Use Your Maiden Name Even After a Name Change

By Tyrone Jones 2,869 Comments

Whether you have decided to change your name in order to match your new spouse's and kids' names or because you like the new name better, there are still some situations in which you may be required to continue using your maiden name. A name change is final in certain situations—if you get your name changed on your passport, for example, you will not typically need to explain what your maiden name is—but it may still come up in other situations.

If you do intend to legally change your name while continuing to use your maiden name for other purposes, our online name change forms can help you to complete the process.

There are a few specific situations in which you may continue to use your maiden name. Here are some of them:

1. In professional contexts, particularly specialized professions

If you have spent the last decade building up a professional identity and reputation, you will not want to quickly cast that off! Some people change their legal name, but continue to use their maiden name after marriage. This can be tricky when people make out checks to you, for instance, but you often just need to talk to your bank and establish that checks may be deposited in your maiden name. You also may be able to obtain authorization to do business as your new name without changing documents—this is called a "doing business as" approval, or DBA.

The DBA approach may also be reversed, by registering a fictitious business name or trade name in your maiden name, while formally changing to your new married name on your personal credentials.

Licensing and legal documents may reflect your new name, but some people get around this by adding a last name: for instance, if your maiden name was Lesley Hastings, you could adopt the last name Smith by becoming Lesley Hastings Smith. This means you can often change legal documents but keep letterhead the same. In any case, there are many ways to get around the differences between legal name and the name your professional contacts know you by.

2. When you aren't ready for the name change in social situations

Many people aren't quite ready to change their name—after all, you have had the same name for your whole life until now! Yet, you want to have an easier time with insurance or paperwork, or want to conform to tradition and adopt your spouse's name. You don't have to go by your legal name in every situation. If you're meeting new people who don't know your spouse and refer to you by your maiden name, you don't necessarily need to correct them.

Meeting with old friends is another situation in which most people will continue to use their maiden name. Friends can have trouble adjusting to the new name if they have known you under one name for a long time! Since most of these situations are purely social, there are no legal ramifications. You may also revert to using your maiden name at any time if you just prefer it!

3. When you are legally obliged to disclose your maiden name

In many types of security and background paperwork, you are required to give any previous names you have gone under so that they can do a more thorough background check. This may include your passport, background checks for jobs or volunteer positions, or credit checks. In these kinds of situations, you are usually legally obligated to provide your maiden name.

How do you know if this is a requirement? Check the form—if there is a space for you to list other names you have gone under, there is usually a prompt that says "such as maiden names" in the instructions. It's usually better to be safe than sorry unless you're truly trying to escape your maiden name, in which case you can ask whoever you would submit the paperwork to whether it is a requirement to list your maiden name.

4. If you haven't yet updated all your paperwork

When you get your name changed, there are many steps to take in order to get every name updated! Your name is on everything from your social security card and credit card to your bank account, so you may not have updated all of your paperwork yet. Keep careful track of who you have gotten a name change approval from so far, so that you'll never be at a loss as to which name to supply.

Before you get official approval to use your new name, you can introduce yourself or identify yourself with your maiden name, then let them know that you are in the process of changing your name. This is often enough to satisfy requirements at places such as banks, as they understand that the name change process can be a hassle. It can certainly be more annoying when it comes to passports, since government officials tend to be more strict about names.

5. While deciding whether to go through with a name change

Some people just aren't sure whether they're ready for a name change. You might decide to change your legal name on some documents while deciding whether you truly want to change your name. You might even be on board with the name change until you actually start signing documents and introducing yourself with a new name entirely.

You aren't alone if you decide that you aren't sure if you want to go through with a name change yet, if at all. You can often change your name back to your maiden name or simply start to use the maiden name again whenever you choose to do so. If you don't want to go through the hassle of changing back the name again, you can sometimes add the new name as an alternate name to various accounts and with important agencies.

Changing your name is no small matter, and even when you change your maiden name to a new one, no rule says you need to use it in every situation or introduce yourself with it all the time! Many newly-married couples avoid the name change decision, so relax: you have time to choose where you want to use which names. You can continue to use your maiden name until you have decided whether to use it or your married name in each situation… and you may never really change your name when you're chatting with old friends!

2,869 Comments

  1. Lien Luong

    Hi I got married 14 years ago in hyphenated my name.Tu-Luong. Now I just want to drop my maiden name and use my husband's name Luong. Is that still possible?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Now I just want to drop my maiden name and use my husband's name Luong. Is that still possible?

      You'd have to go to court and request a non-marriage-related name change. You wouldn't be able to use your marriage certificate again.

      Reply
  2. KIM S.

    Hi,

    I got married last year in California. At the time when filling out the marriage license forms, I chose to hyphenate my maiden name with my husband last name. I was told at the time I have two years to change all my documents to my new name. However, I have not changed or update the DMV or Social Security with my new name. I still carry my maiden name on everything such as my passport, ID, social security card and so forth.

    My first question is, is the name on my marriage certificate my legal name now? Secondly, can I continue to use my maiden name on all my documents since it has never been changed?

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      My first question is, is the name on my marriage certificate my legal name now?

      Your maiden name is still your legal name.

      Secondly, can I continue to use my maiden name on all my documents since it has never been changed?

      Yes, of course.

      Reply
  3. Marisa Rodriguez

    hi,
    I change my name when I applied for a citizen in NYC a long time ago, I am using my husband last name since them only. I have a situation now that I need to open a bank account with my maiden name to received a pension from my original country. Is this possible without changing my name in a court?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I have a situation now that I need to open a bank account with my maiden name to received a pension from my original country. Is this possible without changing my name in a court?

      There's a difference between opening a bank account in your maiden name and opening one in your married name while having checks printed in your maiden name.

      The bank will likely want your legal name on file. They'll want to see ID. However, you can ask them to accommodate usage of your maiden name. It's up to them to allow it or not.

      Reply
  4. Nicole Belanger

    Hello. I’m getting married and am a MD with an established practice under my maiden name. I would like to taken my future husband’s last name when legally married personally but still legally be able to use my maiden name professionally, and would like to avoid hyphenating my name. Would it work to legally change my middle name to maiden name and take his last name as my last name? Or other suggestions? I’m in NYS.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Would it work to legally change my middle name to maiden name and take his last name as my last name?

      Many women do this. You'll have to contact the New York licensing board about updating your legal name on file while maintaining the use of your maiden name professionally.

      Reply
  5. Christina

    I got married over 15 years ago. I never changed my SS card to my married name. My driver's license is hyphenated (maiden name-married name). My passport is also the same hyphenated name to match my DL.

    I use just my maiden name at work. Insurance is through my work so in my maiden name. Bank accounts, credit cards, etc are with my married name only.

    Should I change my SS card to match the hyphenated name? Is that possible? Will it cause me issues down the line if my SS card is in my maiden name and everything else (passport, DL, etc) is either hyphenated or just my married name? Thanks for your help!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Should I change my SS card to match the hyphenated name?

      It wouldn't hurt. And, yes, you can change it. Since it's probable you may only have identity documents in your new, hyphenated name, the SSA would accept your driver's license as your primary identity document for name change purposes. You'll still have to bring along an original or certified copy of your marriage certificate.

      Will it cause me issues down the line if my SS card is in my maiden name and everything else (passport, DL, etc) is either hyphenated or just my married name?

      As far as the SSA knows, your maiden name is your current legal name. That's what the IRS would also have on file. You'll want to make sure your proper name is on file for tax and social security benefit purposes.

      Reply
      1. Christina

        Thank you for your help! So if I change my name on my SS card – I will file taxes under that name correct? Also, will I need to change to my hyphenated name at work as well – I would like to leave that as just my maiden name if possible. Thanks again!

        Reply
        1. Valera

          So if I change my name on my SS card – I will file taxes under that name correct?

          Correct. See the IRS and name change article for why it's important.

          Also, will I need to change to my hyphenated name at work as well – I would like to leave that as just my maiden name if possible.

          If you change your name with the SSA, they'll automatically notify the IRS. At this point, your employer will want to make sure they're also using your married name to match what's on file with the IRS.

          Your W-2's will need to be in your married name. In order to maintain your maiden name professionally, you'll have to work out an accommodation where they file using your married name while continuing to use your maiden name for everything else.

          I can't say whether or not this is within they're capacity or if they're even willing. At least now you know what to expect if you go down this road.

          Reply
  6. Diane

    Hi, when I got married, I changed my last name to my husband's last name on the marriage license. However, I haven't changed any other official documents including my Social Security card since that one change.

    We file our income taxes as a married couple but I still sign my original name.

    I am now renewing my passport. Because I haven't changed anything official except the marriage license, can I still apply for the passport under my original name? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      We file our income taxes as a married couple but I still sign my original name.

      As you should.

      Because I haven't changed anything official except the marriage license, can I still apply for the passport under my original name?

      You could do either: renew in your maiden name or change to married name.

      Reply
  7. Sherry

    i am applying for medicare A only because my husband has me under his insurance at work, I never changed my name on any documents but my marriage certificate has my hyphenated last name, will this cause me any problems collecting medicare.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I never changed my name on any documents but my marriage certificate has my hyphenated last name, will this cause me any problems collecting medicare.

      That won't be a problem.

      Reply
  8. Lindsey

    I have been married for 12 years. I never had my name changed on my SS card, but I did on my DL. I need to know what I can do to get this changed since everything is in my married name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I need to know what I can do to get this changed since everything is in my married name.

      The process is the same. Use a certified copy of your marriage certificate to effect a name change.

      Since your marriage took place more than two years ago, you'll have to include an identity document (e.g., driver's license, passport) along with your marriage certificate if you mail in your name change paperwork.

      Reply
  9. Karen

    My marriage certificate from 2001 shows that I changed my name to my husband's. We were married in NYS. However, I never adopted his name or made any changes to bank records, driver's license, passport, etc. Do I need to officially change it back to my maiden name or is it ok to just leave everything as is? It hasn't seemed to have been a problem, but I wanted to ask.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Do I need to officially change it back to my maiden name or is it ok to just leave everything as is?

      Since your new name was only changed on your marriage certificate, then your name hasn't really changed in the real world. Take no further action and your name will remain the same without a problem.

      Reply
  10. Shannon

    Hi there — I recently got married and opted to take my husband's surname on my marriage certificate; however, I haven't officially updated any of my documents (SSN, License, Passport, etc.) and have continued to use my maiden name on all of those. As we are expecting our first child, I'm wondering if I can use my married name on the birth certificate, or do I need to put my maiden name as that is what the SSA and state still recognize me as? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I'm wondering if I can use my married name on the birth certificate, or do I need to put my maiden name as that is what the SSA and state still recognize me as?

      You can put either name on the birth certificate.

      Reply
  11. Melissa Hoffman

    I just recently changed my last name to my married name through SSA within the past 30 days. Still in the process of changing it at the DMV, etc.

    I’m applying for a new credit card and was wondering if I should use my maiden name or married name when applying? Since it’s been less than a month since I changed it on my social security card I’m not sure if it takes time for my new name to show up on my credit report or what name the credit card application pulls up when checking my information.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Melissa. You can check your credit report for free online using the annual credit report government website. That'll tell you if your new married name appears on your credit file.

      When you notify the SSA or one of your creditors of a name change, the credit bureaus get notified automatically. If you must expedite the process of updating your record, you can contact the credit bureaus directly. However, they may have already updated your record, making this step unnecessary.

      Reply
  12. Natasha

    My husband had changed his name legally in the past with no marriages… How would my husband go back to his Maiden name??

    Reply
    1. Valera

      How would my husband go back to his Maiden name?

      Same process. Legal name change through the court system.

      Reply
  13. Ged

    what if I change my married name to my maiden name in my passport because we are annulled.my problem is I do not have papers of judicial decree with finality because it is lost.my husband was the one who filed the annulment so that he has the only have copy of court order.

    PSA paper only like cenomar, mc with annotation of null and void and declaration advisory I have for now. Can I still change my married name to maiden name on getting passport using psa paper or do I have to borrow the papers of court order to my husband?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Ged. Have you tried contacting the court directly to obtain your own copy?

      Reply
  14. Loreta

    Loreta
    July 28, 2019

    My husband passed away 2 yrs ago and I am planning to change my married name to my maiden name. also, my now fiance and I are planning to get married sometime this year. I live in the Philippines and to acquire a marriage certificate I have to get a certificate of no marriage (Cenomar) and I have found out that I am still a single woman as stated on the Cenomar Certificate.

    My name on my passport is my deceased husband name, so to change my name to my maiden name, will there be a problem?

    Can I change my passport after I get married or before?

    Please advice
    Many thanks

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I change my passport after I get married or before?

      You can use your late husband's death certificate to go back to your maiden name now.

      Reply
  15. Ann

    I was married 3 yrs back. At that point of time I opted to put his surname as my middle name. I haven't updated any of my documents and to be honest I have changed my mind . All the documents has my maiden name but only my marriage certificate has my changed name. Will this be a problem in my gc process? I want to put my maiden name so if we are applying our gc process will this name be an issue?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Will this be a problem in my gc process? I want to put my maiden name so if we are applying our gc process will this name be an issue?

      This won't be an issue. Changing your name isn't required.

      Reply
  16. Arletha

    Im a married lady i just want to no how my husband can have my surname. We stay in Capetown.. Western Cape

    Reply
  17. Vallentine

    I am brazilian from birth and american form naturalization.
    When I divorced my ex husband (American guy and we married in the US) I chose to keep my married name (his last name).

    I came back to Brazil and started over.
    I got married again in Brazil, but since I hadn’t register my american marriage and married name in Brazil, I got married for the second time with my maiden name.

    Now I want to apply for green card for my husband, but my american passaport has my first married name, and my new married certificate has my maiden name.

    Will I get in trouble?

    Someone told to change my name in my american passport using my new marriage certificate.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      my american passaport has my first married name, and my new married certificate has my maiden name. Will I get in trouble?

      No, you're fine.

      Someone told to change my name in my american passport using my new marriage certificate.

      You can.

      Reply
  18. Jane Erlandsen

    I was divorced 37 years ago. My entire adult life and career, I have continued to legally use my ex's last name. I have extensive real estate holdings both personally as well as in two corporations. I plan to marry this year. it seems that it would be simpler to not change my name to my new spouses and simply continue to use my current legal name and only use his informally. Does this sound like the best and simplest strategy?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Does this sound like the best and simplest strategy?

      Not having to update documents is certainly the path of least resistance. If you did change your name, you wouldn't necessarily have to update the name on your properties as your identity wouldn't be in question. Your subsequent marriage certificate would link your new married name to your prior married name.

      Reply
  19. Shemek Reece-Browne

    I recently go married and would have added my husbands name to my identification card and want to do document change. Can i sign documents using my last name? and would i always have to walk around with both my marriage certificate and birth paper for proof.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can i sign documents using my last name?

      Your signature should match your current legal name.

      and would i always have to walk around with both my marriage certificate and birth paper for proof.

      No, you wouldn't need to keep either document on you.

      Reply
  20. Mary

    Hi I was married in 2000 and divoiced in 2008 I paid to have my last name changed back to my maiden name which I never have done. Now I plain on getting remarried will I have a problem sense I never changed my name back

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Now I plain on getting remarried will I have a problem sense I never changed my name back

      No. Just make sure you use your current legal name when you apply for your new marriage license.

      Reply
  21. Sherri

    My daughter is getting married next year. She and her future husband are both graduating as doctors- She wants to possibly keep her maiden name in the medical/professional world. But take HIS last name socially and to align with their future children.

    What would be the best course of action? Does she have to hyphenate on the marriage license to keep her name in the mix? Can she take his name on the marriage license and still keep her maiden name on medical licenses, etc?

    How would she sign documents/what would her passport have as a name? Can she put his name on the license and leave everything else as is or does SSN, drivers license, etc. need to match marriage license?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      She wants to possibly keep her maiden name in the medical/professional world. But take HIS last name socially

      Then she'd just not change anything formally.

      and to align with their future children.

      The name of her future children don't have to match hers or her husband's. Her children could take on her maiden name, her spouse's name, or a hyphenated version in either order.

      What would be the best course of action?

      If she's certain to never change her name, doing nothing is the easiest choice. But if she wants to keep her options option, there are some things to take into account, which you allude to…

      Does she have to hyphenate on the marriage license to keep her name in the mix?

      This assumes the state she's marrying in will even have an option to choose a new name on the marriage license. It may not, which would make this one less thing to worry about.

      If the state does provide this option, she must choose carefully. Specifying a choice could lock her into that choice if she decides to change her name down the line using her marriage certificate.

      On the flip side, not specifying a choice could lock her out of using her marriage certificate later to change her name. She also couldn't amend the certificate after the fact with another name choice.

      Can she put his name on the license and leave everything else as is or does SSN, drivers license, etc. need to match marriage license?

      She can leave her new married name solely on the marriage certificate. None of her credentials need to match.

      Reply
  22. Rowena Socorro A. Avellana

    Hi..I am Rowena I’ve been separated for 24 yrs. but still i am using my maiden name and all my documents are single never change to married even my passport. now my question is how can this affects my visa application in USA? thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      now my question is how can this affects my visa application in USA?

      Your visa application wouldn't be affected since you've never changed from your maiden name.

      Reply
  23. Lorrie

    I was married 2 years ago and never changed my driver license name, but I did change my ss card name. I'm now divorce and the decree state that I may revert back to my last name. I don't wish to change my last name. How do I get my last name to match my ss card of my ex married name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      ow do I get my last name to match my ss card of my ex married name?

      Use a certified copy of your marriage certificate from your dissolved marriage.

      Reply
  24. kayla ignacio

    I've been married for 6 years can I still hyphenate my last name if I already changed it to my spouse's name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      can I still hyphenate my last name if I already changed it to my spouse's name?

      No, you'd have to file a court petition to do another name change.

      Reply
  25. Sylvia

    I got married few months ago on my Lic. And Certificate of Marriage I wanted to take my husband's name at the moment. I actually haven't change anything under the new last name can I continue to use my maiden name if I haven't updated anything to DMV or SS

    Reply
    1. Valera

      can I continue to use my maiden name if I haven't updated anything to DMV or SS

      Yes, you can.

      Reply
  26. Lauren

    Hi, I recently got married and changed my last name to my husband's. My drivers license still has my maiden name on it, is it still okay to use?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      My drivers license still has my maiden name on it, is it still okay to use?

      Some states require you to update the name on your driver's license if you change it legally. The same goes for change of addresses. The requirements and penalties (if any) are often vague and hollow.

      Not changing the name on your license doesn't invalidate it. When it comes time to renew, you'll likely have to match the name on your social security record.

      Reply
  27. Hunter

    Hello,

    My husband and I got married in May of this year. I changed my name to his last name, but am now realizing it was never changed with my fathers insurance company and Medicaid (I attempted to with Medicaid they never did). What should I do? Will I be okay to wait until open enrollment period?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      What should I do? Will I be okay to wait until open enrollment period?

      You don't need to wait and let this hang over you. Just contact your Medicaid caseworker and provide them whatever documentation is necessary to update your name.

      Reply
  28. Angel kaka

    There is a mistake in my nysc relocation ground. It was based on marital ground with my elder brother's name. Will it affect my maiden name on the certificate because there was no evidence document of change of name uploaded.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Angel. Was your deployment approved? If so, you should be fine. If you need to correct your submission, get in touch with your NYSC office.

      Reply
  29. Appril singh

    I am getting a divorce in October build my name go back to my maiden name after the divorce is final

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Appril. It's not clear to me what you're asking. If you want to go back to your maiden name after divorce, alert the judge so that the instruction is included in your final divorce decree.

      Reply
  30. Danielle

    Hi,
    My question is…I just recently moved back to the states. I got married in 2012 in a different country. We are now getting divorced. I never changed my name on my ssc. But did on my passport. So my ssc has my maiden name and my passport has my married name. Is my maiden name still my legal name? and can I use my maiden name for dmv ect… now that I have moved back to the states?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is my maiden name still my legal name?

      Yes, as far as social security is concerned.

      and can I use my maiden name for dmv ect

      Yes.

      Reply
  31. K.

    I changed my name when I married. How can I go back to my maiden name even though I'm not divorced?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi K. Even though the SSA might allow a reversion, especially if you haven't used or changed your name in any other capacity, it's unlikely any other government organization would. This is why you're likely to have to go to get a court order to change your name across the board without complication.

      Reply
  32. Zameenah Fuqua-Watson

    Hello, I have my maiden name and my ex husbands name but he forgot to tell the judge I wanted to go back to my maiden name but if I get remarried can I just drop the ex husbands name keep my maiden name and add my new husbands name with out paying a fee?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      but he forgot to tell the judge I wanted to go back to my maiden name

      You may be able to get your divorce decree amended to restore your maiden name. You'll have to contact the court about that possibility.

      but if I get remarried can I just drop the ex husbands name keep my maiden name and add my new husbands name

      On the marriage license application you'll have to put your current legal name. How flexible your name choices are depends on where your marriage will take place and where you reside. Could you share these details?

      Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Mary. If you intend to use your maiden name after divorce, be sure to request the restoration from the judge so that it appears in your divorce decree. This will allow you to legally change your name instead of informal usage.

      Reply
  33. Chasity

    I changed my name to reflect my husbands last name for drivers license and social security card. Do I have to change it at work for w2/ tax purposes or any other reason?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Do I have to change it at work for w2/ tax purposes or any other reason?

      Yes, the SSA reports name changes to the IRS. If your W-2s and tax records don't match, it could cause delays processing your taxes.

      Reply
  34. Precious David

    Hello,

    I am a foreign RN who is on the process of getting a U.S green card.

    I've been married for 12years but I'm still using my maiden name in all my documents and international passport.

    My concern is;will there be any issues with my surname being different from that of my kids and husband since we're considering a family visa? My kids bear my husband's name as surname on their international passport while my husband bears his father's name.Do you think we won't be able to immigrate as a family because of the above reason?

    Thanks in anticipation for your response.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      My concern is;will there be any issues with my surname being different from that of my kids and husband since we're considering a family visa?

      No, it's not an issue.

      Do you think we won't be able to immigrate as a family because of the above reason?

      No, it's a nonissue.

      Reply
  35. Amber Ashby

    I've been married, in Nevada, since 2015. I took my husband's last name but I still haven't changed the name on my SSC.

    I recently lost my driver's license and tried to get a duplicate, but was told since my SSC still uses my maiden name I would have to change that first.

    Instead of using my married name could I go down to the DMV and get a duplicate license in my maiden name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Instead of using my married name could I go down to the DMV and get a duplicate license in my maiden name?

      Yes, that wouldn't be a problem.

      Reply
  36. Daniela Lutri Rojas

    Hello guys, I got married in 2015 and changed my last name to my husbands last name and because I didn’t want to lose my maiden name I used it as a middle name. Now I’m regretting it since I’m becoming a Licensed Veterinarian and I want to use my maiden last name professionally.

    I don’t mind keeping my husband s last name for other purposes. How can I start my career with my last name since I’m getting my paper ready with new name and license ready. I want to be able to use my maiden name as well as a Dr

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Daniela. You can contact your state's licensing board about the possibility of using an registered alias or D.B.A. in your maiden name.

      Reply
  37. Christine Sinclair Rowe

    Hi Daniela! I’m looking into getting global entry. My question is, my passport has my maiden name but my license has my maiden and married name hyphenated. Will this be a problem when I bring them the 2 required ids? Should I also bring my marriage certificate?

    Reply
  38. Mary

    I live in NYC and am permanently separated from my spouse by a domestic violence order of protection since 2016. In 2017, I filed for uncontested divorce & my spouse was cooperative until discovering that I had not removed the order.

    Long story short, I have not yet been able to obtain the divorce since it will take a lot more money to manage this without a signature, and I am taking a long time to save money due to paying on marriage debts.

    My question is, since I only changed my maiden name to my married one with NYS DMV, never with SS, is there a way for me to get my maiden name back on my drivers license before I can finalize divorce? NY DMV said I have to present a divorce decree, but surely there's another way.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Mary. There isn't another way. You'd either have to show a divorce decree or court order showing your name has changed.

      Reply
  39. Denise White

    Hello Valera,
    I live in Illinois but had a destination wedding in Florida in June 2019. I signed the Marriage license hyphenating my maiden and husband name. I am a Police Officer and don't want to use my hyphenated name and want to continue using my maiden name for work purposes.

    We are expecting a baby in a few weeks October 2019 and I want to sign the birth certificate using my hyphenated name but I have not changed anything else legally with SSA, DL or passport. Can I do this legally or do I need to hurry up and change these documents before having the baby?

    Also work wise if I will be adding my husband on my health insurance and filing taxes together will I have to legally change all this paperwork into my new name or can I still use my maiden name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I want to sign the birth certificate using my hyphenated name but I have not changed anything else legally with SSA, DL or passport. Can I do this legally

      You can do this.

      or do I need to hurry up and change these documents before having the baby?

      Unnecessary.

      will I have to legally change all this paperwork into my new name or can I still use my maiden name?

      You can keep everything unchanged.

      Reply
  40. Kabi

    Hi Valera,
    I got married 6 months back in Nepal. Our court marriage certificate from Nepal has the same last name as my maiden name. I already have Citizenship and passport with my maiden name. My husband is a United States citizen and he filed immigration forms using my maiden name. I was wondering at what point of time I could change my maiden name to his last name? And what would be the procedures?

    Reply
  41. Linda Bailey

    I am getting married in a few weeks (Missouri). I have had my current last name for over 40 years. My new husband wants me to take his last name, which I am willing to do (we are in our 70s).

    I believe I have read somewhere that I can be Mary Jones, Mary Smith or Mary Jones Smith. I hate the idea of having to change my name on so many things. Is this correct?

    If so, are there any documents that I absolutely have to change? Drivers license, Soc. Sec., Medicare etc. I am assuming I can add his name to my checking account and leave my name as is.

    What about adding name to his checking account? To many questions at this stage of the game. Any information would be helpful. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      hate the idea of having to change my name on so many things. Is this correct?

      If Jones or Smith is your current name, then yes with the SSA. Probably not with the DMV.

      If so, are there any documents that I absolutely have to change?

      You don't have to change anything. You could use the name informally without changing a document. If you do update your social security card, you should change your driver's license to match, along with banking.

      What about adding name to his checking account?

      Your surnames don't have to match to do that.

      Reply
  42. Samantha

    Can I legally in Wisconsin go back to my maiden name after being divorced for 5 years and hes gotten remarried without a big hassle

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I legally in Wisconsin go back to my maiden name after being divorced for 5 years

      You can if your divorce decree has restored your maiden name. The SSA would technically still allow a restoration without it being ordered in your decree, but other government institutions might not.

      Reply
  43. Fp

    Hi. When I became a US citizen I changed my name. Is my old name (birth name) still valid? Could I still use it?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      When I became a US citizen I changed my name. Is my old name (birth name) still valid?

      No, your legal name has changed from birth to what's on your citizenship document.

      Reply
  44. Angela

    I married in March of this year and one month later I changed my name where my middle name now includes my maiden and I took my husband's last name. This change was done at the social security office, NCDMV, and my workplace.

    I really would like to change this sequence where my maiden name is coupled with my married name to be my last name. Can this change be done at the social security office or would I have to go through the courts?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can this change be done at the social security office or would I have to go through the courts?

      Since you've already changed your married name once with Social Security, you'll have to go through the courts to change it again.

      Reply
  45. Essel

    Hi, passport bears the name “First name, maiden middle name, maiden last name-husband’s last name”.
    Q: Can a bank account be opened under “First name,maiden last name, husband’s last name?”
    Thank u.
    Location: Philippines

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Essel. That's up to the bank. However, they may require the use of your legal name within their system, while printing your preferred name on checks, materials, letters, etc.

      Reply
  46. Neesha S

    Hi,
    When I became a citizen I changed back to my maiden name. I now regret this change because my identity is my married name even though I’m divorced. My mortgage, social security, college degree etc. bears my married name. I also didn’t update my citizenship status with SSA. I’m now planning to remarry my fiancé from another country. Can I file a petition for my spouse using my former married name or do I have to use the name on my citizenship certificate?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I also didn’t update my citizenship status with SSA.

      One problem you're likely to face is when you update your citizenship status with the SSA you'll have to provide your certificate of naturalization. There will be a name mismatch.

      Can I file a petition for my spouse using my former married name or do I have to use the name on my citizenship certificate?

      Could you clarify who you're petitioning?

      Reply
      1. Neesha S

        I’ll be filing a petition for my fiancé after we get married. He’s living in another country.

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Neesha. It's not clear to me what you mean by petition. Could you specify the government entity you're petitioning?

          Reply
  47. Terri

    Good Morning. My son and his girlfriend of 10 years plan to get married in the next 2 years. My son wants her to take his last name. Because she has been in the military for 4 years she feels that she has developed a professional name for herself and wants to keep her maiden name. We live in North Carolina.

    My question is: If she takes his last name when they are married, can she legally continue to use her maiden name professionally? If so, how does that look or work? Other than the marriage license changing her last name, would she be required to change any other documents and if so which ones. How does banking, insurance and all of the other stuff fall into place.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      If she takes his last name when they are married, can she legally continue to use her maiden name professionally?

      The name entered in DEERS would have to match what's on her social security record.

      If so, how does that look or work?

      A DBA could be used for a typical business. She could request the use of an alias.

      Other than the marriage license changing her last name, would she be required to change any other documents

      A name change shown on the marriage license or certificate doesn't obligate her to change her name. It's an option.

      and if so which ones.

      Social security card, driver's license, military ID, passport, among others. Her marriage certificate is proof of name change.

      How does banking, insurance and all of the other stuff fall into place.

      She'd notify them as well.

      Reply
  48. Stacie Chandler

    I just received my divorce decree and my maiden name has been granted, however I really don't want to go through the hassle of changing my name on everything. Do I have to change it on everything or can I continue to use my married name and change things gradually.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Do I have to change it on everything or can I continue to use my married name and change things gradually.

      You don't have to change your name after divorce, regardless of what's on your divorce decree.

      Reply
  49. Mathilde

    Hello Valera,

    First of all, Thank you for this great website and for taking the time to answer us.

    What I understand, (living in NYC) I can get married and add as a new surname the name of my future husband on the mariage certificate but I don't need to change it right away on my SSn, ID, etc… I wanted to wait for a year after our religious ceremony just to make it more official for us as it is what matters to us!

    It won't be a problem for my taxes or salary or anything else like that until I do the change to SSN in a year?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I can get married and add as a new surname the name of my future husband on the mariage certificate but I don't need to change it right away

      That's right, you don't have to change it right away.

      I wanted to wait for a year after our religious ceremony

      You can wait as long as you need.

      It won't be a problem for my taxes or salary or anything else like that until I do the change to SSN in a year?

      It won't be a problem. You'd continue filing taxes in your current name.

      Reply
  50. April

    I am married but I am still using my maiden name in College.

    Now, I am planning to travel abroad but my school information is different from my passport details because I am using my married name in the passport.

    the reasons why I did not use my married name first is that we are now separted, and the school which I am attending now is the last school I attended in 2007. So I intended not to change it.

    How should I write the explanation of using my maiden name at school for getting the visa?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi April. Carry a certified copy of your marriage certificate with you to explain the name difference if asked. If you have identity papers in your married and maiden name, it doesn't hurt to bring them along as well.

      Reply
  51. Jennifer

    Hi,

    My daughter has 2 middle names. We are from the US and her fiance is from the UK. She is getting married and will be immediately moving to her husband's country as they both seek dual citizenship.

    She would like to keep her name last and take his name as either a second last name or an additional middle name. For example (not real names):

    Maiden name: Ann Betty Carol Davis

    Future desired married name: Ann Betty Carol EATON Davis

    It says her full current name with both middle names on her passport.

    His last name after her last name doesn't sound great, so she's trying to avoid it

    She would like to keep things as simple as possible, but still wants to take his name as part of her name, possibly even being refered to as Mrs. Eaton Davis or Ann Eaton Davis. Can it be a second last name

    What would be the easiest way to go about adding his name before her surname? And in what capacity could she use that name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jennifer. If your daughter is marrying in the U.S., her options vary depending on where the marriage will take place. Two questions that'll help clarify things… Do you know which state the marriage will take place? Does she plan to maintain U.S. citizenship, become a U.K. citizen, or obtain dual citizenship?

      Reply
  52. Dassie

    I'm engaged, but my fiance wants me to relocate to dubai with him. We'll be getting married there in dubai. My maiden name is on my passport, but he wants me to change my passport name to his surname. Is it necessary to change the name on my passport to his surname before leaving for dubai? Can't i change it when i get to dubai?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is it necessary to change the name on my passport to his surname before leaving for dubai? Can't i change it when i get to dubai?

      You can wait to change it once you reach Dubai. Make sure your airline ticket matches the name on your existing passport.

      Reply
  53. Joann Williamson

    I was married 4yrs but did not change my maiden name on any docs, nor use my married name.
    Please, what should I answer when asked on passport form
    (was I known by any other name?)

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Joann. You'd put any prior legal name you've had. You wouldn't include your married name, since you never formally changed it.

      Reply
  54. Kunal

    My family Mediclaim policy is having my wife's name, maidan surname and my surname would it affect policy claims as her official name ends with her maiden surname

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kunal. You'll want to contact your insurance provider about the potential of a name mismatch affecting medical claims acceptance.

      Reply
  55. Janet

    Hi I got married last month, I hyphenated my and my husband’s last name on my wedding certificate, can I use my maiden name as legal name without changing it when I renew my passport, drivers license, and ss? Or do I have to use the name on the certificate?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      can I use my maiden name as legal name without changing it when I renew my passport, drivers license, and ss?

      You can continue using your maiden name if it's your current legal name.

      Or do I have to use the name on the certificate?

      You're not obligated to change your name to match what's on your marriage certificate.

      Reply
      1. Janet

        Does changing my last name on the wedding certificate, become my legal name? Can I renew my license and passport with my current name, not my marriage license name?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Does changing my last name on the wedding certificate, become my legal name?

          No.

          Can I renew my license and passport with my current name, not my marriage license name?

          Yes.

          Reply
  56. Justin P

    My wife booked a room with a credit card in her maiden name. Her current ID has her married name. She has her old ID with her maiden name, but its expired and out of state. Do you think there will be any issues upon check in ?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Justin. That's entirely up to the establishment's policies, but it's unlikely to be problem since your wife's bringing before and after ID. It's also a good idea to bring a copy of the marriage certificate.

      Reply
  57. Taylor

    Hi,

    I just got married and would like to change my last name to my husband's. I know I will need to update my SSN card and driver's license. My passport doesn't expire for 4 years. Do I have to update my passport now with my new last name or can I wait until I renew it? If I wait, will I have to buy plane tickets with my maiden so it matches my passport?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Do I have to update my passport now with my new last name or can I wait until I renew it?

      You can wait.

      If I wait, will I have to buy plane tickets with my maiden so it matches my passport?

      Yes.

      Reply
  58. Leela

    hi,
    I added my husband's last name on the marriage certificate bu I don't want to change any of my IDs (passport, Driver Licence) or and of the bank documents. Would it be possible if my new last name only appears on the marriage licence? Would It it be a problem? especially when I travel internationally? Would I experience any problems?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Would it be possible if my new last name only appears on the marriage licence?

      Yes, you don't have to change your name.

      Would It it be a problem? especially when I travel internationally? Would I experience any problems?

      It won't be a problem. Make sure the name on your travel tickets matches the name on your passport.

      Reply
  59. Kat

    I recently got married (2nd marriage-kept my married name for my child). I want to change my name back to my maiden name, but the marriage license states my previous married name. Can I make this change at social security, DMV, etc. or is there something more I need to do? I live in Arizona.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I want to change my name back to my maiden name, but the marriage license states my previous married name.

      That's fine. Use a certified copy of your marriage certificate. You can review the Arizona name change page for more information.

      Can I make this change at social security, DMV, etc. or is there something more I need to do?

      There's nothing more to do.

      Reply
  60. Bonnie Alderete

    My maiden name is still on my car registration. I have not paid the car off yet. My insurance card has my married name and vin # on it. The reg is paid up. Is it illegal to drive my car with my maiden name on the reg card? My DL and Social Security card have my married name on them.
    I live in Ca.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is it illegal to drive my car with my maiden name on the reg card?

      No, your registration is still valid.

      Reply
  61. grace

    Hi im married for almost 2 years. can i still use my maiden name in business name registration? only my passport not yet change. is that possible?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      can i still use my maiden name in business name registration?

      You'd use your current legal name to register, but there's nothing stopping you from registering a DBA in your non-married name.

      Reply
  62. Caroline Havelka

    I got married 2 years ago. It took me a year to change my name to my husband's name; however, I want to use my maiden name at work. Since I legally changed it my place of work will NOT allow me to use my maiden name. Now I am considering going to court and using both last names (maiden and married) without the hyphen. What are the rules to 2 last names? Do I have to change all my credit cards, bank statements, etc.?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Now I am considering going to court and using both last names (maiden and married) without the hyphen.

      That wouldn't be a problem.

      What are the rules to 2 last names?

      There are no special rules for a space-separated surname. You may look at it as a double last name, but it's considered a single last name.

      When you notify your place of work of your double last name, you'll likely be in the same boat where they'll only recognize you by your complete last name.

      Would they accept the use of referring to you by your maiden name even with your new dual last name on record? If so, would they acknowledge that in writing. If not, would they accommodate the use of an alias instead?

      Do I have to change all my credit cards, bank statements, etc.?

      Not if you don't want to. Keep in mind, once you update your social security card or even one credit card, that information will eventually bubble up to your credit report.

      When you apply for a new credit card or bank account, loan, etc, you'll have to use your full legal last name.

      Reply
      1. Caroline

        They refuse to let me use an alias. They also refuse if I change my middle name to maiden name to acknowledge it. I work as a teacher and have heard my maiden name a long time….but my husband dislikes the idea of even me changing to 2 last names without the hyphen.

        I have no problem using just my married name in my personal life but professionally I want the maiden name. There must be a solution….I can't possibly be the only one who feels this way??

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Carolina. Unless your place of employment allows the use of your maiden name informally, it's not clear what your available option would be short of changing your name back to your maiden name and using your married name informally.

          Reply
  63. Rachel Hills

    Hi, I was really torn on the issue but ultimately decided to change my last name to match my husband's. This is reflected on our marriage license. However now I am heavily regretting my decision and want to keep my maiden name.

    The only steps I have completed to change my name to his are the SSA and my health/life insurance at work. From all the comments I'm reading, it sounds like I would have been fine to keep my maiden name for the rest of my life if I hadn't done anything.

    I am glad I haven't gone to the DMV yet or changed it on my passport. I think it would be fairly easy to change last name back to my maiden name on my health/life insurance but do you know if I can go back to the SSA and change it back to my maiden name?

    Or if I even need to do this? It costs so much to "legally" change it back through a court process so I am hoping I can just live my life with my maiden name even though that isn't what is on our marriage certificate.

    My worry is that since I changed it with the SSA that I now have to change it at the DMV and on my password since it is in the "system"…

    Reply
    1. Valera

      However now I am heavily regretting my decision and want to keep my maiden name.

      You still have options available. Read on…

      it sounds like I would have been fine to keep my maiden name for the rest of my life if I hadn't done anything.

      True.

      I think it would be fairly easy to change last name back to my maiden name on my health/life insurance

      Probably worth verifying beforehand.

      but do you know if I can go back to the SSA and change it back to my maiden name?

      Yes, you could reverse your name change on your social security card using the same marriage certificate you used to change it. Review the name corrections section on the social security name change article for how this works.

      My worry is that since I changed it with the SSA that I now have to change it at the DMV and on my password since it is in the "system"

      If you ever renew or replace your driver's license, you'd have to update the name. You could renew your passport in your maiden name regardless of what you choose to do.

      Reply
      1. Rachel Hills

        Hi, I followed your advice and reviewed the name corrections section on the social security name change article. I was excited to be able to reverse it back to my maiden name but unfortunately it didn’t work.

        Here is what I did. I filled out the SSA’s name change form (form SS-5) and mailed it to my local SSA office, along with an official copy of my marriage certificate. I assumed this would be good enough proof of identity and assumed I didn’t need to include proof of citizenship since this was just a name correction.

        I wrote them a note explaining what I wanted and that this was just a name correction back to my maiden name.

        Unfortunately I got it back in the mail a week later and they included a paper saying I needed a court order for a name change.

        I really want to correct my name back to my maiden name. Can you tell me if I did something wrong? Should I try again in person perhaps? I live in Oregon if that is helpful. Thank you!!

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Rachel. What you're reporting has also been reported by others. The name correction is documented on the SSA's online operations manual. You can see reference 1 and reference 2.

          We corresponded with someone who faced a similar situation as yours. Went in person and was told a court order was required. We noted the two references, she printed it out, then went back to try again. Supervisor ultimately relented, begrudgingly changing her name back to what it was. They called it a name reversal instead of correction.

          This appears to be an obscure (yet documented) allowance that is causing many double-takes. If someone comes in with such a rare request without documentation to back it up, they can face what you faced.

          We'll be updating the SSA article shortly to further elaborate on these points.

          Reply
          1. Rachel Hills

            Oh wow okay, I will try again but this time include the policies as “proof.” I am glad there are actual policies I can show them! Thank you so much for sharing what you know.

  64. Kathleen

    Hello
    Have a question, I’m a married lady but still my documents is single I haven’t change yet, and now I need to renew my passport…
    What will I write in my status? Single or married? Because I don’t like to change my maiden name…

    From Philippines married here in hongkong

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Single or married?

      Married.

      Because I don’t like to change my maiden name

      You don't have to change it.

      Reply
  65. Nadia

    Hello. I've got my passport long ago when I still lived in the US. I moved to Russia to study. Got married in Russia in 2014. So I have a Russian marriage certificate. Changed my last name to my husbands on all my Russian documents including my Russian passport.

    Last year changed my US passport because it was expired but didn't change my last name to my husbands because I was told that I don't need to do that. Now I'm thinking that the information was wrong.

    How can I change my last name to my husbands if my marriage certificate is Russian? Do I need to get it translated somewhere? Can I do all this online or I have to fly to the US and change it in person?

    Also, I have three kids that were born in Russia (all three under the age of five). My husband is Russian and he does not have an US passport but I do. Can my kids get US passports? If yes then how? Do I need to translate their birth certificates? And in their birth certificates my last name is the one that I got from my husband and my kids also have that last name. But in my American passport I have my old last name. I am a little confused about all this and don't know what to do!

    And more questions. If I can get my kids a US passport do I have to get them visas to fly to America and than in person with the kids fill in all the applications to get them the passports? Or can I do all this without the kids? Or can I not fly to the states and just do everything online?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      How can I change my last name to my husbands if my marriage certificate is Russian? Do I need to get it translated somewhere?

      It must be professionally translated to English. The translation must be certified and notarized. The translator has to vouch for the accuracy of their translation.

      Can I do all this online or I have to fly to the US and change it in person?

      You can. Translator location isn't important. As long as your translator and translation is reputable, you're fine.

      Can my kids get US passports?

      They can if they're U.S. citizens.

      If yes then how?

      See children below age 16 on the State Dept. website.

      Do I need to translate their birth certificates?

      Show proof of citizenship. It doesn't have to be a birth certificate.

      And in their birth certificates my last name is the one that I got from my husband and my kids also have that last name. But in my American passport I have my old last name. I am a little confused about all this and don't know what to do!

      That's fine.

      If I can get my kids a US passport do I have to get them visas to fly to America and than in person with the kids fill in all the applications to get them the passports?

      You can apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

      Or can I do all this without the kids? Or can I not fly to the states and just do everything online?

      They must be with you.

      Reply
  66. Nicole

    If you add your husband's name at the end of your last name after marriage, will checks to you have to be written out using those two names or either one once you change your name with Social security and your bank?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      will checks to you have to be written out using those two names or either one once you change your name with Social security and your bank?

      That's up to your bank. They may be able to accommodate either name as long as both are on file. You'll also want to inquire on which name must be endorsed.

      Reply
  67. Brandie Applewhite

    Hi,
    I have been divorced 3 years but did not go back to my maiden name at that time. I still have my maiden name as my middle name and my ex’s last name (on drivers license, nursing license and ss card). My question is can I legally use just my maiden name when cashing paychecks etc or do I need to have it legally changed through the court ? Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      can I legally use just my maiden name when cashing paychecks etc or do I need to have it legally changed through the court ?

      That's the bank's prerogative to accommodate. If they will, both names (legal and alias/maiden) should be on file.

      Reply
  68. Victoria

    I got married a few years ago and changed my last name. I have since gotten divorced and I am now changing my last name back to my maiden name. I still have my passport with my maiden name on it, since I never got it changed or a new one. Can I still use that once my name gets legally changed back to my maiden name since that is the name on it, or did it become invalid when my last name changed after getting married?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I still use that once my name gets legally changed back to my maiden name since that is the name on it

      Yes, it's still valid. There's nothing that needs modifying.

      Reply
  69. Krista Renee Hutchison

    I have been married for over 2 years and on my marriage certificate I took my husbands last name. I have not changed my name yet on my SS card, DL, etc. I still have my maiden name on these, but I do intend to change my name to my husbands last name.

    We are having our first baby any day now, and I would like to put my husbands last name as my last name on the birth certificate (my married last name that is on my marriage certificate). Can I do this, or do I need to put my maiden name, as I have not updated my SS, etc. with my name on my marriage certificate?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I do this, or do I need to put my maiden name, as I have not updated my SS, etc.

      Yes, you can put your maiden name. It's possible that your maiden name will be required. Some states allow both your maiden and married name.

      Reply
  70. Patty

    Hello,
    I have been married for over 12 years and have kept my maiden name professionally but my legal name is my husband's name. I have recently just started a new job & I am being told that they cannot change my email address to my maiden name on outgoing emails. My display name will show as my maiden name and if I give my clients my email address which displays my maiden name (they gave me a second email tied to the legal email address) I will receive it. I find this is going to get confusing when my clients save my contact info from my outgoing email.
    I hate to use the word discrimination but that is how I feel right now.
    I am in Massachusetts. Is there any legally that they have to respect my choice?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Patty. Is this a written policy? You may very well have to consult an attorney. Could you work around it? Use your own email address separate from the company?

      Now, let's take a step back and look at this from a technical perspective. You say they gave you a second email address with your preferred name, which forwards mail to your non-preferred email address.

      As I understand it, you're concerned your replies to clients will reveal your hidden intermediary address, which will confuse clients? If that's the case, you should be able to modify the settings within your email client to change the recipient profiles of incoming mail.

      I don't know what mail program is your end point, but there may be a configuration solution on your end.

      Reply
  71. Ana

    I live in CA and added my husband’s last name on my driver license. Everything else, including social security and passport show my maiden last name. Can I remove my husband’s last name from my driver’s license?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Ana. You would have to present another name change document. It's unlikely you'd be allowed to reuse your marriage certificate. Otherwise, folks would be performing reversions on a continual basis.

      Reply
      1. Ana

        Another name change document like a court document? Or can I show my social security card and passport showing my maiden last name?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Another name change document like a court document?

          Correct.

          Or can I show my social security card and passport showing my maiden last name?

          That wouldn't count as a name change document.

          Reply
  72. Chaitanya

    Hi , I changed my last name to my married name during naturalization. Now I feel I should use my maiden name and kind of feel lost with out it. How can I change my name on naturalization and passport to my maiden name .Please advise .

    Reply
  73. Valerie

    I'm a police officer in NJ. If/when I marry I would like to legally change my name to his (he's traditional and his last name means a lot to him) but I would like to keep using my maiden name when I'm working as an officer because that's how people know me, and how I have established myself in my career. Am I allowed to professionally use a different last name as a police officer?

    I was previously married and when I divorced I got constant questions from people asking why my name changed, or congratulating me on my marriage and it was awkward to tell them I'd gotten divorced instead. Or people saying they didn't want to deal with me because they no longer recognized my name and thought I was a different officer. I'd rather just avoid the issue altogether.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Valerie. This would be up to your workplace. If they allow it, you're fine. In what capacity would they allow use of your maiden name? The alternative is to keep your maiden name legally and professionally, while using your married name socially.

      Reply
  74. Saundra Huggins

    I was married a year ago in a different state than I reside in..I told officials that I wanted to keep my maiden name..they said no problem..alot of people do that. But the marriage license has the full married name on it. I never changed anything at all from my maiden to married because I never had any intentions of doing so. Am I OK in just leaving everything alone? I dont want anything to change..banking, business,personal taxes medical, etc…I choose to keep and be known as my maiden name only..

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Am I OK in just leaving everything alone? I dont want anything to change.

      Of course. You don't have to change. Do nothing and your name stays the same.

      Reply
  75. Jessy

    I married 6 year ago with my main name I have to kids my main name . When I go to citizenship I get my husband surname When I receive my citizen certificate they not give me any court order when I updated my social security is going to any problem. I any to use his surname or going to need court order to change all on my car loan banks and driver license everything. Or can still use my main last nam.e Or I need to to change my citizen to my main last names i still can make change I don’t want to change all my documents to his surname

    Reply
    1. Valera

      When I go to citizenship I get my husband surname When I receive my citizen certificate they not give me any court order

      You don't need a court order.

      when I updated my social security is going to any problem.

      No.

      I any to use his surname or going to need court order to change all on my car loan banks and driver license

      No, you'd use your marriage certificate.

      I don’t want to change all my documents to his surname

      You don't have to change your name on any document. It's not a requirement for marriage or citizenship.

      Reply
  76. Stasia

    I married in 1991. I did not legally change my name. I "assumed" my husband's last name and acquired a driver's license and passport that contained my maiden name and my husband's last name.

    The IRS and SSA, along with land titles, trust accounts, my birth certificate, and marriage license reflect my maiden name, which I have always believed (and still do) was my legal name.

    In my attempt to comply with the strict REAL ID rules that go into effect in October 2020, in February of 2019, I applied for, and received, a driver's license with my maiden name.

    In October 2019, I applied for passport renewal and a name change to reflect my maiden name. A Seattle Passport Agency adjudicator has told me that "as far as they [the agency] are concerned, the name on my passport is my legal name" and the only way I can receive a passport with my maiden name is to change my name legally – a $450 filing fee and $250 for 4 weeks publishing cost.

    I provided (and paid for) the Agency with certified copies of my marriage license and birth certificate, and because "certified original" documents do not exist, I sent copies of my tax returns, social security statements, assessor tax statements, original social security card – going back five years – all of which reflect my maiden name.

    If I change my name legally to include my husband's last name, every other legal document will become incorrect, invalid, or illegal. Do you have any advice other than to accept a denial, re-apply and hope I get an adjudicator that can appropriately apply logic and discretion which they have the authority to do, as stated in the U.S. Foreign Affairs manual?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Stasia. You've got nothing to lose by trying again. The problem is you're trying to execute another name change without a subsequent name change event (e.g., marriage, divorce, court order).

      Reply
  77. Whit

    I am applying for global entry. I have never legally changed my last name but I do use my husbands name unofficially sometimes. Should I include that as an alias on my application?

    Reply
  78. Kay

    Hi, when I got married, I changed my last name to my last name on the marriage license. However, I haven't changed any other official documents including my Social Security card since that one change.But they took my maiden name off my dL and I don’t know how to get them to put it back on there that’s what I go by

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kay. If your new name only appears on your marriage license, how did it affect your driver's license? Did you update that document and now looking to undo it?

      Reply
  79. Karina

    Hello!

    We got married and I took my husband’s name. I had not changed any documents like work authorization, DL or SSC to my husband’s name yet. We have to go through immigration process to get my GC. My question is can I use my maiden name for now and use it when I'm filling any immigration documents (but I have to send copy of our marriage certificate to USCIS with my husband’s name as my new name) and if I allowed to do this what name will I have on my GC ?
    Thank you!

    Reply

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