Legal Name Change Instructions aka How Do I Change My Name After I Get Married?
Changing your name doesn’t have to be complicated or confusing. This handy step-by-step guide details two ways to go about the process, using a service provider to handle all the nitty gritty, and a DIY approach.
The Simplest Method to Changing Your Name
Hire an Online Name Change Service Provider
For newlyweds, I recommend using Hitchswitch, which is a name change service that makes changing your name super easy. You have online access to your paperwork, receive the auto-filled paperwork in the mail with pre-paid mailing envelopes, free printed passport photos and everything you need. Pretty reasonably priced and boy does it make life soooo much easier. This would make an excellent bridal shower gift, engagement gift or wedding gift idea. Click the courtesy banner below to visit HitchSwitch and learn more about their easy breezy name change peasy service.
The DIY Approach
DIY Name Change How To
Understand this process can take significant time to get through. Patience is key! At the bottom of this narrative is a template you can print to simplify the process.
⇒ Read this entire document before starting.
⇒ ⇒ ⇒ This is very, very important!!⇐ ⇐ ⇐
⇒ Perform tasks in order as each item
obtained will be needed for the next step.
STEP 1 – Gather Items You Need
Gather your old documents with your current legal name including IDs, passports, and security cards. You’ll also need several certified copies of your marriage license. Visit the website for the Clerk of Courts in the county you were married to obtain these. View list of Florida C.O.C. offices to find yours.
STEP 2 – Start with the Most Important Group First
- Social Security Card-Apply for new Social Security Card online. If you are unable to use the SSA online service, you will need to complete Apply for a New Social Security Card form, and take it, along with the above ID items to your local SSA office. Here is the phone number for SSA 800-772-1213. Visit this link to learn more from the SSA.
- Drivers License-Visit your State’s Division of Motor Vehicles to review the steps. You can do an Internet search for How to Get a New Drivers License in (Insert name of your state here) Due to Marriage to find results linking you to the relevant State’s information. For Florida, visit this link for instructions.
IMPORTANT NOTE – Choose the name for your drivers license carefully THEN apply for each of the next items with EXACTLY the same name, and not some variant of it. For example, if you decide to use first name, middle initial, last name, use this same format across ALL your documents, most especially your passport.
- Passport-The “how-to” on this can be different depending on where it was issued originally. Visit the State Department’s Travel webpage to learn about your specific instructions. This likely will include printing and filling out their required form, then mailing it, a new passport photo, your old passport and any additional required documents to the State Dept. for the new one.
The name on your passport must PRECISELY match the name on your drivers license or airlines/TSA will not let your travel on it.
Immigration papers This is always a tricky deal. Check with an immigration lawyer or perform an Internet search on How Do I Change My Name on my (insert type of document here such as green card/work visa etc)
If you are going away right after your ceremony, book the travel in your current legal name which match your legal ID.
Do not book any travel in your new name until you have all of the above items successfully changed into your new name.
Once you have your new documents in hand, tackle this group.
- Your employer-You will need to do this for tax purposes Be sure to update your tax status and set your new withholding changes. Also make sure all your company benefits: health insurance, dental insurance, etc have your new name and sent you new cards reflecting this.
- Your bank(s)-Order new checks and check cards in your new name.
- Leasing Office or Landlord. Let them know your name changed and provide any documents they require to update their records.
- Schools-If you are a student, update your name in the admission office, and if you obtained student loans, be sure to go update your FAFSA information. If you have children in school, update the emergency contact records to reflect your new name.
- Loans-Next tackle any loans you have, especially car loans as DMVs often connect their title services to lien holders of record (ie, your car loan).
- Investment accounts managing your money and don’t forget your Pensions, IRAs, ROTHS, etc.
- Car registration/title-Check with your State’s Division of Motor Services to understand what they require.
- Utilities-(phone, cell phone, electric, gas) Make sure you have at least one utility in your new name and one in your spouse’s name. Utility bills are frequently required to verify your address for lenders, insurers, etc. and each person will need a utility record in their name.
- Your voter’s registration card-An excellent item for many purposes requiring ID verification of yourself. Get this one done then and put it someplace safe.
- Deeds-This is usually done through your local county tax assessment office.
- Professional Licenses-Physicians, nurses, attorneys, etc.
- Post office
- Insurance: Car, Home, Rental, Medical, Dental, Disability
- Your Doctors’ Offices
- Frequent-flier programs for airlines and MAKE SURE the name matches your drivers license, passport and immigration papers EXACTLY.
- Clubs, Certifications, Associations
- Social media accounts Friends and family
Template Your Work to Save Time
Use the following as a template, and print however many copies you need to send to your providers and locations where you need to change your name.
NAME CHANGE REQUEST
Please be advised that I have changed my name due to marriage and request an update on my account.
MY CURRENT INFORMATION ON FILE WITH YOU:
Current name on record:
PLEASE UPDATE MY ACCOUNT WITH THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION
My new name:
Enclosed/attached is a copy of my marriage certificate for your records verifying my legal name change. Please contact me at the above information should you require additional documentation or have any questions. Thank you very much.