How to Change your Name After Marriage

Aug 15, 2014, 08:00 ET from

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wedding season is coming to a close. After the rings have been exchanged, the cake has been cut and thank-you notes have been sent, there might still be a big chore to do. If you've decided to change your name, you need to make it official in the eyes of the government. Here are bases you need to cover to make sure your new name is recognized:

  • Your Marriage License: If you haven't had your big day yet, know that you must obtain a marriage license from your state, which needs to have your new last name on it.
  • Social Security Card: Fill out an application for a new social security card, and send it in. The Social Security Administration does not process applications online.
  • Driver's License / Official State Photo ID: Procedures for getting a new license or official photo ID vary from state to state, but to be safe, bring as many forms of ID with you to the state DMV as possible: old driver's license, marriage certificate, new social security card (the actual card, many offices won't accept copies).
  • Passport / Passport Card: Sorry, but you're going to have to apply for a new one. Fill out this form and submit it by mail, along with your current passport, your name change document (certified or original copy), a color passport photo and fees (if applicable). Keep in mind: The name you use on your airline ticket needs to match the name on your passport. If you don't plan to officially change your name until after your honeymoon, do NOT use your new name when booking your travel.
  • Bank Accounts: Many banks require you to show up in person at the bank branch to change your name. Take your new driver's license / photo ID and marriage license with you, and ask to have your name changed on your own accounts and joint account (if applicable).
  • Voter Registration Card: Most states allow you to use the National Mail Voter Registration Form to update your voter registration. North Dakota, Wyoming, and many territories require you to contact your state election office to make the change.
  • What else?: This list covers the most important aspects of changing your name, but unfortunately, there are LOTS of other places you need to look into like the HR office at work, credit card companies, utility bills, email accounts, leases / mortgage companies, insurance companies, doctors' offices, investment accounts, attorney, magazine / subscription accounts, etc.

Changing your name can be a hassle, but knowing how to do it can be the toughest part. For more official government information and procedures, use

CONTACT: Colleen Bayus: