Changing Your Name After Marriage in the USA

Our website and name change kit are focussed on Australian name changes, however, below is some information for our US readers.

When the wedding is completed, and you’ve returned from your honeymoon, it’s time to consider name change after marriage. Though you are under no obligation to do so, many brides change their name to take that of their new husband’s.

In order to successfully change your name, your marriage license must list your maiden and married names. When the marriage license is filed, the name change goes into effect. The license must be submitted by the officiant that married you in order for changing name after marriage to be legal.

The next step is to let the social security administration know about the name change. They will update your records and send you a social security card with your married name. This way, you will continue to receive any social security payments you may have already been getting. It is also necessary to have your new name added to your driver’s license or other photo ID, including your passport if you have a current one.

Depending on the state you live in, you may need to take additional steps. Some states require you to inform the county recorder that you are changing name after marriage. This applies if you own any property in your name in that particular county. Your new name would have to be reflected on official documents naming you as a property owner. If you rent your home, you may still have to inform your landlord of your changing name after marriage.

Though it isn’t the most pleasant thought, you may be required to acknowledge your new name to local law enforcement if you have a criminal history. In states where this is required, there is a set amount of time during which you must inform them of your new name.

You will need to inform those in your life that your new last name is official. This includes family, friends and your place of employment. Others that will need to know about your name change are your utility and insurance companies. If you are enrolled in any type of schooling, you will have to notify them of your name change as well.

Additionally, any debit or credit cards you have will need to be reissued in your new name. It is important that you change the name on your cards and your photo ID. Otherwise, you may have difficulty using your own cards in an establishment that requires IDs with a card purchase.

Any type of professional license you may hold will also need to be updated. The licensing board will need to know that changing name after marriage is something you have recently done.

When everyone is informed of your new name, it is time to relax and enjoy married life. You will finally be able to bask in the glory of being married and starting a new chapter.