the natural next step following the ceremony (and the honeymoon, of course!). It also often makes some logistical and business sense – it can be easier for couples to create joint accounts, as well as for tax and legal reasons. If you are opposed to it, by all means, keep your name! However, if you decide to change your name after marriage, here are some key steps to change your last name after marriage:
Social Security First!
Everything about the name change process starts with your social security card (well obviously after obtaining a marriage license), so this is the key place to begin. Once you’ve obtained your marriage certificate, visit the Social Security Administration to complete the replacement card application for a new card. You can then mail this application to your local SSA office, and expect to receive your new card within ten business days.
The next stop for you is your local DMV, so you can replace your driver’s license with your new last name. Remember to check your local DMV’s site for the documents you will need for this. Often, they will require your old license, your marriage certificate, and your new social security card. But, be sure to make sure your state doesn’t require anything else.
This is especially true for setting up a joint bank account with your new significant other. You will want to visit your local bank branch (some will offer this online, but it’s rare). Bring your new license, marriage certificate, and social security card with you. Don’t just change the name on your account though (or set up a new one) – remember also to order new checks with your new name, as well as replacement credit and debit cards.
Now that the harder part is over, the last step is to consider everything else you have your name on – this checklist may include:
- Employer accounts and payroll
- Rental or mortgage companies
- Voter registration
- Utility company accounts
- The post office
- Insurance accounts
- The passport office
Some of these changes can be done online or over the phone and should be pretty easy – others may require more steps (such as your passport or the post office). Remember the general rule of thumb – if your original name is on the account, it probably needs to be changed, but start with these important ones and then work your way back (you can probably leave your Netflix account for later).
Name Change Services – There is an easier way to change your name after marriage
Fortunately, there are a number of online services emerging that can handle many of these steps for you by gathering many of the documents to change after getting married. Check out these 4 name change services will save you tons of time in this process!
HitchSwitch offers the ability for newlyweds to pay for different services that can handle some or all of the above steps, right from your computer. As opposed to having to compile the various forms you need and remember all of the necessary paperwork, HitchSwitch offers various levels of services depending on your need. You can choose the lower cost Print At Home option, which compiles all the needed forms for you after filling out their info form. They also offer full-service experiences that will complete forms for you and send them to you completed and ready for mailing, just needing your signature. There’s even a premium service that gives you a name change consultant to help with the process.
Another name change service is NameChangeKit! They offer 4 unique packages for you to select from based on what you need changed. Each option offers an online and printed version including everything you need to make your name change.
MissNowMrs will help you skip the name change hassle as well. Their name change service has 3 different tiers. Their premium package allows you to use their name change app. The app allows you to scan your driver’s licenses, answer a few questions, and have access to name change experts!
With NewlyNamed, select a print at home or their ‘Newlynamed’ box to complete your name change with ease. Their modern take on changing your name is guarenteed to make your name change as easy as possible. Plus, you can add the NewlyNamed Box to your wedding registry with Amazon!
This article was updated on March 25th, 2020