Wondering how to change your name after the wedding? Ready to start ordering ALL the things with your new monogram? We hear you. Our philosophy is: if it doesn’t move, monogram it! Hopefully the following step-by-step guide helps save you some of the hassle of getting your name change finalized for EVERYTHING! Our goal is for you to have this over and done with for good once you finish the list! So let’s tackle it, shall we?
1. GET YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE AND CERTIFIED COPIES
These documents are the most important part; so important that you can’t move on to step two without them. When you’re applying for your marriage license, ask if you can purchase certified copies in advance. (We recommend buying three to start.) This way, instead of having to go back to get copies once you’ve received your marriage certificate after your wedding, you’ll get your certificate and your certified copies all at once. Stash the certificate somewhere safe, but keep the certified copies on-hand. You’ll need them.
2. UPDATE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY CARD
Now that you have proof of your marriage, you’ll need to let the government know which name you’d like to use going forward. You can either apply for a new social security card by mail or in person at your local Social Security office. Find your nearest location HERE.
If you plan on going to the Social Security office in person, save yourself some time by filling out THIS APPLICATION for a social security card in advance. You will also need to bring the following documents:
- PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP: your valid passport or a certified copy of your birth certificate.
- PROOF OF NAME CHANGE: a certified copy of your marriage license. (You will most likely get this back, so you can use it again.)
- PROOF OF IDENTITY: This must show your name, date of birth or age, and have a recent photograph. That could be a valid driver’s license, your valid passport, a valid state-issued identification card, or a U.S. Military identification card.
- YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY CARD: You will keep the same number when your card is replaced.
Not a U.S. Citizen? THIS LINK will help you determine which documents you need, based on your citizenship status.
3. GET A NEW DRIVER’S LICENSE
After you’ve gone to the Social Security office, wait at least 24 hours before going to the Secretary of State’s office. You do not need to have your new Social Security card in hand to update your driver’s license, but the 24-hour window will allow enough time for the system to update with your new name.
Updating your driver’s license with a new name must be done in person. In Michigan, you will need to have your name updated on your license and take a new photograph, as well as pay the renewal fee. Michigan’s SOS offices accept appointments which definitely speed things along (we strongly recommend you do this so you’re not waiting there for hours!) Make an appointment online for any SOS location HERE.
When you go, you will need to bring the following documents with you:
- YOUR CURRENT DRIVER’S LICENSE
- A CERTIFIED COPY OF YOUR MARIAGE LICENSE – for proof of name change (which, again, you will most likely get back)
4. GET A NEW PASSPORT + TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
Changing your name on your passport is considered a correction. If your passport was issued less than a year ago, you’ll be able to have the correction made without paying a fee. However, if you’ve had your current passport for a year or more, the fee for a change and a new passport book is $110 (plus an expedite fee if you’re in a rush to get on your honeymoon).
All passport changes must be applied for by mail. The U.S. Department of State has put together a convenient tool that will help you fill out the change form, which can be found HERE. Once you’ve filled it out, send the following to the National Passport Processing Center:
- COMPLETED FORM DS-82 (which you can fill out at the link above)
- A CERTIFIED COPY OF YOUR MARIAGE LICENSE
- YOUR CURRENT PASSPORT
- A CHECK FOR THE PASSPORT FEE: Made payable to “U.S. Department of State;” Your full name and date of birth must also be typed or printed on the front of your check.
- A RECENT COLOR PHOTOGRAPH: 2 x 2 inches in size, that meets passport photo requirements.
The postal workers at your local post office are awesome at making sure you fill out everything correctly! And be sure to fill out the forms in BLACK INK! We learned this one the hard way!
5. CHANGE THE NAME ON YOUR BANK ACCOUNTS
As soon as your identification has been updated with your new name, head to your local bank branch to update the information on your bank accounts. Note that most banks require that these changes be made in person, or will require you to mail in a certified copy of your marriage license if you don’t live near a physical location. If you’re going in person, bring the following documents with you:
- A CERTIFIED COPY OF YOUR MARIAGE LICENSE
- YOUR NEW SOCIAL SECURITY CARD
- YOUR NEW DRIVER’S LICENSE
Be sure to request both a new set of cards and new checkbooks. If you are also updating your address at this time, bring proof of address (like your lease or mortgage documents) with you, as well.
Be sure to call your bank ahead of time to make sure there is nothing else you need to bring as everything is different per institution!
6. CHANGE THE NAME ON YOUR CREDIT CARDS
The process for changing your name on your credit cards will vary from company to company. For example, American Express has a form on their website (in the Account Services tab) where you can edit your personal information. You’ll need to upload a supporting document (they request your driver’s license, state ID card, or passport) that shows your new name, and once processed, a new card will be mailed to you.
Other companies request that a certified copy of your marriage license be mailed to them in order to process the change. Contact your credit card company directly to determine the best way to have a card issued with your new name.
7. PROVIDE YOUR NEW NAME + BANKING INFORMATION TO YOUR EMPLOYER
Now that your ID and bank accounts match, contact your company’s human resources office or payroll processor to provide your new information as soon as possible. This way your checks will be issued with the correct name, and direct deposits will be processed correctly and most important, swiftly!
8. UPDATE YOUR INSURANCE INFORMATION
Whether you’re combining insurance policies or are simply updating the information on your own policy, this is a major change you need to make as soon as possible to ensure you’re covered in the event of a claim. You will need a copy of your marriage license to move this along.
If you are insured through your employer, go through human resources or the insurance representative to find the appropriate forms and contact information.
Planning to combine your coverage? Make these changes all at once. Marriage is considered a major life event, so you also have the opportunity to change your health care coverage, even if it isn’t an enrollment period. For auto and home insurance, adding an additional vehicle or a new home to your policy could result in some great savings if you combine multiple policies with the same company.
You won’t need to call your doctor’s office or dentist about the change to your insurance. Instead, head to your next appointment a few minutes early (with your new insurance card and ID in hand) to make the changes in person.
9. UPDATE YOUR MORTGAGE, RENT, AND UTILITY COMPANIES
With your new name and new payment information in hand, it’s time to update the payment information for your mortgage or rent, and your utility companies. Most can be easily updated online in your account portal or on the phone, and should be as simple as typing in your new last name and entering your new credit card number or bank routing information.
10. REVIEW YOUR CREDIT + DEBIT CARD STATEMENTS FOR AUTO-PAY ACCOUNTS
From Netflix and HBO to the hosting for your blog, we’ve all got smaller automatic payments that happen monthly that we can sometimes forget about. Look through a couple months of statements on all of your cards and accounts, keeping an eye out for regular payments that you’re making automatically. Log in to those accounts to make the change, then input your new credit card or banking information and update your billing information with your new name.