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How To Change Your Name After Getting Married

Updated on February 4, 2018
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Jennifer Branton is a nerd by trade most often writing about books and video games. She has a BA in Journalism from Lewis University

Becoming One

Weddings are a day for celebration. While some opt for large occasions that take months of preparation, and others for a smaller affair with just family and friends. Some couples still opt to elope and have less traditional justice of the peace weddings.

No matter how the couple spends their special day, once the marriage license is signed, and you are Mr and Mrs officially now on paper, the woman changing to her married name is still a confusing step.

What all needs to be contacted? Do bank accounts need to be changed? How about the title of your car or the lease agreement for your rental home? Do you notify your car insurance?

Google also states that is various state the procedure may be different, so this is the guideline for what I used to do the name change in Illinois.


What steps need to be taken to start changing documents into your married name may differ by state, so be sure to look up what information qualifies for your location.

Receiving Your Marriage License And Going to Social Security

Once you get back your copy of the marriage license, according to most resources the first step in contacting Social Security to get your new name affiliated with your Security number. Since this number is affiliated with your bank and credit card accounts, any documents such as W2's for employment, taxes, and any type of auto loans, or deeds to property, this must be the first step taken.

Some states allow for Social Security matters to be done on their website, Illinois where I reside is not one of those. I could print the document needed or pick it up at the nearest office.

The form needed is for a replacement card, I was told you are allowed up to five replacements of your card in a lifetime but the woman I spoke to didn't think that getting the card changed into a married name counted against one of those five replacements.

If printing the form at home, fill it out with the new information, if done at the office the clerk will help you fill this out.

Bring any the following documents: Marriage License original, Drivers Licence, Passport, State ID, Military ID, Certificate of Citizenship

Documents can be mailed or dropped in the drop box at the office as well but they all have to be the original documents which for many may be an inconvenience.

The Replacement Social Security card will arrive in about ten-fourteen days and be needed to change other documents.

Original documents are needed to get a replacement Social Security card including a copy of the marriage license, Drivers Licence, State or Military ID, Passport, or Certificate of Citizenship.

Changing The Drivers Lisence

Once the new Social Security card arrives, you can then visit the DMV to replace your drivers licence into the new married name. How much of this can be done in advance or if anything can be submitted online changes state to state, but for Illinois, I had to do the following steps.

Because getting into the DMV is hard when most offices are only open during the week while most people are at work, locate if needed an office that has Saturday hours or some of the express branches that usually have a pretty quick in and out.

Bring any of your documents: Replacement Social Security Card, Drivers License, Passport, State ID, Military ID, as well as the Marriage License.

Now that your Social Security card has been affiliated with the new name, the DMV will let you do the form to have the name change and if needed address update changed to your drivers license. Currently in Illinois to get a replacement license it takes several weeks so they let you keep your old licenses and a paper copy for when the new license comes in the mail.

Requirements may change in other states.


Bring the same documents to the DMV to have your new name added and be issued a new licence which may take a few weeks to be mailed out depending on state.

Changing Bank Accounts, Car Insurance, Credit Cards

Now with the new drivers licence and Social Security Card, the hardest part is trying to figure out all the things that need to be updated.

Contact the DMV if you hadn't already to update your Vehicle Registration information and if your car is already paid off you may need to have it re-titled depending on state. If leasing or making payments still, contact the finance company and they will most likely need copies of the Marriage License and other documents to prove your identity.

Remember your Social Security number is associated with any lines of credit so banks, credit cards, and any investments will need to go through the same process to have them changed into your current married name.

Be sure to update your car insurance as well so it has the proper information and to make sure they give any adjustments in rates for being married.

Be sure to update your passport, there are two different form depending on when your passport is to expire. This may very by state. In Illinois, I needed the DS 82 form since my passport was issued years before I had gotten married.


Changing Your Name on Everything Else

The bases seem covered with the important things like ID's, Social Security Card, and bank information changed but now it time to make sure that all the other things that you may not think about have been updated as well for purposes of identity.

Be sure to alert Human Resources to have your payroll updated so paychecks can be easily cashed and deposited, as well as information is correct for taxes.

Other things to change are: Landlords and Mortgage Companies, The Post Office, Any Investments, and Doctors Offices or other appointments you frequent.


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