Changing Your Name after Marriage
If like me, you have recently got married, you will realize that after the romance comes a little reality.
I have just come back from my honeymoon and although people are congratulating me on being the new ‘Mrs K’, I am in fact by law still ‘Ms H’.
I cannot sign checks in my married name yet, as I have to notify many organisations first. If the wedding wasn't stressful enough, I now have to start again with the telephone calls!
Do I Need to Change My Name?
Of course you don’t actually have to change your name. You may think that as soon as you’ve said ‘I do’ your name has automatically changed but no-one will tell you that. In this day and age it is not always assumed that we take on our husband’s surname, even if we still hold an old fashioned view.
If you decide you want to keep your name then that is fine. You don’t have to tell anyone such as your bank or employer. You just carry on as you always did, providing friends and family are aware.
If you were a ‘Miss’ you may want to be a ‘Ms’ now that you are married. Being a ‘Ms’ suggests maturity while ‘Miss’ could make people believe you are a single person.
Anyone can change this title and it doesn't cost anything.
Can I Have My Maiden Name and My Married Name?
Some women choose to have a double barrelled surname. They may do this to keep the family name or their own identity. If you had children before marriage and they have your maiden name, you could also make their surnames double barrelled.
Whatever is on your birth certificate will always remain. It is an original document and will never alter. If you change your name to your husband’s then it is relatively straightforward, but altering your name to a double barrelled one means you must change your name by deed poll.
To do this, you must contact the deed poll office and you will be charged a fee.
You can also have your maiden or married name as a middle name. Again this must be done by deed poll. You can have any name first depending on how it sounds.
Changing My Husband's Name
Traditionally the woman takes the man’s surname, but in some cases it can be the other way around.
He will however need to do this legally by deed poll and inform all the relevant people (banks, driving license, passport).
If you have decided to have a double barrelled name, your husband can do the same if he wishes. He should do this formally before the wedding. Then when you take on his name, it will automatically be the double barrelled version. This will save on additional deed poll costs.
Who Do I Need to Inform Now I am Married?
If you want to be traditional and take on your husband’s name, you will have many places to notify.
Many years ago the husband would have been the bread winner, and bank accounts and mortgages would have been in his name. Now, women are more independent having their own bank accounts, credit cards and such like. This makes the list longer.
You do not have a time limit on when to start the notifying process, but as soon as you do one it is best to do them all.
Here is a List of Who to Inform:
- Banks, Building societies, credit card companies, mortgage companies
- Driving licence, car insurance, breakdown service, road tax
- Passport office
- School (if you have children) and your local authority
- Store cards, catalogue companies, dividend cards, other mail order companies
- Bills companies such as gas and electricity, council tax, water, telephone
- Doctors, dentist, opticians
- Insurance companies, your Will
- Vet, if relevant
- Royal mail, subscriptions
- Inland Revenue, tax office
- Pensions, investments, premium bonds
There are multiple companies to inform, so it is a good idea to pay for a few marriage certificates. When you inform the companies, they will want an original copy of your marriage certificate along with a letter.
When you write to explain your change of name, you will then need to sign and print using your new name.
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