The Name Change Game

Okay, so you’re married and in PURE lovers bliss, and enjoy that, seriously, soak it all in because the Name Change Game is fun, but also a little stressful!

But luckily for you, if you’re reading this I’ve done all the research for you, I’ve had my trial and error and I’ve made sure to work out the confusing stuff for you.

Disclaimer: I did all of my name changing paperwork in North Carolina, it seems to be pretty much the same in every state but just keep that in mind

Before I break it down into what you need for every name change document and every document you need to change your name on I’m going to give you a list of things to keep on you at all times during the name change process.

I would suggest getting a file folder like this to carry around with you to keep things organized. This one has saved my life!

Essentials List:

  • Marriage Certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Drivers Licenses
  • Birth Certificate (just in case)
  • Passport (just in case)
  • Proof of new address

1. Your Marriage Licenses 

Make sure you have your certified/original copy of your marriage license, the one with the raised seal. If you didn’t get copies when you went to the clerk’s office, you can call the clerk’s office where you filed your license and have copies sent to you.

The first step in changing your name is changing your Social Security Card, nothing else can be changed until you change your social, so that is where we will start!

2.  Social Security Card

This is where you will legally change your name, whether you are just taking his (or her) last name and dropping your maiden or whatever you’ve decided all of this will be done with the Social Security Office.

I was happy to learn that you get to keep your same number, BLESS! (because let’s be honest it took me years to memorize it).

You can also print this form and mail it in (depending on your state), but I like to get things done quickly so I went to the nearest office, you can find your nearest office here. But when you go here you will need,

  • Your marriage certificate (certified)
  • Your current driver’s licenses
  • And how you want your new name to appear on your new Social Security Card

3. Drivers Licenses

Once you receive your new Social Security Card (usually 5-7 business days) you can now go to the DMV to get your license changed (in North Carolina we have a “REAL ID” system which is just a higher level of identification standards that is an appliance with the federal REAL ID Act so I brought a lot more to my local DMV but I would still air on the side of caution and bring all of this in your file folder I showed you earlier).

  • NEW Social Security Card (with your new last name)
  • Old Drivers Licenses
  • Proof of new residency (if you plan on changing your address)
  • Birth Certificate (optional depending on the state)
  • Passport (optional depending on the state)

4. Banks

If you and your new Hubby decide to make a joint bank account of whether you want to change your name on other accounts the easiest and fastest way is to go into your local branch to do so. While you’re there you will need to get more checks and a new debit card to show your new name (be prepared for possible fees). To do so you will need

  • New Social Security Card
  • New Drivers License
  • Marriage License (bring it just in case)

5. Passport 

This seems to be the most expensive name change document that I have encountered and this one needs to be mailed in rather than being able to do it at a local level. Getting your name changed on your passport also depends on how long you have had your previous passport for, so just to help guide every one better, I have linked the “how to” page for you here.

However, for most circumstances, you will still need,

  • a form specific for your change
  • Marriage certificate/license
  • Valid ID and Photocopy of that ID
  • One color passport photo
  • Possible Fees

6. Fill in the Blanks

  • SOCIAL MEDIA SISTER! Change the Ms. to a Mrs.!!
  • Employer/Payroll
  • Post Office (if you have an address change)
  • Utility companies
  • Credit Card Companies
  • Insurance Companies
  • Doctors Offices
  • Leases or Loans
  • Subscriptions
  • Voter Registration Office (you can usually do this when you’re at the DMV)

I know it seems overwhelming and a lot to tackle but I learned that tackling one name change a day for one week (depending on your schedule) made things a lot easier. The first two steps are the most important and once you have those two new documents in your hand every other name change document is SUPER smooth!

Hope this makes the name change game (as I call it) a little easier for you, and CONGRATS sister, you’ve got yourself a Mr!

Until next time,



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