We’ve shared the process of someone changing their last name after a wedding before, here on “Let Them Eat Cake,” because it’s such an important step that many don’t know of the intricacies.
Recently, a coworker of ours went through the process of changing their name – outside of a marriage union – and it had us wanting to revisit the steps as a refresher not only to ourselves, but also to you, dear reader.
A marriage is the joining together of two people in love into one life journey together. It also could mean, if it’s the path you’ve decided on, the joining together of part of your identity – your last names.
Kelly here, as someone who has changed their last name (I’ve never been married, or divorced, like the woman at the bank asked me when I changed it, rather, I just decided I liked my mom’s maiden name a little better than my dad’s last name) it can be a total nightmare and headache gathering all the necessary documents and information and knowing which pieces of the puzzle you need to have in order to complete the other pieces.
In an effort to alleviate some of the headache we put together a handy guide from multiple sources, as well as some locations of where you can accomplish the items on the to-do list if you decide that changing your name after marriage is right for you.
Step 1: Make sure you have your marriage license and all certified copies of the license.
Step 2: Update your Social Security Card.
You will need an updated social security card to change your name on certain items, so it is important to complete this before anything else. You can click here to find out where the local social security office is in your area. To save some time, here is a link to the application form. They also can let you know what you can do online, which makes everything a little easier.
Step 3: Update your driver’s license.
Everyone’s favorite place on earth is, of course, the DMV — just kidding, no it isn’t. But, it is something we all have to suffer through. We are positive there are countless Facebook groups dedicated to which DMV location is the best, so we suggest inquiring to help save time.
According to the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles website, they say, “To have your name changed on your license, you must go to the Office of Motor Vehicles with original documentation that supports the name change (i.e., certified birth certificate, state-certified marriage license, divorce decree, probate court documents, etc.), your current license, proof of residency and proof of insurance for any vehicle you own. You will be required to pass a vision test.”
Additionally, they note that there is a fee, “$13.00 (A local fee may apply not to exceed $4) for a 4-year license and $17.00 for a six-year license (A local fee may apply not to exceed $6). The name change is considered as a duplicate license and the expiration date of the license does not change.”
Here is a link for more frequently asked questions to help you with your license change.
Step 4: Update passport or any necessary travel documents.
Kelly here, I actually don’t have a passport (fun fact!), so I did not complete this step. However, this will definitely be necessary if you have delayed your honeymoon for any reason and plan on going on vacation after you have changed your name.
This link will take you to the U.S. Department of State’s U.S. passport application site to help with that process. Looks like you’ll need a few different items like your marriage license, passport photo and different forms depending on the timeline of the last date your passport was updated.
Step 5: Update Banking
We’ve combined a couple of steps into one here for all of your banking needs. You’ll need to update your bank accounts with your name change, as well as credit cards. Each process varies from bank to bank and credit card company to credit card company. Kelly here, my experience at my bank (which is Capital One) was a breeze, as well as my credit card – which was also through Capital One, so I don’t foresee you having any issues. If you did have an issue with your bank, let us know in the comments!
Along the same lines, it’s important to change your name with your employer too. The name change will need to be reflected on your checks or direct deposits in order to avoid any hiccups getting your paychecks. And we all need that money!
Step 6: Update Insurance and Utilities
We’ve also grouped these as they essentially all go together under bills. Notify your insurance companies, landlord if you rent, mortgage company if you own your home and any utility companies that have your name on the accounts.
Step 7: Update autopay
All of your autopay accounts will also have to be updated with your new last name. This includes everything from bills to your Amazon account.