Name Change After Marriage in Arizona
If you are thinking about changing your name in the state of Arizona, there are a number of things you need to pay attention to, depending on if your name change is due to marriage, divorce, or petitioning the court.
You can use our online name change forms to dive right into changing your name without going through a how-to.
Marriage name change
In the state of Arizona you can definitely change your name after marriage and you don't need to get a separate adult court ordered name change. The first thing you need to do is apply for a marriage license; it's a must before a couple gets married in the state.
Since there is no waiting period, getting a marriage license in Arizona is one of the easiest across the country. First off, the marriage license filling fee is around $76 and both parties need to be above 18 years old. It's also important for both parties to appear together for the license while carrying the right identification as proof of age, which should be a passport or a photo ID issued in the United States.
The two applicants will then sign and swear to two affidavits that the personal information they have provided is correct. In case one of the parties is 16 or 17 years old, it's important for a legal guardian or parent to accompany them during the signing of the consent form; the minor also needs identification in the form of a birth certificate. If the applicants, or one of them, is 15 years old and below, the law demands the Juvenile Superior Court Judge to sign the order (get more information from the Conciliation Court in your County).
The $76 fee is payable by cash, although some counties may accept a check, money order, or credit card. A blood test is not required to get a marriage license in Arizona. Since there's no waiting period in the state, the applicants can complete the marriage within the same day of receiving the marriage license. The license is valid for a whole year or 12 months and can be used in any place within the State. Marriage is performed by anyone legally authorized for this purpose in the State of Arizona; this includes magistrates, judges, church recognized ministers with authority to officiate weddings, and Arizona justices of the peace.
After the marriage has taken place, the marriage license's bottom portion has to be returned to the office of the Clerk of the Superior Court for recording. In a nutshell, you need a fiancee, a fee of $76 and proof of your age to get a marriage license in Arizona.
To change your name after marriage after getting the marriage license and completing the ceremony, simply get a certified copy of your marriage license and use it to change your name with the various governmental bodies and institutions, such as the motor vehicle department, Social Security Administration, and passport office.
While changing your name as a result of marriage there are a number of options to choose from, such as:
Adopting your husband's
Simply drop your last name and take your husband's, as has happened traditionally.
Remain with your name as it is
You can also decide not to change anything and simply continue using your name as it is.
You can use a hyphen between your last or middle name and that of your husband rather than drop your name completely.
Use without hyphenation
You can also go ahead and use both names (your maiden or last name and that of your husband) without hyphenation by adding it onto yours.
Husband taking wife's name
A husband can still take the wife's name but not via marriage license, but through a legal name change, which includes same sex partners (these laws are always changing and it's always important to check with the laws of the state).
Divorce name change
Due to divorce it's normal for both or one of the couples to show a desire to effect a name change. If the man or woman wants to return to a prior or maiden name the easiest process is requesting the attorney to include the change of name as a part of the process of divorce. However, if you seek to adopt a wholly new name that you have never used before during the process of divorce this is not possible; you'll have to follow another separate procedure.
The Response to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage forms have a section where any of the two parties to the divorce can ask the court to order a return to a prior name.
If the divorce is finalized and completed without any of the parties asking for a prior name restoration, a name change procedure can always be initiated separately as provided by the law of Arizona.
General adult name change
If you intend to change your name separately from the divorce or marriage name change procedure, use the general adult name change process provided by the law. The process is fairy simple through the Arizona Superior Court Clerk.
The first thing is getting the Application for Name Change form as well as the Order Changing Name for an Adult form, which you can either download or collect in person from the court clerk within your county.
Go ahead and fill in the application for a change of name with required details such as date of birth, address, name, reason for the name change, as well as indicating whether you have ever been convicted before.
The Order Changing Name should also be completed, which contains contact details. It's the form that the judicial officer will sign indicating that you can also receive a new/another birth certificate carrying the new name in the State of Arizona.
The original documents, as well as two copies, should be submitted to the court clerk. Pay the filing fee required–remember fees in Arizona are not uniform and those unable to afford them can request deferment/waiver.
Get an Order Changing Name certified copy and ensure the court clerk has issued a hearing notice. The clerk will also let you know the hearing process of your own county. The order's certified copy is only issued if the change of name has been approved. This order is what you need to have around to apply for a change of name with such agencies as the Social Security Administration and motor vehicle division.
Child name changes
To change the name of a child, you might want to ascertain first that you are able to do so. Arizona law allows a legal guardian or the parent of the child to effect a name change for children below the age of 18. Remember the child must be living within the county in the State of Arizona where you are filing the request.
It's important to ascertain if you require an order from the court to complete the process. For instance, if you are just seeking an amendment of the minor's name on his/her birth certificate, a court order is not needed. If the name change is for other reasons, such as adoption, a court order is needed.
Changing the name of the child on a birth certificate can be done easily if the child is not yet above two years of age. After one year you will need a court order to complete the process. Remember the name change must be shown to be in the best interest of the minor.
The right form to fill for a minor in Arizona is the Application for Change of Name for a Minor Child; collect the proper form from the courthouse of your county or visit their website, if any. The form should be properly filled out and shouldn't be folded so that the black ink used to fill it doesn't stain the document. In addition, information about the minor has to be filled, such as the address, relationship with the applicant, full current name, place and date of birth, requested new name, and reasons why the name change is needed.
You need to fill the Civil Cover Sheet properly as well; it will accompany the petition for the name change. It's important since it informs the court of the kind of civil action being requested. Note you have to provide information about yourself as well; your name as the plaintiff, the name of the attorney and if your representation is pro se or yourself, you name has to go in that space.
Ensure you have at least two copies of all the forms except the civil cover sheet, including extra copes for the Application for Change of Name for a Minor. The forms can be filed at any of the courthouses within your county or with the Superior Court Clerk's Office.
The clerk's office will help you with the filing to ensure all is well. This is also the place you need to file your fee through any of the payment options accepted such as cash, MasterCard or Visa, personal check or money order. The fee is not uniform across all the counties within the State of Arizona; for instance $319 is the fee you need to petition for a name change in the County of Maricopa.
Those unable to afford the fees can apply for waiver/fee deferral that comes with a plan of payment; you need two recent paystub copies for this. As you get your forms, ensure the copies have been stamped as required by the clerk as the original application will be retained by the court clerk, including the civil cover sheet.
After the application has been filed, wait for about four business days before approaching the court for a hearing schedule in the location where the application was filed. After the hearing has been scheduled, the form on Notice of Hearing on Application for Change of Name has to be filled with the Court Clerk.
Notify the other parent of the minor on the intention to seek a name change. If you're a legal guardian, both biological parents of the child have to be notified. A child below the age of 18 but 14 years of age or above has to sign consent before a notary public to change his/her name or appear at the hearing for the name change. If the parents/other parent agree with the change of name they need to receive a stamped copy of the Notice of Hearing and the application, as well as filling the Waiver of Notice and Consent of Parent to Name Change of a Minor Child forms in the presence of a notary, which you will avail at the hearing.
A parent who doesn't agree with the change of name needs to receive the application's copy, stamped, including a copy of the application and Notice of Hearing as well as completing a notarized Acceptance of Service document. If you have no idea where the other parent of the child lives, serve a notification legally through a newspaper by having the Notice of Hearing published.
Before appearing at the hearing, collect the Order Changing Name for Minor from your county's website or courthouse. Attend the hearing with all the forms and documents required and receive the order from the court confirming the name of the child can be changed.
Change of name on birth certificate
The birth certificate is amended by sending a certified copy of the court provided order to the Bureau of Vital Records to reflect the new name and pay the right fees. Note in Arizona the birth certificate records are maintained within counties and application should be made to the county where the applicant was born.
Name change on Social Security, DMV, IRS
Approach the Social Security Administration for another Social Security card before heading to the motor vehicles division to effect the name change on your identification/driver's license. Approach the Bureau of Vital Records within your county for the same, in person or via mail.
Go ahead and approach insurance companies, finance institutions, such as banks, employer and credit card companies, among others, with the order to change your name and request them to adopt the new name.
Documents recognized for the change of name event
- Certified copy of marriage certificate, for marriage name change
- Certified copy of divorce decree, for divorce name change
- Court order, for adult name change
- State or government issued identification document
I was married in a different state and had my name hyphenated. I now want to drop my maiden name, is this possible in Arizona.?
can you drop a hyphenated last name even if married in another state?
Hi Shanita. Did you already go to the SSA to update your name?
If you already underwent the legal name change process, then you'll have to obtain a court order to change it again.
If you merely specified a new name choice on your marriage license application, but haven't actually followed through with the name change, then you may be able to exclude your maiden name.
If I go get married at courthouse and want to change my last name to my husbands how much does that cost?
Hi Coralina. Getting married at the courthouse doesn't have any impact whatsoever on how you'd go about changing your name.
Does the marriage certificate need to be changed and have the husbands last name for the wife or does the marriage license show reason/cause for the name change and I just need to proceed with changing the last name on SSN and DMV?
Hi Jacob. Your latter interpretation is correct. The license/certificate doesn't have to reflect a new chosen name. The document is used to legally justify a name change.
I was married in a courthouse many years ago and now would like to take my husband's last name. I have what appears to be the original marriage certificate stamped with a seal. My husband had taken care of all the legal business and I thought it had been filed with the courts. Can I use this certificate to go to the SS office to apply for my name change or do I still need to request a certified copy?
Hi Jennifer. If the certificate contains a recording date, that's the document you'll need when going into the social security office.
In the State of Arizona if I want to do business under my maiden name but still want to keep my married name, what do I have to do legally for the IRS?
Hi Laura. It would affect you if you need to obtain a EIN (Employer Identification Number) for your business.
I went to buy my marriage license but I didn't get asked if I wanted to keep or change my last name to my groom's last name im not sure if I was supposed to. The marriage license has all my maiden name.
Hi Liz. Not all states ask for this on their forms. Arizona's marriage license applications are typically designed on the county level and as far as I know they do not ask about new names after marriage.
From what I have read from previous questions, the marriage license does not reflect a name change. A legal name change application and process would be need to be completed. Are the rules the same for same-sex couples? The reason I ask is because I recently learned that it’s easier for a woman to assume a man’s last name than vise-versus in a heterosexual relationship. What about two women who obtain a marriage license and one spouse wants to change their last name?
Hi Tye. The process is the same.
I had my name changed with my husband consent in 1995 or 1996 . I have lost all my paperwork and need copies of this paperwork. How would I go about getting this information. Thank You.
Hi Catherine. What paperwork do you need? Marriage certificate? Court order? Social security card?
Hi, I just got married and am now applying for the Adjustment of Status (I came with a K1 fiancee Visa). The marriage license and certificate reflects my maiden name as on the passport, now I am confused because I was told I should fill in my "new" name on the AOS forms, meaning my husband's last name, in order to get the documents on my married name. But on the other hand the form is asking for my current legal name, which would be my maiden name, right?
So should I go to cityhall and have my last name changed properly before filing the AOS, or is this not necessary? And if I understood well, I can choose having my name with maiden name AND husband's last name, no hyphenating, right? Thank you so much in advance!
Hi Ana. You'd use your marriage certificate to complete your name change with USCIS. Obtaining a space-separated surname is not certain. It can depend on the flexibility or rules interpretation of the agent you deal with.
I be been married before and am getting married in AZ. The lawyer forgot to give me back my maiden name when I was divorced 9 years ago. On the marriage/wedding certificate, for my new name, I'd like to take my fiancé's last name, and also add back in a birth middle name – that got dropped along the way and my maiden name, along with my fiances name. First, middle, maiden, new last name. Can I do that? Right now I just have first, middle, old married name.
Can someone answer this?
Hi Ann. You can take your fiance's surname, but the other name changes would require you to petition the court.
I am married but I am in the process of dissolution of marriage, can I change my last name back to my maiden name before the dissolution is completed?
You would have to petition the court separately if you didn't want to wait until your marriage was fully dissolved. If you want to avoid that expenditure and exercise, you'll have to wait until the dissolution is done.
Are there instances when a biological parent doesn't need to be notified of a name change? Never married or paternity established situations?
Hi Jane. The Superior Court doesn't distinguish between how a "parent" is classified. It simply says the other parent must be notified. If the other parent's whereabouts are unknown, a publication must be ran in an accepted newspaper about the upcoming name change hearing for four straight weeks.
After the newspaper, what if no response is made from the other parent
Then the case will move on without their input.
I think I made a huge mistake on the Marriage license and certificate. It was filled out with my current name, not the name I want to change it to. The application didn't say anything about new name. It just asks for your info and social security number. Did I do it wrong?
You filled out the application correctly.
I have been married for 3 years but kept my maiden name. I want to change it to my husband's last name. I delayed changing my last name due to school, school applications, moving, etc., and it was just easier to keep my last name at the moment. I'm from TN with a TN license and just moved to AZ a few days ago. How do I go about changing my last name? Do I just do the regular name change application and need a court order?
Just do a regular name change without the court order.
I just aplied for a marriage license but I only wrote one last name and I have two last names because Im not from USA , the application had only one blank space and I dont know if I did it wrong, please help! Do we have to aply again with my two last names?thanks
Hi Michelle. You can return to the clerk of superior court's office to request a correction. If they're unwilling to make the change, you'll have to apply for a brand new marriage license.
Hello, me and my fiance want to change both of our names to one new name, when we get married, can that change both of our names or is it for one party only?
Hi Ben. A brand new name would require you and your fiance to file separate court petitions for a name change. If you go that route, it doesn't matter if it takes place before or after marriage.
I have been married since 2012 and i want to know if its too late to change my last name. I was told i can be arrested for not changing my name within a time frame. Is that true? What is the time frame?
No, it's not too late to change your name.
No, that's not true.
There is no time frame.
I am getting married in November in Idaho and plan to take my husband's last name. I am an AZ resident though.
I would like to drop my middle name and take my maiden name as my middle name. I believe I need to do a Name Change through the courts for the middle name switch, from what I've been told. If that is correct, should I do it before the wedding, or after?
I looked at the forms, but I'd be changing my name to Paige MAIDEN NAME MAIDEN NAME, which I'm not sure makes sense, until I have my husbands name and I can just change my middle name.
Someone suggested it's easier to change name first so it can be correct on my marriage license. Even though I'm getting married in Idaho, all of the name changing would be done through AZ, I assume, except for me assuming his name. Sorry for all the questions! Thanks!
You don't have to go through the courts. Just use your marriage certificate.
After, as you'll be using your marriage certificate.
I don't believe Idaho's marriage license application provides an area for you to cite a new name after marriage. Just your current name.
That's if you're looking to undergo a name change that isn't possible through marriage, such as a first name change or a complicated middle or last name change.
Can I change my first name after getting married while keeping my last name without having to do the longer process that requires court and a big check?
Hi Jessica. You'll have to go to court to change your first name. There's no getting around that.
I live in, and got married in, Arizona. Can I change my name after marriage to have two middle names? I want to use both my current middle name AND my maiden name as middle names… is that allowed using the marriage name change process? It doesn't look like one that scenario is one of your options above.
If I can have two middle names, then can I use both middle initials as part of my official signature? That's what I'd prefer to do. And if I CAN have two middle names, which one of those initials do I use on an electronic form that only has one middle initial space? If I want to keep my maiden name as part of my 'official' signature (which a lot of electronic forms call for), do I have to get rid of my given middle name so that my maiden name is my only middle initial?
If I CAN'T have two middle names / two middle initials, can I make my middle name hyphenated (to make it: middle name-maiden name) in order to make it one name instead of two? Or do I have to drop my current middle name altogether if I want to keep my maiden name? In my work, I see many Hispanic people's names that have many more than just the three names I have (first, middle, last); are names with more than three just 'unofficial' uses of the multiple names, rather than their official names / signatures?
That's normal for Arizona.
No, you can replace your middle name with your maiden name or leave it unchanged. Beyond that, you'll have to go to court.
That's a personal preference. It's generally a good idea to make sure your signature is consistent to match what's on your driver's license and other legal documents.
It makes sense to use the first name.
Depends on the form and circumstance. If you're submitting paperwork of a government or legal nature, you'll want your name to match official records if a lookup is performed. If you're switching things around willy-nilly, then it could result in a name mismatch.
For Real ID, passport is typically one of the accepted documents, but not the only one. The Arizona Travel ID (a.k.a. Real ID) website details the acceptable forms of ID beyond the passport.
thanks for your reply!! I appreciate the information.
Hello! I have yet to change my last name after getting married, but wanted to drop my middle name and keep my maiden name as my middle name and add on my husband's last name. So for clarity, replace middle name with maiden name and take husband's last name: First, replaced middle (maiden), new last. Can I just do that when I go to the SSA or would that require that I obtain a court order?
I saw you already answered a very similar question, but I just wanted to make sure.
That's doable with just your marriage certificate. No need to go to court.
If you have been married prior to current marriage can you go back to previous married last instead of maiden name if getting divorce with current husband in Arizona?
Yes, just ask the judge to restore the surname from your prior marriage within the divorce decree.
Can I change my first name when I get married? Ex: Sharron Deao to Melody Deao
No, first name changes require petitioning the court.
I was married in Nicaragua, and my marriage certificate is in Spanish. Should I include a professional translation of the marriage certificate in my name change application for my social security number? Thank you!
If you have a translation available, it wouldn't hurt to include it.
I was born in Washington but living in Arizona the last 15 years. Can I petition a name here or does it have to be done Washington?
You'd petition in Arizona. Your state of residence.
Hi, I have been divorced for 12 years. At the time of my divorce, my children were underage so I declined to change my last name back to my maiden name. Now my children are all grown and moved away from home so I want my maiden name back.
I have researched & read the information on the State website. I'm confused on the part saying I must notify everyone who will be affected by this change. I do not think anyone should be affected but I was unable to locate a list of who they consider may be affected by this process.
Do I have to notify my EX husband of my request of changing my last name back to my maiden name? My children?That doesn't seem necessary to me but I want to complete this process correctly. Thank-you very much for your help. I appreciate it,
You don't have to notify either of them.
Im getting married in april 2019 my question is can i drop my middle name, last name and just add my soon to be husbands last name? In a name change through marriage or to drop a middle name do i have to go through court.
Hi Gabriela. I don't believe Arizona allows you to drop your middle name through marriage. Only a few do, such as Oregon. Even states that offer far more flexible name change options (e.g., California, New York) don't allow the middle name to be outright eliminated without a court order.
Hi!! If I missed the answer to this, I am sorry for duplicating the work.
I was married in 2005. My husband and I separated (not legally, just physically) ion 2011 and before we could be divorced, he died. My intention had been to take back my maiden name during the finalization of a divorce. I have since met someone and we plan to be married. Rather than going through the process of petitioning the Court for a legal name change, could I change my last name back to my maiden name in the process of being married rather than taking my new husband's last name? The costs of the name change petition and a marriage certificate are significantly different.
Thank you for your thoughts. I've asked a family law attorney and even he didn't know the answer.
Hi Brooke. I'm not aware of anything in Arizona's revised statutes nor SSA's operating instructions that permits a return to your maiden name when remarrying.
Can I change my last name with a civil union partnership the same was as I would with a marriage?
Nicole. Yes, just use your civil union certificate.
I got married many years ago. I never legally changed my name. However I called my self a hyphenated name by adding his to the end. Do I need a court order to legally change my name?
Hi Susan. You don't need a court order to hyphenate.
I got a divorce about 5 yrs ago I did not change my last name than but I would like to change it to the last name before I married. I was married before can I change my name by to that name and is it expensive
Hi Kim. If you're trying to change your name before getting remarried, you can do so, but it'll have to be the name specified in your divorce decree.
I am recently married. My wife and I would like to change both of our last names to a new one. Do we both need to apply for adult last name change? Or could one of us do it and the other use the marriage certificate to take on the new name?
That would have worked if you weren't already married. At this point, you'd both have to file an adult name change.
Due to using a foreign driver's license to get my AZ license, they recorded my name as FirstName Mother'sMaidenName LastName, so my last name shows to be "Mother'sMaidenName LastName". However, my Social Security card was issued to me by the US Embassy while I was living overseas and it shows my correct name as FirstName LastName.
I tried changing my license in the past and AZ MVD wouldn't do it even with showing them my birth certificate because I was born in Puerto Rico and it shows the last name of both parents. Now that I am married, can I use the marriage certificate and my Social Security Card to change my name to FirstName LastName or will it still require going through the court/hearing process?
Hi Tony. You can change your name through marriage if the "LastName" you're referencing is your spouse's.
My husband and I adopted a child in a kinship adoption. We did not change her name at that time. Now, several years later, she has requested that her last name be changed to ours (she is not yet 14). Since we are both in agreement, can we put both parents' names as "Person Filing," or must one of us file, with the other one signing a "Consent and Waiver of Notice"? Both of us will be at the hearing, of course.
Hi Jeannie. It's only one parent's name to the form. The parent is the applicant who's making the request for the minor.
got married in az divorced now moved to calf. I tried to get a divers liecence but my ..marrige licence doesnt have my middle name. how do i add it to my marrige licence? cant get a calf licence
Were you actually stopped or are you assuming you will be stopped?
If there's an error on your marriage record, you'll have to contact the Arizona superior court that issued you your license for a correction.
Hello. I took on my husband's last name when we got married in 2009. We now have 3 children, all with my husband's last name as well. We all have decided to take on my maiden last name as the family's last name now (there's a symbolic meaning behind this decision).
Is this possible? If so, how and what do I do? I'm clueless where to start. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
You'll have to file civil name change petitions with the Arizona Superior Court in your county.
Thank you very much for the response! I had a few more questions, if you don't mind. What about our social security card? Do we need to contact Social Security to have our last names updated with them as well? Also, does the MVD get notified, or is that one we handle independently as well? Thank you kindly for your help.
Yes, notify social security. They won't know about your name change without you telling them.
The MVD doesn't get notified automatically. You have to let them know.
I am in the process of separation and divorce. I do not want to wait for the divorce to change my name back to my maiden name as we have not been married very long and have no joint accounts, etc. I have a social security card with my married name on it, but almost nothing else is under my married name. I understand that I need to file with the court for an adult name change, but I also see a form called “Marital Waiver of Notice” on the forms page. Does my husband need to sign this in order for me to change my name back to my maiden name?
From what I've read in some of the past comments, I just wanted to be clear about something. I'm currently engaged and my fiancée and I are thinking of getting our marriage license early before our actual wedding sometime in 2019. From what I'm understanding, I don't have to change my last name right away and I can do that after the wedding if I wanted, correct? If so, will I then take our marriage certificate to the Social Security office and MVD then to have it all updated to reflect the new name?
Hi, at birth I was given two 1st names, a middle and last name (4 names). I'd like to take my new husband's last name. However, that would mean I'd have 5 names, within my full name. Is that possible? I'm pretty attached to my original name (lots of family meaning and family names), so it's hard to think of dropping any. Will that work with ID's, etc? I know it's a lot of names if I do this.
Hi Ann. Yes, it is possible. You can append your husband's name with a hyphen or space.
If I get married again, can I use this to change my last name back to my original maiden name (ie not take my new husbands name and get rid of my ex husband's name?
Hi Mary. That's not supported through marriage.
So my husband and I got married in 2013. I kept my maiden name. I now want to change it to his last name before our child is born in Jan.. Do I need to get a court order? I have my maiden name on the marriage license. Thank you
That's fine. Use a certified copy of your marriage certificate. Since your marriage took place over two years ago, you'll have to include an identity document with your social security card name change application, such as a driver's license or passport. If you don't want to mail it in, apply in office.
Hello! My Default hearing for Petition of Dissolution is in early October this year and I have marked that I want my maiden name back. I will have 100% physical and decision-making custody of my children, 11 & 8 years old, respectively.
They have both been asking if they can change their last names to mine. One was born here in AZ & the other was born in SC. Since I will have my maiden name & they will be living with me, I think it will be much easier with school forms and such if them and I share the same last name.
1. Will my name automatically be reverted to my maiden name in the Social Security system, or just in the Arizona court system? (In other words, will I have to take further action after the decree of dissolution in order to change my name with Social Security?)
2. May I petition the court for name change of a minor for both of them even if one was born outside AZ? May I do this before my decree of dissolution is finalized, or will I have to wait until after my court date & I have that form?
Thank you SO much for your time and help!
Just on your court order. The SSA won't know about it.
Yes, you'll have to notify the SSA.
You can do this before or afterward.
I took my husbands last name after marriage but want my maiden name back, how can i legally get my maiden name and my husbands name hyphenated?
Hi Rubi. That's considered a name correction instead of a name change. For the SSA, you'd apply for a name change like you did before. You'd supply your marriage certificate as proof as well as ID. However, you are likely to face a problem with ADOT unwilling to be as lenient.
I was married in Illinois in 2018 and have not yet change my last name to my husbands. We now live in Arizona and I am looking to take my husband's last name (in place of my maiden last name). I'd also like to change my current middle name to my maiden last name. Can I do this and do I use the SSA Application for a social security card?
You can do all this using your marriage certificate. Yes, you'd use the SSA application.
My wife and I had gotten married in March of 2018. In turn our intentions were to change both of our names in this process. However our marriage license shows that we had singed with our original names. Would we need to petition to have out names changed at this point in time? I would be changing my last name to my mothers maiden last name and she would be dropping her middle name and replacing it with her current last name as well as taking my mothers maiden last name.
For that sort of name change, you'd have to petition no matter what.
My marriage license and certificate have my maiden name. There was no option for new name.
Will I be able to change my last name to my husband at the social security office because my certificate shows my last name not his.
Yes, Arizona is one of the majority of states that doesn't show your new name on your marriage certificate.
I'm afraid my marriage certificate may be lost in the mail. I was married almost 2 weeks ago and the Pima county courthouse doesn't show any record of it being received. I don't even know how to remedy this situation.
Hi AA. You can ask about the procedure to have a delayed marriage certificate recorded.
My wife and I got married in August 2019 in Costa Rica . Marriages in CR are recognized in the USA. We received a notarized marriage certificate from the Costa Rican government, but we do not have a marriage license from Arizona. What is the best way for my wife to change her name to mine, legally?
You don't need to get married in Arizona. Use the Costa Rica certificate.
Thank you, Valera! So what steps do I need to take? Changer her name at Social Security, DMV, IRS… anything else?
Hi Scott. You've got the sequence right. It's a good idea to space out the SSA and DMV by at least a day to give time for the prior's database to refresh before DMV does their thing. Don't forget other items like passport, voter registration, car titles, etc.
My husband and i got married in april of 1999 in AZ. When i got married i had assumed my ex husbands last name for my daughter. But when the marriage licence came in the mail it listed my ex husbands last name as my maiden name on the certificate. Per the new real ID compliance is that going to be a problem? Or should i just get a copy of my divorce papers or ex marriage certificate when i update my drivers license?
Hi Patricia. You're fine to get a Real ID. What you experienced is standard for Arizona marriage records.
My fiance and I are getting married and I want to have his last name, I have three children from a previous relationship with the Ex's last name. He hasn't been in there lives for the last 7 years my fiance has helped raised them since he has left.
He also is not on there birth certificate. The father slot is empty on the birth certificate, so my fiance and I are wanting to change their last name to his as well when we get married, do we still need his consent and do they need to be adopted even though he isn't legally there father on there birth certificate? I don't know if this is understandable.
Hi Eva. You must still notify your ex. If you don't know where he is, you can publish a hearing notification (date, time, and location) in county-circulated newspaper for four consecutive weeks.
As to your second question, adoption isn't a required element.
My ex was awarded her maiden name in the divorce decree, but continues to use my last name to sign legal documents. Is this legal?
Hi Winston. Your ex has the option to change, but it isn't mandatory.
After marriage, I was able to do the following with my marriage license:
Replace middle name with maiden name.
Replace maiden last name with husband's last name.
It was a little stressful getting the AZ license at the DMV as people kept asking me if I had a court order for the middle name change. I kept having to tell them that the SSA allowed my middle name change with just the Marriage License. After 2 visits to the DMV, I was finally able to get my new license.
My next concern is, will this cause any issues when I apply for my corrected passport to reflect the name change? The guy at the DMV said he was curious how the passport process would go for me and I haven't even had a chance to think that far.
I'm almost regretting making this change, as it is a lot more complicated than I thought it would be. But I know it will be worth it in the end.
I appreciate any thoughts on this.
Hi MK. You shouldn't face any problem with your passport name change.
I want to do the same thing with my name. I was able to get my new Social card, but I went to the DMV last week and was rejected. I called the DMV 3 times and was told by 3 different people that I'd have to go through the courts to get my name changed.
I even called the county court and was told the same things as well!
Do I need to keep going back to the DMV until I find someone who will update my card?
Thanks in advance!
Hi Lindsey. Did you bring a certified copy of your marriage certificate with you when you went?
I'm in AZ and I wasn't told what name to sign with. We have the license but not married yet. Which name do I sign on the marriage certificate before mailing it in? Sign my maiden or new last name? I have been planning on taking my fiancées last name and move my maiden name to a second middle name. Will that be OK?
First Middle Maiden NewLastName
Hi Presley. Current name. Second middle name isn't likely possible through marriage.
Hello! My partner and I just got married in Arizona and want to combine our last names to make a new family surname. Even though we're we're not hyphenating, it's pretty clear that the new surname is a combination of our pre-married names. Is our marriage license enough to change our names with the SSA, MVD, etc? Or do we need a court order? If we need a court order, can we do this as a family or do we need for name changes separately?
You'll have to go to court to combine sections of your surnames.
My dissolution of divorce decree states "The petitioners maiden name has been restored to…" Does this mean it is required or optional?
State of Arizona
It's optional. The court doesn't track or care whether or not you follow through.
I got divorced in 2009. I want to take back my name i had before, I didn't want to do it then, but now I do. How do i go about doing this, and how much will it cost?
Hi Robin. If your divorce decree includes a clause to restore your maiden name, then you'd use that. The process is the same as if you were doing it through marriage. You're just swapping our your marriage certificate with your divorce decree when sending out your paperwork.
Hello, if a marriage license has my maiden name and my husbands name on it, do I need to change my DL, SS card? Also, some applications ask for a maiden name, do I need to put that there since it's still on my marriage license? Even if my license has my maiden name and husband's last name is it legal that I only continue using my maiden name?
Not if you don't want to.
Your maiden name never changes, so you'd put it down whether or not you change your name.
Sure it is.
My husband and were just married and want to change both our last names to a name of our choosing. Do we have to file a name change with the court?
Yes, you do. You can't generate a new name through marriage. That's requires court intervention.
Hi, I just got married in AZ and want to change my name keeping my maiden last name as my middle name, dropping my current middle name and added my new husbands last name. On the marriage cert application they just asked for our current names so that is all that I gave them. There was not a space to write down our desired new name. How do I go about making this name change?
That's normal. The Arizona marriage license application doesn't provide a space for you to spell out your new name. You're still able to change it using a certified copy of your marriage certificate.
Hi! I have some questions. I got married in AZ, lived overseas for a while & got divorced 4 1/2 yrs ago while still overseas. I want to resume using my maiden name & have a notarized translation of my divorce decree. From your previous responses,
1. I have to petition the court for a name change since the phrase granting the name change is not in my decree, correct?
2. Since I’ve been divorced for 4 1/2 yrs, I don’t have to notify anyone of my intent to change my name, correct?
3. Does the court have to keep my original foreign divorce paperwork + the original translation paperwork or can I get all my originals back & the court keeps all the copies? It took time, effort & money to get these items & I’m not paying extra again to get more originals.
4. The divorce decree is in our religious foreign names not our American names (we had the option to do this prior to our move & did so), will this be an issue? I do have a passport & other docs from the country/w that name. Should I include copies/w the filing or just bring them/w me to the hearing date? If I need to include copies, should I get a notarized translation of them as well (passport, country ID card & religious name doc)?
5. Besides filing all these forms & copies, is there anything else I need to do or be aware of having since I have foreign docs?
Thanks for your help.
Yes, but before going down this road, consider contacting the divorce court and asking for an amendment to your decree to include your name reversion.
You don't have to notify anyone, regardless of how much time has transpired.
The court has no use for such documents when you're changing your name through court petition. It's just not applicable.
Same as previous answer.
No, as your divorce doesn't impact your court-petitioned name change.
Hello all! I am getting married December 5th 2021 but thought I was going to plan early and got our marriage license. Well, we have been wanting to create a new name for both of us and was under the assumption that we could do that when we married.
So our marriage license actually has our legal names on it because they didn't give us an option to choose anything else. So now we have an incorrect marriage license it seems.
Would it be better if we had my fiancé do a name change for him through the court and then amend the marriage license or, wait for us to get married and we both file a name change?
Which would be the easier route but also, if we do a name change after marriage do we have to still pay to fix our marriage certificate?
That's not possible through marriage. You'd have to petition the court.
You didn't miss anything. There's no such option.
That would be more cost-effective and efficient. The court order alone isn't sufficient. His photo ID must be updated to reflect the new name before amending the marriage license. You may even have to apply for a new marriage license altogether.
That'll entail two separate court-petitioned name changes at twice the cost.
You have been so helpful to everyone! Thank you for that.
My question is : How long after I get married do I have to change my name in AZ with my marriage license? EX. If I wait 3 years after marriage, is there more involved to change my name with me marriage license? I ask because I am working for the US government in Germany at the moment, and it would be easier to wait till I got back to AZ.
Hi Kimberley. If you wait to change your name more than two years after marriage, you'll run into extra social security ID requirements.
I have a hyphenated last name Ex. Kelly Jones-Smith. After our marriage my fiancé and i would just like to take on one and not both names ex just Kelly Smith. Would that be something we can have done with the name change after marriage or would i have to file for a name change before marriage?
Hi Mercedes. You may be able to undo or redo your name change without going to court. If the only entity you've updated is the Social Security Administration, this might be a viable option since you could reuse your marriage certificate instead of going to court.
I am planning on changing my legal name for religious reasons. I am also planning on getting married before this. My question is, if we were to get married before I change my name through the court, could I be reissued an additional marriage license reflecting my new name change?
I am not wanting to take my fiancé's last name. But I need my new name change to be reflected on our marriage license for international laws. Or should we wait to marry after I complete the name change? Thank you.
No, that wouldn't be a valid amendment.
You could attach a certified copy of your court-ordered name change to link your names.
I got married in Nevada but I live in Arizona. I messed up and didn’t put my new name on the marriage certificate, will Arizona still change my name without the new name being on the certificate?
Hi Magen. You should be fine for name change with that omission.
My fiancé and I plan to get married, however I want to keep my last name, and he wants to change his to my last name. This has to be done through a legal name change and cannot be done through the marriage license itself, correct?
Should he have his name changed before we file the marriage license? Would we have to file for an amendment if he did change his name after we obtained the license? And how come a groom cannot take the brides last name during the wedding process? That doesn't seem fair. Thanks in advance.
That wouldn't work.
Legacy standards. You'll have to take it up with the legislature.
Can I legally change my first and last name at the same time when I get married? Or would I need to change my first name and then get married and change my last name?
Hi Ceri. You can't change your first name through marriage in Arizona. You must petition the court. If you changed your first name through the court system, you'll need updated ID in your new name before applying for a marriage license.
My wife & I got married in California in 2013 but she didn't adopt my name that time. I got naturalized in 2016 and changed my last name (my original last name became my middle name). We now live in Arizona and my wife now wants to adopt my last name. The problem is that our marriage certificate still has my old last name but I have all the paperwork as a proof of my last name change during naturalization. So my questions are:
1) Do I first need to update our marriage certificate to reflect my updated last name or can we get her last name changed without doing so?
2) What forms are we supposed to fill in order to change her last name? We have 2 kids (not sure if that makes any difference). They both share my last name. That's the reason my wife wants to adopt my last name now because she wants to keep same last name for the entire family.
3) What is the total fee and approximate time involved from start to finish for the whole process?
She'll have to file a name change petition in Superior Court.
You can find the court forms here.
It varies by county, but expect to pay around $300 to $350.
Thank you for the information. You said she'll have to file a name change petition in Superior Court. Does this not come under "name change after marriage" or is the process same regardless of how old your marriage is?
Or is the process different for us just because I (the husband) have different last name on our marriage certificate? We live in Maricopa County by the way.
Since your name change doesn't match the name on the marriage certificate, she couldn't adopt your new name using the certificate. Right now, your marriage certificate doesn't reference your new name, so it's not usable as-is.
The marriage certificate is the authorizing name change document. It must list the allowable name choices where the new name can be derived. Since it doesn't list your new name, your wife can't change to it.
I was married in a different state but reside in Arizona. We were married 7 years ago and I never changed my name. I am wanting to change my name now, do I need to file with the court’s to request a name change or can I just take what I have and still have it done
Hi Jennifer. You can still use just your marriage certificate. No need to go to court.
I was married previously and had 4 kids. After divorced, I remarried but kept my previous married last name because my kids had the same name and then hyphenated my current husband's last name to make dealing with their school easier.
Three of the 4 kids are no longer minors, my youngest is in the process of being adopted by my husband and I would like to drop the hyphenated name and only use my husband's. Can this be done through social security with my marriage license from 11 years ago, or do I need to go through the court?
Hi Kim. There's a redo name option, but that's best for those who've only updated their socials security card and kept their other credentials in the original name. If you've updated wide swaths of your ID (e.g., driver's license, passport) in your hyphenated name, then getting a superior court ordered name changed may be the more practical route.