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How to Change Your Name After Marriage

Keeping or changing your name after you get married is a personal decision. Some women choose to take their husband’s name or hyphenate with their maiden name, some couples choose to keep their current names or some couples choose to create a new name by hyphenating or combining both last names into one.

Figuring out how to change your name after marriage can be a headache, so take an organized, systematic approach to make sure you get all the right paperwork completed. This process may vary from place to place, so search for the requirements in your city and state, but these steps should point you in the right direction. 

1. Change your name on your Social Security card.

This step should precede all others, so get it out of the way first. Download and complete an application from the Social Security Administration website, then gather the documents you need to prove your legal name change (marriage document), your identity (such as a state driver’s license) and your U.S. citizenship (such as a U.S. birth certificate). All documents must be originals or certified copies. Take or mail the documents, along with your application, to your local Social Security office. Some offices will take appointments in advance to save you time in the waiting room.   

2. Get a new driver’s license.

After changing your name on your Social Security card, you can go to your local DMV and request a new driver’s license (some states will also accept a marriage certificate, but you should check requirements for your state). 

3. Notify the HR department.

Talk to the human resources department at your office about updating your paperwork to reflect your new name. You will want to make sure your paycheck, Social Security contributions, retirement payments and other transactions are in your new name. 

4. Track down other loose ends.

Make a list of the other accounts and documents where you will need to change your name. For example: 

  • Insurance policies 
  • Passport 
  • Credit cards
  • Bank accounts 
  • Membership organizations 
  • Voter registration 
  • Utilities 
  • Medical records 
  • Will 
  • Mortgages, loans or leases 
  • Social media accounts 

Do you have any good tips on how to change your name after marriage? Share them in the comments!

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