If you decide to change your name after your marriage, you should start the process as soon as you return from your honeymoon, because it may take a while. Cards and documents that will need to be updated include your Social Security card, driver's license, passport, and your bank and credit cards. You will also need to make changes with a variety of organizations and businesses, including medical providers, insurance companies, licensing boards and alumni associations.
The first document you change should be your driver's license. "It opens your door to the world," says Melanie Stokes of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. "It's good to have your current name on there."
Bring your current driver's license or ID card as well as your marriage certificate, marriage license or register with you to your local DMV office. "You have to have proof of your name change," says Stokes. "All documents must be the original. Photocopies will not be accepted."
Social Security Card
You will also have to prove your identity when you apply for an updated Social Security card. "There are several documents that are the best types of evidence. The most common are your driver's license or passport," says Edwin Sledge, a public affairs specialist with the Social Security Administration.
You will take that document, along with a completed application for a social security card (Form SSA-5) and your original marriage certificate or a certified copy of your marriage record as proof of your name change, to your local Social Security office or Social Security Card Center. The agency does not accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. "They will record the information and give you a receipt showing you have applied," Sledge says. "The card will be mailed to you from a central location, usually within about two weeks."
The process can also be done through mail using the agency's website, socialsecurity.gov, but you will have to send your original documents to the local office. Most brides prefer the in-person option.
If your passport was issued less than one year ago, you have to mail to the passport office your current, valid passport along with completed form DS-5504, plus an original or certified copy of your marriage certificate, and two recent photos.
If your passport was issued more than a year ago, you must send your passport, form DS-82, applicable renewal fees, and an original or certified copy of your marriage certificate along with two recent color photographs. Be sure to use a mailing service that allows you to trace your documents. Information on name changes can be found at travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html .
Bank and Credit Cards
To change your name at the bank, "you will need your new identification and a driver's license or passport, some type of government-issued ID," says Carol Montagnino, assistant vice president for member service and operations at Virginia Credit Union. "You will have to sign a new signature card, and then you can order your debit or credit card."
And if you need a shortcut, visit missnowmrs.com , which helps brides change their name with the government and creditors.