{Advice} Hassle-Free Tips to Changing Your Name

So ladies, he stole your heart and now you're stealing his last name, right?  Or keeping yours and adding his, with or without a hyphen...I personally had a hard time letting go of my maiden name.  I felt I was letting go of something I didn't want to, my identity.  It took me a year to do it, but after I did,  I'm glad for it, and so is my husband!

Well, here are some great tips that were submitted to us regarding the name change game.  If this process has been on your mind, we hope  you will find this helpful.

If you plan on changing your last name after you get married, there are a few things to consider before rushing from the altar to the clerk's office. Follow these tips to lower your risk of identity theft and reduce problems when traveling after a name change:

What You Need to Change Your Name

The first item you'll need is your marriage certificate, so order two to three extra copies of this document. Then, tell your employer that you plan to change your name and visit the Social Security office. Complete a form, pay a fee and show the marriage certificate as proof of marriage.
These two steps ensure that you'll continue to receive payment posted to your bank account and that there will be no disruptions to your tax payments. Social Security also paves the way for other agencies to recognize your name change quickly and smoothly, according to the New York Times.

Next Steps

In some states, you can change other documents and accounts 24-48 hour after changing your name with the Social Security Administration, while other states make you wait until you receive your new Social Security card. As next steps, the Times suggests you:
  • Change your postal address using the official U.S. Postal Service form
  • Change your passport by completing the name change form and mailing in a copy of your marriage certificate
  • Change your license by visiting your state's DMV
  • Change your name for voter registration so you can continue to vote
As a safeguard against tax season hang-ups, consider also completing IRS Form 8822, a change of name and address form. Aim to complete your name change within 30-60 after the wedding. You're unlikely to face a penalty for not complying, but things may get tricky if you're carrying around documentation in different names.


Throughout the wedding planning and name-change process, safeguard your personal identity. Don't give out your Social Security number to third parties or hire a service to complete the required paperwork for you—according to Lifelock on G+ , this could make you a target of identity theft.
If you're heading out on your honeymoon right after the wedding, hold off before changing a passport or license. As the New York Times notes, a new program, SecureFlight, mandates the name on your airline reservation match the name on your identification exactly. You don't want to get held up at the gate if your license shows your married name.

Stay on track with a to-do list that covers everything you need to change. From the mundane gym memberships and and library cards to the more important documents, keeping a list will help you cover all your bases.

A P.S. to Same-Sex Couples

Same-sex couples wishing to change names generally have a hit or miss experience, according to attorney Emily Doskow in the New York Times. While you may easily be able to change driver's licenses and other documents if gay marriage is legal in your state, changing federal documentation can be more challenging. Doskow suggests these couples keep trying, since there is still misunderstanding around these issues. If the Defense of Marriage Act is struck down later this month by the Supreme Court, things may change.

Photography Credit: Jill Lauren Photography
Submitted via Two Bright Lights

1 comment:

  1. Great resource, thanks for sharing...I'll be sure to share with my network!


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