The planning is over and done, the guests have come and gone and you are spending your first day as newlyweds. Many brides then turn to their social media devices to claim the name that has been the hashtags of their dreams for the past few months. It’s easy to change a name on Facebook or Instagram, but what does it take to legally make that change? It is an involved process to legally obtain your partner’s last name, but once it’s through you can bask in the next 80 years as “The Smiths.”
Where to start?
The first step in the process to change your last name begins with the document needed to get married in the first place, the marriage license. When you apply for this license, it will have your new last name and will be the document you send to the Social Security Administration. If a copy of your marriage license was not given or mailed to you, call the clerk’s office that administered your license to receive a new copy. If you have not yet applied for your marriage license, visit the New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau website to see what you need and learn the process.
Once you have a copy of your marriage license, you must begin the process of changing your social security card. Visit the Social Security Administration’s website here to make sure you have all that you need and fill out the application. Once you have filled out the application and submitted the paperwork, you should receive your new card with the updated last name within 10 business days.
After obtaining the marriage license and your new Social Security card comes the fun part – and by fun we mean the worst part. The next step is the dreaded, but necessary trip to the DMV to change your license. When gearing up to change your license, remember to bring any and all documentation that you are able to bring. Remember your marriage license, new and old driver’s licenses.
Once all of the above is taken care of, changing your name with your more day-to-day interactions becomes the next step. Important places to inform of change of name include: employer, bank, credit card company, doctor’s offices, landlord and any other entity that requires your new name.
It seems like a hassle, but once all the steps are completed you won’t have to worry about them ever again. Go step-by-step then sit back and enjoy your lives as the #TheSmiths.
If you did not add your new last name onto your marriage license, but have now decided you would like to change your name, there are extra steps to add into the mix. You will have to ask your local clerk of court for a name change petition. Fill out the form completely and return it to the clerk along with a certified copy of your marriage certificate and pay the filing fee. Once that is completed, you can follow the steps above.