Maiden Name to Middle Name Change

955 Comments

When you're considering ways to change your name while honoring your maiden name, one of the best options to consider is adopting your new spouse's name and making your maiden name your new middle name. Since many people choose to adopt a new name, losing your old name can feel like a loss and some people even grieve it. If you are an only child or don't have children, you might worry how your parents will feel when your surname is lost. Making it a middle name is a great way to keep it in your life while still following marriage conventions as far as changing your name.

Pros of Maiden Middle Names

This option is particularly attractive not just for the sake of sentimentality. If you change your maiden name to your middle name, when you're dealing with unexpected little name changes at non-government institutions and need to quickly provide proof that you have just changed your name, having your maiden name as your middle name makes it easy to verify that you "added a name" and you're the same person. It's also great if you plan to continue using your maiden name in business for professional reasons, as using just part of your name is still common.

If you decide to go forward with your name change, you can make use of our online name change forms to help complete the process.

Satisfies Your Relatives

Your parents and other relatives might have a problem with you completely giving up your maiden name. Pride in your family and heritage can run deep, and giving up your name can feel like abandoning that heritage. If your name is particularly famous or linked to relatives you admire, choosing to make your maiden name into your middle name is a great way to honor your past while honoring your commitment to your partner and future with them. If you're trying to show that you aren't forgetting where you came from, keeping your heritage as a part of your name is a wonderful gesture and sure to heal rifts that might develop over adopting an entirely new name.

More Than One Middle Name?

About three in four people have a middle name now—and ten percent use it on a regular basis. If you already have a middle name, you have a dilemma: do you choose your new middle name instead of the old one, or do you have more than one middle name? The answer depends on how you feel about having more than one middle name. Some use two initials, or one initial and one middle name, and others use just one middle name on a regular basis and keep the other as strictly an official name. If the middle names clash, you might want to consider replacing your old middle name with the new one. Just remember: having more than one middle name can prove unwieldy, especially when it comes to forms and documents that only have space for one middle name on them.

Usually Easier Than Hyphenation

When you have your maiden name as a middle name, it's still easier than hyphenating your name. You won't struggle with an overly long name and you don't have to use your middle name on a regular basis—but you won't get penalized if you don't. For someone who has a maiden name that just wouldn't sound good when hyphenated with their partner's name, a middle name may be a much better option. You will be able to more easily prove your connection to people in both sides of your family as necessary (which is especially important when it comes to childcare issues, such as flying with children). Plus, it means your last name won't be such a mouthful.

Helps Ease You Through the Transition

If you aren't thinking about hyphenating your last name because you just want a single last name, you're probably choosing your partner's name for convenience or because you like it. In doing so, you might feel a sense of loss. It isn't always about just keeping your relatives happy—you have to feel like you're inhabiting your new name as you go through changing all your paperwork and possibly updating your professional details. By keeping your middle name, it won't feel as scary because you won't feel like you need to abandon what you are familiar with. You get to take on your new name while keeping the old, which is definitely like having your cake and eating it, too!

Disadvantages of Maiden Middle Names

There are a few disadvantages to this option, of course. Certain states (see below) make the process trickier than average, though most don't. If you already have a middle name, you have to choose one or feel like "one of those people" by listing more than one middle name whenever you give your full name. Getting used to having a middle name is also a process, and you may need to add this middle name to a lot of documents. Everything from your driver's license to passport must be in the exact same name with the same middle name, especially if your first and last names are both fairly common.

Some States Make This Tricky

Our site can help facilitate this name change in most states, but five states make the process trickier. These states are: New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington State. In these states, you need to petition the court to change your name from your maiden to middle name. The process can be relatively easy or stressful, depending on how much you like bureaucracy and the court system! For many people, it's stressful just because it takes more time and name changes can already be a time-consuming process. If you live in one of these states, hyphenation may well be the easiest option.

Changing your maiden name to your middle name is becoming increasingly popular as people try to find a balance between tradition and more practical modern alternatives. No matter whether you're leaning towards hyphenating, changing your name, creating a new last name, or keeping your maiden name, it's worth considering this as an option.

955 Comments

  1. M

    Getting Married in Illinois. Would like to my change middle name to current last name from a previous marriage, due to my child, then take my new husbands last name. Can I put First Name, Current last name as my Middle Name, New Last Name on the marriage certificate? Would putting my name this way on the marriage certificate be enough to legally change my name or would I need to do a "Changing Names by Court Petition" after getting married? Or would I have to change my middle prior to getting married, so I could put it on the marriage certificate with my new last name?

    Reply
  2. Kim

    I married (14 yrs) ago and changed my middle name to my maiden name… and over the years had regretted it mainly for heritage reasons and would like to add it back to my name making two middle names (given middle name along with maiden name), Can I do this when I renew my drivers license in California or do I need a court order? Also is having two middle names with a space cumbersome with legal documents or is one middle name (two middle names combined without a space) recommended?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I do this when I renew my drivers license in California or do I need a court order?

      You will need a court order.

      Also is having two middle names with a space cumbersome with legal documents or is one middle name (two middle names combined without a space) recommended?

      Space-separated names may cause confusion and errors, but that doesn't necessarily mean you should avoid it. If a space is what you prefer, choose it. You'll just have to be diligent in catching mistakes and be proactive in making sure others understand there's a space in your name.

      Reply
  3. Shiela

    Hi, on the application it asked for the last name ill use after marriage so I put my fiance's last name. However it didnt ask for what middle name am I going to use nor what will be my full name after marriage. Now, I am married already and I am confused which is going to be my middle name since that it wasnt really asked. I also wanted to ask if it automatically changes my name or i would still need to file a name change? Please help me. Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      However it didnt ask for what middle name am I going to use nor what will be my full name after marriage. Now, I am married already and I am confused which is going to be my middle name since that it wasnt really asked.

      A few states will ask it, but most won't. Most states allow the middle name to be replaced with the maiden. The end of this article lists which states block it.

      If you don't plan to change your middle name, it'll stay the same.

      I also wanted to ask if it automatically changes my name or i would still need to file a name change?

      It's not automatic. You have to initiate the name change.

      Reply
  4. Danielle

    Hi!
    I would like to just address something you mentioned about the tricky states in which you are adding your maiden name to be your middle name. I am from New Jersey and there is no court involved I literally JUST did it this morning, at social security. Nothing tricky or difficult about it. Filled out the application added my maiden name to my middle name and then my new last name.
    I am just curious as to whether or not I can sign most legal documents with just the initial of my middle names instead of writing them all out.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I am just curious as to whether or not I can sign most legal documents with just the initial of my middle names instead of writing them all out.

      Go by the document's instructions. If it asks for your full legal name, then spell out your first, middle, and last. If it just asks for your legal name, first and last is typically fine, although you can throw in your middle initial if you'd like.

      If you're unsure, just spell it out. In the grand scheme of things, it probably doesn't make much difference. You're the same person, even if there are minor variations in how you spell out your middle name.

      Reply
    2. Lauren

      Hi Danielle,

      I just got married about a month ago in NJ (I also live in NJ) and I have read and been told my multiple ppl that you do need to petition the court, but not for SS, but for the DMV.

      Have you been to the DMV to change your name at this point? If so, did you have any issues?

      Thanks and congrats to you!

      Reply
  5. rachel

    Hi, I got married 3 years ago and now that I am pregnant I want to change my name to be my first, maiden, married name. I live in NY and I understand it is a bit easier to do that here now, as opposed to going to court do it. Does it matter if I got married 3 years ago? I assume it should be okay as I will have my marriage certificate but do you anticipate any problems with this? If not, I think the first step is social security and then the DMV and then passport, right? I dont need to feel rushed to change credit cards and other things yet as my maiden name will become my middle name and will still be on those items. Thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Does it matter if I got married 3 years ago? I assume it should be okay as I will have my marriage certificate but do you anticipate any problems with this?

      Did your marriage application at the time have a spot to specify a new last name? If it did and you didn't specify your spouse's, you may have to head to court for a name change. If it had no such space, you're ok.

      If not, I think the first step is social security and then the DMV and then passport, right?

      Yes.

      Reply
  6. Lynn

    I live in Georgia and I was wanting to change my last name to my future spouse's. I already have a middle name, but I hate it, would it be possible to keep my first name, add in my future mother in law's maiden name, and then my future spouse's last name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      add in my future mother in law's maiden name

      This part would require a court order.

      Reply
  7. Chas

    I will be getting married in a few months. I live in Indiana. I want to keep my late husbands Surname but I also want to take my soon to be husbands surname. I do not want to use one as a middle name and I really do not want to have to hyphenate the Surnames. Can I have both last names legally in Indiana?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Chas. Anything beyond taking your spouse's surname as-is or hyphenating would require a court petitioned name change.

      Reply
  8. TeTe

    Hello! Thanks for the article! I tried searching the comments for this answer but couldn't find it. Could you help?

    I want to take my (now) Middle Name and join it with my First Name, make my Maiden Name my new Middle Name & take his Last Name as my own.

    So, my new full, legal name would read: FirstMiddle Maiden Last

    Can I do that in FLA or Missouri? If so, how difficult would this be?

    Thank you in advance!! :)

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I want to take my (now) Middle Name and join it with my First Name

      This requires a court order.

      make my Maiden Name my new Middle Name & take his Last Name as my own.

      This can be done through marriage using your marriage certificate.

      Can I do that in FLA or Missouri? If so, how difficult would this be?

      Same applies for both states. It's not hard to get your name changed through the court system. You can read the court petition article that'll explain what to expect.

      If you go the court route, you could change all aspects of your name simultaneously: first, middle, and last.

      Reply
  9. Vanessa

    Hello,

    I feel so bad about this, I’m not sure if it was the excitement, but I forgot to fill out the “new name” section. So I’m stuck with my birth name. I already received my marriage certificate. I would like to add his last name. Btw, I married in California. Would I be able to amend this or would I have to petition? Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Would I be able to amend this or would I have to petition?

      You can't amend it after the fact. You'll have to petition.

      Reply
  10. Kimberley Owen Fletcher

    I married in New York and live in South Carolina. They put my surname as: Owen Fletcher because I want to use my surname (Owen) as my middle name and Fletcher as my last name. Can I do that?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kimberley. South Carolina does allow middle to maiden name to middle name changes through marriage. You may have to explain why your maiden name is shown as part of your surname on the certificate though. Supporting identity documentation (e.g., birth certificate, prior ID) should alleviate any concerns, if raised.

      Reply
      1. Kimberley Owen Fletcher

        Thank you. In NY where I got married the form does not have a place to change the middle name. That is why she put it beside the new last name where it says new surname. Now will the new middle name replace the old middle name?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Now will the new middle name replace the old middle name?

          Yes, it would be replaced.

          Reply
  11. JR

    Hi

    I recently got married in NY. My drivers license is still NJ one as I am from there. If I wanted to change my name to have two middle names so it would be: first name middle name maiden name husbands last name is that going to be an issue. We are currently living in NY.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      If I wanted to change my name to have two middle names so it would be: first name middle name maiden name husbands last name is that going to be an issue. We are currently living in NY.

      That's not possible in New York, unless you go to court.

      Reply
  12. AmberLee

    Hello
    I live in CA and was previously married with my first daughters father and kept his last name so it would be the same as my daughters. I am thinking about getting remarried because I am having another child with someone else but also want his last name. I am complete okay with getting rid of my middle name and using my ex's last name as my middle and new last name as my last. Can I do that in the marriage process or does a separate court hearing/paperwork have to happen? Also is the paperwork process extra long or about the same with getting married?

    For Example…
    AmberLee Marie Jones (First, middle, divorced name)
    What I want…
    AmberLee Jones Baker (first, divorced name, new married name)

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I am complete okay with getting rid of my middle name and using my ex's last name as my middle and new last name as my last. Can I do that in the marriage process or does a separate court hearing/paperwork have to happen?

      You can do this through the marriage process. You do not need to go to court. On the California marriage license application, enter your preferred middle and last name choices where you're directed to. Use the marriage certificate you'll receive after marriage to change your name with the necessary institutions.

      Reply
  13. Melissa

    Hi I recently got married in MA. There was no spot on the marriage license to change my middle name and the clerk said I should be able to do that on the social security form. However, I don't want to change my middle name my maiden name, I just want to change my middle name to a different middle name. If I fill out the paperwork this way will social security accept it? Or do I need to take additional steps? I can't find an answer to this anywhere as most people just change their middle name to their maiden name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I just want to change my middle name to a different middle name. If I fill out the paperwork this way will social security accept it? Or do I need to take additional steps?

      No, this wouldn't be accepted. You'll need to go to court to change your middle name to something entirely new.

      Reply
  14. Perla

    Hello,

    My fiance and I are getting married this weekend in California and have a name predicament.

    Our current legal names are Perla Smith and Kevin Roe. We do not have a middle name. We want to honor the name "bobby" by adding it to our middle or last name. However, neither of us have "bobby" in any current documents.

    Is it possible for both of us to change our name as part of the marriage process to
    Perla Bobby Roe & Kevin Bobby Roe? Will the state ask for the origin of bobby?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is it possible for both of us to change our name as part of the marriage process to Perla Bobby Roe & Kevin Bobby Roe? Will the state ask for the origin of bobby?

      No, that's not going to be possible through the marriage name changing process. You'll have to go through the court system instead.

      Reply
  15. La La

    Hi! I couldn't find my specific dilemma in the comments. I live in PA and recently got married in PA. I want my legal name to be First-Maiden-Husband's Last Name, ultimately removing my Middle name given at birth.

    SS office updated my legal name to First-Maiden-Husband's Last Name, no problem. Then DMV said I could not make that change without the additional proof i.e. bank statements (but they won't change it without updated license), passport, and/or voter registration.

    My question is: will they issue an updated passport listing my proposed name (First-Maiden-Husband's Last Name) if I send my certified marriage license (lists my name as First-Middle-Maiden) or am I wasting my time and should petition the court?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      will they issue an updated passport listing my proposed name (First-Maiden-Husband's Last Name) if I send my certified marriage license

      Yes, the passport office operates on a separate track from the DMV.

      Reply
  16. Jennifer A.

    hi, I'm in AZ: First, our marriage license did NOT have a place to list my 'new' name; it only had a space for my given name. If I want to add my maiden name to my middle name when I change it, it sounds like I can do that, right? So then I would have two middle names. Currently I typically use my middle initial anyplace I have to use my 'official' signature; after my name change is processed in the SS office, can I change my official signature to have TWO middle initials? (like on a check, on any legal documents, etc.)

    Which initial do I use on electronic forms that only have one space for a middle initial? If I want to honor my original surname by using THAT first letter as my middle initial on electronic forms, do I have to actually give up my original middle name so that my maiden name would be my only middle name? Basically, I'm asking whether I can I choose which middle initial I want to use on electronic forms, or does the middle initial always have to be the one from my FIRST middle name?

    The 'real' ID stuff people are writing in the comments is starting to worry me; I currently don't have a passport, so it sounds like I might have a tougher time changing my driver's license to the Real ID because of that… is that true?

    Reply
    1. Kelly

      I think in Arizona you can make your maiden name a middle name, but if you want two middles, i.e. birth and maiden, you would need a court order. If that is the option you choose, you can use either middle name's initial on forms, but I personally would choose one and be consistent about it. Most people choose the first middle name initial. For a Real ID driver's license, I think all four names would be required. A passport may allow you to choose one, or use initial(s), or simply first and last names.

      Reply
  17. JR

    In NY if I changed my name on my social security card to first name, middle name, husbands last name but I want to now change it to first name, middle name, maiden last name, husnfads last name can I easily just go back to the social security office and change it? This was done in the last year.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi JR. Since you've already changed your name with the social security office, you'll have to present a court order to complete a follow-up name change.

      Reply
  18. Emily

    I recently changed my last name to my married last name on my social it’s first middle maiden married names so two last names. My question is on my license can I just put my first given middle and married last name leaving out my maiden name all together?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      My question is on my license can I just put my first given middle and married last name leaving out my maiden name all together?

      Maybe, maybe not. If the DMV performs a lookup against the SSA database and discovers your proposed name doesn't match, that's a problem. Even if no lookup is performed, if you're in a state where a new name choice is shown on the certificate, deviating from that could be a problem. Finally, just because the SSA permitted a space-separated surname doesn't guarantee the DMV will.

      Reply
  19. Emily

    I recently got married in Washington (Washington marriage license) and I live in California. I want to have my name changed so that I will have my maiden name be my middle name and then I will take my husband's last name (i.e. First name Maiden name Husband's last name). Basically, I am dropping my previous middle name and taking my husband's last name. I filled out my marriage license with my original name (because that is what the office in Washington told me to do). Will I need to get a court order to change my name in California or will i be able to make those changes without filing a court order?

    Reply
  20. Ms. Rocky

    I live and am getting married soon in the state of Indiana. If they put his last name on our marriage certificate do I have to legally change my last name to his last name or can I still legally use my maiden name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      If they put his last name on our marriage certificate do I have to legally change my last name to his last name or can I still legally use my maiden name?

      You're not required to change your last name, regardless of what appears on the marriage certificate.

      Reply
  21. Roberta

    I have been using my maiden name as my middle name since I got married 45 years ago. I went to the DMV in NY today to renew my drivers license and they told me that the rules for the enhanced license that complies with federal law only allows me to use the middle name that is on my birth certificate! They told me that the name I have been using is not my legal name – even though it has been my signature on every single thing for 45 years!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Roberta. These stories aren't new, especially with Real ID requirements. This is an instance where the name on your driver's license deviates from the name on your other records due to current day regulations.

      Reply
    2. Sarah

      Don't use your birth certificate for proof of citizenship, use a passport (if you have one; if not, get one) with your maiden name as your middle name. A passport is proof of citizenship, even after it expires. It's also proof of ID, of course. The Real ID requirement of citizenship often means showing a birth certificate, which is fine if you've kept your original middle name after marriage. The citizenship document must match the ID document (driver's license). If not, you need a name change document such as a marriage certificate. However, many states will only allow the marriage certificate to change the last name. A passport eliminates the need for a name change document.

      Reply
      1. Lyn Stone Colton

        Now I'm confused. My birth certificate name is Marilyn Frances Stone. I married over 30 yrs ago and got a CA driver's license : Lyn Stone Colton. All my current documents: SS# & card, IRS, Car loan & insurance, credit cards are all under Lyn Stone Colton.

        Military base in CA denied renewing my base pass cuz name on birth certificate doesn't match. Are you saying that rather than going through court for name change, that I can get a passport using driver's license & SS card?? What if I had a passport when I was a minor under Marilyn Frances Stone with same ss#??

        Reply
  22. Lisa

    When i got married 28 years ago, I changed my last name to my husband’s, but i kept my previous last name as my middle name. I had been widowed for several years and that’s why i chose to keep the name to match her last name. But now… i want my birth middle name back, it’s too confusing & of course daughter is an adult now so unnecessary . Do i just file a regular name change petition? Do i need a legal service? Thanks

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Do i just file a regular name change petition?

      Yes, you just file a regular name change petition in the proper courthouse.

      Reply
    2. Erin

      Some states may allow you to revert to your full maiden name if you show them your husband's death certificate, your birth certificate, and marriage certificate. It's worth a try to avoid a court petition, which, of course, is not free.

      Reply
  23. Veronica

    Hello,

    I am recently married and when I went to the Social Security Office, to update my new name they asked if I wanted to Hyphenate or add my husbands name to my name. I did not want to hyphenate, so I added his last name to mine. I'm curious if dropping your maiden name is not an option anymore without having to petition the court. I live in NM. I really didn't want to have 2 last names, but that was the only option given to me at the Social Security Office. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank You.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I did not want to hyphenate, so I added his last name to mine. I'm curious if dropping your maiden name is not an option anymore without having to petition the court.

      You'd have to go to court since you've already formally went through a name change.

      Reply
  24. Kate C

    Hello,
    I got married in 2017. I changed my last name to my husbands name and kept my middle name the same. Now as time has gone by, I would like to change my middle name to my maiden name. Is the only way to do this in Texas through a court order?
    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Now as time has gone by, I would like to change my middle name to my maiden name. Is the only way to do this in Texas through a court order?

      Yes, you'll have to go to court. When you change your name due to marriage, it's done as a complete set: first (which doesn't change), middle, and last.

      Reply
  25. Julie

    Hi. When I divorced years ago, I kept my married name because we have a child together. Now I am getting remarried and would like my new name to be First Name, 1st Married Name (changing middle name to former married name), New Married Last Name. I am a legal resident of Michigan, getting married in California.

    Do I need to get a Court Order to change my middle name? If so, should I do before or after the wedding (which is April 27th – today is February 3rd)? Also, should I assume I would need to do in Michigan?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Julie. As far as I know, this isn't addressed in Michigan's statutes. Maiden to middle is possible, but prior married surname to middle is unanswered. You can try and then resort to a court order if it fails.

      Reply
  26. Ally L H

    Hello! I have found this website's information and comments so helpful! (And the blog posts have great character.) My husband and I went to the Social Security Administration office today to change our names. We decided we would both change our names in this fashion: First_name My_maiden His_last. We both have our certified Certificate of Marriage (Louisiana, don't think it has a spot for desired new names, we just signed our birth names). I was given no trouble at all changing my middle name to my maiden name and taking his last name.

    However, when my husband went to change his middle name to my maiden name (same office, same day), keeping his last name as is, he was told he had to petition the court. Is this correct? Or should he be able to change his middle name to my maiden name using our Certificate of Marriage in Louisiana? Thank you so much.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      as is, he was told he had to petition the court. Is this correct?

      Yes, it's correct. He must petition.

      Reply
      1. Ally L H

        Hey, Valera. Thank you so much for your expedient reply. I am not looking forward to the court process. Why is it that he has to wait for weeks, maybe months, and spend upwards of $400 when I could change mine immediately and at no cost?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Ally. Historically, husbands changing their surnames to their wives' isn't considered a marriage-related name change, but a general adult name change that requires a court order.

          Reply
          1. Debbie

            The system is biased against men in some states. Women are allowed to change their name for free using a marriage certificate, even for same -sex couples (who often take each other's last names while moving their maiden names to the middle). Men historically retain their birth surnames in our culture.

  27. Donna D M

    I live in Texas and have had my maiden name as my middle name on my drivers license only. For personal reasons I would like to put my middle name back on my license instead. On all other legal documents its first, middle and married name. How can I get my licence changed back.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      How can I get my licence changed back.

      You could try, but it's unlikely to be approved unless you have a document (e.g., court order, amended birth certificate) that justifies the name change.

      Reply
  28. B

    Hi Valera,

    just read thru every comment u posted & thought u'd be able to help. We are getting married in July 2019 in California and i am going to take his surname. I am Chinese and hoping to combine my Chinese middle name from 2 words into 1. (eg. it appears on my ID now as XXXX YYY, but i want it to appear as Xxxxyyy) is it possible? should i just write it as one word in the middle name column?

    Thx!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I am Chinese and hoping to combine my Chinese middle name from 2 words into 1. (eg. it appears on my ID now as XXXX YYY, but i want it to appear as Xxxxyyy) is it possible?

      California's name change allowances are quite flexible, but are tigher for middle name changes. What you're proposing isn't recognized under California's Name Equality Act.

      should i just write it as one word in the middle name column?

      When you fill out the marriage license application, the county clerk will transcribe your answers onto a blank marriage license form. If you omit the space, they'll notice it doesn't match your ID. Well, they should notice it.

      Even if they allow it through, the agents at the SSA or DMV might notice it and how it doesn't comply with the Name Equality Act.

      Reply
  29. Katie Zolnowski

    Hello,

    State of Ohio marriage name change question. I got married in January of this year 2019) and went to the SSO to change my name. The woman made a mistake in changing my name, as the entire process was done verbally (I would highly not recommend doing that). I had intended to change my name to First Middle Maiden His, and instead she changed it to First Maiden His. I'd like to get it changed AGAIN to what I had originally intended, the First Middle Maiden His format. What is the proper way of going about this? I called the Social Security hotline and they were not helpful and I don't know how to do this! Please help! (note: my wedding license only has my original unmarried name on it, and I haven't changed ANY forms of identification yet nor thrown out my old SS I.D….not sure if any of that info helps)

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Katie. Have you tried returning to the SS office to get your record amended? You can cite the clerk's mistake as justification.

      Reply
    2. Suzi

      There is a form that you can download from the SS website. It is the regular basic application form they use for everything, SS-5. Print it out and fill it in the way you want your name to be before you take it into the SS office. Take as many forms of ID that you have as well as your marriage certificate, and birth certificate if you have it handy. Ask for a name correction and tell them they made a mistake. They usually have the forms in the office also.

      Reply
  30. Kate

    Hello – In DC, do you know if I need a court order to make my maiden name my second middle name? Can I do this at SSA and the DMV?

    Reply
  31. Rash Mitchell

    When I got married I took my husbands last name for my New last name and kept my middle name. I now want my maiden name as my middle name. Can I do this in NY or NJ or since my home address is NJ do I have to do it in NJ?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Rash. If you've already completed a name change, you'll have to go to to court to change it again.

      Reply
  32. Jodie

    I am getting married next month and I live in GA. I found out last year (I am 46 years old) who my biological father is but he is not listed on my birth certificate and I never had his last name. When I complete my marriage license and enter the name I plan to go by can I use his last name as my middle name as I would if it were my maiden name? (First name, dad's last name, new husband's last name)

    Reply
    1. Valera

      When I complete my marriage license and enter the name I plan to go by can I use his last name as my middle name as I would if it were my maiden name?

      No, that wouldn't work. The probate court clerk wouldn't accept it, as it wouldn't match the name on your ID.

      Reply
  33. Colleen

    Hello,
    This question was sort of asked, but I wanted to check in to make sure I understand. I was married in and live in CO. I went to the social security office with the intent to change my last name and was told that only first and last name matters to them, not my middle name.

    The clerk made it seem like I couldn’t change my given middle name to my maiden name or have two middle names. Is that true? Should I have pushed to change my middle name to maiden name? Note, my marriage certificate was signed with my unmarried name, there was no where to indicate new name.

    As of now, the social security office is processing my name as FirstName GivenMiddleName HusbandsLastName but I would like to change my middle to maiden or have two middle names. Would I now have to petition the court? If so, do you have any resources/links with how to do that in Colorado?

    Thank you for your help!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      The clerk made it seem like I couldn’t change my given middle name to my maiden name or have two middle names. Is that true?

      You could have added a name or used your maiden name.

      Should I have pushed to change my middle name to maiden name?

      You could have. It's understandable why you didn't, considering the clerk's ambiguity.

      Note, my marriage certificate was signed with my unmarried name, there was no where to indicate new name.

      That's normal in Colorado.

      As of now, the social security office is processing my name as FirstName GivenMiddleName HusbandsLastName but I would like to change my middle to maiden or have two middle names. Would I now have to petition the court?

      You can try to visit a local office to see if they can intercept the change before it goes through, but it's unlikely to work. It may already be finished.

      If so, do you have any resources/links with how to do that in Colorado?

      You can take a look at the Colorado name change or social security name change articles for more information, but you'll probably have to petition the court.

      Reply
      1. Colleen

        Hi Valera, thank you for your response. I went back to the social security office and they were able to intercept the change, fortunately! My maiden name was too long to have both that and my given middle name for their form, but I am very happy that I am now FirstName MaidenName HusbandsLastName. Thank you for this website as a resource—it’s very helpful. Now, onto all the other name change processes!

        Reply
        1. Valera

          I went back to the social security office and they were able to intercept the change, fortunately!

          Thanks for coming back to report your success.

          Reply
    2. Julie

      Go into the SS office in person and request the name format you want. Tell them they made a mistake and you were not given the correct information from their employee.

      They don't "count" the middle name as part of the legal name, only first and last, so you can put anything in the middle name spot provided you have some kind of documented proof of "ownership" of the name, like for instance your maiden name, or a former last name (if you were previously married or widowed), or maybe even an informal document showing another middle name from say a religious event. Take your marriage certificate and any current ID.

      Reply
  34. Lauren

    My husband is military. We were married in NJ in 2006, moved to GA in 2007, and just recently moved to AZ. I’ve been using my maiden name as my middle name since I got married. I changed it with SS and it states my maiden as middle on my passport. My middle initial on my military dependant ID even matches my maiden name. All of my previous licenses also states my maiden as my middle name.

    I went to the DMV in AZ today to switch over my license. They gave me a hard time because my birth certificate and marriage license have my given middle name on them. She said something about needing a name change but ultimately used my passport and issues my license with the maiden as middle.

    I’m very concerned. Do I need to do a legal name change? How do I do one? Do I do it here in AZ? If I knew this was such an issue, I would have left my given middle name instead of trying to honor my family by adopting my maiden name as my middle name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Lauren. Since your name change was successfully processed, you needn't worry about it. You're done.

      Reply
    2. Carrie

      A similar issue happened to me in Washington State. I've been married almost 25 years and when I went to renew my license I brought everything with me to get an enhanced license (our state's real id).

      Everything I have is first-maiden-married. The clerk tried to tell me I need to get a court order to change my name to first-birth middle-married. I argued, had a hissy-fit and requested a supervisor, who ultimately sided with me because I had a passport.

      Now I'm paranoid to go back there in a few years, afraid of getting a notice in the mail, etc. lol. It really shouldn't be like this…

      Reply
  35. Cindy Smith Garrison

    I just obtained a California Real ID. My previous driver's license had my first name, middle name, maiden name and married last name. I was told yesterday I could only have one last name.

    My name had to appear exactly as it was on my birth certificate (first and middle name) and my last name could be my maiden name or married last name, but not both.

    Even though my social security card has both last names, he said they had to be compliant and show the name transition on legal documents. He did not answer my question about the social security card, but it appears the Federal Government has it's own set of rules.

    Even though my driver's license had my married name, I had to show my marriage certificate to keep my husband's last name.
    Here are the documents I needed in California to obtain a real ID and change my address:

    Birth Certificate
    Marriage License
    Social Security Card
    W-2 (with correct address)
    Medical Document (with correct address)

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I had to show my marriage certificate to keep my husband's last name. Here are the documents I needed in California to obtain a real ID and change my address

      Thanks for detailing which documents worked in your situation.

      Reply
  36. Lidy

    Hi , I am in PA and i got married. I applied for my green card with my maiden name as a middle name. They accepted it and my social security too. However, in the DMV they did not change my middle name because they told me I need a court permission to do so. The process is rather expensive. Do you think the only option I have is to pay for a name change? The only document that is not issued with my maiden name as a middle name is the driver license.

    Reply
  37. Jean Smith

    Is it legal to have four names in Georgia?
    I have a middle name
    Jane Joy Doe and I just want to tack on his last name
    Jane Joy Doe Smith

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jean. This is unlikely, as the state doesn't explicitly allow it in its statutes.

      Reply
  38. Cris Molinari

    Hi,
    I was married in NV as a Ca resident in 1987. I added my maiden name to my husband's name. New SS card shows my existing middle name as an initial, but my DV was issued FirstName MaidenNameLastName, as did my passport. Everything legal and ok. However, now I am back in country of birth and they require proof of name 'change' as my original middle name is missing from my US documents. What kind of proof can I give them for something that is normal, legal and does not require a court order in CA?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      What kind of proof can I give them for something that is normal, legal and does not require a court order in CA?

      A certified copy of your Nevada marriage certificate. It would show how you derived part of your name from your spouse's.

      Reply
      1. Cris Molinari

        Well, it does not. Neither does the marriage license. Maybe the law/rules changed since 1987…………

        Reply
  39. Amanda

    Hi!

    I just got married and I want to change my name to have my maiden name be my middle name and my husband's name be my new last name. But, here's the kicker, I currently go by my middle name. Is it possible to make my middle name my first name, then have my maiden name be my middle name, and then my husband's last name be my new last name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is it possible to make my middle name my first name

      That's not possible through marriage.

      Reply
        1. Valera

          What would the process be to change that?

          Court petition. Then you could change any aspect of your first, middle, and last name. You could change your name before or after you're married.

          Reply
  40. LJensen

    In September I will get married in Texas and I would like to change my middle name to my maiden name. I am not sure though if this should be done before or after the marriage, seeing as I really only want to have to change all my documents only once.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I am not sure though if this should be done before or after the marriage, seeing as I really only want to have to change all my documents only once.

      Do it after you get a certified copy of your marriage certificate, which occurs after marriage.

      Reply
  41. Gabby

    Hi! I am getting married in NY State in a few weeks. I would like to take my maiden name as my second middle name. As well as change my last name to my soon to be husbands last name.

    I’d go from from First name – middle name- maiden name

    To First name – middle name – maiden name (middle #2) – last name.

    Should I change my last name through marriage (and go through all the legal aspects of changing it) and then petition for the middle name addition after?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I would like to take my maiden name as my second middle name.

      Not possible through marriage, as you alude to.

      Should I change my last name through marriage (and go through all the legal aspects of changing it) and then petition for the middle name addition after?

      If you're going to petition, you can change both your middle name and last name at the same time.

      Reply
  42. grace

    Hi, I live in Michigan and would like to take a portion of my last name and make it my middle name. I'm taking my fiance's last name. So essentially creating a new middle name and taking my husband's last name. Is this doable under the normal marriage name change procedure?

    thanks

    Reply
  43. Dani

    Hello! I live in California and wish to make my maiden name my second middle name with a space between the two names. How does this work legally with government paperwork when it asks for a single middle initial? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      How does this work legally with government paperwork when it asks for a single middle initial?

      You'd use the first letter of the first part of your two-part middle name.

      Reply
  44. Sherry

    Soooo I've been married 25 years and have now decided to take on my husband's name. We just moved to another state so it makes sense since I have to get a new driver's licence in this state.

    My intention is to take my maiden name as my middle name – Sue Smith Jones. But from all the comments I'm reading it appears that there is an issue with changing your passport name.

    I'm not interested in hyphenating my name so wanted to understand the problem. Not interested in having a super long name Sue Marie Smith -Jones. Any advice. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      But from all the comments I'm reading it appears that there is an issue with changing your passport name.

      What problem are you referring to?

      Reply
      1. Sherry

        This comment from someone who posted this last month:

        I just got a notification from the passport office that they needed more documentation. I called and the first lady I spoke to said that my marriage certificate only provides documentation for changing your last name on your passport. She said I would need to get a court order to validate the middle name change, even though it was directly related to my marriage.

        It's a bit confusing to me.

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Sherry. The person who placed that comment didn't reply back clarifying her situation. It's possible her marriage certificate had a space for a new middle name which was left blank.

          Reply
          1. Sherry

            I see – makes sense. Thanks for your help.

  45. Erin Sando

    Hello! I recently got married, and want different name change then the norm. I want to either drop my middle name or add to my middle name with my husbands last name because I plan to keep my maiden name as my last name. I live In Utah and am moving to Nevada (military move).

    I see on the DMV website NV does not recognize a new "maiden name" as a middle name however I just want to either add or drop my current middle name. So In order for this to happen will I really have to file for a name change and get my birth certificate amended?

    PS I got married in Las Vegas and the marriage certificate shows my legal first, middle, and last, then clerk told me to leave indented new middle name blank because it would not matter because NV allows multiple name combinations, which I am quickly finding out to not be true.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I want to either drop my middle name or add to my middle name with my husbands last name because I plan to keep my maiden name as my last name.

      You can hyphenate your middle name with your spouse's last name in Nevada.

      I see on the DMV website NV does not recognize a new "maiden name" as a middle name however I just want to either add or drop my current middle name.

      You can't drop your middle name and leave it empty. However, you can add to your middle name. But it must be hyphenated. There is no space or double-barreled option.

      So In order for this to happen will I really have to file for a name change and get my birth certificate amended?

      If you're willing to hyphenate your middle name, you won't have to go to court.

      NV allows multiple name combinations, which I am quickly finding out to not be true.

      Nevada does allow many different name combinations. More than some realize. But there are still limits.

      Reply
  46. Jessica

    I live in Colorado and am considering what to do about my name change since getting married in June (I just signed the marriage certificate with first, married last). I know I want to keep my maiden name in some way but I am also having trouble with the thought of dropping my middle name.

    Is it possible to change my name to First, Middle, Middle#2 (maiden), Last (married) so Jane Marie Johnson Smith? Essentially this would allow me to keep my birth names while having my husband's name be my legal last name. Also, professionally if my maiden name is part of my legal middle name can I still go by that as a teacher? Thanks for your help! This stuff is so stressful…

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is it possible to change my name to First, Middle, Middle#2 (maiden), Last (married)

      Although you can replace your middle with your maiden, you can't add it. You'll have to go to court for that.

      Also, professionally if my maiden name is part of my legal middle name can I still go by that as a teacher?

      That's up to your employer to accommodate. They'd still have to have your legal name on file that matches what the SSA and IRS has.

      Reply
  47. nandu patel

    I changed my name when I am a citizen. so now my kids and wife use my new name as a middle name? right now they use my old name as a middle name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Nandu. If your wife and children want to change their middle names again, they'll have to do so in court.

      Reply
  48. Maria

    I just got married in N.Y. state. I wanted to keep my maiden name as my middle name and replace my previous middle name with my maiden name. They would not allow me to do that on my marriage license and said thay the new lawsnonly allow a last name change not a middle.

    They even called Albany to verify. So on my marriage license the only change is my last name change. My question is if I go to the Social Security Administration, can I ask them to change my middle name to my maiden name and take on my husband's last name as my new last name even though it is different on the marriage certificate?

    I have not filed for name changes on any legal documents as of yet. Everywhere I ask they say it is not possible to change my middle name but only through a court order. Can you please help me figure out if this is possible in my case without a court order? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      if I go to the Social Security Administration, can I ask them to change my middle name to my maiden name and take on my husband's last name as my new last name

      Yes. The SSA doesn't really consider the middle name as part of your full legal name. You could even omit it if you'd like. They'll still process middle name changes.

      When you fill out the SSA application, you'll have to list your current name, which is your maiden name. The SSA will have your maiden name on file, so when they switch around your names there's a history linking everything together.

      Reply
  49. Amelie

    I just changed my last name to my husbands, and then put my maiden as middle name just to please my folks, not my primary preference, but hey they raised me and put me through school so wanted to do this for them.

    But for driver's license, other documentation etc could I just provide First name New Last Name, and just either initial middle or leave out middle. Because hubby is touchy on the topic too, and would prefer just his name.
    So I am stuck. Please help.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      But for driver's license, other documentation etc could I just provide First name New Last Name, and just either initial middle or leave out middle.

      Without knowing the state, it's ultimately up to your DMV to allow an omission.

      Reply
  50. Chandller Scott

    Hi, my sons name is Dominique Karl Eugene Scott how much would it be to change the last three letter in his first name to ic at the end and how much would it be to change his two middle name to one… what I really want to know is how much would it cost all together.

    Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Chandller. Child name changes in Indiana is handled by the county circuit court. Fees aren't standardized across courts, so you'll have to contact them directly. There typically isn't one fee either.

          You'll also have to factor in the cost of newspaper publication and getting the birth certificated updated with vital records.

          Reply
  51. Tasha

    Hello, I have seen questions from people living in Texas but wanted to see if I can get a link to rules and regulations about name changing in the state of Texas. To avoid a bunch of Googling. Ultimately, I was interested in either doing First name, Birth middle name, and Husband's last name, (when we eventually get married), OR First name, birth middle name, maiden name, husband's last name but not aware if 4 names are legal in Texas. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      but wanted to see if I can get a link to rules and regulations about name changing in the state of Texas

      First, go to Texas Constitution and Statutes and review the Family Code articles/chapters. Also see Texas Attorney General opinions H-432 (1974) and MW-225 (1980).

      Your marriage certificate/license is a valid name change document. Texas statutes do not spell out specific name change allowances, but the AG opinions do reference taking the spouse's name or hyphenating. The TxDPS change of information page also refers to using the marriage license as a valid name change document.

      In the absence of statutes specifying specific name change combinations, the SSA allows hyphenated and space-separated last names. The TxDPS will allow a hyphen, but not necessarily a space, as they're a state institution while the SSA is federal. They operate on different guidelines and interpretations.

      Reply
  52. name disaster

    I'm in Utah.
    At birth, I was given a first name (I never used), no middle name, and my surname. In 2013, after marriage, I legally changed my name to the first name I used my whole life, my maiden surname as a middle name, and my married name as my new married surname.

    I successfully changed my name with all the necessary departments but did not on my birth certificate (as I believed it to be optional). Now six years later I'm having difficutly obtaining a birth certificate for my newborn. They say I am required to change my own birth certificate to match the 2013 court order before they will issue a birth certificate for my child. But they will not accept the court order as I cannot have a shared middle name and maiden name.

    They requested I get an amended court order. The court says too much time has passed since the court order was issued and I am required to now submit a new name change petition. I'm not sure how I am supposed to keep my current legal name and request a legal name change on my maiden name. Advice?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      But they will not accept the court order as I cannot have a shared middle name and maiden name.

      Could you please clarify who is "they"? Jumping ahead, would they accept multiple name change documents that links one name change to another, such as birth certificate, marriage certificate, and court order?

      Reply
  53. Stephen Valencia

    My wife n I have been married for 3 years with her using her birth middle name, her Maiden name and hyphenated mine. (TENCIA MARIE GARCIA-VALENCIA) WE HAVE Decided that it is too long. She wants to replace her middle name with her maiden name and use my last name. Is this something that can be done in California?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Stephen. She'd have to get a court order to switch and trim her name like that.

      Reply
  54. Megan

    Hello,

    I am from Texas and I got married in June. I have already changed my last name to my husbands last name in all capacities (DMV (with real id and everything) social security, teaching, etc). So my current name is First Middle HusbandsLast. I would like to add my old maiden name back to my name would become First Middle Maiden Husbands last. Would I need a court order to do that? Thanks

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I would like to add my old maiden name back to my name would become First Middle Maiden Husbands last. Would I need a court order to do that?

      Yes, since you've already gone all in, you'll need a court order.

      Reply
  55. Anne

    I live in NYC and married in July. On marriage license and all updated IDs my legal name is currently: First (a double first name, like Mary Kate), Middle, Maiden Name-Husband's last.

    Would it be possible to change my name so that my legal name is only the first part of my original first name (so "Mary" instead of "Mary Kate") and then to have 3 middle names "Kate, Original Middle, Maiden Name," and then husband's last name?

    So if currently I were Mary Kate (first) Anne (original middle) Smith(surname)-Jones(husband's last), can I legally change to Mary (new first name) Kate Anne Smith (3 middle names) Jones (new last name)? If so, how?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Anne. You must obtain a court order to change your first name in New York. Such a change can't be done through a marriage name change. Same thing goes for your triple middle name.

      Reply
  56. Arielle

    Hi, I'm getting married and I would like to have my First name, Middle name, His last name and my maiden name. All separated, no hyphen. I'm from Puerto Rico but I would be doing this process in Pennsylvania since my fiancé is from there. Is it possible to add his last name first than mine without hyphenating? Thanks

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is it possible to add his last name first than mine without hyphenating?

      Yes, you can.

      Reply
  57. Inna

    Hi!

    I would like if someone can help me. I am originally from Ukraine.

    I’ve got married in US (Oklahoma state), I don’t have middle name, so after marriage I took my maiden name as a middle name and husband’s last name as my new last name.

    When I returned to Ukraine to change my passport according to marriage license they issued for me ID with last name which consists of two words: my «middle» name and new last name, because in Ukraine they can’t drop my “middle” name from marriage license.

    But in US I already have permanent resident card with my name and only one last name- husband’s last name.

    Would I have any problems to cross the border Ukraine-USA and update my permanent resident card ( PRC, for example, has name Inna, last name – Parry; and Ukraine passport has name -Inna, last name- Syto Parry)?

    Will be so thankful for any help!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Inna. You should be fine if you keep a certified copy of your marriage certificate with you during travels.

      Reply
  58. Mia

    I just changed my last name after getting married 2 years ago in the US. The problem was I’m using my same middle name (from my maiden name) and my husband’s last name for my green card/US drivers license.

    When I applied for my Philippine passport in the US, they told me I cannot use my middle name and instead use my maiden name’s last name which is my father’s last name as my middle name according to the Philippine law.

    So the problem was that I have 2 different middle names on my passport and green card/US drivers license. Will they still allow me entry in the US when I get back even if they have 2 different middle names on those documents. What can I bring? I just brought my marriage certificate just in case they ask

    Reply
    1. Valera

      What can I bring? I just brought my marriage certificate just in case they ask

      That's good. Make sure it's a certified copy. Other corroborating ID in both names also wouldn't hurt. Even if expired.

      Reply
  59. Sarah

    I live in Washington State.
    I was able to change my middle and last name for my social security card with just my marriage license. Then I used my new SS card to change it on my drivers license. But when I went to apply for a new passport they only changed my last name and told me I needed
    1. court ordered document or
    2. marriage license with my name change on it (Washington state does not do).

    Is there any other way I can change my middle name without a court order?
    I wouldn't have change my middle name if it was going to be this difficult with the passport…

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Sarah. You're in a difficult spot since you've already changed your name. You can attempt to go for a name correction in person (try a different agent) or change it by mail.

      Reply
    2. Melissa

      Passports are issued in the applicant's legal name, which is usually the name on the driver's license. Your marriage certificate is "proof" of an event that occurred that allows you to change your name. The bride and groom both have their names listed on the document, so the new name is then derived from this. The document doesn't have to specify the bride's chosen new name (many states don't have this feature).

      Reply
  60. Gregg

    I'm in the Entertainment Business here in TX, wanting to add a second middle name to my middle name, to use as a stage name ( being the two middle names ) what all would that involve? Will I still have to file all the paperwork with drivers lic., Social Security, an etc… or can I keep everything the same on my name, an have a legal document just for a stage name, so when I'm doing legal documents an etc… not effecting my legal name, just a legal document for my stage name when I'm on stage? Can u tell my a guesstimation of cost?Thanks

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Gregg. Perhaps look into registering a DBA or assumed name with the TX Secretary of State's office.

      Reply
  61. Elaine

    When I was married over 36 years ago, I used my middle name, my maiden last name and my husband's last name as my name. Every document (except social security) had this name on it, including my passport.

    Now, today, after receiving a medicare card with my first name, middle initial and husband's last name, I decided I should get SS to change my name to what all my other documentation has on it. NOT — was told that I would have to have a court order. Now I'm just hoping that when I see a doctor under Medicare next year that I'm not going to have a problem.

    Would appreciate it if anyone has ever faced this issue. I always went by my middle name growing up and that is why I used it on my documents.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Elaine. Assuming you haven't changed your name before, have you tried using a certified copy of your marriage certificate to change it first? Also which state is this name change taking place in?

      Reply
    2. Debbie

      Your medicare name is directly linked to your social security name. Social security uses the legal first name and surname (middle name(s) or initial(s) are optional for social security). To drop your first name you will need a court order, in any state. However, social security may allow you to add your maiden name back in as a second middle name. That would keep you "covered," so to speak, as all four of your names would be displayed.

      Go in person and take your birth certificate, marriage certificate, and ID. You will run into issues when renewing your driver's license, if you haven't already, because technically your first name is still your legal name and so there will be a name mismatch. If you never use your first name and have no attachment to it, opt for the court order to have exactly what you want/go by.

      Reply
  62. socorro rodriguez

    hello
    my name is Socorro rodriguez from san Bernardino ca and I just recently went to change my last name at social security office my husbands last name is cruz and I wanted to keep my last maiden name and use it for my middle name and my husbands as my last her response was no? is that right ?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Socorro. The response would be no if your new name isn't listed on your California marriage certificate.

      Reply
  63. lauren miller

    i was just married in July and while my SS card says first-maiden-new last name, the RMV would not allow this so my ID still lists my previous middle name- they would not allow me to "change" my middle name without lagal name change forms. Now i have two different names and have no clue what steps to take to fix this…. any ideas?

    Reply
  64. Elizabeth

    Good Morning!

    I got married in NY in August 2019 and signed my marriage certificate as First Name – Middle Name – Married Last Name.

    I live in Rhode Island and would prefer my First Name – Maiden Name – Married Last Name.

    Is this change easy and acceptable? If a Name change petition is needed, would I file in NY or RI?

    Many thanks!!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is this change easy and acceptable? If a Name change petition is needed, would I file in NY or RI?

      That'll work in Rhode Island. No need to petition.

      Reply
  65. V

    Hi there,

    I live in North Carolina and I am getting married in Hawaii. She is taking my last name as her new last name and I am considering taking her current last name in place of my current middle name. Would me changing my middle name be allowed via a marriage certificate or would I need to do a court order change?

    Thank you,
    V

    Reply
  66. Quin

    Hi i just need your opinion about my case. When i got married here in Virginia I used my name as
    (First Name) (Maiden last name) (Husband last name)

    But when i had a interview with the uscia officer for my green card application she said that my middle name when i was single should stay the same as my middle now that im married. She said thats the legal here in virginia usa. I just dont know why she wants us to change my middle name

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Quin. I'm not sure what the official was referring to since maiden to middle is permitted in Virginia.

      Reply
  67. Nikki Howard

    Hi Ms. Valera. Sure you’ve had many similar questions but hoping to get some advice. I’m an engaged mom to a child of a previous relationship. I have never been married so this would be my first.

    My son’s father is in his life but we were unmarried so kiddo has my maiden name as his last. His dad would not approve changing his last name to my married name nor do I want to give him his dad’s last name.

    I plan to leave my son’s name alone but what will be the easiest, least problematic way to take on my married name while keeping my maiden? If I drop my middle and replace it with my maiden then that won’t technically be my last name anymore would it?

    I’m leaning towards hyphenating but it seems like a forever hassle. And just adding a last name seems to not be considered legit for some purposes and one name would usually be left off.

    What would you advise? We live in Virginia. Thanks in advance, and Happy New Year!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      what will be the easiest, least problematic way to take on my married name while keeping my maiden?

      1) Replace your middle name with your maiden name. 2) Keep your name unchanged, while using your married name informally/socially.

      If I drop my middle and replace it with my maiden then that won’t technically be my last name anymore would it?

      Correct.

      I’m leaning towards hyphenating but it seems like a forever hassle.

      How so? You could hyphenate with your maiden name first or last.

      What would you advise?

      Until you're certain, maybe don't change. Consider using your married name informally and see how that fits. When you're sure, then make your move. Or you may ultimately decide not to change and let that be the end of it.

      Reply
  68. Lindsey

    I’m going on a cruise in February (it was a surprise and short notice). When I got married I changed my middle name to my maiden name and my last name to my husbands. My question is I was told I could for go getting a passport and just use my ID, birth certificate and marriage license to get on cruise. To make this even more confusing this is my second marriage so my marriage license has my previous married name. We are going in and out of the same port. Not sure if this is the right forum to ask this question.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Lindsey. Bring a certified copy of your marriage certificate and ID in your old and new name and you should be fine. If you can sufficiently link up your name transition you can verify your identity if asked.

      Reply
  69. Nicole Seago

    My name is Nicole Seago, and I’ve always gone by my middle name Nicole. I’m getting married next weekend and want to change my last name.

    How difficult would it be to drop my first legal name and replace with Nicole, move my maiden name to my middle name and add my husband’s name as my last name? I live in Texas.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      How difficult would it be to drop my first legal name and replace with Nicole

      Gotta petition the county court for a first name change.

      move my maiden name to my middle name and add my husband’s name as my last name? I live in Texas.

      These you can do through marriage.

      Reply
  70. Laney

    Hello,
    I got married in California a few years ago. I took my husband's last name. But I regret dropping my maiden name for sentimental reasons. So I want to drop my current middle name and make my maiden name my new middle name. Would I need to petition in court for this name change? Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Would I need to petition in court for this name change?

      Yes, because you'll need a new name change event documented that supersedes your marriage certificate.

      Reply
  71. Jen

    I actually have a couple of questions.. I was married about a year and a half ago. Initially, I did not plan to change my name but now I want to. I want to add my maiden name to my middle name and use my husband's name for surname but I also want to keep the middle name given to me at birth. Is a double middle name like this permissible in Virginia?

    Also, since I didn't plan to take my husband's name, I didn't put any thing other than my maiden name on the marriage license, does this matter? From your other pages that I've read it sounds like no, My SSA – 5 application is sufficient proof for the new name?

    Finally, I can't discern if I need to provide my driver's license or not? I prefer to mail in this application and a photocopy/printed cell phone picture of my driver's license is not admissible so does that really mean I need to go to a SSA office rather than mailing my application?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is a double middle name like this permissible in Virginia?

      Not through marriage.

      I didn't put any thing other than my maiden name on the marriage license, does this matter?

      Not in Virginia. You're fine.

      I can't discern if I need to provide my driver's license or not?

      If your marriage was in the last two years (it was) and your marriage certificate can identify you in current records (it should) and your new name can be derived (it should, referencing your husband's name), you just need to mail the form and certificate.

      Reply
  72. Jacqueline

    Hi,

    I'm in a bit of a dilemma. I will be getting married in a about a month and will do the name change. My thought was to traditionally do the last name rotation, take my Fiance's last name and make my maiden last name my middle name.

    My problem is that the last name I'd like to use would be my mother's husbands (a.k.a Step Father) last name. However, he is not legally or by form of adoption, my legal Father. Will I be able to make his last name my middle name when marrying here in California even though he is not my legal father?

    If marrying, would I have to file a separate court order for middle name change after? Or should could it be done during marriage process? Would I have to have legal adoption first, as an adult, to be able to get his last name as my middle name?

    I hope you can answer my question. I have done a ton of research for weeks now and I'm resulting in giving up.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Will I be able to make his last name my middle name when marrying here in California even though he is not my legal father?

      You'd have to go to court to take your stepfather's name as your middle name.

      If marrying, would I have to file a separate court order for middle name change after? Or should could it be done during marriage process?

      1. You could go to court to change your middle name, then get married to change your last name. But, you'll have to make sure your ID is updated to reflect your new middle name before applying for a marriage license.

      2. Or you could go to court to change your middle name and last name, thereby skipping the eventual name change through marriage. This can be done before or after marriage.

      Would I have to have legal adoption first

      That's not necessary.

      Reply
  73. Kathy

    If my birth name is Kathy Lao-Chhat and my new married last name is Le, am I able to change my name to Kathy Lao Le and leave off the Chhat? Or will I have to go through legal name change process first?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kathy. Possibly. It depends on the state. Where will the marriage take place and where will you reside afterward.

      Reply
      1. Kathy

        The marriage has already taken place in 2017 in Texas. We are currently residing in Texas.

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Kathy. You wouldn't be able to modify your name in that way through marriage.

          Reply
  74. Anonymous

    Hello —
    I will be taking his surname and am planning to change my maiden name to a second middle name, would this be through court or marriage certificate? (In California)
    First, Current Middle, Maiden, His Surname

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Anonymous. Yes, you can add your maiden name to your middle name with a hyphen or space. It wouldn't count as two middle names, as there's no such thing. Your dual names will still count as one.

      Reply
  75. Olga T. Carrubba

    Can I add my maiden name before my married name w/o consequences…. or do I have to apply for documents to add or change my name on license, social security, passport., or any government ID.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Olga. The document you'd use to complete your name change would be a certified copy of your marriage certificate.

      Reply
  76. Laurie Robicheau

    Getting married and not sure if I should add my maiden name to my middle name which will give me 2 middle names. Is there a conflict in Massachusetts if I do this?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Laurie. I don't believe that's a supported name change option.

      Reply
  77. Olga T. Carrubba

    I am widowed and would like to add my maiden name legally without consequences. What is the procedure?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Olga. Could you clarify what you mean when you say "add?" Are you looking to append it to your existing name or do you mean to replace something?

      Reply
  78. Hellen

    Hi Valera!

    Firstly, I’d like to thank you in advance for your time and all helpful advices you give us here!

    Now my case: I’m Brazilian, no SSN, live and married in Florida (January 2020), where I’m not sure I had the option to change my name on the marriage certificate, which shows my maiden name (Firstname and TwoLastNames).

    I started my immigration process informing the new name I chose which was Firstname, one of my last maiden names as middle name, and my husband last as my last name.

    After submitted the forms, I’ve read and heard many people saying I couldn’t have a middle name and should have hyphenated them as my new last name. I still don’t have answer from immigration but I think they might reject it, so I wanted to check this information ASAP so I can contact them before they do it.

    I know you might not answer for immigration rules, but do you think it is a problem to create a new middle name with my maiden last name in Florida?

    Also, do you know if marriage certificates in Florida show only the maiden name and you change it on SSN and etc; or you think I missed the opportunity to change my name back then when I got married (January 2020)?

    Thanks you so much for your attention and help!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      live and married in Florida (January 2020), where I’m not sure I had the option to change my name on the marriage certificate

      You didn't.

      I’ve read and heard many people saying I couldn’t have a middle name and should have hyphenated them as my new last name.

      Not sure what they're going on about.

      do you think it is a problem to create a new middle name with my maiden last name in Florida?

      You shouldn't. It's a common practice.

      do you know if marriage certificates in Florida show only the maiden name and you change it on SSN and etc

      It only shows your current legal name, which I assume was still your maiden name at the time.

      or you think I missed the opportunity to change my name back then when I got married (January 2020)?

      You didnt' miss anything. You don't choose a new name on the marriage application, license, or certificate in Florida.

      Reply
  79. Yaa

    I have been married but never changed my name. I now want to change my name. I have a very long maiden name which is hyphenated. So this is how my new full name will look like including my husbands name at the end:
    XXXXXX XXXX-XXXXXXXXX XXXXXX.

    Eventually, my maiden name will be my middle name because I never had a middle name. is this something possible or I have to drop my maiden name? I'm in MA.

    Thanks.

    Reply
  80. M.

    Sorry if you have covered elsewhere — I read as many posts as I can. But, I am writing out of time, so here goes my question:

    Upon marriage in the state of California is it legal to change your maiden name to a second middle name without hyphenating? For example:

    Middle_Name1 Middle_Name2 (formerly maiden name)
    vs.
    Middle_Name1-Middle_Name2 (formerly maiden name).

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Upon marriage in the state of California is it legal to change your maiden name to a second middle name without hyphenating?

      Yes, but this name choice must be specified when you apply for your marriage license. Space, no space, or hyphen is fine. Sequence also doesn't matter, meaning you can reverse it to "Middle_Name2 Middle_Name1" as well.

      Reply

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