Changing Your Name - A Step by Step Guide
If changing your last name is part of your post wedding plan, then today's blog post is for you! The process for making this life change can be a bit daunting and it's easy to get overwhelmed by the steps needed to make your new moniker official. Read on for an easy step by step guide to the name change process!
Step One: Get Married!
The best part! Say your vows and get those witness and officiant signatures on your marriage license.
Step Two: Get Copies of Your Marriage License
Your marriage license will be sent or physically dropped off at your counties recording office post wedding. Once your marriage license has been received and recorded, you will want to request at least two (2) certified copies of your marriage license. The process for requesting this varies by county with some requiring a form and check to be mailed in and others a simple phone request suffices. You may often also purchase a certified copy of your marriage license at the time your license is issued in office. That certified copy will be mailed to the address given on your marriage application shortly after the license has been recorded.
Step Three: Social Security Card
Once you have a certified copy of your marriage license in hand, download, print and fill out form SS-5. You will sign your new married name in section 17.
Next, visit https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp and type in your zip code to find your closest social security office. Most offices do not accept appointments so it’s best to just walk in. Prepare for this to take 1-2 hours. Bring the following with you to your social security office:
- Certified Copy of your Marriage License
- Form SS-5, completed
- Your ID or passport
Once your visit is complete you should expect to receive your social security card within two weeks.
Step Four: Driver's License/ID Card
In Oregon, the DMV is often backlogged for appointments so you can make one in advance with a plan to set your appointment for 2 weeks or more after the date you've applied for your new social security card. Bring the following with you to your DMV appointment:
- Your new Social Security card
- Current License/ID
- A certified copy of your marriage license
- Passport (with maiden name is fine)
- 2 proof of residency items (utility bill, pay stub, tax return, etc.)
You will complete the necessary paperwork at the DMV (be sure to apply for Real ID if you haven't already!) and will receive a temporary ID during your appointment. Your new driver's license will arrive in the mail in 3-4 weeks.
Step Five: Update Credit Cards
With those first steps complete, you can now begin changing the name on your credit cards. Some financial institutions allow you to simply call or email them to change your name after marriage and do not require proof. Others will require you to bring your marriage license and new photo ID in person to complete this step. Check with your bank to learn more about this process.
Step six: Update Travel Rewards Programs
If you have domestic travel coming up, book it under your new name and email customer service with a photo of your marriage license to change your name connected to your airlines rewards. You will not receive miles/points unless you do this step. Maximize those points and don't forget this step!
Step seven: Register to vote under your new name
Visit https://secure.sos.state.or.us/orestar/vr/register.do?ref=voteusa_en and be sure to register to vote under your new married name at least 3 weeks before the next election!
Note: If you change your name with the DMV within 3 weeks of an election you will not be able to vote. Keep this in mind when planning out your name change schedule!
Step eight: Register to vote under your new name
If you have international travel already booked under your maiden name (honeymoon?!), do not do this step until after your trip. If you want to book some upcoming travel under your new name, then you'll want to plan on completing this process ASAP.
- Fill out form DS-82.
- Staple a 2”x2” passport photo. You can use the app PassportNow to take a photo at home and have it printed and mailed to you for the application!
- The location in section 11 should match the location on your marriage license.
- Sign your new married name.
- Mail form DS-82, your marriage license, a check for $130 payable to U.S. Department of State, and your current passport to National Passport Processing Center, PO Box 90155 Philadelphia, PA 19190-0155.
- You will receive your new passport in 8-12 weeks. You can track the stats here.
Whether taking your partner's name, hyphenating, or creating a new one for your family all together, these steps will make this next phase of life and name change official! Congratulations newlywed, we hope this step by step guides make the process easier so that you can continue to enjoy that wedded bliss!