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Changing your Last Name after the Wedding

Changing Your Last Name After the Wedding

As a woman, all of your identification becomes obsolete after marriage and it is your responsibility to prove to the government and other institutions that you have legally changed your last name. By sending copies of and showing others a copy of your marriage license, you can have the name on these accounts changed to prevent any complications down the road. The requirements for changing your name do not vary by state, so changing your name in Florida is no different from doing so anywhere else in the country.

A marriage license with your new last name does not automatically mean you've changed it. Also, don’t change your name before the honeymoon, because your new name has to match all travel documents, most importantly, your passport -- processing name changes on passports generally takes anywhere from four to six weeks.

 Photo Courtesy of  Burn Exposures by Stephanie Byrne

1. Get your Marriage License

Before you can change your name, you will need the original or certified copy of your marriage license with the raised seal and your new last name on it. You can call the Clerk of the Court office where your license was filed to get copies if one wasn't automatically sent to you. If you are unsure where the license was filed you can call the person who officiated your ceremony and they can give you that information.

2. Change your Social Security card

Visit the Social Security Administration's website and fill out the application for a new Social Security card. You'll keep the same number -- just your name will be different. Mail in your application to the local Social Security Administration office. You should get your new card within 10 business days.

3. Change your license with the DMV

Next, take a trip to your local Department of Motor Vehicles office to get a new license with your new last name. Bring every form of identification you can lay your hands on -- your old license, your certified marriage license and --most important -- your new Social Security card.

4. Change your bank accounts

This one is very important, especially if you're setting up a joint bank account, or if you have one already set up. The fastest way to change your name at your bank is to go into a branch location -- bring your new driver's license and your marriage license. You should request new checks and debit and credit cards on top of changing the name attached to your accounts.

Once you have a social security card and driver's license in your married name, other changes should be relatively easy. Some places only require a phone call, where others may ask for a copy of your marriage certificate or social security card. Here is a list of other places you will want to notify:

  • Employers/HR Department
  • Landlord or mortgage company
  • Post office
  • Electric and other utility companies
  • Credit card companies
  • Schools and alumni associations
  • Insurance companies (auto, home, life)
  • Doctors' offices
  • Voter registration office
  • Investment account providers
  • Your attorney (to update legal documents, including your will)
  • Passport office

There is a Name Change Kit that you can purchase for $29.95 through The Knot to make the process easier. Here is the link:


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