Alaska Name Change: A Complete Guide for 2024

Alaska Name Change through Marriage, Divorce, or Court Order

Sledging through the Alaska name change process is a dreaded hassle for many a newlywed. If not through marriage, then divorce, or even court petition. It's not as hard as you may think. Let's light your path.

Marriage name change

If you plan to change your name after marriage, you can't declare it on your Alaska marriage license application, marriage license, or marriage certificate. So how do you make your mark?

The missing married name on the marriage certificate has caused many sleepless nights, catching newlyweds off guard. Here's how it works in Alaska…

Your marriage certificate will only show your and your spouse's current legal names. Agencies will derive your new name from this document, mixing and matching like building blocks.

They'll know what to do, as Alaska marriage licenses and certificates exclude new names. But what can you do? What are your name change options come time to decide? There are three:

Option 1: Taking your spouse's last name as-is

You have the option to adopt your spouse's entire last name, embracing every aspect, from hyphens to spaces and apostrophes. This is traditional approach.

Option 2: Hyphenating your last names

Hyphenating last names is a happy compromise. It keeps both identities intact. It's important to note that the joining character must be a hyphen, with no space or flush text.

Option 3: Middle name change

You can replace your middle name with your maiden name. This choice pairs well with taking your spouse's name and offers a solid alternative to hyphenating.

Getting an Alaska marriage license

You need a marriage certificate to change your name after marriage in Alaska. But you need a marriage license to get that certificate. Let's cover the full sequence of events:

  1. Where and how to apply
  2. ID and documents
  3. Application
  4. Fees
  5. Age limits
  6. Waiting period
  7. Certified marriage certificate

Caution: You can't marry your first cousin, apply-by-proxy, marry-by-proxy, or solemnize your own marriage. Blood tests ended in 1984. Common law marriage ended in 1917.

1. Where and how to apply

You can apply for an Alaska marriage license at the Juneau or Anchorage vital records office, or any Alaska courthouse. Ask to speak to the licensing officer or trial court clerk.

2. ID and documents

You must bring government-issued photo ID, such as a current driver's license, passport; or military, state, or tribal ID. Your residency is a non-issue.

You may have to show a certified copy of your divorce decree if your divorce occurred less than 60 days before applying for your new marriage license.

3. Application

You can download the marriage license application and file it in person, by fax, or by mail. Regardless of how you file, you must pick up your license in person, which is held for one year.

You must share your current and birth name, birthplace, address, phone, social security number (SSN), and marital history (start and end dates with places, and ex-spouse's name).

4. Fees

The marriage license fee is $60. One certified copy of your marriage certificate costs $30. Extras are $25 each. Courthouse civil ceremonies (by appointment) cost $25.

5. Age limits

Update: In December 2022, Alaska's marriage statutes were amended to raise the minimum age of marriage in Alaska to 16 years old. Minors aged 14 and 15 may no longer marry in Alaska.

6. Waiting period

You can pick up your marriage license three business days after applying. It'll expire three months later. If this delay may cause undue hardship, you can request a waiver.

7. Certified marriage certificate

Your marriage license comes with two short-form certificates. One witness must sign them, print their name, and supply their mailing address and email address.

Order a certified copy of your marriage certificate from the local vital statistics office for $30 after you're wed. Extras run $25. Use this document to change your name everywhere.

Divorce name change

You can change your name through divorce with ease. Just ask the judge to restore your prior name during the hearing. Your reverted name will show on your final divorce decree.

"Prior name" means you can go back to your maiden name or birth name. It refers to in-between name changes too, such as a married name from a previous marriage.

Your divorce decree is your name change event document. This slip of paper is the proof federal, state, and other entities need to update your new name within their records.

Don't get tempted into using divorce to pursue off-limit name changes. Changing your first name is out of bounds. Surname swaps beyond prior names are not allowed.

Petition the Alaska's court system if these divorce name change limitations are a problem.

Court name change

Alaska Statute 09.55.010 permits anyone to change their name for "sufficient reasons" if it's in the "public interest."

Petition your local courthouse if you can't change your name how you prefer through marriage or divorce. There are four steps:

  1. Filing your petition
  2. Newspaper publication
  3. Court hearing
  4. Certificate of name change

1. Filing your petition

Fill out Petition for Change of Name (CIV-700), Application for Legal Name Change (VS-405), and (optional) Request to Waive Posting (CIV-708) for anonymity-purposes.

File these name change forms at any Alaska superior court. Pay the $200 filing fee. Ask for an exemption (TF-920) if you can't afford the filing fees. Incarcerated can seek relief (CIV-670) too. Exemption requires disclosing income, assets, and debts.

2. Newspaper publication

The court clerk will schedule your hearing date around 40 days out. Alaska's legal notice website will display your filing for four straight weeks (unless waived upon request).

You may have to post notice in a newspaper, once a week, for four straight weeks. Or use affidavit CIV-702 to publish via online paper, email, social media, or public places.

3. Court hearing

On your hearing date, tell the judge why you're changing your name. Affirm it's not to defraud others or avoid debts. The judge will sign a judgment upon approval.

4. Certificate of name change

The court clerk will issue your Certificate of Name Change (CIV-705) after a notice of judgment gets posted on Alaska's legal notice website for one week (unless waived).

This court order certificate (which'll be a certified copy) is your name change document. Use it to change your name everywhere, including your birth certificate (for $30).

Caution: You can't use your new name until the date shown on your certificate. It'll be at least 30 days after the judgment. Begin updating your various IDs then.

Updating your documents

Now you've got your name change document in hand, you're ready to tick items off your name change checklist for real. Start with the most important documents:

  1. Social Security Administration
  2. Alaska driver's license
  3. U.S. Passport

Social Security Administration name change

You should change the name on your social security card before other documents. Mail Form SS-5 along with your name change document to complete this vital first step.

Alaska driver's license name change

You can change the name on your Alaska driver's license or state ID card by visiting a local Alaska DMV office in person.

Download and fill out the Application for Alaska Driver License, Permit, or Identification Card (D1). Take care of this within 30 days of changing your name.

It costs $20 to update or renew your standard Alaska driver's license, or $40 for REAL ID. CDLs cost $120 (standard of REAL ID). State IDs cost $15, or $35 for REAL ID.

You can pay using a credit card (Visa or MasterCard only), or a personal check or money order made out to the DMV, Division of Motor Vehicles, or State of Alaska.

Bring original documents or certified copies showing proof of your identity, lawful status, residential address, social security number, and (of course) name change.

  1. Identity (bring one):
    • U.S. birth certificate
    • U.S. passport book or card
    • U.S. consular report of birth abroad
    • U.S. certificate of naturalization
    • U.S. certificate of citizenship
  2. Lawful immigrant status (bring one if applicable):
    • Foreign passport with:
      1. Lawful U.S. visa, and
      2. Arrival/departure record (I-94)
    • Permanent resident card (I-551)
    • Employment authorization document (I-766)
  3. Residential address (bring two):
    • Utility bill (electric, gas, phone, water)
    • Lease or rental agreement (with owner and tenant signatures)
    • Insurance document (auto, dental, health, home, life, rental, vision)
    • Residential property deed or title
    • Government tax document
    • Mortgage document
    • Bank statement
    • Credit card statement
    • Alaska resident tuition proof of payment
    • Alaska tribal card (within indicated tribal area)
    • Alaska voter registration card or confirmation letter
    • Alaska car title or registration (within 30 the past days)
    • U.S.P.S. address change confirmation
    • U.S.P.S. postmarked first class mail
    • Residency attestation (on their letterhead) from a U.S.:
      • Employer
      • Government agency
      • Non-profit organization
      • Faith-based organization, or
      • Homeless or abused women shelter
  4. Social security number (bring one):
    • Social security card
    • Pay stub
    • IRS W-2 form
    • IRS 1099 form
    • SSA letter of SSN ineligibility (dated within 90 days)
  5. Name change (bring one):
    • Marriage certificate
    • Divorce decree
    • Court order
    • Adoption document
    • Amended birth certificate
    • Certificate of naturalization
    • Civil union or domestic partnership certificate

Note: If you've legally changed your name across documents inconsistently, bring supporting documents that link them together, filling in the gaps.

U.S. passport name change

The rules and fees related to changing the name on your passport depend on its age. The newer, the easier and cheaper. Here's the breakdown:

Use Form DS-5504 if your passport is less than one year old, DS-82 if it's less than 15 years old, or DS-11 if neither is true, or it's lost or damaged.

When mailing DS-5504 or DS-82, include your current passport and name change document. DS-82's fee is $130 (passport book), $30 (card only), or $160 (book and card).

File DS-11 at a passport acceptance facility. Bring proof of identity, citizenship, and name change. The fee is $165 (passport book), $65 (card only), or $195 (book and card).

Note: Expedited service costs $60 extra.

Other documents

After you've finished notifying the preceding government agencies, there remains a wealth of minor documents to amend:

  • Alaska vehicle title and registration
  • Alaska voter registration
  • Bank accounts and checks
  • Business cards and letterheads
  • Business registrations (DBA, LLC)
  • Debit and credit cards
  • Dentist offices
  • Doctor offices
  • Email accounts (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo)
  • Employers and employees
  • Family, friends, and colleagues
  • Homeowners association
  • Insurance companies (auto, life, medical)
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Mortgage company
  • Newspapers subscriptions
  • Online shopping accounts (Amazon, PayPal)
  • Pharmacies
  • Property deeds and titles
  • Retirement accounts (401k and IRA)
  • Social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest)
  • U.S.P.S. (if moving and forwarding mail)
  • Utilities (cable, electric, internet, phone, water)

If the drudgery of piecemeal name changing irks you, try our online name change kit. It's served as a huge timesaver for thousands. It can help you as well.

Our name change kit helps you change your name, either before or after marriage.

Start Your Name Change

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