Name Change After Marriage in Georgia
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.
You can always dive right into the name change process instead of reading this how-to guide by filling out your name change forms online. Still, it's worth reviewing this page to know what which name change options exist in Georgia.
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 your last name are immense, for instance a great career that is hugely associated with your name, such as journalism, writing or artistry. But it's conceivable to use your maiden name for business and married name for everything else.
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 your 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
Outright replacing your middle name with your maiden name 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 wife'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 Georgia 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. This fee only covers the cost of amending your record. This fee only covers the cost of amending your record on file. To get a certified copy of your updated birth certificate costs $25 for the first copy and $5 for each added copy.
Your request will get 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 your 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.
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
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.
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.
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?
Hi Wayne. There should be a spot for a new last name to be specified on the marriage license application.
Mine did not give me that option. Only the option for current last name. They said I could “change it later” what do I do now?
Hi Sierra. Can you share which county you applied in?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Hi Shaneka. At this point, you'll have to petition the court for a general adult name change.
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!
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.
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?
No, that is not an option.
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.
Hi Kc. You'd both have to petition the court for a name change separately.
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.
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.
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.
Hi Deloris. Try the Georgia Department of Health marriage records search service.
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?
Hi Sean. Unless there's a typographical error on the marriage license, you can't amend the name.
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?
Hi Daniel. Your marriage is legal. You don't need to redo anything.
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?
No, you'll have to put your current legal name on your marriage license.
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 ?
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.
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?
Hi Karen. You'd have to take both names.
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
Hi Breaunta. You can seek a correction from the probate court that issued your marriage license and subsequently recorded your marriage certificate.
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.
Hi Cindy. Since you're new name choice isn't reflected on your certificate, you'd have to go to court.
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.
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.
Thank you so much
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
Hi Brandy. You'd have to petition the court for the subsequent name change.
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!!
Hi Regina. You can still change your middle name using your certificate.
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
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.
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.
Hi Judith. You can contact the office that recorded the marriage about amending your record.
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
Hi Rhonda. Your divorce is still legal. If there's an error on your divorce decree, you can request the court correct it.
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?
Correction to above question: I meant to say marriage license not certificate.
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.
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?
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.
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.
if I am married what do I do. we neither draw enough to file taxes separately or together.
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.
You don't have to register your Tennessee marriage in Georgia.
Based on what?
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?
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.
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?
Hi Sarah. You'll have to petition your local superior court. The filing fee is about $200. The publication fee is about $100.
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).
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
No, adoption is not necessary.
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?
Hi Robin. Legal documents should be in your maiden name. You may want to consider getting a DBA in your maiden name.
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?
Hi Joanie. Your marriage certificate authorizes the name change. Depending on the institution, you may need to show one or more identity documents.
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?
No, there's no time limit whatsoever.
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.
Nothing. You can wait a year later to change your name.
You can file married filing separately.
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?
Hi Sara. Use a certified copy of your marriage to complete your name change with the various government and nongovernmental entities.
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?
If you're including your first name, you'll have to go through the Superior Court.
Since you'll have to go to court anyway, you can diversify your first, middle, and last name all at once.
So when my husband and I got married he used his Mexican license as proof for the marriage application. Once he applied for residency, he was legally able to drop the hyphenated last name from his paperwork and license. I tried to go to the DMV to change my last name and they did not allow it bc they wanted me to hyphenate my last name like the marriage application. How do I change my last name to his legal last name now?
Hi Jenn. At this point, you'd have to go to court.
I live in Georgia. We are a same-sex couple getting married this upcoming month. My fiancé was previously married and has two kid by that marriage. She kept her ex husbands name to match the kids. Now, my question is can I take that same last name when we are married? Or must we use mine, or her maiden name? Ideally we would like for me to change my last name to hers (which is her ex husbands). please advise. Thanks
Sure, you can.
Do i have to have my birth certificate to change my last name
A birth certificate is used to confirm age, not identity. In some circumstances, it may be required, but most people won't need it.
May 22, 2019
My husband of 25 years died 10 years ago. I am to marry a year from now. Would like to keep my deceased husband's last name as my middle name when I marry. Is that possible without legal action?
Hi Teresa. You can swap out your middle name for your maiden name, but I don't believe you can use the name of your deceased husband.
When you apply next year, you'll be given the option to choose a new first, middle, and last name. Of course, your first name can't be changed in this avenue, even though the application prompts you for it.
If you attempt to put in a middle name choice that's not possible through marriage, the probate court clerk or judge should alert you to this considering the application will ask for your current name and last name at birth.
Crawford County, GA is charging $217.00 to file a petition the regain my maiden name after my divorce in September 2018. Is there no grace period? Emotional clinging is the only reason I did not opt to change my name at the time of the divorce.
I'm over it. That's a lot of money and I've got transactions coming up I like to accomplish in my maiden name. Is the $217.00 price tag county discretionary or Georgia law?
You could try to contact the divorce court/judge and ask that your divorce decree be amended to retroactively restore your maiden name.
The fee varies by county. The $200+ filing fee is about right.
I am getting married on June 23rd. Can I keep both my middle name and married name and tack on my husband’s name too? I guess just have two middle names. How would I sign paper work?
Hi Lauren. That should work. You'll have to specify your new name on the marriage license application.
I got married but didn’t have my birth certificate but had my id and my social security card but I’ve yet to go change my name on my social security card, my birth certificate and my id does that mean I’m still carrying my last name and if me my the dude I’m with separates I can get remarried without getting a divorce or no?
If you haven't changed your name with the Social Security Administration, your name hasn't changed in any practical sense.
If you're looking to remarry your existing spouse, I don't believe Georgia will issue you a marriage, remarriage, or vow renewal marriage license.
If you're looking to marry someone else without first divorcing, that wouldn't be lawful. It would be bigamy. However, if the whereabouts of your current spouse is unknown, a second marriage may be able to avoid being voided if contested.
Hi, I've been married twice.The last one in Atlanta GA. I'm trying to go back to my maiden name. However, They can't my marriage license but found the divorce papers. How do I go about going to my maiden name, how much will this cost me, and what documents do I need? Thanks
Sorry, they can't find my original marriage license but found a divorce decree. I just want to know the procedure to retain my original maiden name.
Hi Kembley. If you're talking about going back to your maiden name following divorce, you can do so as long as your divorce decree contains instructions to restore your prior name.
The process of changing your name through divorce is essentially the same as doing it through marriage. You'd start with social security, then DMV, then passport, etc. You'll use a certified copy of your divorce decree as your authorized name change event.
I’ve been married for 15 years and I finally want to take my husband last name. How do I go about doing so? I do have my marriage license but it don’t say anything about me taking his last name.
Hi Jatarra. The name change process for marriage is the same, even after 15 years. Since your marriage occurred over two years ago, you'll have to provide an identity document instead of just your marriage certificate.
I got married a year ago. I made a stupid mistake on the application and put my birth name on the "LAST NAME you will use after marriage". Our Marriage Certificate has our original last names. I want to change my last name to my spouse's. As a first step, do I need to get our Marriage Certificate corrected?
How do I start this process? Thanks for your help!
You could try, but it's unlikely to be approved.
Contact the probate court where you applied for Georgia marriage license.
I was married 28 years ago in Georgia and on our marriage license, I chose my maiden name as my middle name and took my husbands last name. My first name remained the same.
If it's not too difficult or expensive, I'd like to undo this change and go back to using my full legal name I had before marriage. In other words, legally revert back to my original first, middle, last/maiden name on my birth certificate but without getting a divorce. (My husband is supportive of my decision.) What steps do I need to take to accomplish this task? What agencies do I need to contact to do make this change and in what order should I contact them? Also, what costs/fees are involved?
If this change is too costly or difficult, I'm also considering just replacing my middle name (currently my maiden name) with my original middle name that is on my birth certificate. I'd like to remove my middle/maiden name from driver's license, ss card, etc and use my original middle name on these legal documents. What is the process for only changing my current middle? Do I need to have this change done through the court with a petition or can I just request this change be made through the dvm and ss office since that name is already on my birth certificate? Thanks for your help!
Although this could work as a reverted name change with the SSA using your marriage certificate, it's unlikely to work with other institutions. For the rest, you'd have to present another name change document. In your case, it would be a court order.
Social security first. Other credentials afterward.
If you're petitioning the court, you'll be looking to spend about $200 in filing fees.
I'm having a hard time deciding how to handle changing my name when I get married as I'm attached to all of my given names. Ideally I would keep my first, middle, and maiden name and add his name at the end, but I know having two last names can be a hassle. Is it possible to add my maiden name as a second middle name on my Georgia marriage license, or would I have to petition the court to do so? Thanks!
Hi Tonya. You can. Specify your choice when applying for a license.
What do I have to do if I want to change my daughters name along with my name when I get married in April. He is not her biological father but her biological father is not in the picture she is 10 years old and he’s never been legitimatized we live in the state of Georgia
Hi Jessica. Your child's name change is to be done independent of your married name change. It can be done before or after through the Superior Court.
Once you obtain the court order showing your child's new name, you may both go to the SSA to update social security cards. You with your marriage certificate. Your child with the court order.
Hello. I will be married in the spring in Utah, but reside in Georgia. I would like to add my future husband's last name to the end of my name, giving me TWO last names. I don't want two middle names, and i don't want to drop my middle name and add my maiden name as a middle. I want FirstName MiddleName Maiden Name Husband Name. Does Georgia recognize TWO last names?
Hi Collette. You can have two last names after marriage in Georgia.
Thank you! What about two middle names? Can I change my maiden name to middle, and have two middle names? FirstName MiddleName MaidenName HusbandName?
Hi Collette. You can.
Thank you again
My fiance and I reside in Michigan but plans to get married in GA since he's from there and it's also one of the few states that permit the man to change their last names as part of the marriage process.
My question is, if we both want to change our last name to his mother's (which is different from his current last name, which is his father's), does that count as part of the marriage process or is it something we have to petition the court?
My second question is, I have been known by a nickname aside from my legal name. Can I use the marriage as an opportunity to change my current legal first name to a middle name and make my nickname my legal first name? Thank you!
It would have to be a court petition.
Not through marriage. This would be a court petition as well.
hello i was married in 1983 and took my husbands last name. I go by my middle name so i went to social security and changed my name to my middle name as first my maiden as my middle and my husbands last name. Now 37 years later the DMV in georgia made me change my name on my license to first name on birth certificate middle name on certificate and husbands last name. so now i have two names is it a legal name change in georgia if social security changed it or do i have to go through the courts
Hi Lynn. Your DMV name change is valid, even though it doesn't exactly match your SS record. They had to change it to what was allowed at the state level.
Hello. When completing my marriage license application I listed my "designated surname" (the last name to be used after marriage) as my husband's last name. However, my marriage certificate shows my maiden name.
I have updated my last name to my married name with Social Security and have my updated SS card. I am trying to renew my passport to to include my married name, but it asks for me to provide my marriage certificate.
Is this going to be a problem if my marriage certificate shows my maiden name? Was there a mistake with my marriage certificate? Please advise!
Hi Ali. You'll be fine updating your passport with your existing certificate.
I am married but separated and want to change my name back to my maiden name. how can I do this? the other party is not sending me my papers and I just want to change my name back in order to open an account or cash checks and what not. please let me know how to do this I live in Georgia. I want to change my ID back to my maiden name. Thanks in advance
Hi Stacey. You'd have to change your name in Superior Court.
in iowa it is legal to change first and last name with marriage .. i lived in georgia before i was married the last time in iowa and changed my first name to michaela ..
upon moving back to georgia with my marriage certificate stating the name change they refused to issue an id with michaela gienger which is my legal married name but instead issued robin gienger which is my birth name and married last name and i have no documents to support this name change therefore cannot change my ss card which has messed up things with the irs.. how do i handle this situation
You sure about that? You could write a new first name on your marriage license and self-solemnize the ceremony, but that doesn't mean a first name change would be accepted by any institution.
Georgia isn't going to accept a first name change unless it's by court order. There's no workaround.
Hello. I've been a bit confused with Georgia's name change process. We've been married for almost two months now. When we filled out our marriage license, I'm pretty sure I wrote my new last name (his last name). But now I can't remember. (terrible, I know)
Our marriage certified has my old last name on it. Are Georgia marriage certificates supposed to have new last names on it? It's been a pretty confusing process. I'm not sure if my next steps should to be petitioning for a name change (if my name didn't change? which I thought it did!) or if I should send my marriage license in with my old last name to social security to change it or even call the probate court where we filled for our license and ask them. Any tips would be helpful. Thank you!
Hi Mar. It should have your new name if you specified one. You can check with the probate court clerk to determine if you specified it at the time.
I am divorced and kept my married last name. i am planning on having a child with my new partner, but we aren’t married. On my new child’s birth certificate, i would like my maiden name typed in instead of the one i have now. How does that work?
Hi CM. Most birth certificates will list your maiden name anyway, for genealogical reasons. If you want your child's last name to match your maiden name as well, that's your prerogative.
I got married a year ago. whats the process in order for my wife to be able to take my name, we filled the marriage license stating that she would change it but our marriage certificate didnt have it. so do i go back to the probate court again or do the SSN paperwork for a new card? I've read all the answers but it doesn't give an order. She is torres Im mills and we want is as Mills-Torres
Hi Raquel. You may have to contact the probate court to determine why the new name doesn't appear on the certificate. It may have to be reissued.
I was married previously and got a divorced. I was using my previous husband last name. I got married again, and took his last name. I am going through a divorce and want to know if I can go back to my previous ex-husband’s last name, since all my business and credit still in my ex-husband’s last name?
Sure, just ask the judge during divorce proceedings to include the order in your finalized divorce decree.
We just married in Georgia and my wife wanted to change to my last name and we did so the marriage application. However, the marriage license and certificate show her maiden name.
Is it legal for her to use my last name from now on, using marriage certificate as a proof although it shows her maiden name?
Hi Anh. You may want to contact the court to make sure they sent 1) sent you a certified copy and 2) why your wife's new name isn't reflected on the document you did receive.
Hello, I've been married 2 years and updated my SS with my married name but not my license. I want to change my license but since its well over 60 days can I still go to the DMV and is there a penalty?
Hi Rene. Georgia Statutes says you must update the name or address on your driver's license within 60 days of it changing. However, it also says that you wouldn't be denied a new license for failure to do so. It also doesn't designate any sort of penalty or fine for not updating within a timely manner.
This is the posture of many states. Statutes say that X must be updated within Y days or months, but there's no actual enforcement mechanism. It's not practical to enforce it and the blow back would likely make enforcement untenable. At best, it's meant to nudge you along. Most people are likely to update their IDs close together anyway.
Hello Everyone! I have a question, hopefully someone can answer because I can't find the real answer…everyone seems to say different things.
So, I was just married in Georgia. We filled out the Marriage License application and I wrote my maiden name and my husband's last name (hyphenated last name) in the "designated surname (last name to be used after marriage)".
I later realized what a pain it is to change everything over to a new last name and I am wondering if it's okay to just keep our separate last names as is and still be okay legally. Our marriage certificate states our own maiden names but the Marriage license application on question #6. I did put a new hyphenated last name.
I called Social Security and they mentioned it didn't matter if I just kept my last name, that our Marriage Certificate would prove we were married but when I look up information online I've read that we would have to Amend the name. Is that necessary? It seems more complicated than it should be. Anyone can tell me the correct information with this please… Can we just keep our separate last names, change nothing and all be okay? Thank you so much!
Yes, that would work fine.
Could you point to a reference? Which would be false.
Yes, you can.
Hello, hoping to get a clear answer because I am so confused on my situation.
I was divorced in 2016 in North Carolina. I ended up just keeping my married name. I will now be getting married in Indiana this year, and I really want to hyphenate my maiden name with my new married name. We live in Georgia.
Do I need to legally get my maiden name back before getting married to do this, or can it just be done after we get married?
Hi Laura. You should change your name back to your maiden before getting married. Make sure you do it well in advance so that you can present photo ID in your maiden name when applying for your marriage license.
Thank you so much!
I was married in Colquitt County in GA. I was told they do not ask about changing names and the certificate will only (and does) only have my maiden name. They said it was my responsibility to change it with the SS office and everyone else using this if I wanted it changed. They do not issue marriage license with your new name on it here.
Hi Kayla. This is interesting. Georgia Statutes 19-3-33.1 states the following:
So, each probate court is responsible for designing their marriage application to comply with state law. But they aren't required to design their license and certificate to mirror your new name. Only your current legal name at the time.
In Georgia, marriage license applications, licenses, and certificates aren't standardized like some other states. You have a patchwork. This shouldn't prevent you from changing your name though.
The question is, were you given an opportunity to specify your new last name when you applied? You say no, but state law mandates the application ask for this.
You may want to get back in touch with the probate court and have them pull up the application to make sure. You should have been asked, whether you applied on paper or online.
We're trying to figure out how to change my wife's name after we got married. On the application for the marriage license, we put my last name as the intended last name after marriage. The Marriage Certificate has her maiden name on it, is that an issue for applying to change names, or is that fact that we put it on the application enough?
Hi FP. The marriage certificate should be fine as-is. The new name omission shouldn't get in the way of your wife's name change.
Hi I got married in Georgia over 10 years ago but never changed my last name on any documents. Now I want to file for divorce but don’t know which last name to put on documents. Some people say I’m supposed to use my husbands last name but like I said I never changed my name on any documents!! Please help so I can get this over with!!! By the way, I’m filing with my own paperwork and not using a lawyer…
Use the name you had before you got married, which is still your current, legal name.
Ok I was married in Iowa on 2008. They allowed me to change my first name as well as last. I had no problems with anything. SS did the name change without a hitch. Iowa DMV did also. But I moved back to Georgia and had to reinstate my liscense. They refused to honor the legal name change in Iowa and issued my do in my birth first name and current married last name.
I have no documents to explain this name change. How do I get it fixed. I cant get any of my stimulus payments. Taxes are alewahs rejevted loans are impossible but I need help fix this now.
Hi Michaela. Unfortunately, Georgia isn't going to honor the change of your first name. You'll have to petition the superior court to resolve this.
I am getting married soon and want to take my future husband's last name and completely remove my maiden name. I currently have no middle name.
1) Is it possible to use this opportunity to get anew middle name (brand new name unrelated to my former last name)
2) Is it possible to make my first name my middle name and get a brand new first name?
Hi Carole. No to both questions. At best you can make your maiden name your middle name.
Hi! My husband and I got married in December in Florida, but we live in Georgie. Our marriage license is a Florida license. Will this affect anything changing my name?
Your out-of-state marriage record will work fine to change your name.
I was married and changed my name in 2016. I wanted to hyphenate my name but was told I could not because I did not specify on my marriage license. It was just my husband's last name and not hyphenated.
I decided to drop my middle name and take my maiden name as my middle name and my husbands last name. I am trying to find documentation with Georgia statue that I could do this. Do you have that information?
I already have my drivers license and Social security card updated to my first name, maiden name, new last name. But I has a license for work requesting proof that I could do this with marriage. Any help would be great.
Hi Rebekah. Georgia Code spells out the name change through marriage standards in statute "19-3-33.1: Use of surname in application for marriage license."
But that language is specific to surnames. When it comes to middle names, there is no equivalent statute, AFAIK. Georgia marriage license applications tend to ask for names before and after marriage: first, middle, and last.
Middle name changes have still flowed through unimpeded. It's not questioned as there's not much point in rocking the boat for something that's not explicitly excluded.
But this isn't much help for your situation because you didn't specify your new name on your marriage license application.
Hi, I’m massively confused. We are getting married in TN but reside in GA. The TN marriage application does not have a place to put what my new surname. It only allows for my maiden name. I want to hyphenate my maiden name with husband’s last name.
Years ago GA required a certified copy of the marriage APPLICATION to make a hyphenate last name. How do I facilitate having my last name hyphenated with mine and his last name since TN does not give any option on the application?
The DMV is a mess when trying to get this facilitated with them. I’m now worried because TN doesn’t put the hyphenated option or just to be taken spouse’s last name on the APPLICATION or MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE.
I would like to have my name as: FIRST+MIDDLE+Surname+Husband last name. OR FIRST+Surname+husband’s last TN. I feel like TN has really made things hard due to not including what my new last name is going to need to be! Thank you so much!!
It's nothing to worry about. Your Tennessee marriage license will work fine in Georgia when it comes time to hyphenate your name.
This is a nonissue.
TN follows what the vast majority of states do. It's more common than you realize.