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Changing Your Name - Here's What to Expect


If you're like most brides, you'll be exchanging your maiden name to take your husband's last name after you're married - but have you thought about everything that needs to be done, both before and after the wedding, to make your name change legal?

If you're not already familiar with all the little details involved in changing your name it can become quite a headache.   There are a variety of documents and papers you will need and there will be several different establishments that must be made aware of your new name.  The following checklist should keep you organized and make things a little easier.

Before the Wedding

Your name will change as soon as you're announced husband and wife, but the legal process recognizing that change takes much longer.  Take that into consideration as you're making honeymoon arrangements - if you're traveling out of the country or need legal documents to prove your identity, you could encounter trouble if you're using your new name.

You can also start thinking about changing things over to your new name at work.  Give your employer some advance notice and get started on the necessary paperwork.  Place an order for new business cards; alert the IT department to update your email address, as well as your profile on the company website; and change your voice mailbox to reflect your new name.  Anything that can be taken care of now will make things much easier on you when you get back to work after the honeymoon.

You can also start giving notice to others that need to be alerted of your name change.  The postal service, magazine subscriptions, and many clubs and organizations can take care of changing your name now, without verification.

After the Honeymoon

Once you've received an official copy of your marriage certificate, you can begin changing your name on your vital documents.  Your social security card should be first.  Visit your local social security office with your marriage license, your current card, and your driver's license.  You will need complete a name change form and the card will be sent to you within a few business days.

When your new social security card arrives, visit DMV and update your driver's license.  Again, you'll need your marriage certificate, social security card, and your old license.  With these two important documents out of the way, you should have no trouble changing your name on your bank accounts, credit cards, passport, and insurance policies. 

Last Updated: September 8, 2014 at 11:57 am
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