90 Comments

In Georgia, name change takes place in a number of ways, as per the laid out legal process. Nonetheless, like in many other jurisdictions, the procedure has some unique traits that you need to know before going ahead with a name change.

Name Change After Marriage

After getting married in Georgia, a marriage certificate is provided showing that you have been married legally. The document is very important since it will serve as a testimony of your marriage and will come in handy in completing a number of procedures.

For instance, the marriage certificate is what you use to notify the different government agencies concerned with a number of things, such as Driver Services, banking, IRS or Social Security Administration. This also includes any other non-government organization you interact with, such as memberships to clubs and societies, credit card companies, and employers, among others.

Remember to apply for a marriage license bearing the last name that you would like to use henceforth. You also have a number of name change options in Georgia apart from taking your spouse's.

Keep the last name

While it seems obvious, there is definitively no need to go ahead with a name change if you don't want to. The reason why you might want to remain with the last name are immense, for instance a great career that is hugely associated with your name, such as journalism, writing or artistry.

Family ties are usually very strong and you might want to continue being identified with it, even after marriage, while the last name might be a reflection of your heritage. Perhaps you love the sound of your name, dislike the last name of your spouse, and want to avoid the pain of applying for new documents through filling lengthy paperwork, a teacher who doesn't want to confuse her students, among other reasons.

Hyphenating last names

Hyphenating the last names is now one of the most acceptable name change options anywhere. It's much better for both spouses seeking an equal representation by allowing the better of two worlds. This option also ensures the spouse retains professional connections with their careers that could be affected if the name did change.

Maiden to middle name change

This is one of the trendiest ways of changing your name in modern times, something that Hillary Rodham Clinton decided to go with. It allows a woman to remain with the name she likes while embracing the married life. It's also possible to go for two middle names in case you want to maintain both the maiden name and the current name you are using at the middle. This allows you to be recognized very fast, which might not be the case if you scrapped the middle name completely.

Husband taking wife's last name

While this doesn't happen a lot, Georgia is one of the eight states where this is allowed. After marriage, even men can use the same marriage certificate to change their names into their spouse's.

A whole new name for both spouses

This is a wholly new creative or extreme option where both spouses come together and create a wholly new last name. Essentially, this option lets you come up with anything, from agreeing on a specific different last name, blending both last names and creating a unique name or selecting a name that bears some significance for your families or a name that means something you both like. There's a catch: it's the only option that requires petitioning the court.

Divorce Name Change

In Georgia, spouses can go back to their previous names after divorce. To do it effortlessly and fast, do it within the petition for divorce where you will not be charged any extra fee, as name change is considered a part of the divorce.

Forgot to request your maiden name be restored during divorce proceedings?

If you forget to indicate your desire to change your name during the divorce, you can do it at any other time you feel comfortable through the general adult name change process.

Name change choices for divorcees remarrying

After remarriage, a divorced individual in Georgia can choose her maiden name, go with the surname of the new spouse or maintain names from previous marriages. It's also possible to combine the last name of a previous husband with that of the new one.

General Adult Name Change

Obviously, there are many reasons to change a name in Georgia, such as marriage or a dislike of the name you got after birth. In Georgia, you need to petition the local court for legal name change. Remember name change eligibility is fully governed by the law of the state of Georgia.

Filling out the court petition forms

The first thing you start with is filling a name change petition. In the form you need to indicate the current name, the name you want to adopt, address and birth date, and why you need to change your name.

The form should then be filed with the Superior Court of Georgia in your county. Together, with the form, include a birth certificate copy. Include other documents copies, like your marriage certificate or divorce decree, which can validate the rationale for the name change request. The fees required differ from one county to the next.

Publishing a notice of your name change in the newspaper

Your next stop is publishing the notice of name change petition in the county government administered legal gazette where it has to be published once each week for a month or four weeks. The first notice of name change petition must be published in less than seven days after you have filed an application.

Attend the Superior Court hearing

Take the proof of publishing the notice to the Superior Court clerk in your locality. Ensure you attend the Superior Court's change of name hearing, as indicated, since you will be notified of the hearing date accordingly.

Expect the judge to ask a number of questions to ascertain whether the name change process and reason complies with Georgia state law. Once the name change has been approved by the court you can then go ahead and notify the state and federal authorities, such as the Department of Driver Services in Georgia, Social Security Administration and the IRS.

Child Name Changes

It's important to note that Georgia state law doesn't allow parents to change the name of a child as part or during divorce proceedings. For it to be done, the petition has to be filed in a Superior Court, known as the Change Name of Minor Child where both parents need to give their consent, unless one of the minor's parents abandoned the minor, is deceased or has not been supporting the child for the last five years.

Publishing a notice of the child's name change

After completion of consent, the name change petition notice must be published in a newspaper with a local distribution. In case the parents live in the state of Georgia the wait is only 30 days or 60 days for those who live outside the state.

Preparing for the court hearing

While going to court for the child name change hearing, have all the right legal papers needed with you, from the petition, consent proof, newspaper affidavits indicating the notice was published, as required by law, and the name change final order.

Under oath, the judge will ask you in the chambers a couple of questions, such as the reason for the name change. After approval the judge will have the final order signed. You will get a certified copy of the minor's name change order which you should use to change the name of the child on the birth certificate.

Reverting to a Prior Name

If you forget to change your name during a divorce petition, you can always revert to a prior name. You only need to follow a similar process as that of a minor's name change. It is however important to have all the documents with you before you appear in court, such as proof of publishing the name change notice on a local newspaper, divorce decree, name change final order, among others, as required.

Once the judge is satisfied with the reason for the name change the final order will be signed. Take the certified final order copy and amend your name with all the bureaucrats such as the DSD, SSA and IRS. Remember that in Georgia the name appearing on the driver's license has to be the same as that on the Social Security card. If this is not the cases, the driver's license will be canceled.

Remember, even if you have changed your name to something you wanted but you've had a change of heart you must follow the court process of filing a petition as an adult, paying the required fees by your local county Superior Court, which varies from one county to the next. With the certified copy of the final order giving you the right to change your name, approach all governmental and nongovernmental institutions to change your name. Use the same document to change your name on any identity document, such as a passport.

Change of Name on Birth Certificate

Order your original birth certificate, for reference

After changing your name, chances are that you want that name reflected in various documents of identity, including your birth certificate. To effect a name change on your birth certificate, contact the office of Vital Records in the state where you were born. Once you obtain a birth certificate's certified copy from the Vital Records office, circle every change you intend to make before submitting a request in writing asking for procedures or instructions on how to go ahead with a name change.

Fees and procedures to amend your birth certificate

For the change to be effected you need an extra $10; the request is then sent via mail to the same Vital Records office. Remember procedures or instructions on name change are never given via phone in Georgia. The record must be reviewed first for proper instructions or procedures to be given according to your own certificate.

Name Change on Social Security, DSD, Passport, IRS

Before you can change your name on any other critical document, seek a name change with the Social Security Administration office at your local division or through mail. The process is started by completing a social security card application afresh.

Together with the application form you will need to have the document indicating a change of name legally, such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree, and proof of identity, such as a passport or driver's license, United State's proof of citizenship through a citizenship certificate or birth certificate.

Once the name change is complete, the new social security card will be sent to you. Remember, the Social Security number doesn't change irrespective of the number of times you change your name.

Update your driver's license within 60 days

Within two months of effecting your name change legally, update the state provided ID or driver's license by appearing in person at the Department of Driver Services local office. Bring documents showing the legal name change with you. This is also the time to have your address changed and a proof of residence must be brought as well. Remember to update the vehicle's title and registration after you have changed your driver's license name to show the change.

Update your passport

You can also update the passport for free if your passport was issued in the previous year. The Department of State of the U.S. provides all the forms you need to change your passport including the cost of the process.

Non-Governmental Institutions

Apart from notifying the state and federal authorities about the name change such as IRS, SSA and DDS, it is important to effect a name change on all other areas where your old name appears. This includes banks, doctors' offices, and loyalty club memberships.

Simply contact the credit card companies and banks where you might be asked to send a marriage certificate copy or a certified copy of a legal name change document via mail, or visit the local branch of the institution for this. In most cases, the credit card companies, insurance companies, banks and other nongovernmental institutions have a list of the requirements for this change on their websites.

Recognized Documents for a Name Change

  • Certified copy of marriage certificate for marriage name change
  • Certified copy of divorce decree for divorce name change
  • Court order for general adult name change
  • Certified copy of your U.S. birth certificate
  • Certificate of citizenship
  • Certificate of naturalization

90 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Hopkins

    I have been married two times and have kids by my first husband, I plan to marriage again, but don't want to loose my last married name due to property, childs, pass port and ssn income. This is just a few concern. Most of all family Property. How can I keep my name like it is and still get married. He want it changed, after marriage I don't.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      How can I keep my name like it is and still get married. He want it changed, after marriage I don't.

      Simply don't change it. You're not required to change your name. If he wants your name change, perhaps you can compromise and use his name informally while keeping your maiden name on legal documents.

      Reply
  2. Wayne

    Should the new last name appear on the marriage license? We asked at the court but we've not receiving very helpful answers – they told us that the actual name change is done at the social security office. Is this true?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Wayne. There should be a spot for a new last name to be specified on the marriage license application.

      Reply
  3. Penny Bailey

    I want to hyphenate my last name. When signing documents can I then use either last name or do I use the hyphenated version only?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I want to hyphenate my last name. When signing documents can I then use either last name or do I use the hyphenated version only?

      Legal, government, and tax-related documents should be signed using your full legal name.

      Reply
  4. Gwendolen Tucker

    I have been married for 13 years and I changed my name on ssc but kept maiden name on DL. I have been using my maiden name on everything because it was the name on all paperwork I had going. I recently was diagnosed with cancer and am in the process of disability. Social Security still has my last name in marriage but my medical documents and everything else is in my maiden name. After changing my last name years ago, I realized I wanted to keep my maiden and never went back to social security to change it back. What solution can you provide me?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Gwendolen. If you want to update your SS card to reflect your middle name, they'll likely want a supporting document to justify changing it back, such as a court order. That'll get everything back in sync.

      Reply
  5. Rachel Barton Pugh

    When I got married, I changed my name on my drivers license but nothing else. Non of my previous employers had an issue with this. My current employer is requiring I change my name on my social security or be fired. They are telling me it is a law that it must match. I filled all the paperwork out in my married name. I do not want to change my last name. I changed my license in haste before really thinking it over. Is there a law saying both last names have to match on license and SS number. I think it would be easier just to fill my paper work out all over again in my maiden name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Rachel. Some DMV's stipulate that they should be alerted to a name change within X number of days, but the penalty for not doing so is often vague, nonexistent, or unenforced. If you have your married name on file with your employer, it won't match what's on file with the IRS. Yes, it would seem easier to fill out your work paperwork in your maiden name.

      Reply
  6. Harper

    My husband and I are residents of Georgia but got married two months ago in Michigan. He is changing his last name to mine, and I’m having trouble finding information on the process for men taking their wives’ last names. As stated on this page, Georgia is one of the few states where men can do this using their marriage certificate, but does this still apply with an out-of-state marriage license? If so, how do we initiate the name change, since in GA it is typically initiated during the application for your marriage license?

    Hope this makes sense. Thank you for your helpful information!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Harper. You'll need to obtain a certified copy of your Michigan marriage certificate and use it as though it was a Georgia certificate.

      Reply
  7. Shaneka Hicks-McCord

    Hi, I got married two years ago and decided to hyphenate my name(in the state of Georgia). I now want to drop my maiden name and only use my husband last name. How do change I change it.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Shaneka. At this point, you'll have to petition the court for a general adult name change.

      Reply
  8. Regina Thibideau Morgan

    I've been divorced 6yrs.l Love my maiden name. I decided not to drop my ex's last name.l don't know when or whether to hyphenate my maiden and ex's last name. He's aware of my deision/plan. It doesn't affect or bother him, the least bit! My full signature on the license,is first, maiden and ex's last name. I was born in Ga.l haven't made any changes or contacted the S.S. office,yet. I will contact them. Will l have to go to court? If my plans are successful, should my maiden name be hyphenated? What steps or suggestions,do you have in my situation? Any advice,would be helpful!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Regina. Changing your name due to divorce depends on what name restoration or change was specified in the divorce decree. I assume your preference isn't in the decree, so you'd have to petition the court to change it to what you'd prefer.

      Reply
  9. Kc Richardson

    I live in Paulding county and was told that choosing our own name at the time of our marriage was not an option, but that our only options were either taking each other's names or hyphenation. Are we able to choose a completely new name when we marry?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Are we able to choose a completely new name when we marry?

      No, that is not an option.

      Reply
      1. Kc Richardson

        How would one take advantage of this option?

        A whole new name for both spouses
        This is a wholly new creative or extreme option where both spouses come together and create a wholly new last name.

        Reply
          1. Michelle

            Since a whole new last name isn't possible during marriage is the combination of the two last names to create a new last name possible? Just want to clarify since in the original blog it says both are possible. Thanks in advance.

          2. Valera

            Hi Michelle. The probate court clerk will likely alert you that this could pose a problem with the DMV. The text you cited has been updated to reflect this caveat.

  10. Deloris

    Not exactly this topic but close. I seriously need help. I applied for widow benefits at social security but can not find a copy of the marriage certificate and have searched many sites including Catoosa County Georgia. We were married before a justice of the peace or county clerk (?) in Ringgold, Georgia1962 but can find no evidence of it. I have searched under both maiden and married last names but I must be doing something wrong. Any suggestions? Thank you.

    Reply
  11. Sean

    My wife just was approved for her green card. When we married in February we didn’t change her name due to her passport & all of the INS based forms we were filing and had already filed. Now that everything is approved, she was asked if she wanted to change her name, which she did. I understand having to change other forms of ID now from temp to permanent but we also need to change her name at the court house on the marriage license for example. Is there a simple way since it’s been under a year? Or is the published process the only way available?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Sean. Unless there's a typographical error on the marriage license, you can't amend the name.

      Reply
  12. Daniel Lopez

    Me and my wife was married 14 years ago in Texas. My last name changed but on our Marriage License it has my original last name. Is this marriage license legal, or do we have to get another marriage license and get married again?

    Reply
  13. Summer

    I got divorced last year. I put in the petition to go back to my maiden name, but I haven't taken the time to actually go to social security and DMV to change back.

    I will be getting remarried next year. I don't want my last husband's last name on my new marriage license. Do I have to go through with changing my last name to my maiden name, then go through the whole process again to change to the new husband's name OR can I just put my maiden name on the new marriage license without actually changing it?

    Basically, can I put my maiden name on my new marriage license even though legally, I still use my last husband's last name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Basically, can I put my maiden name on my new marriage license even though legally, I still use my last husband's last name?

      No, you'll have to put your current legal name on your marriage license.

      Reply
  14. Rosa

    Hi, I got married 13 years ago and decided to keep my last name(in the state of Georgia). I now want to drop my maiden name and use my husbands last name. How do change I change it. We are renewing our vows can it be changed on the new application ?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Rosa. You'd change your name on your existing certificate. However, if your marriage application 13 years ago did provide an option to change your last name, you may be bound by that choice or non-choice.

      Reply
  15. Karen

    Hello,
    Gwinnett, GA
    My fiancée and I are getting married in April. He has two last names, he was suppose to drop his mothers last name when he became a citizen but didn’t.
    He wants to change it legally, but is thinking of doing it after we get married, he doubts there will be enough time from now until then.
    On the marriage certificate, can I choose to have only the last name he will be staying with? Or do I have to take both his last names?

    Reply
  16. Breaunta Murphy

    Hello,
    Atlanta,Ga
    My husband and I just got married on the 20th of February i just received my marriage license in the mail but has my maiden name and wanted my husband last name how can i fix it ?? Thank you in advance

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Breaunta. You can seek a correction from the probate court that issued your marriage license and subsequently recorded your marriage certificate.

      Reply
  17. Cindy Parks

    Good evening,
    I remarried in Aug 2016, but was in the middle of adopting our foster kids. Instead of changing 2 years worth of court hearings I kept my maiden name so the adoption would not be prolonged. The adoption is final and I want to take my husbands last name. I was told I would have to file for this, but am now getting conflicting information and was told I could just take my marriage certificate to SS and have it changed. One thing to note is on my marriage certificate it has my maiden name. Does anyone know the correct answer? I am in Rockdale County, GA. I have started the filing process and have paid 204, but I will gladly take the loss if all I have to do is go have it changed with SS. Please help! I am very frustrated and lost.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Cindy. Since you're new name choice isn't reflected on your certificate, you'd have to go to court.

      Reply
  18. Vee

    Hello I got divorce 10 years ago and the final divorce decree says my name be restored to my maiden name but I been using my ex husband name for 10 years now and want to continue to do so when I get my passport. Is that illegal ? Can the divorce decree force me to go back to my maiden name or can I continue using my ex's last name? I leave in state of Georgia.
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I got divorce 10 years ago and the final divorce decree says my name be restored to my maiden name but I been using my ex husband name for 10 years now and want to continue to do so when I get my passport. Is that illegal ?

      No.

      Can the divorce decree force me to go back to my maiden name or can I continue using my ex's last name?

      No, it merely provides you the option to return to your maiden name. You don't have to take advantage of it if you've changed your mind. The divorce court/judge doesn't care whether or not you follow through.

      Reply
  19. Cindy Rodriguez

    Hi,
    I got married not too long ago and I wanted to keep my last name. Now that I’ve thought about it more, I would really love to have my husband’s last name as well. What do I do in order to get it changed?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Cindy.

      1. If you got married in Georgia and specified a new name after marriage at the time you submitted your application, you'll just need to use a certified copy of your marriage certificate to effect a name change.
      2. If you were married outside of Georgia and the marriage application did not provide a spot to specify a new name after marriage, you can use your marriage certificate as-is to change your name.
      3. If neither #1 or #2 is true, you'll have to petition the court for a name change.

      Reply
  20. Lamona

    I was married 20 years ago and kept my legal name as stated on my Gov ID. My church roll states my full name followed by my married name. Is this wrong? since then I held position at my church under my married name. Does this make my signing off or initials under my married name illegal?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Does this make my signing off or initials under my married name illegal?

      Not unless there was fraud committed. The church isn't a federal or state government entity, so any rules would be internal to the church.

      Reply
  21. Fred miller

    I’m getting married before I’m changing my last name,will my wife be able to change her last name after the court hearing for my name to be changed? Or does she have to go thru the same process that I went thru to change her last name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Fred. Your court-petitioned name change won't be affected by your wife changing or not changing her name. Is this the sequence of events your envisioning:

      1) Get married.
      2) You petition the court for a new last name: Miller to Hamilton.
      3) Your wife wants to change her surname to Hamilton.

      At this point, can she use the marriage certificate or must she go to court also? In this scenarios, she'd have to go to court to petition for a name change.

      Reply
  22. Amanda.s

    Hello. I am very confused.
    When exactly will the name change take place ?
    I got my marriage license and will get next month. I filled the name I want to have but the marriage license came with my legal current name.
    I am going to apply for a green card and I am not sure which name should I put in the application, since all my documents will have the old name on it.
    Do I need to file a separate aplication for name change?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Amanda. You can change your name after you're married. After you obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate. Your marriage certificate should specify your preferred new name post-marriage. If your marriage license failed to show your new name after marriage, you'll have to return to the issuing office for a corrected and reissued license.

      Reply
  23. Brandy

    I got married 9 months ago in Michigan and decided to hyphenate my name.I now want to drop my maiden name and only use my husband last name. How do change I change it. I am now residing in the state of Georgia.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Brandy. You'd have to petition the court for the subsequent name change.

      Reply
  24. Regina Robbins

    Hi. I am very confused. I live in Georgia. When I applied for my marriage license the form asked only what I wanted my last name changed to. It didn’t allow me to change my middle name too which is what I wanted to do. I want to change my maiden name to my middle name. How do I do this since the marriage license will only have my new last name (and not my new middle name which is my maiden name)? Please help!!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Regina. You can still change your middle name using your certificate.

      Reply
  25. tess

    i got married in November, my marriage certificate shows my maiden name but I want to take my husband's last name. Do I need to get a new marriage certificate

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Tess. If you specified that you'd take your husband's last name when filling out the marriage license application, then you can request a correction to your marriage certificate. If you didn't specify it at the time, you likely have to go to court for a name change.

      Reply
  26. Judith E. Phillips

    We were married in Ringgold, GA March 15, 1983, and have lived as a married couple since then. My husband gave a wrong name except his last name on our marriage license. What must we do to have it corrected now? I am afraid since we are older it might cause problems if one of us passes before the other one.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Judith. You can contact the office that recorded the marriage about amending your record.

      Reply
  27. Rhonda Evans

    I remarried after being previously married. My marriage certificate has my name correct. Now 16 years later I have went through another divorce, but my legal name is from marriage certificate is different than the final divorce decree are my divorce legal. I live in Georgia. Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Rhonda. Your divorce is still legal. If there's an error on your divorce decree, you can request the court correct it.

      Reply
  28. Emma

    Hi. I am a little confused about changing a middle name to maiden name. Can this be legally done on the marriage certificate, along with changing my last name to my husband's last name? If not, how do I go about changing my middle name to my maiden name?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Emma

      Correction to above question: I meant to say marriage license not certificate.

      Reply
    2. Valera

      Can this be legally done on the marriage certificate, along with changing my last name to my husband's last name?

      Yes, although you'll specify your new middle name on the marriage license application, which will automatically be reproduced on the marriage license and marriage certificate.

      Reply
  29. Linda B.

    Hi. So I got married a few months ago but I have not turned in my license yet because on my application I chose to change my last name to hers but now I want to hyphenate our last names; can I still do that or is it too late since we already got married?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Linda. Once your marriage license has been recorded and marriage certificate issued, it's too late to change it for anything other than grammatical errors and mistakes. Preferring a different name than what's on the license/certificate wouldn't quality as an acceptable reason to process an amendment.

      Reply
  30. Dorothy

    I got married in Tennessee live in Georgia no one told me I had to file anything in Georgia. I was told that I'm not legally married. I kept my old name and just living with him. His deceases wife had my same first name. I learned after the fact that their credit was the pitts. so am I married or not. I have never put any of my money or property with him. We do not share anything as a couple. we live as single. need to know am I legally married or not.

    Reply
    1. Dorothy

      if I am married what do I do. we neither draw enough to file taxes separately or together.

      Reply
      1. Valera

        Hi Dorothy. I'm not sure what you're asking? Whether you file your taxes jointly or separately, you'd still specify that you're married.

        Reply
    2. Valera

      I got married in Tennessee live in Georgia no one told me I had to file anything in Georgia.

      You don't have to register your Tennessee marriage in Georgia.

      I was told that I'm not legally married.

      Based on what?

      Reply
  31. Nancy

    I was divorced, and kept my former husband’s last name because it was the one I was known by professionally. I subsequently remarried, but chose not to take my new husband’s last name, again for professional reasons. I have now retired and would like to take my husband’s last name. We live in GA but we married in NV. We have been married for 5 years. Do I need to go through the court?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I have now retired and would like to take my husband’s last name. We live in GA but we married in NV. We have been married for 5 years. Do I need to go through the court?

      No need for court. Just use a certified copy of your Nevada marriage certificate as it stands. If you don't have it, contact the Nevada county recorder (not county clerk) that recorded your marriage license.

      Reply
  32. Sarah

    I was just divorced on June 2018 after a 13 yr marriage I did not petition to change my name at the time of my divorce due to business reasons Now however I wish to change my name back to my maiden and I am very confused by this process. Can you tell me what I need to do and will it cost me now since my name was not changed in divorce?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Sarah. You'll have to petition your local superior court. The filing fee is about $200. The publication fee is about $100.

      Reply
  33. Robbie

    I was divorced and I have heard there is a 60 day limit in Georgia to change your name from the date the final order was signed. Is that correct? I do not want to change my name currently, However in order to do it without paying hundreds of $$ do I need to do it in the 60 day window or can I do it years from now if I choose to without it costing me?? To clarify the final orders do say my maiden name is to be restored (and lists my full maiden name).

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I was divorced and I have heard there is a 60 day limit in Georgia to change your name from the date the final order was signed.

      The 60 days refers to you needing to update your driver's license upon changing your name. Simply having an order in your divorce decree providing you a pathway to return to your maiden name doesn't constitute changing your name. Once you change it with the SSA, the 60 countdown clock begins.

      can I do it years from now if I choose to without it costing me

      Yes. The judge or court isn't concerned about you actually going through with the name change. They're just providing you the option to do so, per your request. If you change your mind, it's no big deal.

      Reply
  34. nery

    I got married 2 years ago and I have not change my last name because i was told i would have to take both of his last names. My husband and I have two last names but we only wanted one. So we both agree to only take one last name Mendoza but on our marriage certificate says our both last names when we only wanted one. how can we both drop our last names and only keep one which is one of my husband's last name. He was not born in USA but he has been a US citizen a long time now not sure if that changes anything?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Nery. Both of you would have to separately petition the court for a name change in order to drop half of the hyphenated name.

      Reply
  35. Niesha

    I married a few years after I had my daughter. My daughter has her father's last name and I wanted to change it to my new last name. Does my husband have to adopt her or we can just go to court to get her last name changed to his?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Does my husband have to adopt her or we can just go to court to get her last name changed to his?

      No, adoption is not necessary.

      Reply
  36. Robin

    After I got married in Georgia, I moved to TN and changed my name by making my maiden name my middle name and taking my husband's name as my last name. We have since moved back to GA and I am looking to go back to work after taking an extended break. I'd like to use my maiden name professionally as my last name. Do I have to do any additional paperwork to be able to do so? Could I still sign checks and legal docs using my maiden name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Robin. Legal documents should be in your maiden name. You may want to consider getting a DBA in your maiden name.

      Reply
  37. Joanie

    I recently married for the second time. What do I need to take with me to change my name? Birth certifucate. Both marriage certificates? Divorce decree?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Joanie. Your marriage certificate authorizes the name change. Depending on the institution, you may need to show one or more identity documents.

      Reply
  38. Vi

    I will be putting my future husband's last name on the marriage license. But I dont want to rush to change all the documents. I was wondering if there is a time limit on when all important documents (ssn, license, insurance, etc) needs a name change after the marriage license is all set and recorded?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I was wondering if there is a time limit on when all important documents (ssn, license, insurance, etc) needs a name change after the marriage license is all set and recorded?

      No, there's no time limit whatsoever.

      Reply
  39. Norma

    I am planning on getting married soon but not letting my family or friends know for at least 1 year,at which time I will be using my to-be husband’s last name. Which legal documents must be changed quickly by law? May I be able to still file single with my current last name? We both have our own homes and no changes will take place for a year….. we will continue living separately. Please advise.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Which legal documents must be changed quickly by law?

      Nothing. You can wait a year later to change your name.

      May I be able to still file single with my current last name?

      You can file married filing separately.

      Reply
  40. Sara

    I got married last year and decided to keep my last name because me and my husband were not living together. Now I want to adopt his last name after we begin living together. What should I do to get my name change?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Sara. Use a certified copy of your marriage to complete your name change with the various government and nongovernmental entities.

      Reply
  41. Michelle

    Hi,

    What is the best way to get my full name changed with marriage in GA? I believe GA only gives you the option to change your surname after marriage. So do I have to get my last name changed first and get my name changed (or vice versa) OR is there a way I can get it done at one time?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      What is the best way to get my full name changed with marriage in GA?

      If you're including your first name, you'll have to go through the Superior Court.

      So do I have to get my last name changed first and get my name changed (or vice versa) OR is there a way I can get it done at one time?

      Since you'll have to go to court anyway, you can diversify your first, middle, and last name all at once.

      Reply

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *