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Tips for Changing Your Last Name

Whether you plan to hyphenate or change your last name completely; there are a few steps you will need to take after getting married.

The first step is obtaining your marriage license.  You will need to present this to get each additional item changed.

Items you’ll need to change your name on individually:

  • Social security card: You will need to visit the Social Security website and mail the application to your local social security office. Find more information here.
  • Driver’s License: Unfortunately you’ll have to take a trip to the DMV for this one. While it varies by state, they will most likely ask for your new social security card, so this is the second step.
  • Passport: The biggest thing to remember when traveling for a destination wedding or honeymoon is to book your trip under your maiden name and begin the name change process once you have landed back in your home state. Because the passport change process can take 4-6 weeks you will want to do this after you return home.
  • With the U.S. Post Office: This will allow all mail forwarding to end up in the same place.
  • Bank Accounts: Go to the local branch and they will get you all of the items you need in one quick stop—debit card, checks and changing your name on the account.

Other places you’ll need to notify of your name change:

  • Employer/payroll: You may want to consider new business cards and an email address as well.
  • Electric and other utility companies
  • Credit card companies
  • Schools and alumni associations
  • Landlord or mortgage company
  • Insurance companies (auto, home, life)
  • Doctors’ offices
  • Voter registration office
  • Investment account providers
  • Your attorney (to update legal documents, including your will)
  • Schools, particularly if you have children with different last names

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