Change Your Name After Marriage or Divorce

After you have gotten married, you might want to change your name. Learning how to change your name after you get married, or divorced, is simple, but time consuming.

Ah, the joys of marriage - a lifetime of love, bickering, and paperwork begins on your special day. If you're a blessed bride that wants to change your name after your wedding day, the government is going to be the first to challenge the strength of your devotion to your marriage - with paperwork and at least a day's worth of hassle.

Learning How to Change Your Name After You Get Married

When you apply for your marriage license, you want to make sure you order multiple copies of the certified license. These will come in handy as you move from government building to government building. The first stop after your big day is the social security office - no, not for money. You need to go here in order to apply for a new social security card. This is an important step as the IRS gets notified of your name change too and then you will get the proper IRS forms for tax time. Oh joy. At this office, you will need to fill out some forms and then present a certified copy of your marriage license. You will also need to bring another form of ID - a passport or driver's license will do. Yes, the social security office is usually standing room only, so get there early if you want to have a chance at seeing the light of day.

Next, you need to head to the DMV to change over your driver's license and registration. Again, you will need your current driver's license as well as a certified copy of your marriage certificate. Here, you might need to apply for a new driver's license (no, no tests are needed this time), so it can cost you some bucks to get this step taken care of. Your registration information may also need to change, but check with your lienholder first if you're still making payments on that car.

Once you have your new driver's license and social security card (which takes a while to arrive), you need to start calling anyone in your life that might need to know you have a new last name - credit cards, parents, banks, doctors, billing offices for utilities, schools, etc. In most cases, all you need to do is to call these companies up and tell them that you got married and they'll make the changes instantly. But in some cases, you might need to provide proof of your name change, so be ready for that as well.

Yes, marriage is tough - and this is just the name change part. Imagine what the other 50 years are going to be like. Why would you ever get divorced, really? The paperwork alone should be a deterrent.

Choose Your State

Q:I am getting a new driver license after marriage, but I am not sure what the process for name change is. Can you help me?

A:Many individuals need to get their name changed on their license after getting married. The process for this is very simple. You will have to visit the social security office and get a new social security card. The next step is to visit your local DMV office, provide a copy of your marriage certificate, and fill out a few forms. Take a look at our page and more information about name change.