Weddings are not all about the style, the bridal gown, food and everything in between. Instead, there are other legalities that come with that can be worrisome and overwhelming. Fortunately, having a name change checklist can help you. One thing we can assure is that this part is easy however, may require patience and time. Changing your last name to your husband’s surname does require any court proceedings but it doesn’t mean that it will happen on its own. You also have to know that changing your last name is not a prerequisite unless you follow a strict culture and tradition. In fact, there are women who choose to retain their maiden name and have not experienced any problem.
So if you’re setting out to legally change your name, you can think of it as having a marriage certificate with a new name. And to help you, here are some of our valuable advice and guidelines that you can follow.
Name Change Checklist
You’re Married. Now, What’s Next?
First of all, congratulations, you’ve officially left the single ladies club! However, the final touches of this transition involve changing your last name. While it sounds a little tedious and complicated, the process is nowhere near stressful and as easy as arranging a marriage certificate.
How long do you have to change your name?
One of the main concerns of women who just got married is how long the process of name changing will take. Certainly, no woman would want to spend their honeymoon worrying about legalities. Fortunately, there’s no exact requirement of how long you can hold off your name change. This means you can enjoy your newly married life without stressing too much about this final step. However, you must be aware of how some workplaces require their female employees to inform them of the change within 60 days. While the actual process of name change is simple, it may take a while so it’s best to get ahead and prepare before the ceremony.
The Options You Have After Getting Married
Yes, you read that right. You have options when it comes to changing your name.
- Option 1: Take on the surname of your new spouse.
Acquiring your husband’s last name is the most traditional way of changing a woman’s surname. However, as generations evolve, you have the option of retaining your maiden name or your husband can take your last instead of the other way around. And don’t worry about the law as it confirms those newlyweds who opt for the latter.
- Option 2: Use Pre-Marital Surnames
You probably didn’t know how couples can choose a hybernated version of their pre-marital surnames. This less patriarchal option allows both parties to create a new amalgamation of your surnames before the wedding which one or the both of you can adapt. Typically, the law offers all the possible options so it’s best to check your area for the availability of your new surname. Needless to say, expect the choices you’ll see to be common ones. With this, keep in mind that you have to decide carefully as this will be your new name from then on.
- Option 3: Don’t Forget About the Spelling of Your New Name
Did you know that a lot of newlyweds experience misspelled surnames? This could be a huge problem and would require another tedious process. That’s why it’s important to make sure that your new last name is spelled correctly. Something that you should consider is looking into other variations available for your new surname. Some states allow you to see all the other possible variety so it’s only wise to check your community.
How to Change Your Last Name Legally
All you have to do now is start using the new name in social gatherings and update your identification cards and business contacts.
- The Process of Changing Your Name Legally
To change your name on your driver’s license, location of employment, bank accounts, social security, and other documents, you normally only need to produce your marriage certificate. In case these are not enough, you might need to get a court order. When this happens, you would need to conduct a petition which requires filling out different forms such: a petition, a decree, an order to show the need for changing your name legally.
- Changing your last name on your marriage license, driver’s license, bank accounts, insurance, travel documents, and passportMarriage LicenseAcquiring your marriage license and certified copies are the most important documents you need to proceed with. When arranging and applying for your marriage license, ask the authorized personnel for at least three certified copies ahead of time. Instead of getting essential documents one after the other, you can them all at once, therefore, allowing you to save yourself some time.Driver’s License
When changing your driver’s license, expect to pay for the re-issuance fee and other documents. Aside from that, you also have to prepare your:
– your old license
– your marriage license and certificate
– your new social security cardBank Account
The soonest you visit your bank for your name change, the better and seamless your transaction will be. Just note that these kinds of changes call for an on-site appearance to verify legitimacy. Moreover, some banks will require you to send a mail of your marriage licensee and certifications should your circumstance prevent you from going to your local bank. Otherwise, if you’re going to visit in person, you will need to bring these:
– your social security card
– your new driver’s license
– your marriage license and certificateFurthermore, you should also inform your employer of the name change to make sure your ID and payroll bank account match your new name. This way you will not encounter any issues and deposits will be made without a hitch. Additionally, if you’re processing your credit cards, keep in mind the process varies from company to company. Usually, you will only need to provide supporting documents such as a state ID card or passport, and a driver’s license.
Updating Your Insurance Details
Whether you’re merging insurance plans or simply updating your own policy’s details, this is a crucial update you should make as soon as possible to guarantee you’re protected in the case of a claim. To proceed, you’ll need a copy of your marriage license. If you are covered by your employer’s insurance, contact human resources or the insurance representative for the necessary documents and information.
If you are thinking of bundling your insurance, make all of these adjustments at once. Because marriage is a big life event, which means that you have the option to alter your health insurance coverage in spite of not being in an enrollment period.
Updating your health insurance does not require any doctor or dentist as you can just simply visit them and hand them your new ID to inform them of the changes in person.
Updating Your Payment Infor with Your Mortgage and Other Utility Companies
Now that you have a new name and new payment information, it’s time to change your payment information for your mortgage or rent, as well as your utility companies. The majority of them may be quickly updated online or over the phone, and it should be as simple as putting in your new last name and providing your new credit card number or bank routing information.
Furthermore, we all have monthly recurring payments that we might occasionally forget about, from Netflix and HBO to the hosting for your site. Examine the last several months’ worth of statements from all of your cards and accounts, keeping an eye out for any automated payments.
Travel Documents and Passport
When you change your name on your passport, it’s considered a correction. If your passport has been issued in less than a year, you’ll be able to process the correction for free. However, if you’re passport has been issued more than a year, you may have to pay the fee. All changes involving a passport must be processed through the mail. To know more about this, click here.
- Changing Social Security Name After MarriageHow can I update my social security card with my new name?
To update your information on your Social Security, you have to provide all the necessary requirements and fill out all the forms and documents present at the social security office.What documents do I need to alter my name at the Social Security Administration?
The social security office personnel will ask you for these requirements:1. Citizenship documents such as your birth certificate or passport, can be used to prove your citizenship. You must supply documentation proving your lawful non-citizen status if you are a non-citizen.
2. Documents proving a name change, such as a marriage certificate, court order, divorce decree, or naturalization certificate.
3. Your international passport, driver’s license, or state-issued identity card are all acceptable forms of identification.You could think that changing your name is an endless procedure by now, but don’t panic! The rest is considerably easy after you obtain a social security card in your new name. Many organizations will need to be notified, but often all it takes is a phone call.
Important Thing to Remember: Dealing With Your New Name
One of the most fleeting moments you’ll experience is deciding how you would want your colleagues to call you. You can send an email to your workmates, clients, and vendors after your honeymoon vacation and reintroduce yourself with your new last name. This is important especially if your employer is keen on updating your working email address as well to pay respect and reflect your new name. On the other hand, if you wish to retain your maiden name, you should also inform them of your decision.