When you're considering ways to change your name while honoring your maiden name, one of the best options to consider is adopting your new spouse's name and making your maiden name your new middle name. Since many people choose to adopt a new name, losing your old name can feel like a loss and some people even grieve it. If you are an only child or don't have children, you might worry how your parents will feel when your surname is lost. Making it a middle name is a great way to keep it in your life while still following marriage conventions as far as changing your name.

Pros of Maiden Middle Names

This option is particularly attractive not just for the sake of sentimentality. If you change your maiden name to your middle name, when you're dealing with unexpected little name changes at non-government institutions and need to quickly provide proof that you have just changed your name, having your maiden name as your middle name makes it easy to verify that you "added a name" and you're the same person. It's also great if you plan to continue using your maiden name in business for professional reasons, as using just part of your name is still common.

Satisfies Your Relatives

Your parents and other relatives might have a problem with you completely giving up your maiden name. Pride in your family and heritage can run deep, and giving up your name can feel like abandoning that heritage. If your name is particularly famous or linked to relatives you admire, choosing to make your maiden name into your middle name is a great way to honor your past while honoring your commitment to your partner and future with them. If you're trying to show that you aren't forgetting where you came from, keeping your heritage as a part of your name is a wonderful gesture and sure to heal rifts that might develop over adopting an entirely new name.

More Than One Middle Name?

About three in four people have a middle name now—and ten percent use it on a regular basis. If you already have a middle name, you have a dilemma: do you choose your new middle name instead of the old one, or do you have more than one middle name? The answer depends on how you feel about having more than one middle name. Some use two initials, or one initial and one middle name, and others use just one middle name on a regular basis and keep the other as strictly an official name. If the middle names clash, you might want to consider replacing your old middle name with the new one. Just remember: having more than one middle name can prove unwieldy, especially when it comes to forms and documents that only have space for one middle name on them.

Usually Easier Than Hyphenation

When you have your maiden name as a middle name, it's still easier than hyphenating your name. You won't struggle with an overly long name and you don't have to use your middle name on a regular basis—but you won't get penalized if you don't. For someone who has a maiden name that just wouldn't sound good when hyphenated with their partner's name, a middle name may be a much better option. You will be able to more easily prove your connection to people in both sides of your family as necessary (which is especially important when it comes to childcare issues, such as flying with children). Plus, it means your last name won't be such a mouthful.

Helps Ease You Through the Transition

If you aren't thinking about hyphenating your last name because you just want a single last name, you're probably choosing your partner's name for convenience or because you like it. In doing so, you might feel a sense of loss. It isn't always about just keeping your relatives happy—you have to feel like you're inhabiting your new name as you go through changing all your paperwork and possibly updating your professional details. By keeping your middle name, it won't feel as scary because you won't feel like you need to abandon what you are familiar with. You get to take on your new name while keeping the old, which is definitely like having your cake and eating it, too!

Disadvantages of Maiden Middle Names

There are a few disadvantages to this option, of course. Certain states (see below) make the process trickier than average, though most don't. If you already have a middle name, you have to choose one or feel like "one of those people" by listing more than one middle name whenever you give your full name. Getting used to having a middle name is also a process, and you may need to add this middle name to a lot of documents. Everything from your driver's license to passport must be in the exact same name with the same middle name, especially if your first and last names are both fairly common.

Some States Make This Tricky

Our site can help facilitate this name change in most states, but six states make the process trickier. These states are: California, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington State. In these states, you need to petition the court to change your name from your maiden to middle name. The process can be relatively easy or stressful, depending on how much you like bureaucracy and the court system! For many people, it's stressful just because it takes more time and name changes can already be a time-consuming process. If you live in one of these states, hyphenation may well be the easiest option.

Changing your maiden name to your middle name is becoming increasingly popular as people try to find a balance between tradition and more practical modern alternatives. No matter whether you're leaning towards hyphenating, changing your name, creating a new last name, or keeping your maiden name, it's worth considering this as an option.

142 Comments

  1. Erica

    I live in New York and wanted to move my maiden name to my middle name. I saw a tip online that if you change your passport and SS card first, then the NY DMV will let you proceed without having to petition the courts. I just tried it this morning and it worked for me, so hopefully it would work for other New Yorkers!

    Reply
    • Sergio

      Erica, will I get a marriage license with a maiden name in place of the middle name?

      Reply
      • Valera

        Sergio, you can specify your preferred name sequence on your marriage license.

        Reply
    • Valera

      Thanks for chiming in with your in-office experience. I've heard of other New York success cases for those going the SSN & passport before DMV route, although there's also been a mixture of let-downs. Still, something worth considering.

      Reply
    • DJ

      So with your SS card as proof you were able to get your maiden name as your middle name on your passport??

      Reply
    • brooke

      Hi Erica,

      I just saw your post – can you let me know what you did and what you needed to get the passport and SS card with the new middle name without going to the court first?

      Thanks! Brooke

      Reply
  2. Laurel

    Well I already have two middle names as is. I want to know if i can add my maiden name to a middle name, thus having three middle names, five names total. I would want to put my maiden name as my "one" middle name on all official documents. Has anyone heard or seen this?? I got married almost one year ago and have been putting it off due to the crazy amount of time it requires and well, I really don't want to find out that I have to give up any of my names. I do want to take on my husbands name by I'm very proud of my maiden name as it holds a lot of history.

    Any advice??

    Reply
    • Valera

      Three middle names is exceptionally rare. As you have two middle names, I'm sure you've experienced the potential difficulties and confusion it can cause. Three names would compound that.

      One thing to think about (and we're getting a bit into the weeds here) is if your name will fit on your driver's license. A month and a half ago there was a story of a woman whose name was too long for her driver's license and how she clashed with the DMV to get the length limitations relaxed.

      Now, I highly doubt you'll be facing any such character length limit, but since I don't know what your actual name is comprised of, it doesn't hurt to throw this out there just incase.

      Reply
  3. Rhoda

    I used my maiden name as my middle name but now want to drop the maiden name to use my middle name, would I have to go through the courts to do so?

    Reply
    • Valera

      …but now want to drop the maiden name to use my middle name, would I have to go through the courts to do so?

      Yes, you will, due to your already having changed your name before. Now, I'm assuming you actually did undergo a formal name change and now you're looking to legally undo it. If that's not the case please clarify.

      Reply
      • Rhoda

        I did not legally change my name. When I got married I dropped my middle name and started using my maiden name

        Reply
        • Valera

          In that case, as long as you're not a resident in one of the six excluded states listed in the article, you don't have to go through the courts. Just initiate a regular marriage-related name change.

          Reply
  4. Jill

    I just got married and changed my middle name to my maiden name and took my husband's last name. I live in PA and had absolutely no problems doing this with SS or the DMV (PennDOT). They accepted my maiden name as my new middle name, no issues whatsoever.

    Reply
    • sarah

      If you don't mind me asking what ID did you use? I just tried to change my middle name to my maiden name (i live in pa as well) and they refused it. Penndot told me I had to get a court order to change my name. So now my SS card and drivers license don't match :-( ugh!

      Reply
    • Aly

      Hi Jill,
      I live in PA and am trying to do the same thing – would you mind telling me how you did it? I called the court system and they said I had to do a full petition to get my maiden name as my middle name before I can go to SS or PennDOT. Please let me know. Thanks!!

      Reply
  5. Jane

    So this is definitely what I want to do when I get married next month. I live in Idaho, but we're getting married in Nevada. I have already applied for my license online to speed the process when we get to Las Vegas. When we're done with the ceremony, I've been told by the Nevada Marriage Bureau that I will need to request a copy of my marriage certificate after I get home. They said that the certificate will only have my current maiden name (first, middle, maiden name) on it to show that I married my fiance. At what point then do I get my name changed to having the maiden name as the middle name? The SS office told me that they will use whatever is on my marriage certificate. Do I get my SS card first or my Drivers License first? Kind of confused on the process here and WHEN exactly I request that my name will be changed. Advice?

    Reply
    • Valera

      When we're done with the ceremony, I've been told by the Nevada Marriage Bureau that I will need to request a copy of my marriage certificate after I get home.

      Correct. You'll contact the state's vital records office to request a certified copy be mailed to you. They'll charge a processing fee, but so does every other records office. Be sure to check it for errors, and request an amendment if you find any.

      They said that the certificate will only have my current maiden name (first, middle, maiden name) on it to show that I married my fiance.

      That's Nevada's prerogative. Every state does it differently.

      At what point then do I get my name changed to having the maiden name as the middle name?

      When you change it with the SSA.

      The SS office told me that they will use whatever is on my marriage certificate.

      I don't know what your local office is going on about, so I can't speak for them. The marriage certificate serves as proof that you're married and that you can legally use the last name of your spouse. Your spouse's last name would also be on the certificate.

      Do I get my SS card first or my Drivers License first?

      SS then DL. It may be a good idea to space them out by at least a day as the DMV may access the SSA database to see that you've initiated a matching name change request. This buffer provides time for such data changes to propagate.

      Reply
  6. Isabel

    I live in california ahve you heard the passport and ssn process first then dmv work for anyone?

    Reply
  7. marcia

    Hi, I am from Brazil and I just got married in august , my husband is American, we did all the immigration process and in the interview which was on Dec 10 the officer ask how I would like to have my name on the green card and I said I wanted to eliminate my middle name and use my maiden name as a new middle and my husband's name as a last name, she said ok and week later I received my GC with my full old name plus my husband's last name, they just added his…….now I made an appointment with immigration to go in January, what do I say to them? they will do the way I want it?

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Marcia. Are you saying they made a mistake? If so, you can request a correction.

      Reply
      • marcia

        Yes they made a mistake but I want to know if I can have my maiden name as a middle name and my husband's as a last name…..ex: MARCIA GONCALVES DE SILVA (before marry) can become : MARCIA SILVA SMITH….Smith is my husband's., so I would eliminate goncalves de, and keep Silva as new middle name and add my husband's name Smith….Is it possible ?

        Reply
        • Valera

          You can shift your names around as you prefer as long as you're not in one of the states specified at the end of the article. You'll still need to get your green card corrected though.

          Reply
  8. Rizz

    I live in NYC and will be getting married in February.The state won't let me drop my middle initial and use my "would be" maiden name as my middle name because my IDs all have my middle initial on it. It is frustrating. What should I do in order to have my last name as my new maiden name and also add my fiance's last name? If I petition later to change it after marriage, then do I have to request a new copy of the marriage license also with the petitioned name change? Please any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
    • Valera

      What should I do in order to have my last name as my new maiden name and also add my fiance's last name?

      You'll have to go through a court-petitioned name change.

      If I petition later to change it after marriage, then do I have to request a new copy of the marriage license also with the petitioned name change?

      No. You'll use the document the court provides to facilitate your name change.

      Reply
  9. DJ

    I changed the SS with no problem to maiden name as my new middle name. I have submitted my passport now for a name change to include my maiden name as my middle name. I also included a copy of my SS card. I am completely worried that they will put my former middle name on my new passport. Has anyone been able to get maiden as new middle on passport?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi DJ. I think you're worrying yourself unnecessarily. As long as you've filled out the form specifying your maiden name as your new middle name and included the proper documentation along with your application (as you appear to have done), you should be fine.

      Reply
  10. Jennifer Heacock

    I have a first, middle and last name. I am getting married. Is it possible to add my new married name to my current name without using a hyphen? I know I will probably have to change my drivers license, ss card and passport. What I'm trying to avoid is having to change my bank accounts, payroll checks, etc. Also, can airline tickets be booked in either last name if there's no hyphen?

    Reply
    • Valera

      Is it possible to add my new married name to my current name without using a hyphen?

      Yes.

      Also, can airline tickets be booked in either last name if there's no hyphen?

      Your airline ticket must match your identification. For domestic flights, the name on your I.D. must match your ticket. For international flights, the name on your passport must match your ticket. It's unlikely the airline will be hoodwinked as they'll cross-reference your name and its divisions (first, middle, last) with the TSA.

      You can take a look at the following maiden or middle name on passport article for additional details.

      Reply
  11. Garrett

    My wife and I were just married a few weeks ago. She went to the DMV yesterday and was told she could not use her maiden name for her middle name b/c of some July 2012 bill for security. I've never heard of anything and was trying to research why. Can't find anything. We live in the state of Georgia, USA, if that helps.

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Garrett. They're likely referring to the Real ID Act. It's a federal law that was passed around a decade ago, but has been deferred several times for various reasons. It's meant to be implemented in phases, although the majority of states aren't currently compliant. It ultimately comes down to the supporting document detailing the name change event.

      A few questions. First, did your wife present a supporting document (e.g., marriage certificate) to the DMV? If so, was it a certified copy or church issued certificate? Second, did she change her name with the SSA first? If so, how long did she wait before going to the DMV?

      Reply
      • Garrett

        Hi Valera,

        Thanks for your response.

        Yes, she did take a certified copy of the marriage certificate. She also had a certified copy of her divorce decree (issued 12/2/13, since the divorce took 3 years to become final) from her first marriage that reflected her name being restored to her maiden name.

        To avoid having to change her name with government agencies twice in two months, she just waited until our marriage was legalized to do it all at once. Her Drivers license had her original married name, but our marriage certificate showed her maiden name, since the divorce decree had shown its legal restoration.

        She went to the DMV first and hasn't been to SSA yet.

        Thank you for your help.

        Reply
        • Valera

          She went to the DMV first and hasn't been to SSA yet.

          Do the SSA first, then return to the DMV. Georgia's DMV specifies that a valid SSA document can be used to prove the current name along with an additional supporting document showing the new name (e.g., bank/credit card statement, property tax bill, W-2 form, tax return). If you don't have any such supporting document contact the DMV to inquire what other document they'll accept.

          Reply
          • Garrett

            Thank you very much for your help!
            The SSA changed it correctly by mail without any issues. Then upon returning to the DMV they insisted on going by the "Federal Law" that wouldn't allow the change to happen as desired but after speaking with another employee it was straightened out but not easily.
            Thank you again!

  12. Lisa

    My name on my GC that arrived included my mother's last name as my middle name, (shown as my middle intitial) and my last name as my father's last name and my husband's last name combined. All my other docs/ids are under my married name which is my first name, my middle name (my father's last name), and my husbands last name. Am I allowed to call USCIS to correct this or should I asked my lawyer to talk to them? Will this pose problems when I travel since obviously my passport and GC will not match.

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Lisa. You can try to contact the USCIS yourself to have a correction issued or have your attorney handle it. Whichever you prefer. You shouldn't face any travel issues as long as you can prove that you're the same person and entitled to both documents.

      Reply
  13. Scott

    My wife and I married in RI almost 20 years ago. At the time, she chose to drop her middle name and replace it with her maiden name (taking my last name). She had no problems changing her SS card or Driver's License (and never had any trouble with any other state we moved to). However, when we moved to Nevada last year, they said they wouldn't honor the name on her SS card, marriage license or current (out-of-state) license because there was no court order showing she legally changed her middle name. The said we'd have to pay to have her name legally changed (which isn't all that cheap from what I've researched). So, now her SS card and Driver's license have different middle names and it is causing quite a hassle. Any advice?

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Scott. The Nevada DMV doesn't accept a marriage license as proof for authorizing a name change. You have to supply them with a certified copy of your marriage certificate. This can be acquired from your vital records office.

      Reply
      • Andie

        You're incorrect and are misunderstanding the comment.

        Nevada DMV told me after 9/11 they can't drop the middle name on your birth certificate, regardless of your certified marriage license and new name on your social security card. You can put your new last name on there, but they have to hyphenate it. He told me I could sign it however I wanted. Such a pain.

        Reply
  14. April

    I live in PA as well and changed my name at the SS office. I took my maiden name as my middle and my husband's last name as my last. The DMV will NOT change it without the below:

    "If you desire to use any name other than 1) your birth name, 2) spouse's surname or 3) a name given by the court, you must provide a copy of a Social Security Card (or records), together with copies of documents from two other sources with the desired name such as: Tax Records, Selective Services Card, Voter Registration Card, Passport or any form of Photo ID issued by a governmental agency."

    Now I'm kind of stuck because it seems like the other forms may need my license to change them? Any advice? So far I have my new SS card and tax documents with my new last name…I need one more.

    Reply
    • Laura

      Hello April! I am in EXACTLY the same boat as you. I would recommend using a Voter Registration Card as your third piece of evidence. I just applied for mine, it's a very simple form you mail in with your new name and address, as well as your previously registered name and address. They don't require any supporting documents, so it's OK if your passport and driver's license still have your maiden name on them.

      Here is the site I used to get the form: http://www.votespa.com/

      Then just mail it in and wait.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  15. Sarah

    I live in PA also, and went to the Soc Security office two weeks ago to have my maiden name replaced as my middle name, and they refused to do so without a court ordered document, even thought I had my marriage license. I finally went to PennDOT on Friday to get my license name changed to match my SS card (since my husband and I leave on our honeymoon in 5 weeks), and the PennDOT worker told me I could circumvent the court document requirement by changing my name on my voter registration card as well as either my bank account or my W-4 at work, and take those documents to the Soc Security office for a new card. I'm thinking I may have to wait until after the honeymoon due to time restrictions… I need to be able to board the plane. :)

    Has anyone actually tried this yet? If so, were you successful, and how long did it take?

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Sarah. See @Laura's comment (preceding yours) which also mentions using the voter registration card as an acceptable supporting document.

      Reply
  16. Allison

    I went today to s.s to change my name after marriage, and they refused to let me drop my middle name for my maiden name.. I live on Long Island, and never heard such nonsense before..

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Allison. While NY is comparatively flexible with last name change options, maiden to middle name change modifications are more stringent than most other states. This restriction you experienced is applied statewide.

      Reply
  17. priscilla

    This is the only article or blog I can find regarding the pros and cons of making your maiden name your middle name. I've been married for 12 years with a problematic hyphenated name, and I had only noticed recently that this is the simple fix to a lot of the problems with my name on accounts. One of these problems was when my husband answers the phone and he is asked are you Mr.(hyphenated name)?? Those calls always upset him. I'm going to go with the middle name rearrangement for my professional license.

    Reply
  18. Sierra

    So im getting married and I would like to keep my last name as a second middle name. I plan on moving to virginia a few weeks after the marriage, and I currently live in new jersey. Is it wise to wait until I move to make the name change? or should I just change it now so that by the time I get , married its already changed?

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Sierra. Just to be clear. If you're changing it now (before you're married) then that's considered a general, adult name change. The name change process after marriage is simpler. So, whether you do it now or later, the end result is the same. You'll just have to decide which route to take.

      Reply
  19. kate

    So I already have a hyphenated name from my mom and dad, but was never given a middle name at birth…what I want to do (I think) is legally make my current hyphenated last name my middle name and take my fiance's last name after marriage…

    I live in NY and am not looking forward to this after reading all the hassle with NYS. Would it be any easier since I don't have a middle name to begin with?

    Reply
    • Valera

      Would it be any easier since I don't have a middle name to begin with?

      Not really. It wouldn't make a difference whether you were modifying an existing or (in your case) non-existent middle name.

      Reply
  20. Nicole

    I live in NJ and when I got married in 2009 I dropped my maiden name and took my husbands name as my new last name – I did this with both DMV and SS. I want to add my maiden name back as my middle name. Is this possible? Where do I go first – DMV or SS? My passport has all my names: First, Middle, maiden and married names. Does that help to get my maiden name back on my license and SS card?

    Reply
    • Valera

      I want to add my maiden name back as my middle name. Is this possible?

      Yes.

      Where do I go first – DMV or SS?

      Court petition, then SSN, then DMV.

      My passport has all my names: First, Middle, maiden and married names. Does that help to get my maiden name back on my license and SS card?

      No, that wouldn't factor into anything.

      Reply
  21. BeLoved717

    I live in TX. I won't be getting married until the end of this year, but came across this article, which has me very curious. I said "I Do" almost 15 years ago, received an annulment after 2 weeks of marriage, and a year stipulated as wait time. My SS card bears my married/annulled last name, though I have NEVER used it for ANY purpose, personal or professional.

    I want to use my maiden last name as my middle name. Will I have to first change my SS card to reflect my actual maiden name?

    Any guidance is appreciated. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Valera

      I want to use my maiden last name as my middle name. Will I have to first change my SS card to reflect my actual maiden name?

      No. You can implement the change when you update your last name.

      Reply
  22. Jason

    This is the most thorough source of name change info I have found on the web! So my wife would like to change all three of her names and go from:

    First Middle Maiden
    to
    Middle Maiden Married

    So there are 3 name changes! We have the marriage certificate to change the last name but SSA won't allow the middle to go to first on a married name change. So we also got a court order (in NC) to change her birth name from:

    First Middle Maiden
    to
    Middle Maiden

    Now…can we take both the marriage certificate and the court order to the SSA and change all 3 names at the same time? Or would we have to go 2 different times?

    Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • Valera

      Now…can we take both the marriage certificate and the court order to the SSA and change all 3 names at the same time?

      Yes, do it all together.

      Reply
  23. Mercedes

    I live in Washington State and I'm getting married in June and I currently have two middle names.
    When I get married I want to use my new husbands last name as my last name and drop one of my middle names.

    So I want to go from
    First Middle Middle Maiden
    TO
    First Middle Married

    Can I do that all at once or will I need to do two separate name changes?

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Mercedes. For WA, middle name change would require a court petition. You could conceivably change both names at once using that process, but the last name change wouldn't be tied to marriage and would just be considered an general name change. You could also do them separately—middle in court, last after marriage. It's up to you.

      Reply
  24. Linda

    I got married nearly 3 years ago, in NJ & we live in NJ. I want to go from
    First Middle Maiden
    to
    First Maiden Married

    From all the other comments, it seems that I should do SS, Voter Reg, & Passport first, then Driver's License.

    Professionally (I'm a physician), can I continue to use my Maiden name as my last (Dr. First Maiden), or must I change my professional licenses and all the documents that have to do me as a provider for various health insurances?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Linda. You'll have to check with your state board regarding licensing and your preferred name usage. If updates are required, are aliases allowed? Also, how will your name be printed within public records searches or open records requests?

      Reply
  25. Erin

    I live in New York and would also like to change my name to First Maiden Married when I get married this summer. I've heard about all the prior difficulties with that kind of name change in this state, but then ran across this recent article regarding a change in NY State DMV policy.
    Has anyone tried this change recently?

    Reply
    • Row

      I was wondering the same thing. Were you able to make this change? Also, if you did I was wondering how you filled out the marriage license.

      Reply
      • Kate

        YES!!! It worked today in NYC DMV!!! I'm SO happy. The guy said the rules have changed and, as you can see online with a little searching, all you need now is your marriage certificate (and old license) showing your pre-marriage name and then your new surname after marriage.

        I actually did not want my full maiden name listed on my license because it's sort of funny – it's actually a hyphenated name (that i was given at birth), so the guy was totally fine with just putting my new middle name initials (R.M.)!

        The craziest part is, i did not realize NYS allows this now until right after i went to the SSA last week and changed my card to my new last name but no maiden name included…so i am headed back tomorrow to (FINGERS CROSSED) correct my SS card the way i want my name to be forever. After that, I will apply for a new passport, and apparently (i spoke with 2 different passport people at the help number) they will print up my passport based on how i fill my name out on the application, and with a certified official copy of my marriage certificate to back it up.

        wish me luck!!!

        Reply
        • Mimi

          Dear Kate,
          Thank you for sharing your story.
          I live in NYC and want to have my maiden name as my middle name too. (Currently I don't have middle name)
          I'm marrying very soon.
          How did your SS card change go after you successfully changed your driver's license at DMV?
          Did they correct it?
          I couldn't open the NY state DMV policy, does anyone know the correct link?

          Reply
  26. Helene

    Hello. I was married over a decade ago. When I divorced I kept my married surname because it seemed like more trouble than it really mattered at the time. I regret that decision. I will be getting married next year. I've been wanting to take my maiden name back for quite some time. I do not plan to change my surname to my future husbands when we marry. I've looked into it and here in indiana it will cost me around $300 to have it changed back before the marriage. My question is, if I get married, can I change my name back to my maiden name or is it only for changing your name to take on your husbands surname. I would much rather my maiden name be on my marriage certificate but if I can save $300, I'll live with it.

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Helene. You'll have to go the costly route, as what you're suggesting wouldn't be applicable for a marriage-related name change.

      Reply
  27. Amelia

    I am getting married and would like to drop my first name and just use my middle name and his last name is that legal to do without having to go through a name change? Can I make this change with Social Security?

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Amelia. First name changes would have to go through the court system.

      Reply
  28. April

    I live in new jersey. I have already 2 names, a middle name, and my maiden last name. When i got married, i dropped my original middle name and my maiden last name so that i only have my 2 names (april rose) and my husbands last name. My SS card went fine. My DL went fine. My professional license doesn't want to let go of my original middle name but no problems just dropping off my maiden last name. Is this something I can argue about to them since i have official IDs now that doesnt contain my original middle name and maiden last name? It's so frustrating. Anyone had this problem?

    Reply
    • Valera

      Is this something I can argue about to them since i have official IDs now that doesnt contain my original middle name and maiden last name?

      Yes, as your official IDs contain your legal name, which your professional license should reflect (if you prefer).

      Reply
  29. Romelyn

    I live in california and i have the problem on my marriage certificate they put my First Middle Married instead of First Maiden Married the SS card went fine they put my maiden name but the DMV wont do it because of whats on the marriage certificate what should i do now

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Romelyn. If there's an error on your marriage certificate you can contact your vital records office to have a correction made. It's called an affidavit to amend a marriage record.

      Reply
  30. Samantha

    This article was really helpful! I guess I am just confused on how to go about this name change. I live in Ohio, and I would like to use my maiden name as a second middle name. Is this going to involve crazy court costs and months of work? Do you know what the process is to start this name change? I am a teacher and would really like to keep my maiden name for all of my teaching records.

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Samantha. You would be looking at having to petition the court. It's not a complicated process, although it'll take a bit of time to complete. You'll have to contact your local courthouse regarding procedures and fees.

      Reply
  31. B

    I live in Virginia and just got married in September, I want to add my maiden name as a second middle name, will I just need to go to the SSA and DMV in order to do this?

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi B. Also bring along a certified copy of your marriage certificate.

      Reply
  32. Heather

    Hello!

    Thanks so much for this website! It's been incredibly helpful. So we have decided to both take my last name as our second middle name and his last name as both of our last names. So I will have to add a second middle name and change my last name, while he will be adding a second middle name and not changing his last name. I have questions on this!

    Me: First Middle Maiden Fiance's Last Name
    Him: First Middle My Maiden His Last Name

    I am from Washington state, he is from California, and we are currently living in Virginia for school (but we each still have our state driver's license and residency in our respective states) and we will be getting married in Las Vegas. I am having a super difficult time figuring out how to go about the process of changing our names, and if there would be a better state for us to do this in than others? Also, I know the process will most likely be more difficult for him, but I was wondering if there are any tips on what made this process work for them, if at all?

    Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Heather. Your respective residencies preclude both of you from obtaining your preferred name change combination via marriage. You'd have to petition the court instead.

      Reply
  33. Mona

    I live in PA and have been divorced and using my married name for quite some time. I really just want to drop my married name and use my middle as my last name. What is the first step?

    Reply
    • Valera

      I really just want to drop my married name and use my middle as my last name. What is the first step?

      Does your divorce decree have an order reinstating your preferred name? If not, you could contact your county clerk's office to see if they allow modifications to a divorce decree that didn't include a name change order. Keep in mind, such name change restorations (due to divorce) are typically for restoring a maiden name or a name one possessed prior to divorce.

      If that pathway turns out to be closed to you, you'll have to petition the court for a general name change.

      Reply
  34. Valerie

    Hello!

    I guess I just need a bit of clarification so I can decide if I want to change my name. Hopefully you can provide insight.

    I was married for 28 years (in Arizona) and my husband passed away 3 years ago. I have decided to get married again this December (in Arizona) and want to take my new husband's last name, but I also wish to to continue using the last name from my first marriage.

    My question(s):

    (1) Can I get married again and legally continue to use my first husband's last name on my ID, SSN, credit cards, etc.? How would the IRS view this?

    (2) Is it a simple process in Arizona to change to a "hyphenated" last name and reflect that in all forms of ID?
    (First) (Middle) (1st Marriage Last Name – New Marriage Last Name)

    (3) Would it also be a simple process to have the 1st Marriage Last Name changed to a Second Middle so I do not have to hyphenate?
    (First) (1st Middle) (2nd Middle from 1st Marriage Last Name) (New Marriage Last Name)

    I am trying to envision all the legal complexities that can evolve with changing my name for a second time in life and how the change could impact my professional portfolio/certifications, need for new ID/passport, titles/records for real property, trust/estate planning, etc, etc, etc.

    Reply
    • Valera

      Can I get married again and legally continue to use my first husband's last name on my ID, SSN, credit cards, etc.?

      Yes, as long as you don't change your name.

      How would the IRS view this?

      Wouldn't matter, if you're not changing your name.

      Is it a simple process in Arizona to change to a "hyphenated" last name

      Yes.

      Would it also be a simple process to have the 1st Marriage Last Name changed to a Second Middle

      For that particular dual middle name choice (one containing your prior husband's last), it's possible, although you may want to contact your local county clerks and/or vital records office for clarification citing that specific quad-name choice.

      Reply
  35. Sam

    I didn't change my middle name on my marriage certificate when we got it, but would now like to change my middle name to my Maiden name and take my Husband's name as my surname as I start this whole "name change process." Can I do this without changing the marriage certificate for my new social security card application even though my marriage license has my old middle name listed?

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Sam. You should be able to use it as-is. Marriage certificate amendments are typically reserved for mistakes (e.g., typos, omissions) on the part of your local vital records office, although such policy can vary from office to office.

      Reply
  36. Erin

    Hi. I live in PA and I just got married in Aug. I went to the SS office to change my name to First Maiden Married. No problem. Then came the DMV. They said I would have to get a court order to change it. So now my SS doesn't match my license. Is there a way around not going to court and giving the 3 documents? Do I need my new license to get a passport? Lastly, when I got married they put my maiden name on it. Is that normal? First Middle Maiden?? Thanks to any advice!!

    Reply
  37. Jessie

    I live in California, The DMV REFUSES to put just the intial for my middle name… which happens to be my Maiden name. For securely issue on my behalf… How do I go about changing my Drivers license to read { First name Middle Intial Last name } Without having to go to court to do a legal name change?
    Appreciate your advise.

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Jessie. Not possible in California. Your driver's license requires your "true full name" be printed. By the way, after you update the name on your license, be sure to update your vehicle registration as well.

      Reply
  38. Becky

    Hi Valera!

    I got married October 4 and we just got the marriage certificate back. My situation is unique – I've had my father's surname my entire life, but my sisters and I have also been referred to by my mother's maiden name. I do not wish to keep either my middle name or my father's surname; instead, I want to have my first name, my mother's maiden as my middle, and then my husband's last name. The social security form has a box for "other names used" and I put Mom's maiden name in there (since I do use it and I'm hoping this would circumvent a whole probate name change ordeal). Would this end up having to go to court as a name change, or is there a chance that I could just get everything changed at once? I live in Alabama.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Becky. That's not likely to work, due to your constructing a new middle name not based upon your existing name record. Getting a court order is a surefire way to accomplish your preferred name combination.

      Reply
  39. Alexandra Inoff

    Hi!

    I was hoping for some guidance.

    I recently got married and want to take my husbands last name. I want to use my maiden name as a 2nd middle name but not really use it. I want to keep it for sentimental reasons but don't actually like the name so I want to be first name middle name married name for everything but legally have my maiden name as a second middle name. Is this possible? What would I be forced to include the full legal name (all 4) on? Would it be possible to leave the second middle name off of DL and passport or do they have to reflect the entire legal name? I live in New York if that helps.

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Alexandra. This is not possible in New York State when changing one's name due to marriage.

      Reply
  40. Hailey

    Hello. I got married earlier this year but haven't legally changed my last name yet. I've always wanted to legally change my first name and want to do it now so I only have to change all the documents once. I live in FL so I know I have to go through the court for the 1st name change. My question is will I have any problems when changing my last name to my husband's since my name on the marriage record will be different. Should I do one first or I can change at the same time. Thanks for your help on this.

    Reply
    • Valera

      Should I do one first or I can change at the same time.

      Since you're going through the court system anyway, you can change both names simultaneously.

      Reply
  41. Christa

    Hello,

    My maiden name is hyphenated and my hope upon marriage was to drop the hyphen along with the latter part of my hyphenated last name and add my husband's last name separately. However, when applying for our marriage license in New York State I was told I cannot have two separate last names and I must hyphenate. Thus, our marriage certificate lists this new hyphenated last name. However, I'm trying to find out how to either: have the first part of my maiden name and my husband's name as two separate last names (without the hyphen), or change the first part of my maiden name to my middle name and take my husband's last name. Thank you in advance for any guidance/advice.

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Christa. This sort of name modification would have be accomplished by petitioning the court in order to eliminate the hyphen.

      Reply
  42. Kate

    I'm recently married and live in NY. I have yet to change my name, but am thinking of taking my maiden name as my middle name or adding it as a second middle name.

    This is clearly stated on the NY DMV website:

    Regardless of the genders of you and your spouse, if your marriage certificate shows both your spouse's surname and your former surname, you may

    -change your middle name to your former surname or
    -choose a different middle name and
    -change your surname to your spouse's surname

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Kate. NY laws governing the duties of city/town clerks specifies what's permissible for marriage-related surname changes, yet doesn't acknowledge other name change options (e.g., first, middle). NY town clerk's website does specify first/middle name changes are not permitted.

      The NY DMV website appears to provide conflicting/confusing information, and it even has a typo in it's second bullet point. There's been NY stories of folks successfully changing their middle names, and tales of fail. Success cases typically revolve around meeting NY's 6 points for proof of name, such as the combination of your social security card and passport. But that's only if both documents have been updated with your preferred name. NY DMV even makes mention of these 6 points when it comes to name change options.

      So, can it be done? Possibly, if you have the correct documentation, completed in the proper sequence, and the agent you're dealing with is knowledgeable of the rules and allows it.

      The main question is, can this be accomplished with just a marriage certificate while not meeting the 6 points rule? At worst, that's not the case. At best, it's unclear. It's also one of those things that can vary by agent, location, and how persuadable one is insisting the necessary criteria has been met.

      Reply
      • Kate RMF

        YES. Kate – It CAN be done now! I just did it at the DMV yesterday. Got married Nov 2, 2014. All they needed was my NYS marriage certificate showing my pre-marriage name and then my new surname on the line below, and a photo ID (old license) with my old name. That was it! I even got to decide if I wanted my full maiden-middle name printed, or just the initials (I have 2 because my birth name is hyphenated).

        SO happy!

        Reply
  43. JAO

    I ran into this issue just this morning. After crying in the DMV because I had never heard of this crazy rule (the clerk told me that due to NH law they couldn't change my middle name due to marriage and I’d need a court order) and they didn’t care about the SSA receipt, I went back to work and immediately tried to find the supposed law they couldn’t cite for me.

    While I still have yet to find a rule/reg that states that a marriage license can’t be used to change a middle name (someone mentioned the RealID Act, so maybe that's is), I did find what I am hoping is a loop hole in NH.

    In the NH DVM’s administrative rules they list a passport as a possible proof of name change (see Saf-C 1011.02 pasted below), interestingly this isn’t on the list the DMV provides in the name change instructions on their website.

    I am going to change my passport and then bring that and a copy of the DMV’s own rules to the DMV and try to change it that way. I’ll certainly add to the post if this works.

    Section Saf-C 1011.02 states the following:
    Change of Name.
    (a) Within 10 days of changing a name, a licensee shall furnish the following on form DSMV 30:
    (1) Date of birth;
    (2) Former name;
    (3) New name; and
    (4) Signature of the licensee.
    (b) As evidence of a new name, a licensee shall present a copy of one of the following:
    (1) Name change petition from the court of Probate;
    (2) Marriage certificate;
    (3) Divorce decree;
    (4) Passport;
    (5) Adoption decree; or
    (6) Court decree.
    (c) The licensee shall surrender his/her driver license and the director shall furnish the licensee with a replacement driver license indicating the new name.

    Source. #8109, eff 6-24-04; ss by #10176, eff 8-23-12 (from Saf-C 1010.02)
    Current with amendments received through October 2, 2014
    N.H. Code Admin. R. Saf-C 1011.02, NH ADC SAF-C 1011.02

    Reply
  44. Erika

    Hi,

    I will be getting married next month and I'm just curious as to how I have to go about on changing my maiden name to my middle name? I don't have a middle name is it easier? What's the process??
    Id appreciate it :)
    I live in Texas.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Erika. Undergo a marriage based name change as you normally would. You can your marriage certificate to facilitate your name change.

      Reply
  45. Lauren

    Hi Valera,
    I am originally from California, which is where I will be getting married. It's also the state listed on my passport. However, I reside/work in New York (and have for nine years) and have a driver's license from this state. Will this bicoastal cross-over cause any difficulties when I try to obtain new documentation (with my new name) from the NYC DMV and other offices?

    Reply
    • Valera

      Will this bicoastal cross-over cause any difficulties when I try to obtain new documentation (with my new name) from the NYC DMV and other offices?

      No, it shouldn't be an issue.

      Reply
  46. Elizabeth

    Hello,

    After running around from office to office and getting no help I came across this article. I am sitting, waiting at my local social security office as we speak and am hoping you can help me out! I currently have two middle names and want to drop one of them. I also want to change my last name to my married name. Which order should I do this in? I live in Ohio. I'm just wondering, for example, if I do change my middle name first, then there will be a period of time where my license is not accurate because I will have a different middle name. Do I change my license, only to have to change it again once I'm able to change my last name? Or can I change my middle and last names at the same time?

    Thank you so very much!

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Elizabeth. You'll have to go through a court petitioned name change for your middle name as Ohio doesn't allow middle name changes as a result of marriage. You can either decide to just change your middle or your middle and last if you're going to court. This way you can use the court order to complete all your name change needs (e.g., social security, drivers license). If you opt to just change your middle name in court and last name after marriage, then you'll have to update your pertinent documents with the various institutions twice.

      Reply
      • Elizabeth

        Thank you so, so very much for your help. After speaking with a court magistrate and someone at the social security office, they still couldn't explain it nor understand my question. Thank you again, I really appreciate it.

        Reply
  47. cindy williams

    Hello my name is Cindy and I do not have a middle name. My name on my marriage license appears with my husband's lastname. Well I want to add my maiden name as my middle name and keep his last name. Is there a way I can do that? I live in California and someone told me I have to go through a whole court process to do this?

    Help please :/

    Reply
    • Valera

      I live in California and someone told me I have to go through a whole court process to do this?

      You were told correctly. You'll have to go through the courts.

      Reply
      • cindy williams

        Oh okay thank you.
        Someone mentioned that if I change my name at the SS office (first, maiden and lastname) first then the Dmv will go by that. Is that correct?

        Reply
        • Valera

          Correct. DMV can query the SS database to confirm your name. If there's a mis-match, then problems/delays can ensue.

          Reply
  48. Kate

    Heads up New York ladies!

    http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/David-Buchwald/story/56498/

    In a victory particularly important for women, Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Westchester) announced at a press conference that, in response to his inquiry and subsequent efforts, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will now provide a much simpler process to change middle names to maiden names on an individual’s driver’s license upon marriage. The DMV will only require a marriage certificate to make this change. Previously, the process had proven to be costly and time consuming.

    Reply
  49. Yvonne

    Hi Valera,

    I got married in Georgia but now live in Tennessee. When we applied for our marriage license in GA, I indicated that my married name would be: First Name Middle Name Married Last Name. We received our marriage license and in the portion where it has our names, my name listed there is my full maiden name. I'd like to now start the name change process in TN but would like to have two middle names (original middle name and maiden name). Is this possible to just go ahead and do this, even though I want to do something different than what I originally indicated?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Yvonne. You're likely looking at a court petition as you're seeking to construct a new multipart middle name.

      Reply
  50. Nicoe

    Hello!

    I got legally married 2 years ago in New York City (City Hall) and at that time took my husbands last name. I did not change any documents such as Social Security Car or Drivers License yet, almost 2 years later. We just had our big wedding overseas in September this year, and I am not getting around to researching my next steps.

    At the time of city hall, I did not make a change to my middle name.

    But before I go ahead and make my last name change on all of my documents like SS and DMV Banks etc – – I want to also add a 2nd middle name (my maiden name) so I don't have to do this process alllll over again!!!!

    Luckily all of my names are really short (4-5 letters each) so I shouldn't have any problem whatsoever in terms of length.

    I'm not sure what my first step should be – do I need to get my marriage license updated? Or just go ahead and apply for a new SS card ? From there, I need SS card updated so I can apply for NYState DMV correct?

    Thanks for any help !

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Nicoe. Order a certified copy of your marriage certificate from your NY vital records office, then change your name with the SS office before the DMV.

      Reply
  51. samantha

    I got married in November. I want to change my maiden name to my middle name, to take on my husband's last name. Social security gave me no issues, and my card has the name I want now. The DMV refused me, saying I have to legally change it in court. I've read that if you have your new social security card along with two other documents with your new name (passport, gov ID, tax papers) then you can go through without the court, but how can you even do that with a conflict with your drivers license and social security card.
    Now I have a hole punched license with a photo card that expires in 60 days…..so frustrating!! I don't even know who to contact in court!!

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Samantha. You also need to bring a certified copy of your marriage certificate.

      Reply
  52. Carol

    I am a resident of Maryland but getting married in Pa. where we both were raised. This is my second marriage and the first time I did not change my middle name to my maiden name…..was young and didn't know any better and did not go back to my maiden name after the divorce. Can I change my name this time to my maiden name as my middle name and take my new husband's surname?

    Reply
    • Valera

      Can I change my name this time to my maiden name as my middle name

      Yes, you can.

      Reply
  53. Kaley

    I just got married on the 28th of December. I went to my local SS office on the 31st (in Virginia, where I live) to change my name and was told that I could NOT use my maiden name as my middle name, I could only hyphenate my maiden name & last name. I wonder why I was told it was not possible?

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Kaley. Can you specify what supporting documentation you brought along?

      Reply
  54. Micki

    I got married in May and want to do adopt my maiden name as a second middle name.

    Go from: First Middle Maiden
    To: First Middle Maiden Married

    I live in Oklahoma and from what I've read here it appears it is possible.
    My questions:
    Is the only issue with having 2 middle names that it is long and may not fit into forms?
    What about drivers license, passport, SSN-will they all include all 4 names on them and if so, is that problematic?
    In this scenario, is the second middle name distinguished from the last name simply because there is no hyphen?
    Are there any other issues with this scenario?
    Thank you for pain stakingly answering all our questions.

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Mika. Names that are too long have occurred, but those situations are uncommon. It's ultimately a database issue being unable to store X number of characters within a particular name column. There won't be any issue distinguishing the splits in your name, although it may be bunched up when printed on your cards. That's just a printer/spacing issue though, which is out of your control and really isn't all that significant.

      Reply
  55. Ashley

    Wow this thread has been alive for some time!! I am elope to Boston, Massachusetts for a simple city hall marriage this spring, as my fiance and I expect to move their for his job later this year. I would like to delete my existing middle name, change my maiden name to my middle name and take my future husbands surname as my own. The FAQ section of the City of Boston website explicitly states:

    "The State of Massachusetts Marriage Intention and License only allows you to change your last name – it can not change your current first or middle name."

    Can I still use this license to take to Social Security to create my new name combination or do I need to have a court ruling first?

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Ashley. Interesting, as MA isn't one of the known states that inhibits maiden to middle name change. Now, there's a difference between just changing one's middle name and shifting the maiden name to the middle name. States that allow maiden to middle are unlikely to allow other modification types to the middle name. Have you made contact with the license office clarifying this very specific sort of name change?

      Reply
  56. Greg

    Hi Valera,

    I was looking at all your responses and you've been a great help. I was wondering if you can help me with mine.

    I am getting married in March and my fiancé is going to be taking my last name. We live in California. Currently her initials are S.L.La.Z. My last name is with an O and in an effort to make her name as long S.L.La.Z.O. She would like to drop her first name the S. Make the first L her first name and make the La-Z, her mother's maiden name and her last name, hyphenated to make it her middle name and take my last name so it will be L.La-Z.O.

    Any help or input would be greatly appreciated

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Greg. First name changes aren't allowed in California without a court order. She'll have to go through a court-petitioned the name change, which would allow her to make all the preferred modifications.

      Reply
  57. joyce

    hi! I'm under a K1 visa and i just got married last january 5 and got our marriage cert yesterday, it was written at the bottom part of our marriage cert my New name upon solemnizarion of marriage is:
    first name, its DAYCIE ANN middle name is the maiden name of my mom its SMITH (the middle name im using before i get married) the last name is hyphenated it goes like this: my surname before i got married (CASTILLO) – my husbands surname (RIVERA). So my new name today what is written below my marriage cert is DAYCIE ANN SMITH CASTILLO-RIVERA

    i went to the SS office today i bring my marriage cert and passport with me and applied for my SS number, they told me i cant put the hyphenated surname because its too long and wont fit in the card and i may have get problems in the future, what they use instead is: my first name, my old middle name and they drop my old surname and just put my husbands surname, goes like this DAYCIE ANN SMITH RIVERA. they drop my old surname, i ask them if thats the case i want to drop my old middle name and replace it with my old surname insteas but they did not allow me to do it.

    my question is what name i will be using when i apply for my DMV? for my Greencard / AOS? i think what the SsN did is conflict on what is written in my marriage cert. Its very confusing. if i want to change my marriage name and removed the hyphenated surname to make CASTILLO my middle name and my surname will be RIVERA how will i do it? please enlighten me. thank you.

    Reply
    • Valera

      they told me i cant put the hyphenated surname because its too long and wont fit in the card

      Even though the SSA database may have maximum character limits per name part, it's odd to hear your preferred last name is too long to fit. I've heard of a 21 character last name limit, but yours is 15.

      Have you considered calling or revisiting the office and inquring what the actual maximum character limit of your last name is and if you were actually exceeding it? It would be useful to also know what their maximums are for your first and middle name.

      Could it be you weren't hitting your last name max, but the totality of your name reached an upper limit exceeding what was printable? Also, are there separate limits for what can be entered in their database and what can be printed on your card?

      my question is what name i will be using when i apply for my DMV?

      Defer to SSA, but you'll still need to utilize your marriage certificate for proof of marriage.

      if i want to change my marriage name and removed the hyphenated surname to make CASTILLO my middle name and my surname will be RIVERA how will i do it?

      Assuming you can't get your SS record and card amended, you'll have to go for a court petitioned name change. But with that, are you going to hit another character limit?

      Reply
  58. Monica

    Can a bride change her middle name along with her last name when she gets married? Or can she only change her last name?

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Monica. It depends on the state. Take a look at the last paragraph of this article which specifies the states where this is prohibited.

      Reply
  59. Michelle

    Hi! This is definitely the most extensive name changing guide I have come by. Thank you! I am getting married this March in NC but live in GA. I have always gone by my middle name (can't drop it), but would like to keep my maiden name and take on my fiancé's last name. My options are to drop my first name or take on 4 names:

    Option 1:
    Middle, Maiden, Married

    Option 2:
    First, Middle, Maiden, Married

    I am having a really hard time distinguishing the legal process required for these options. I would be most grateful for any direction you can provide!

    As I weigh the options…I especially want to consider the short-term hassle and the long-term inconveniences of changing your first name or having four names. I could just drop my maiden name and call it a day, but my parents are strongly opposed to that idea. So I'm trying to give all options due diligence first!

    Thank you!!!!

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Michelle. Any first name change would require a court order. If that's an unacceptable hassle, your two options for retaining your maiden name are to shift your maiden name to your middle name, or opt for a hyphenated last name. These routes allow for a simpler name change process as a result of marriage.

      Reply
      • Michelle

        Thanks so much for the quick response! To confirm: I can have 2 middle names/4 names total? Is having 4 names problematic in any way? Other than the inconvenience of filling out forms, are there any other repercussions you can think of?

        Regarding the court order, would I apply in the state I live or the state I get married? Do you have any insight into what this process is like? Thanks again!

        Reply
        • Valera

          To confirm: I can have 2 middle names/4 names total?

          If you're looking to reconstruct your middle name using the marriage name change process, two middle names may or may not be allowed, depending on your state. As it's not a common option, you can contact your local county clerk about what's allowable. If you're looking to have dual middle names as a result of a court order, then that isn't a problem.

          Is having 4 names problematic in any way? Other than the inconvenience of filling out forms, are there any other repercussions you can think of?

          There have been reports of some SS offices and DMV computers being unable to input unusually long names to the point where they had to be clipped. It's a database column character limit issue that's set per field (e.g., first name, middle name, last name). It's not a consistent issue across locales.

          Regarding the court order, would I apply in the state I live or the state I get married?

          You'd apply in the state you live in.

          Do you have any insight into what this process is like? Thanks again!

          At the following resource, you can learn about changing your name through the courts.

          Reply
  60. Elizabeth

    I'm getting married in TN in April. I am wanting to take my fiancé's last name and move my maiden name to be a second middle name. It would be 1st-name 1st-middle-name 2nd-middle-name last-name. Is this possibile in TN?

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Elizabeth. If it were just replacing your middle with maiden, then yes it would work. Since you're looking to have a double name, you'll need to contact your county clerk's office to confirm if it's allowable.

      Reply
  61. Sheryl

    Hi, I got married in las Vegas last year. I changed my name (made my maiden name as a middle name) to SSA with no problem. Waited a couple of weeks before I went to dmv. I brought my new SSA card, marriage certificate. They told me they can't change the middle name. So on my new DL, my middle name is still my maiden middle name. I'm planning to get a passport. Will i have a problem in my application if i follow the SSA card not my DL? How do i change my name in my DL?Thanks.

    Reply
    • Valera

      Hi Sheryl. Did they provide a rationale for not changing your name? Was your marriage certificate not recognized? Yes, you can update your passport to the name that matches your SS record instead of your DL.

      Reply

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