Today's Bride

How Do You Change Your Last Name?

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Ask any newlywed, and they’ll confirm that changing your name is a long and confusing process. Where do you begin? What all needs changed? Keep reading for instructions on how to change your name, when to do it, and a what to update once your name is changed!

1. Marriage License

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B Frohman Imaging & Design

Let’s start with applying for a Marriage License. To apply, you and your partner must go to the county you live in – not the county you’re getting married in – with proof of your identity. So, make sure you have proof of:

  • Legal name
  • Age
  • Residence
  • Place of birth
  • Occupation
  • Father’s name and Mother’s maiden name
  • Social Security number

Check out more info on applying for a marriage license, along with details of each county’s office, with this blog.

Your Marriage License is good for 60 days after you receive it, so we suggest applying about 4-6 weeks before your wedding. Once you’re married, you, your spouse, and a witness (usually the Officiant) will sign it. The Officiant must then submit it to the state within 30 days of signing. You should then request several certified copies of your license. You’ll know it’s certified by the raised seal.

2. Social Security Card & Passport

Social Security Card

You can do this in person or by mail, but not online. Check out this link to view, download, or print the SS-5 form. Take this form, your Marriage License, and proof of U.S. citizenship (your original birth certificate or passport) to your local Social Security Administration office. Please note that the Social Security office will NOT accept photo copies. It takes about 2 weeks to receive your new card.

Passport

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Changing the name on your passport requires a Passport Amendment Application and proof of name change. However, there are more minute details depending on whether or not you currently have a passport and how long ago it was issued. If your passport was issued over a year ago, you’ll need this form, your passport, a new passport photo, and your Marriage License. For passports issued less than a year ago, you’ll need the same documents, except this form instead. If you don’t have a passport, you’ll need to apply for one using this form, and bring your ID as well as a photocopy of your ID, birth certificate, and a passport photo to a post office, court clerk, or other government offices. Do not sign the form until an agent instructs you to in person.

Get more info on passports here!

Passports typically take 4-8 weeks to process, so we recommend applying for a new passport AFTER your honeymoon. Be sure to book your flights and accommodations in your maiden name so there is no confusion. Most airlines and countries will not let you board/enter if your passport and boarding names don’t match.

3. Driver’s License

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Once you receive your new SSC, you get to go to everyone’s favorite place: the DMV. Due to a new TSA rule, if you have a license that was issued before July 2, 2018, you’ll have to get a new license by October 2020 anyway. This is in order to obtain a “compliant” state ID. This will allow you to fly both domestic and international. According to the State of Ohio BMV website, you must provide proof of:

  1. Full legal name (Birth Certificate and Marriage License)
  2. Date of birth (Birth Certificate)
  3. Legal presence in the US (Birth Certificate)
  4. Social Security number (Social Security Card)
  5. Ohio street address – TWO documents, from different sources, proving Ohio street address that are listed on the Acceptable Document List are required for proof of Ohio residency.
  6. Proof of name change (Marriage License)

*NOTE: If you have had more than one marriage, you may need to bring documentation from each marriage and/or divorce.

They’ll end up taking a new photo and there will be fees, so be prepared! Double check with your nearest DMV on whether they accept cash, card, or money order. It can take up to 28 days to receive your new license in the mail.

4. Bank Accounts

The hardest parts are over! Once you get your new ID in the mail, it’s time to head to your bank. Bring your Marriage License and your new license to get a new debit card, credit card, checks, and update the name on your account. You may want to give access to your new spouse, or set up a joint account, too. This process is quite easy, however you’ll have to change all your auto-pay bills since you’ll receive new card numbers. You’ll also want to contact your credit card’s to change your name there, too.

5. Everywhere Else

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From gym memberships to store reward cards, most of these name changes can be made with a phone call. Think:

  • Mail subscriptions
  • Loans
  • Voter Registration
  • Utilities and Bills
  • Doctors
  • Health, Car, and Home Insurance
  • Social Media
  • and Employer Records

*This last one is especially important for payroll purposes!


The name changing process is as hard as and nearly as long as the wedding planning process! We know it’s a huge undertaking, but hopefully this blog has cleared up some of the confusion and will help walk you through changing your name.

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