How to Change Your Name!

A friend of mine got married, um, well over a year ago and she’s just now trying to figure out how to go about changing her name. She has chosen to add on her husband’s last name to her name, but with no hyphen. I have a few friends who have chosen to hyphenate and others who opted for taking their husband’s last name. I also have a few friends who decided to combine their names and both hyphenate. Cool idea, huh?

photo from The Wedding Lens

Regardless of what you decide, here’s how to go about changing your name:

  1. Get a copy of your marriage license in the mail (or pick it up, depending on where you are)
  2. Go to the Social Security Administration in your vicinity with your old ID, your marriage license. They will issue you a new Social Security Card.
  3. Go to the DMV with the new Social Security card, the marriage license, and your old ID. They will issue you a new ID.
  4. Now that you have your new IDs, make sure you change your name on your:
  •  
    • passport
    • bank account
    • credit cards
    • 401(k)
    • phone, utilities
    • airline accounts
    • anything else that has your name!

It’s a lot of work initially, but then you dont have to think about it again. And if you’re getting divorced, the process is the same, you just need your divorce certificate instead.

Good luck!

~ Natasha

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2 Responses

  1. This is what I did as well – added my husband’s last name without a hyphen. I primarily use my name, but it’s nice to have the option.

    Most women don’t realize that the right to keep their birth name upon marriage is something that women before us fought for; a little like women’s suffrage to vote. Here’s more on that:

    http://www.namelymarly.com/blog/2009/07/changing-your-last-name-when-you-get-married-your-decision-or-society%E2%80%99s/

    Most important is that a woman understands it is her name and her choice to decide. I have seen some couples that both change their name. There are many options available to couples today.

  2. Thanks for this background on name-changing! It is definitely a step in the right direction that women CAN choose (and that most partners are cool either way). Congrats on your marriage, by the way. 🙂

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