1,311 Comments

Whether you have decided to change your name in order to match your new spouse's and kids' names or because you like the new name better, there are still some situations in which you may be required to continue using your maiden name. A name change is final in certain situations—if you get your name changed on your passport, for example, you will not typically need to explain what your maiden name is—but it may still come up in other situations.

There are a few specific situations in which you may continue to use your maiden name. Here are some of them:

1. In professional contexts, particularly specialized professions

If you have spent the last decade building up a professional identity and reputation, you will not want to quickly cast that off! Some people change their legal name, but continue to use their maiden name after marriage. This can be tricky when people make out checks to you, for instance, but you often just need to talk to your bank and establish that checks may be deposited in your maiden name. You also may be able to obtain authorization to do business as your new name without changing documents—this is called a “doing business as” approval, or DBA.

Licensing and legal documents may reflect your new name, but some people get around this by adding a last name: for instance, if your maiden name was Lesley Hastings, you could adopt the last name Smith by becoming Lesley Hastings Smith. This means you can often change legal documents but keep letterhead the same. In any case, there are many ways to get around the differences between legal name and the name your professional contacts know you by.

2. When you aren't ready for the name change in social situations

Many people aren't quite ready to change their name—after all, you have had the same name for your whole life until now! Yet, you want to have an easier time with insurance or paperwork, or want to conform to tradition and adopt your spouse's name. You don't have to go by your legal name in every situation. If you're meeting new people who don't know your spouse and refer to you by your maiden name, you don't necessarily need to correct them.

Meeting with old friends is another situation in which most people will continue to use their maiden name. Friends can have trouble adjusting to the new name if they have known you under one name for a long time! Since most of these situations are purely social, there are no legal ramifications. You may also revert to using your maiden name at any time if you just prefer it!

3. When you are legally obliged to disclose your maiden name

In many types of security and background paperwork, you are required to give any previous names you have gone under so that they can do a more thorough background check. This may include your passport, background checks for jobs or volunteer positions, or credit checks. In these kinds of situations, you are usually legally obligated to provide your maiden name.

How do you know if this is a requirement? Check the form—if there is a space for you to list other names you have gone under, there is usually a prompt that says “such as maiden names” in the instructions. It's usually better to be safe than sorry unless you're truly trying to escape your maiden name, in which case you can ask whoever you would submit the paperwork to whether it is a requirement to list your maiden name.

4. If you haven't yet updated all your paperwork

When you get your name changed, there are many steps to take in order to get every name updated! Your name is on everything from your credit card to your bank account, so you may not have updated all of your paperwork yet. Keep careful track of who you have gotten a name change approval from so far, so that you'll never be at a loss as to which name to supply.

Before you get official approval to use your new name, you can introduce yourself or identify yourself with your maiden name, then let them know that you are in the process of changing your name. This is often enough to satisfy requirements at places such as banks, as they understand that the name change process can be a hassle. It can certainly be more annoying when it comes to passports, since government officials tend to be more strict about names.

5. While deciding whether to go through with a name change

Some people just aren't sure whether they're ready for a name change. You might decide to change your legal name on some documents while deciding whether you truly want to change your name. You might even be on board with the name change until you actually start signing documents and introducing yourself with a new name entirely.

You aren't alone if you decide that you aren't sure if you want to go through with a name change yet, if at all. You can often change your name back to your maiden name or simply start to use the maiden name again whenever you choose to do so. If you don't want to go through the hassle of changing back the name again, you can sometimes add the new name as an alternate name to various accounts and with important agencies.

Changing your name is no small matter, and even when you change your maiden name to a new one, no rule says you need to use it in every situation or introduce yourself with it all the time! Many newly-married couples avoid the name change decision, so relax: you have time to choose where you want to use which names. You can continue to use your maiden name until you have decided whether to use it or your married name in each situation… and you may never really change your name when you're chatting with old friends!

1,311 Comments

  1. Giovanna

    Hello,
    I am Italian and married a French citizen last March 2015.
    We both live in New York City and both have a work VISA.

    He is going to apply for a Green Card soon and I will apply with him as well.

    When we first got married, I didn't change my last name.
    Then we talked about it some more and I decided to go back to city hall and change my last name to my husbands name, so my marriage certificate now reads "NAME – LAST NAME – NEW SURNAME (…)

    I am now panicking because I don't want to change anything else like my passport ( In EU it is ok to keep the maiden name on the passport for ever, it is true in USA as well ?) and I definitely don't want to change my SSN card and bank cards. I know I should have thought about it more before going back to change it only 1 week after our wedding but I didn't know there are so many things to take care of when we change name. So basically now I love having my husband's name for a sense of family and it's going to be better later on when kids come, but I am thinking..
    DO I HAVE to change back to my maiden name ? Because in NYC they make it sound like the only option is to remarry ! But I don't want to remarry obviously, our marriage was perfect.
    Can i keep the marriage certificate as is and don't change any other official document ? Can I apply for a GC with my maiden name ? Can we file taxes jointly although my name doesn't match the "new surname"?
    I think this make sense because on the marriage certificate my Maiden name still appears right after my name ?

    Thank you so much for your help !!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      DO I HAVE to change back to my maiden name ?

      No, you do not.

      Because in NYC they make it sound like the only option is to remarry !

      They're likely referring to the easier process of changing your name through marriage as opposed to petitioning the court for a general adult name change.

      Can i keep the marriage certificate as is and don't change any other official document ?

      Yes.

      Can I apply for a GC with my maiden name ?

      Yes.

      Can we file taxes jointly although my name doesn't match the "new surname"?

      Yes.

      I think this make sense because on the marriage certificate my Maiden name still appears right after my name ?

      What's on your marriage certificate isn't binding. If you've changed your mind, then you can ignore what's specified on your certificate.

      Reply
      1. Giovanna

        Valera, THANK YOU SO much for you reply ! This is very helpful and very reassuring ! All the best –

        Reply
  2. Amanda

    I was previously married in 2002, divorced in 2010 and never changed my name back to my maiden name. I am now informally married and I want to change my name (from perry to Kelly). If I change it now and we get formally married in April will my new certificate say that I (using my married name) is getting married or will it say my maiden name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Marriage certificates vary from state to state. Some will just list your current name, others will list the name you intend to change to. When you ultimately apply for your marriage license, you can specify the name you intend to change to, assuming the license form has a space to specify it.

      Reply
  3. Karla

    Hi there, ok so 2 years ago I got divorced but never dropped my ex husbands last name. (still use it on SSC, DL, Bank, Car insurance) got re married a year ago (while in the process of obtaining US citizenship) USCIS dropped my ex husband's last name and issued my certificate with my maiden name. My question is, do I need to go to court to start using my now husbands last name? I would also l9ve to drop my first name since I don't go by it, I go by my middle and last name? Thank you in advance…

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Karla. You can change your last name to your new husband's without going to court. Dropping your first name would require a court order.

      Reply
  4. Cindy

    I am considering adding my maiden name as a "second middle name", but the thought of updating all of my information is overwhelming. At a bear minimum, what do I have to change? Can I update Social Security but NOTmy driver's license, banks, medical insurance/records, etc.????

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Cindy. The bare minimum would be your SS card, although some states require you to notify the driver's license office of a name change. When it comes time for you to renew your license, you will have to do so in your new name. If you ever lose your license and need it reissued, it'll have to be in your new name. Still, it's a good idea to eventually sync your remaining records over time.

      Reply
  5. Michelle Tucker

    I changed my name after almost 3 yrs of marriage and regretred it immediately. One month later the name change caused a pile a problems professionally so I started using my previous make. I need to change my name back to my previous name. Is there any way to do this without costing a small fortune. It's been 3 months.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Michelle. You will have to go through the courts to change it again. It will cost though.

      Reply
  6. kristen

    I was recently married in Costa Rica and want to change my name but my marriage certificate from Costa Rica only has my maiden name (because women on Costa Rica do not change their name). I tried calling SSA but they indicated they are unable to make this change without photo ID with my new name. I don't know what to do!!!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kristen. Social security is the primary document that would change, so having ID in your married name prior to that would be difficult. Did you specify to them that you would be able to furnish a certified copy of your marriage certificate to serve as proof of marriage?

      Reply
  7. Delanie C

    Hi,
    My husband and I have been married since 2010 in Massachusetts. On the marriage certificate, I changed my name to his. However, I have not updated my driver's license, social security, etc. to my married name and kept using my full maiden name for everything (work, taxes and my children's birth certificate) since my husband was ok with it. I just applied to get my citizenship and asked them to changed my maiden name from my dad's last name to my mom's. Would that be a problem since I "changed" my name to his on the marriage certificate? USCIS didn't ask me about that. Thank you!!

    Reply
  8. Sarah Mack

    I am getting married in May for the first time. I am 31 years old. When I get married can I keep my middle name, maiden name and add on my married name without using a hyphen? (Therefore 4 names) I like being associated by my maiden name because I am the last one in the family but I also want to be Mrs. Johnson. Is it legally ok to have all four?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Sarah. It depends on the state, but it's certainly a viable option. Please keep in mind that your legal last name will be both names, with or without a hyphen.

      Reply
  9. Sarah

    I am remarried 13 years now, but during my first marriage, I established a business under my former husband's last name. Although I legally changed my last name and now have my husbands last name, I still use my former name for the business. I was told by my ex that I needed to stop using his name. I have been using that name for almost 30 years and I am well known with that name. I cannot change it and jeopardize my business. Can he force me to change it? can se sue me? Because I told him that I will not change it. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Gabrielle

      Its just a name its not trademarked. Its not his property. He is an idiot, tell him to get lost & good for you for being strong enough to do it! I can't wait to change back to my maiden!

      Reply
  10. Ann

    Is a DBA an option for a straight forward business only or could I also use it as artist e.g. to be employed possibly with health insurance? – or would a maiden name as middle name make more sense? I'm basically looking for a solution to use my maiden name for all business and professional related issues without using my new legal last name. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is a DBA an option for a straight forward business only or could I also use it as artist

      It's legitimate to register a DBA as an artist.

      Reply
      1. Ann

        Thank you for taking the time. I know I can register a DBA as an artist as it is just a business in the end but I am wondering if I can also us the DBA to apply for jobs and be employed under the DBA?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Ann. Your legal name would go on job applications. If a background check were to be run, it would lookup your full legal name and not your DBA. For employer tax filings, they'll use your legal name.

          Reply
  11. Jill

    I am recently divorced. I let him bully me into taking his last name about 8 years ago but I never liked it, in fact I hate the name. This was my second marriage. I'd like to go back to my first husbands last name (not back to the husband, just his name). Professionally I've recently started to get people used to the name change by putting the 2nd husbands name in parenthesis and the first husbands name as my last name. For instance "Jill (SecondHusband) FirstHusband". Is there a better way to work my way back to using that last name? If I'm applying for a new job and I want to go by the FirstHusband name but realize they need the SecondHusband name to check my work history and background, is this an acceptable way to display my name on my resume? Hope that makes sense.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jill. You can use it informally as a sort of transition period, but if you're going to return to your first husband's name permanently, then you'll have to consider going through a court petitioned process to make it official. When it comes to your resume, you'll want to use your legal name, so that background checks can be performed.

      Reply
    2. MP

      Hope this makes sense?…. No, Jill this makes no sense at all!

      Reply
  12. Shontell Mixon

    I was married on October 10th and changed my last name on my SS card on November 6th. How long does it usually takes for your marital status to update when your social is ran through the database?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Shontell. Marital status isn't really a factor when it comes to changing your name.

      Reply
      1. Shontell Mixon

        Correct me if I'm wrong, so when my social is ran it only shows that my name has been changed not that I'm married?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Shontell. That depends on who's running it and what for. If it's the SSA internally using marital status to determine something such as benefits, then yes, that could be a factor. If it's the DMV running it to see if there's a name match, then no, that won't come up.

          Reply
          1. Shontell Mixon

            It's for wage garnishment so would it be through SSA internally?

  13. MC

    Hi,
    Actually I got married in 2014 Dec and changed by last name to by husband's last name. I recently updated my passport with my husband's last name but I haven't changed any other documents like Social Security, Driver License etc. Now the question I have is I want to keep my maiden name in professional level so is it ok? However, I am planning to change it in all other documents like Social Security, Driver License.

    Thank You,

    MC

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi MC. Sure, that's a common approach taken for business reasons to maintain a professional identity without interruption.

      Reply
      1. MC

        Thank you for your response. So is there any time frame to change the name in other documents? Do I have to change the name before the tax season ends for this year ? How does it work?

        Thank You,

        MC

        Reply
        1. Valera

          So is there any time frame to change the name in other documents?

          Do you mean the window of opportunity you have to complete a name change? If so, there is no time limit. If you're asking about turnaround time, then it varies. A social security card change name can take several weeks through the mail, or faster if you do it in person.

          For your driver's license, you'll usually be provided a temporary, paper license while you wait for your real one to arrive through the mail.

          Passport completion times vary based on the current backlog, and whether you opt for expedited service. Mail vs in-person makes a difference as well.

          Do I have to change the name before the tax season ends for this year ?

          The season isn't central. You'll just want be certain the name you file with the IRS matches the SSA to prevent delays.

          Reply
  14. Xena

    Hi Valera,

    I got married in February 2015. I took my husband's last name and dropped mine, but never really updated this name anywhere ( Bank, Credit cards, work, Social Security office etc). The name is only active on my green card. My maiden name is still on all these entities. While I am very happy in my marriage I regret dropping my last name. I feel alienated from my roots. I am planning on changing my name back, and I know it will take a while to have that updated on my GC.

    1) Can I apply for a CA Drivers licence with my maiden name even though my green card and work authorization states married name.

    2)Do I file a name change with the court, even though I really never updated it anywhere apart from USCIS when filing paperwork.

    3)Do I have to change the name on my green card right away, or can I wait until I file to remove conditions on it?

    In summary, only my GC has my married name. How do I change it back to my maiden name?

    Thank You for all your help. Your blog is very helpful

    Reply
    1. Valera

      1) Can I apply for a CA Drivers licence with my maiden name even though my green card and work authorization states married name.

      The CA DMV uses the social security number/card for identity verification.

      2)Do I file a name change with the court, even though I really never updated it anywhere apart from USCIS when filing paperwork.

      Doubtful, as you're reverting to the name already present on your SSN record. Explain that you regret the name change on your green card, and would like to return to your previous name, which matches all your other documents.

      3)Do I have to change the name on my green card right away, or can I wait until I file to remove conditions on it?

      The name on your green card should match your legal name. It's best to contact USCIS to discuss the immediacy of your particular situation.

      In summary, only my GC has my married name. How do I change it back to my maiden name?

      The following link explains how to replace your green card.

      Reply
  15. R.T.

    Hi Valera,

    My significant other and I have a child but are not married. She has secured all the documentation to file to change her name to my last name legally in the county we reside. The documents require proof of birth certificate as well as ask her to provide her legal name as it appears on birth certificate. The problem is she was married before and changed her name from what her birth certificate says. We are unsure of which name to use when filling out the paper work and back ground checks for the name change. Should she list her maiden name or her married name? She is currently going by her ex-husbands last name but her reasoning for changing the name to the same as mine is as to match our child's last name. Thanks for any help.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Should she list her maiden name or her married name?

      When it asks for her current, or legal name, enter the name from her previous marriage. When it asks for birth name, enter the name on the birth certificate. The SSA keeps a history of name change, so they'll be able to map a birth name to any name revisions that took place during a person's lifetime.

      Reply
  16. Kate

    Hello,
    I recently got married and changed my maiden name to my married name on my SSN, but now realized that it will be a big pain at work to change (I'm active duty military and about to move overseas). Is there any way I can keep my maiden name on everything else and/or change my SSN again?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is there any way I can keep my maiden name on everything else and/or change my SSN again?

      Well, it'll eventually catch up with you. For instance, your driver's license needs to match what's on your SS card. Even if you don't update it immediately, when it comes time to renew, they'll want the names to sync or else your license won't be reissued. Also, when you update your name with the SSA, the IRS is auto-notified. So when you file taxes, you'll have to use your married name.

      If you want to reverse the change and return to your maiden name, you'll have to petition the court to change your SS card again.

      Reply
  17. Brandii

    Hi Valera,
    I have my DL in my married name from one state & a State ID with my maiden name from a different state that i obtained after marriage. I use my maiden as a stage name & on a situational basis…I've even been employed under my maiden name while married at some point. Is there a problem in doing this?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is there a problem in doing this?

      Not at all. You use your legal name for government and legal contexts, and your maiden name for everything else.

      Reply
      1. Brandii

        Thank you for your response.
        Another question: I have a real estate license in my maiden name. On my 1099 & when i'm receiving my check can it still be made out in my maiden? Will it affect my taxes? Or can i have my checks made out in my married name & have my 1099 list my maiden name?
        Would it be safer to disclose both names at all times for instance:
        Brandi married
        (Licensed as Brandi Maiden)

        Thanks.

        Reply
        1. Valera

          On my 1099 & when i'm receiving my check can it still be made out in my maiden? Will it affect my taxes?

          Tax documents need to be in your legal name. If you can have checks cut in your preferred maiden name, that would be fine as long as your bank is able/willing to honor them. That's something that you'd work out with your bank and wouldn't affect what you choose to do with your taxes.

          One thing to keep in mind, if you get tax refunds through direct deposit, some banks will reject it if there's a name mismatch. You'll want to clear that up with your bank if you think it might happen to you.

          Reply
  18. Janis

    January 12, 2016
    Hi Valera

    I need some clarification, I just got my divorce decree and noticed it stipulates that I am " authorized to resume the use of my maiden name". Now I did not want to change my last name – and told my attorney so – because of the simple fact that every single piece of legal document that I own is in my married last name. This is from my naturalization certificate, bank accounts, pp, SS etc.
    My question is..do I have to change all of my documents to my maiden name, or can I leave everything as it is?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      My question is..do I have to change all of my documents to my maiden name, or can I leave everything as it is?

      You can leave everything as is.

      Reply
  19. Becky

    Me and husband are to be officially divorced in february. Only thing I ever signed was the marriage license. I never had an urge to do my social security or license. Does that legally mean that I'm still married? I'm glad that I didn't. We was together for almost 11 years and would be married for 4 years in march.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I never had an urge to do my social security or license. Does that legally mean that I'm still married?

      No, when your divorce is finalized, that's the end of your marriage, legally speaking. What name you previously chose to take or not take has no affect on your marital status or divorce proceedings.

      Reply
  20. daniel

    my ex changed her name back to her maiden name after we divorced but she is still using my last name on all documents such as ssi and welfare. Is she allowed to still use my last name once she went back to her maiden name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Daniel. It depends on if she has officially changed it with the various institutions. For instance, if the divorce decree grants an order to restore the maiden name, that doesn't equate to her name legally changing. She could choose to maintain the prior married name indefinitely. She would have to update her record with the SSA for the name to be officially changed. Generally speaking, name usage/misuse can become a problem for an individual if there's an attempt to commit fraud.

      Reply
  21. Erika

    Hi Valera,

    I got married this past October, my husband and I are keeping it secret until we have a large family wedding. My questions is that I hyphened my last name and took his as well. I have yet to change my SSI card, DL, Passport, etc. I have decided that I will continue going by my maiden name for professional purposes, do I have to change all of my government ID's over yet or can I wait?

    Reply
  22. Ashley

    Hi, I got married about 7 months ago, just after graduation from veterinary school. My diploma, licenses, etc for my profession are in my maiden name. I'm considering changing my name to my husband's before renewing my license (and we are moving to a new state in 6 months). Could I make my name First, Middle, Maiden HisLast? Would I always have to sign documents First Maiden HisLast?
    We currently reside in Ohio and I was under the impression I cannot change my name to First, Middle Maiden, HisLast in this state. I'm not keen on hyphenation.
    Would it be more of a headache down the road to have 4 names?
    I'd like to continue using my maiden name professionally, and go by his last name for everything else.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I was under the impression I cannot change my name to First, Middle Maiden, HisLast

      I believe you are correct.

      Would it be more of a headache down the road to have 4 names?

      Would it be trouble for you? That's what ultimately matters.

      I'd like to continue using my maiden name professionally

      You should notify the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board of name changes. You don't have to purchase a new certificate, but you can for a small fee. So, there doesn't appear to be anything preventing you from using your maiden name professional, when it comes to licensing issues, but you may want to contact your state licensing board to confirm.

      Reply
  23. Sharon

    Hello Valera.
    I was searching for information on maintaining both my last names. I am someone who wants to have my own company under my maiden name as the company title, but I also wish to have both names appear on legal stuff.
    For example : Sharon Church Mendoza (make-up new last name).
    If it were possibleven to maintain both names legally, how would the order be?
    Thanks you for your time.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Sharon. Is either name meant to serve as your legal name? You may want to look into the use of a DBA for your business name.

      Reply
  24. Cherry

    Hi.When me and my husband got married I used my maiden name and did not opt to use his last name.But now I decided to go and use his last name and we are married now for 2 years.Whats the first thing I should do? And I don't know where to go? Pls help.thanks

    Reply
      1. Cherry

        I already have a copy of our certificate but my last name is what I used..is that ok? Should I still love on with the social security and dMV process right away? Thanks so much!

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Cherry. In most cases, that's fine. There are some states (such as California) that require the new name on your marriage certificate equal what you plan to change it to.

          Reply
  25. Jenny Fernandes

    Hi I plan on getting married in a few months and I live In the state of Massachusetts If I keep my current last name and use it as my middle name and take my new husband 's last name do I still have to change my drivers license, SS#, bank accounts or can I keep it the way it is?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jenny. No, you don't have to update any of your documents. If you don't update your documents, then your name wouldn't be legally changed. You'd just be using your new married name informally.

      Reply
  26. Michelle

    I recently got married and changed my name through Social Security. Do i have to change my DL, bank account, retirement and credit cards? I really wanted to keep my own name on my DL due to my profession.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Michelle. Some DMV's require your driver's license be updated to sync with your social security card. There's nothing forcing you to update, but when it comes time to renew, they'll require your name match what's on your SS record. So, you'd be delaying the inevitable.

      Reply
  27. Megan

    Hi Valera,

    I married my ex-husband in 2009. I took on his last name and had it changed with the social security office and on all my accounts and bank. However, in California the DMV allowed me to keep my Maiden name on my driver's license and just noted the married name on file.

    My divorce recently finalized after several years and the divorce judgment allows me to revert back to my maiden name.

    However, I plan on remarrying this year.

    I realize I can easily get a new marriage license using my CA driver's license as it shows my maiden name already.

    However, do I need to change it with the social security office back to my Maiden name before I can take on the last name of the person I am planning on marrying? (My social security card is still under by prior married name / Driver's license is under Maiden / Looking to marry and take on new last name.)

    Thank you for all your help :)

    Reply
    1. Valera

      However, do I need to change it with the social security office back to my Maiden name before I can take on the last name of the person I am planning on marrying?

      No, that's not necessary. You can change it directly to that of your new spouse.

      Reply
  28. Tamara

    Hi Valera,

    I am a permanent resident of the USA, I am married for the past six months now , I am going to apply for my citizenship do I need to put my husband last name or my name that's already on my permanent card and then change it to his later ?, please help…

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Tamara. You can change your name at the same time you apply for citizenship, which will also save you time and money.

      Reply
  29. Hillary

    I am getting married in March and going to Europe on our honeymoon in late May/early June. Is it okay to change my name on the marriage license and then wait to change all of my documents until after we get back? All of my travel reservations will be in my maiden name, so I just want to make sure it will be ok to wait to change all that until 3 to 4 months after I signed the marriage license taking my Fiances name.

    Thank you,
    Hillary

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is it okay to change my name on the marriage license and then wait to change all of my documents until after we get back?

      Yes, and it's sensible. You can consult the maiden name on passport post which elaborates on the matter further.

      Reply
  30. venus

    Hi

    Can i used my maiden name on my Public Id's even im already married? I still wanted to used my maiden name. my other Id's was name under my maiden name, but my sss id was name under my husband name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Venus. It depends on the ID type. If you've already updated your SS card, then you'll ultimately have to update certain IDs, such as your driver's license, to match. Even if you choose not to update that particular ID, when it comes time to renew your ID, it'll have to be done in your maiden name then.

      Reply
  31. Michael

    is it illegal when married and woman takes husbands name and uses her old name to meet people and make social accounts etc? fraud? Living a double life? Sleeping around,?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Michael. If someone is using a false identity for the express purpose of financially defrauding someone, that could be criminal. Think identity theft. But that's just fraud, in general. You'd get better insight consulting with an attorney to better understand where lines of criminality may be and if they're being crossed.

      Reply
  32. Elsa

    Hello. When I got married I dropped my middle name, took my maiden name as my middle name and added my spouse's name. At work, I want to use my maiden name as I've done all my work with that name and it has a good reputation attached to it. I'm in NYC. Is a DBA using my maiden name an option for me?

    Many thanks.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Elsa. If you're self-employed, the DBA is a viable option. If you're an employee, you'll want to get in touch with HR (or the equivalent) and let it be known how you prefer to be addressed in your work setting, while making sure their tax filings properly reference your married name.

      Reply
  33. Christina

    Hi,
    Im a physician. So I've made a name for myself, and want all of my insurance contracts to continue. If I change my middle name to my maiden name and then take my husband's last name. Legally would my contracts still have to be honored even though they were signed using my maiden name? Or is that only If I take both last names and do the hyphen thing?

    Reply
  34. Talia

    Hi,

    I found out that my middle name was never put on my official birth certificate. I am now about to get married and would like to add on my original middle name. Am I allowed to do this during the time I am changing my last name to my husbands? Or do I have to do something separate? I am in CA btw.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Talia. If necessary, you can look into submitting a affidavit to amend a birth record to fill in missing info. If you can provide a photo ID showing your middle name, that should be sufficient. Birth certificates typically come into play for folks that don't have sufficient ID.

      Reply
  35. Rachael Trongeau

    Hi,I got married and changed my name with Social Security right away, so my new S.S. card has my married name.I live in Massachusetts.I recently got a new Ma. I.D. but it has my maiden name and the signature is my married name.I'm confused.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Rachael. You can try to get your ID reissued with your married name. Bring in your updated social security card along with a certified copy of your marriage certificate.

      Reply
  36. Shanice

    Hi
    I had my drivers license changed to include my married name, but my ss card was never changed. Is it possible.for the dmv to just make my DL match my SS card?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Shanice. It's doubtful they'll do a secondary name change without a court order.

      Reply
  37. Kristy

    I was married and changed my last name I was remarried the same day I divorced than divorced and remarried a few months ago I still have my social security under my name when first married what do i do to get where I need to be so I have been divorced 2 times and haven't changed it was rewarded my maiden name both times.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kristy. I'm not sure what you're asking. If you're looking to change your name, what are you trying to go "from" then "to"?

      Reply
  38. Patty

    i got married 2001 my name on my married certificate says my first name maiden last name and Than husband last name at the end. i haven't changed my name on anything not ss card or anything i don't want to change my name keep my maiden name. Is that ok?. Because i haven't changed my Name i haven yet reported i'm married and im on ssi. We are in and agreement separation on document.between the two of us. . after being so long not reporting it is that a problem?. even if i didn't change my name . what do you suggest. If i report it now there will be a penalty right?.will they find out even though i haven't change my name.? The thing is i don't wanted to lose my ssi. what you think.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Patty. Name change is always optional. The fact that you chose to never change it is a non-issue.

      Reply
      1. Patty

        Hi Valera Thank you for your response, my second issue is i didn't report i was married to ssi fear of loosing my benefits, on my married certificate my name has last name as maiden name than husband last name, as i stated before i'm using my maiden name never change it. Can they find out i'm married? Can they penalty me ?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Can they find out i'm married? Can they penalty me ?

          It's possible that they will find out. There can be penalties if SS applicants or beneficiaries submit incorrect information regarding income, living arrangements, or anything that might impact benefits.

          Reply
  39. Chris

    Hi, I have a quick question. My wife lost her soc sec card with her married name. We found her old one with her maiden name. Can she still use her old one for ID, although she did change it with SS?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Chris. It's not certain if using a name mismatched version of the old card would be acceptable, as that's determined on a case-by-case basis. If an institution you're dealing with (e.g., mortgage company) needs to physically see the card, can the name mismatch be explained to their satisfaction? Maybe yes, maybe no.

      It's rare that a social security card is necessary as a form of ID. Documents such as a driver's license or state/military ID is more useful for such purposes. It's more important for you to know the SS number rather than having it in your possession at all times. Still, if you're certain you'll need it for physical ID, you should just get it replaced. There's no fee, and you're allowed up to 10 lost/stolen replacements in a lifetime.

      Reply
  40. lyn

    good day,
    i am applying to work abroad this year, but I'm thinking to still use my maiden name instead of my marriage name, but in the application for i wrote down that i am already married and also my husband's name. I haven't change my legal Id's (SSS, Passport and so on) would it be ok legaly.

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Lyn. It's not so much a question of legality, as you're not trying to commit fraud. There are many people who use their maiden name for work purposes, and their employer is aware of it. It's just important that your employer know about this and properly accommodates your preference when it comes to things like distributing salaries (whether by check or direct deposit) and tax filing. They need to use your proper legal name, even if you're going by a previous name or alias.

      Your situation is the inverse—using your married name as your work name, even though you haven't yet changed it from your maiden name. In this instance, you can present a certified copy of your marriage certificate to document your marriage and serve as intention to change your name. Or, to at least act as a bridge between your maiden and married name. So, your maiden name would still be your legal name, while your married name is more of an alias. At least until you formally change it.

      Reply
  41. Raylene

    Hi I am applying to work with a company and they are assking for my ssc and my id but my id has my married name and my ssc has my maiden name would it still work

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Raylene. It depends on the employer. It's not an uncommon inconsistency. If they need additional documentation that explains why your name has changed on your ID, you can make it known that you can provide proof of marriage by supplying a copy of your marriage certificate.

      Reply
  42. Katelyn Rodgers

    Hi there,

    I was married in 2012 and am currently filing a Dissolution. The paperwork asks me to put my full name on different forms. My marriage license and certificate are signed in my maiden name. However, the only document I changed my last name to his last name was my Social Security card. Do I now need to use my maiden name or new name on the dissolution forms? Like I said, all other forms are in maiden name.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  43. Gigi

    If I never assumed my husband, when filing for divorce do I put my maiden name on the prisoner or my married last name?

    Reply
  44. Myra

    Hi I'm getting married next month and I'm hyphening my name with my soon to be husband's name. I'll be using his health insurance but was wondering if I could use his last name on Health insurance card only or do I have to use mine and his? I'd just rather use his.

    Reply
  45. Yajaira Archila

    Hello, my name is yajaira. I got married a little over a year ago. I changed my last name on my social security card but not on my passport or ID. I want to change my name back to my maiden name on my social do you think there would be a problem? Even though I am not divorced?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Yajaira. It wouldn't be a problem, although you'll have to present a court order to the SSA in order for them to change it back.

      Reply
  46. Kristin

    I got married to a man I found out later was a ward of the state. I showed my marriage license to change my name on my drivers license and social security card but didn't change it on anything else. Is my legal name still my maiden name or will I have to get a court order to change it back? What did I need to show to have it changed?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kristin. Your legal name is the one you changed it to. You would have to go to court to return to your maiden.

      Reply
  47. Sheena

    Hi,

    I got married in California in October 2015. On the marriage certificate I changed my middle name to my maiden name and took my husband's last name. I have a few questions. First, does changing my name on my marriage license mean that I HAVE to change my name at social security, passport, etc? If not, then will this affect us if we file joint tax returns, decide to buy a house, etc.? I'm feeling as though I don't want to go through with the name change anymore. Finally, what is the process to go back to maiden name on my marriage certificate?

    Thank you,
    Sheena

    Reply
    1. Valera

      First, does changing my name on my marriage license mean that I HAVE to change my name at social security, passport, etc?

      No.

      If not, then will this affect us if we file joint tax returns, decide to buy a house, etc.?

      No, it won't affect either of you.

      I'm feeling as though I don't want to go through with the name change anymore.

      You don't have to go through with a name change, regardless of your prior intention.

      Finally, what is the process to go back to maiden name on my marriage certificate?

      Marriage certificates can only be amended for things such as clerical errors. It's considered a static, historical document. A snapshot in time. If you don't plan to change your name, you can just ignore the document.

      Reply
  48. Alia Abdullah

    I got married on in 2013. My husband is seeking divorce. The marriage license says my maiden name. All my documents has my maiden name. My SS Card, my driver's license, bank statements, and mail. He summons me with a last of his name. Example if my maiden name is Jessica White. He summons the divorce under his last name of Johnson. Example of his name is David Johnson. Can I sign the divorce papers with the last name Jessica Johnson or do I need to change all my documents to Jessica Johnson in order to sign the divorce complaint.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Alia. The papers may need to be corrected and reserved. It's best to contact an attorney or consult with legal services regarding your situation.

      Reply
  49. Heather

    Hi! My question is, how difficult is it to add my maiden name back into my legal name. Either with a hyphen or just in addition to. I want to still use my new married name but regret not hyphenation or just adding on the married name to the maiden name. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Heather. If you've already changed you name, you'll have to go through a court-ordered name change to modify it again.

      Reply
  50. Sandra Lynn Hickman

    I have resumed using my birth name…maiden name. I am divorced. I recently decided to go back to my birth name. I spoke to immigration some years ago they said my passport could continue on in my married name even if I went back to using my maiden name. That I can use both/ either name.

    In 2011 whilst still using my married name I signed enduring power of attorney documents for my aging parents. Since then I have stopped using my married name and resumed my maiden name, the registrars office said I needed certified copies of both my birth certificate and marriage certificate to prove my birth name (my original name) and the marriage certificate to prove my married name (my alias name – which is how they referred to it), and now, my current name which is my birth name…

    So my question now is – I have just signed realtor documents using my birth name for the listing of my parents home as they are now both in a nursing home. However on the Enduring Power Of Attorney documents, I am listed as per my married name. Is it necessary for me to change the name on the EPA documents in order for the real estate listing to be legal ? This is an urgent matter as the listing is impending now. Many thanks for your earliest reply, Sandra

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Sandra. It shouldn't be an issue, as 1) your identity wouldn't/shouldn't be in question, and 2) any name change timeline can be documented. Still, it's a good idea to ask the realtor or attorney if you need to update any documents.

      Reply
  51. Jane

    Hi,
    I recently applied for a marriage certificate in NY State. We have 60 days to officiate the license. My question is at the time I was asked if I want to keep my maiden name. I wasn't sure so I said yes.
    We have our ceremony this coming week. I am contemplating now changing my maiden name to my fiance's last name. Would that be a problem. The license has not been certified yet since we are not married yet. Would a new license have to be filled out with my fiance's last name or can the town clerk just cross our my maiden name and input my fiance's name?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jane. It doesn't prevent you from adopting a different surname later on.

      Reply
  52. Rose

    I have a question. I just got married and put my maiden name as my middle name and my husbands name as my last name on my marriage certificate. I also lost my drivers license. Can I get a new DL with my maiden name, since my college financial office told me to wait a year to change my name with FAFSA because it could be a very long complicated mess? Is it ok to legally use my maiden name for a year before changing it?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is it ok to legally use my maiden name for a year before changing it?

      Yes, it's fine.

      Reply
      1. Rose

        Even in MA where there's a specific box that you right your surname after marriage?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Rose. I'm not sure what box you're referring to. If you're going to wait to formally change your name, then your maiden name will remain your current legal name. That's the name you'll use on everything.

          Reply
  53. Tahli F

    Hi,
    I got married 11 years ago and would like to hyphenate my last name.
    How can I do this?
    I live in CA.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Tahli. Certified marriage certificate, to SSA, to DMV, etc. Take a look at the procedure article for further info.

      Reply
  54. MegO

    I have a question on what the best legal option is! I want to keep my maiden name professionally as I have built a lot around it now, but I want to be able to use my fiance's last name for like travel and medical continuity. Is it better to change my middle name to my maiden name and use his last name, or to have 2 last names without a hyphen? I am trying to find the least confusing way to go about still using my maiden name and can't seem to find many answers…

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi MegO. Whichever name sequence/construction you choose won't have any legal bearing. It's best to pick whichever legal name you prefer, while you continue to use your established maiden name professionally.

      Reply
  55. Kels

    Im in south carolina. I got married 2 yrs ago. I ran to ss office and dmv to drop my maiden and gain my marital. Now i want to add my maiden name to my marital name. First middle maiden -last. Can i? How do i go about? And when i sign documents do i sign first maiden-last. Or can i sign first and last? Thanks in advance!!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can i?

      Yes.

      How do i go about?

      Court order.

      And when i sign documents do i sign first maiden-last. Or can i sign first and last?

      Maiden-last for legal documents. Alternative spelling for less consequential documents.

      Reply
  56. Karen

    I notice that the DVLA state that I must inform them of any name change. I got married 7 weeks ago but I can't get used to the new name and I am certainly not ready to change it on official documentation. Am I still required to inform the DVLA and is there a time limit? All other documentation is in my maiden name. Please advise.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Am I still required to inform the DVLA and is there a time limit?

      Since you haven't changed your name, there's nothing to notify them about. There's nothing you need to do. If you ever do change it (a week/month/year later), then notify them.

      Reply
  57. jacqueline osuna

    Hi,
    I got married in 1996, got separated in 2000( not annulled yet). In 1998 I used my married name in my college documents(went back to college late) but never changed my passport,drivers license, sss, health insurance, bank account etc. would this be a problem?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jacqueline. Unless there was an attempt to commit fraud or evade legal/monetary obligations, then I wouldn't look at it as being a problem. It's more a matter of do you need or want your college documents updated to reflect your legal name?

      Reply
  58. Val

    Hi,
    I have this question for you. I am an american citizen by birth who married a Saudi citizen. We have been married 15 years. I took his last name at the time of marriage and have been using it since. He obtained his green card shortly after that. Recently, he became a US citizen and was offered the option to change his last name. Since our last name is quite complicated, we decided to shorten it. I am panicking now. I am not sure if this name change just applies to him only.

    I had assumed that it would apply to both of us and did not give it much thought. We have a document that was signed by the judge at his citizenship ceremony last week that shows the new name change.

    I know that he will need that document when changing his last name. I had planned to take our marriage certificate that shows my maiden and our married last name, my birth certificate, and drivers license with my married name, and of course my husband's new name change document with me to the SS office in attempt to change my name as well. Does the name change apply to me too?? So scared. I don't want to have different last names.

    Reply
  59. Andrea

    Hi, I'm really hoping you can help me! I've been married for six years, and took my husband's last name legally. All of my documents, SS card, bank accounts, paychecks, insurance, etc. are under that name. But I continued to go by my maiden name at work – this is my second marriage, so I've already been through the "please note that after Monday my new name will be X" process twice with all of my business contacts. They have known me as Andrea Maidenname for more than 10 years at this point. Also, I work at the same company as my husband, and I would prefer that people think of me as my own person rather than as "X's wife".

    All of a sudden the senior management at my company (HQ in Europe) has started referring to me in mass emails as "Andrea Maidenname (Marriedname)". This isn't, or wasn't, I guess, widely known information, and I complained about my marital status being made public. They informed me that from a legal standpoint, because my legal name is my husband's name, they have to make it known. Is that true??? Because it feels to me like someone just wanted to make sure everyone knows who I'm married to.

    Any advice you have would be appreciated.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Andrea. This appears to be a HR issue specific to your company. You can ask this be overridden within their database/software. I assume most companies would like to keep their longtime employees happy and not get into a dispute over the display name in an automated email distribution. You may have to put it in writing to explain your case. If they need something to go on to justify the change within HR, perhaps you can suggest the use of an alias as a compromise? For instance, you can register a fictitious business name (e.g., doing business as Andrea MaidenName). This may give them an "out" to accept the change, for your particular case. Would they accept this?

      If they're not willing to bend on this, you could legally change your name back to your maiden, which is something I assume you'd prefer to avoid.

      Reply
  60. Lisa

    Hi. I was married in NYC and hyphenated my last name with my husband's. I have never used this name on anything and have exclusively used my maiden name as I always had – At work, taxes, drivers license, passport, health insurance, pension, etc. Could this cause me any difficulty or my husband if he needs to collect my SS or pension? Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Lisa. If you haven't changed your name with the SSA, it's a non-issue.

      Reply
  61. Lisa

    I am a lawful permanent resident and need to renew my green card soon. My marriage certificate has my maiden name and I still use my maiden name on my ID, SS, bank cards etc. Now, I need to renew my green card and I'd like to have my husband last name instead of mine. Do I need to have a new marriage certificate with my husband's last name before renewing my green card? Thanks.

    Reply
  62. Kiya

    I've been married for 6 years now and never changed from my maiden name personally, professionally, legally, etc. My husband supports me 100% and loves my independent spirit (most of the time LOL!). We have no kids or passports, but do have joint accounts, policies, and tax returns, no problems. I don't regret my choice, but I do contemplate the idea of hyphenating sometimes, just to have both. I've seen info on how professional ladies with publicaions manage this, but have never seen my particular concern addressed. I have professional licenses, malpractice/liability insurance, and state/ federal insurance/billing credentials, etc. If I did legally hyphenate my last name, does anyone know what the impact is on those things? Does it cause suspicion, fraud inquiries, billing reviews, etc. The idea of that is overwhelming, both personally and professionally. Anyone with any insights?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kiya. You'd have to contact your state's licensing board to determine if you 1) must notify them of a name change, 2) are required to have your licenses reissued with your updated name or is notification only to update their internal records sufficient. For insurance and government purposes, you'll likely have to use your legal name.

      Professional people undergo name change all the time, so the main thing you'll be dealing with is how to achieve some continuity—bridging your maiden name history with your hyphenated.

      Reply
  63. maine

    Has anybody tried renewing their Philippine passport without filing a Report of Marriage? I was married last 2014 and now separated with my husband. We agree to get divorce. Do i still need to report our marriage? My passport will expire on May and I don't want to change my maiden name in my passport.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Maine. Under Philippine law, the Report of Marriage is mandatory. If you don't file it, you're still considered "single" in the Philippines. When you renew your passport, you won't have to change your maiden name. Even if you had filed a ROM, you'll could still renew in your maiden name.

      Reply
  64. Maggie

    I want to change my first and last name soon. I would like to know if I have to make my job aware of this? I don't plan on staying in this job for more than 3-4 months. I just want to avoid the questions that will be asked, as to why I changed my name. Practically everyone at my work loves to talk.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Maggie. You'd want to notify your employer for tax-related purposes.

      Reply
  65. Kristina

    Hello, I'm a German citizen living in ca for over 10 years. I have my own green card and am ca 2 years away from applying for us citizenship. Before I can do so I have to apply in Germany for permission to keep my German citizenship / dual citizenship.

    My us fiancé and I are getting married next month in CA. I have to choose what name I would like to carry on the CA marriage lisense. Now my issue is:
    – I'm interested in taking on his last name so our future children will share a commun family name. But I do not want to change anything on ssi, dl, green card, passport, bank accounts until I am done with all German and American citizenship matters. Is it best to change it on the marriage lisense now but not change it anywhere else for about two years and then just change it when giving the oath during naturalization?
    – in Germany we have a law that after a marriage abroad you do not have to use the nane on the marriage lisence if not filing for a change in Germany. The marriage however is legal. But then I would have a German passport with my maiden name before and after marriage. But once naturalized a us passport with my married name (not a combined name, only my husbands name). Is that possible? How would I go about names on plane tickets, visas etc?

    I reside in the us and pay taxes only in the us.

    Looking fwd to some deeper insides. I have done a lot of research but no info seams definite. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is it best to change it on the marriage lisense now but not change it anywhere else for about two years and then just change it when giving the oath during naturalization?

      Yes.

      Is that possible? How would I go about names on plane tickets, visas etc?

      Yes, it's fine. When purchasing plane tickets from the U.S. and its territories, use the name on your U.S. passport.

      Reply
  66. Crystal

    Can I use my old ss card with my maiden name after divorce or do I have to go get a new card with my maiden name

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Crystal. If you hadn't changed your name on your social security card, meaning it's always been your maiden name, then you can continue using your card as-is. Your name has never been altered, so there's no point in getting a new card or notifying the SSA of anything. On the other hand, if did change your name with the SSA, then you should notify them of the change, and have them reissue you a card. Yes, it'll match the name on your previous card, but what's important is that their internal database record be up-to-date.

      Reply
  67. Vivienne

    We are in CA. We got married 6 years ago and I didn't change my last name. I have my professional life under my maiden name and all other legal docs, included our mortgage. Now I am pregnant and thinking to add my husband's last name as a second last name (no hyphenate, 2 last names; First, Middle, Maiden Married). I know I need Court order to add his last name. My questions are; 1) After I added his last name, Is it possible to use husband's last name(4 names) only on my US passport and everything else stay same (only my maiden name)?
    2)Is there any confusing or conflict on the travel when my passport has First, Middle, Maiden Married name and DL has First, Middle, Maiden? Or buying the ticket with First, Middle, Maiden Married will solve the problem?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Vivienne. You can do this. When you buy airline tickets make sure they match the name on your passport. Carry a certified copy of your court ordered name change document with you to answer any confusion that may arise over your passport name differing from your driver's license.

      Reply
      1. Vivienne

        Thank you so much for your time and answer. Just want to clear; even though adding the husband's last name by court order there is no requirement to change any legal docs or loans. I can still continue use only my maiden name every legal docs and title and loan. Did I understand correctly?
        Thanks in advance

        Reply
  68. Kathy

    I am getting divorced and want to go back to my maiden name. Unfortunately, not my first marriage. I have been married three times and each time took my spouses names. Do I need to list all of those names (and my original maiden name) on the petition (NYS) when asked "do you have any other names that you use?"? thanks!

    Reply
  69. Andrea

    I'm getting married in June, and I'm considering last name options. I want to take my husband's last name; however, professionally, I'm not sure what to do with my license. I've been known professionally by my maiden name for 10 years, and it would involve changing 2 state licenses and a national board license.
    What do most people do in this situation?
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Andrea. That's determined by your licensing boards. Some may allow you to continue using your professional name as long as their records are updated to log the name you've legally changed to. You'll have to get in contact with them to determine if your license(s) will need to be reissued.

      Reply
  70. Naureen Benjamin

    Hi Valera,

    So just to confirm, if I change my last name on my marriage license to my husband. I have the option to change it? I'm getting married on May 21, 2016 and I decided to take my soon to be husband last name but don't want to go through the hassle of changing everything. Is that ok? or Am I required to? Just want to confirm that I dont have to if I don't want to

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is that ok? or Am I required to? Just want to confirm that I dont have to if I don't want to

      You've got it right. It is not required. You do not have to change your name regardless of what you specify on your marriage license.

      Reply
  71. tracey

    if my social security card is still in my maiden name but i have a state ID in my marriage name can i change my state id back too my maiden name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Tracey. It's unlikely unless you can provide a document verifying a name change from your married to maiden.

      Reply
  72. Laura O.

    Valera,
    I got married two months ago, I changed my name on my SSC, and I'll do the same on my DL. Now, I'm a permanent resident in the USA, and I want to keep my Maiden name until I become a citizen. Can I do that?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Laura. Since you've updated your SS card, it's a good idea to report your name change and have it updated universally.

      Reply
  73. Ms. Yel

    Good day! Greetings with peace!

    I am married since 2003 and got separated last 2010. I am currently working here in Palau, and I filed my Divorce here and got my Divorce Decree May of 2016. I am married in Phils to a Filipino Citizen also. My question is can I revert my passport name to my maiden name? And can I remarry a Palauan National here?

    Thank you so much.. Looking forward for your response. God bless.

    Reply
  74. Dawn

    Hello. I have a question. How hard would it be to go back to my maiden name even though I am still married. I need to do this for medical reasons. There is another person in the same city that I live in with the same first, middle, and last name as me and born the same year but different month and day. I still want to stay married obviously, just want to go back to my maiden name so there won't be any more confusion since we go to the same doctors, hospitals, etc.

    Reply
  75. Lori P

    HI,
    So, I have been married for 18 years and have children with a traditional name change with my husband. I am now going back to work in my old profession (counseling) and there are reasons my maiden name would be less distracting in a counseling situation. I am about to get a part-time job at the place I want to work full time eventually and I am wondering if I can just go by my maiden name for clients or if I have to change it officially?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Lori. That would depend on the requirements in your place of employment as well as any state regulations you'll have to abide by regarding the accurate disclosure of your identity.

      Reply
  76. Megan L

    Hi! I am going to apply for my marriage license in NYC soon. I'm wondering, if I change my name on the marriage license to my husbands name, but then never change it anywhere (SSN, passport, DL, banks, etc), can I just continue using my birth name on all of these? Is there any legal problems with this. Basically, is there a law that says I have to change my name on these forms and is it illegal for me to have taken my husbands name on the marriage license but not change it anywhere else?

    Additionally, if several years after our marriage we decide to have children and I want to change my birth name to my husbands last name, so I then just apply to the SSN, Dmv etc. even though several years have passed since my marriage? Thanks!!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I'm wondering, if I change my name on the marriage license to my husbands name, but then never change it anywhere (SSN, passport, DL, banks, etc), can I just continue using my birth name on all of these?

      Yes.

      Is there any legal problems with this.

      No.

      Basically, is there a law that says I have to change my name on these forms and is it illegal for me to have taken my husbands name on the marriage license but not change it anywhere else?

      There's no such law.

      so I then just apply to the SSN, Dmv etc. even though several years have passed since my marriage? Thanks!!

      Correct, although you may have to provide additional identity documentation, which typically isn't much of an issue.

      Reply
  77. Sandra Woodward

    I'm getting married soon. If I decide to keep my maiden name (which is Woodward) is it still proper to introduce myself as Mrs. Sandra Beal (which is my future husband's last name.)

    If I decide to use Sandra Rae Woodward-Beal as my married name will I have to change SS, drivers license and everything else or can I still them under my maiden name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      If I decide to keep my maiden name (which is Woodward) is it still proper to introduce myself as Mrs. Sandra Beal (which is my future husband's last name.)

      There's nothing wrong with you using the name informally.

      If I decide to use Sandra Rae Woodward-Beal as my married name will I have to change SS, drivers license and everything else or can I still them under my maiden name.

      If you're using the name informally, but don't wish to update your documents, that would be up to you. You're not required to make any change. You can maintain your maiden name for however long you choose. You don't ever have to change it.

      Reply
  78. Esperanza

    Hi i have a question I have to go to court next month and I started renting with my maiden last name
    (I have been renting there for ten years now) and put my real social security number and everything but I was married already and didn't use my new last name and now my court papers have my old last name can I get in any legal trouble because i used my old last name now I am going to go to court and well what should i do or say about my last name? or is there no problem because of that ? is that something I should ignore ?is that something I should worry about? if so please let me know

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Esperanza. It's not something you should ignore, nor is it something you should be nervous about. The court should reference the name that's currently on your social security card. Notify them of them of your current name. Furnish a certified copy of your marriage certificate, if necessary, to confirm your name change event.

      Reply
  79. Judith

    Hello, I recently applied for a job and was hired. I work with a family member who doesn't know I'm married and I'd like to keep it that way for personal reasons. So I asked the work place to use my maiden name, instead of my legally changed name. However HR has called and wants it to all be my legal name. Is there any way around this? If I hyphen my last name to both will I be able to keep the work place name the same without showing the married one? Can I hyphen it without a court petition? I would just like to add my maiden name not drop my spouses name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is there any way around this?

      Unfortunately, this is a matter that'll have to be determined by your HR department. If you explain your issue they may be able to accommodate. Perhaps with the use of an alias or addendum record referencing your legal name internally without disclosing it publicly.

      Can I hyphen it without a court petition?

      No, hyphenating your name after you've already changed it would require a court petition.

      Reply
  80. Claire

    I'm a physician. I wasn't married when I graduated from medical school, but got married at the end of fellowship. I changed my name to First MaidenName HisLast. This is the name on my board certification and state license. I took some time off to be with our kids and am now going back to work.

    I'm wondering if there is any legal reason I can't be referred to as Dr. MaidenName, as long as my badge has my full name and my full name is on my paperwork. Can I ask that emails, memos, etc be addressed to Dr. MaidenName and that I be addressed as Dr. MaidenName?

    Thanks so much for your time –

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Claire. That would be an employer/HR decision. If your place of work doesn't object, and are able to technically accommodate your preference across correspondences (e.g., email, memos), it shouldn't pose a problem.

      Reply

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