Thank you to wedding planner Ginny Sukenik, CMP of GS Special Events, Ltd for this article.
It takes brides at least four months to complete their name change. With that said, we’ve tried to take the sting out by providing all the info you need to get started.
Changing your name is a multi-step process and can be done any time after the wedding. The most important changes are your Social Security card and driver’s license. After that, you’ll be left with everything from your healthcare provider to your gym membership. Read on for a guide to getting everything done.
- If you don’t want to send out your original marriage license, order certified copies of it before you begin the name-changing process. To do so, go to the original county probate court where you applied in person or send a request by mail with an enclosed payment. There is a small fee for marriage license copies. If your request is mailed, expect to receive your copies in four weeks.
- The next step is changing your name on your Social Security card. The form you will need is called an SS – 5 Form. To obtain one, call 1-800-772-1213 or download the form from the Social Security Administration. It usually takes about three weeks to receive your new Social Security card in the mail.
- Next, get a new driver’s license in your married name. Your driver’s license can be changed with a certified copy of your marriage license. Take care of your voter and automobile registration at the same time. Forms for voter registration can be found and processed at the BMV. Vehicle titles can be changed only when ownership is transferred to another party. If your maiden name appears on the title, be sure to place your married and maiden name on the title transfer.
- If you have a passport, you’ll need to change your name there, too. To do so, pick up an amendment form from your local passport office (they are usually located in select post offices) or download it from the Dept. of State web site. This is a free service. If you are a first time passport applicant, you will need the DS-11 application. Plan on a four- to six- week delivery of a new passport. For an additional fee, you can expedite delivery and receive it in three weeks. To find out where passports are issued nearest you, call the U.S. Postal Service at 1-800-275-9777 and skip the recording by pressing zero to talk with an operator. They will ask you your Zip code and then provide you with the locations closest to you.