Photo Credit: Ale Borges
You've gotten the I Do's and the long awaited newlywed kiss out of the way, now what? Well, marriage brings with it many things, including a new identity, for those women who choose it of course. Changing your name, post wedding, is a very personal decision and there is no right or wrong choice. Some women want to remain who they are in name while others are happy change altogether.
If this is your choice, a marriage license and "now I pronounce you Mr. and Mrs.” simply won’t cut it. It's important to remember this decision impacts more than just your John Hancock - or would it be Jane; think finances - taxes, bank accounts, property - your Social Security and paycheck, and even family matters. You've done the hard part - the wedding, now here’s the skinny on making you official.
1. Get Proof - Most important newlywed document? Certified marriage certificate, and it must have raised seal to be authentic. Contact the office where your license was filed for a copy. I'd get a few extras just in case.
2. Social Security - Contact the Social Security Administration (800) 772-1213 for an automated name change process. Or visit a local office. Bring picture ID and your marriage certificate. A key step since almost everything in life references your SSN.
3. DMV - Changing your driver's license and registration requires a personal appearance. Bring a number of forms of ID and do not forget your marriage certificate. Do this after you change your SSN#.
4. All the Rest - Now, simply fill in the blanks as needed.
- Passport: Change this after the wedding/honeymoon; your passport and ticket names must match if you are going out of the country for your honeymoon. It will take a number of weeks to get a new passport so book your honeymoon airline tickets in your maiden name.
- Employers/payroll - Contact ASAP
- Post office, Mail Box, Email
- Utility companies, Phone companies
- Banks, Credit card companies, Retirement Accounts
- Voter registration
- Mortgages, leases, loans, wills
- Subscriptions - magazines, newspapers
- Insurance policies - health, car, home owners, renters
If you need any other help, here is a helpful name change check list from our friends over at The Nest. And as nice as it may SEEM to be, a name change kit is not necessary. It may take you a few extra steps and a couple of more hours all together but it is far less expensive. Most people and companies are super helpful about changing your name. There is something about a new bride that usually softens people right up!
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