You finally did it! After all that time spent planning the perfect wedding you finally tied the knot and you’re ready to take on a new last name. At first it might seem a little daunting to figure out how to change your name after the wedding, so I’ve done the research for you and compiled this step-by-step guide for you. If you’re in Orange County, CA, this will be even easier since I’ve linked to some of the appropriate resources you’ll need to complete the process!
Get A Certified Copy Of Your Marriage License
Prior to your wedding day you’ll apply for a marriage license through the county (http://www.ocrecorder.com/services/marriage). Your officiant and witnesses will sign it on the big day and your officiant will send it in within one week of the wedding ceremony. About two to three weeks after it’s sent in you should receive your certified copy in the mail. Then you can start your name change process!
Get Your New Social Security Card
You need to fill out an SS-5 form (https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf) with the Social Security Administration. A discrepancy in your social security could affect your taxes and retirement benefits so make sure to do this first and carefully double check all details. You must be able to prove your identity so you’ll need to bring a certified copy of your birth/adoption certificate, a certified copy of your marriage license and a valid US driver’s license, ID card or passport. You also need to prove that you are a US citizen either by way of birth certificate or immigration paperwork. A detailed description of which documents are and are not acceptable are on the SS-5 form linked above. You can either mail your application along with your documents or you can visit your local social security office in person (https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp) If you mail in your documents they will mail them back to you once the process is complete.
Visit the DMV
You’ll need to visit the DMV to update your driver’s license, vehicle registration and voter registration. You can start by filling out an application for a new DL/ID Card. If you plan to use your DL/ID to travel you’ll want to apply for a Real ID. You will have to actually visit the DMV in person to prove your identity, take a new photo and scan your fingerprint, so make an appointment! (Trust me, the appointment is worth it!)
Don’t forget to take your supporting documentation, a certified copy of your marriage license, Social Security Card, and a certified copy of your birth certificate. You’ll need to pay as well so take cash, a check or a debit card. Depending on the location they do NOT accept credit cards and you’ll have to start the whole process over if you don’t have another payment method on hand!
Here’s California’s DMV resources links:
CA DMV name change checklist: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&urile=wcm:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv/dl/checklists/namechng
Let your bank and other financial institutions know about your new legal name change. Expect this to be an in-person visit and be sure to bring along your updated driver’s license and a copy of your marriage certificate.
Update Your Insurance
Insurance can be tricky enough as it is, so you’ll want to make sure all of your information with them is up to date. Be sure to contact your insurance company to find out their steps on how to update your policy.
Talk with your employer’s HR department to make sure they update your payroll information for tax purposes. This is also a good time to review your tax withholdings and make any necessary adjustments.
Other Things You’ll Want to Update
- Your Attorney for Legal Documents (like a will)
- Landlord/mortgage & utilities
- Creditors – This can affect your credit history and credit report so it’s important to keep it updated!
- Post office
- Professional licensing boards (if applicable)
I hope you found this step-by-step guide to changing your name after your wedding helpful! Did you think of anything else that should be added to this list? Leave a comment below and tell me about it!
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