Is There a Deadline for Name Change After Marriage?

Woman in dark orange, weather-worn jacket, holding an antique alarm clock in serene snowfall

How much time do you have to change your name after getting married? And how might you avoid getting consumed by the consequences of waiting too long to meet your deadlines?

Today you'll learn to schedule and order your name change chronology, from your social security card and passport, to your driver's license or REAL ID.

Is there an actual name change deadline?

No, there's no hard deadline to change your name after marriage. You don't have to immediately update your social security card or driver's license after your wedding. You'll never be barred from changing your name for waiting too long.

However, once you start the name change process, you'll activate deadlines and time limits that affect the duration, expense, and effort involved in completing your name change.

Your name change is like a jar of honey

Think of your name change like a sealed jar of honey. As long as you keep it unopened and don't initiate the process of updating the name on your social security card, there's no expiration date—you can wait as long as you'd like.

Honey jar proudly showcasing 'Your Name' embossing, sitting on a rustic wooden table
Like honey's everlasting shelf life, your name change options won't fade over time.

Your marriage certificate doesn't expire, so you can change your name any time after getting married without rushing, whether right after your honeymoon, or even many years later.

However, the moment you crack open that jar and file your paperwork, various state-level DMV deadlines commence, akin to the crystallization process in honey.

But keep in mind that the longer you wait to change your name, the more it may cost you in terms of time, money, and energy spent due to shifting requirements.

Regardless of where you are in your timeline, you can use our online name change kit to complete the name change process on schedule.

When does your name change begin?

Suppose you've completed a name change event:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce or annulment
  • Court-petitioned name change

And you have a name change document proving said event:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce decree
  • Court order

Your name doesn't automatically change the moment you get married, divorced, or secure a judge-approved court order, even with a certified document proving it took place.

By and large, the name change process actually begins once the Social Security Administration (SSA) updates your name in their records, upon your request.

The SSA plays a key role, serving as a root authority. Other agencies, such as the IRS and DMVs, rely on the SSA, while the SSA operates independently without dependencies.

Social security notification deadline

The Social Security Administration has a two-year rule for social security card name changes. Their identity verification standards are stricter after two years.

Woman immersed in an enchanting antique shop, facing a captivating display of old-world wall clocks
The SSA's ID requirements toughen two years after your name change event.

Meaning, your name change document may serve as primary ID—in place of photo ID—if your name change event took place within two years. This simplifies name change by mail.

For instance, if you got married 23 months ago, you have one month left to change the name on your social security card by mail using just your marriage certificate; no need to include your driver's license, passport, or other photo ID.

There's no penalty beyond the added inconvenience of including ID in your mailed paperwork. (You could always change your name in person instead of mail to escape this burden.)

Driver's license notification deadline

Most U.S. states have laws that dictate when you must notify the driver's license authority—e.g., DMV, DOT, DPS, BMV, MVA—that you have changed your name or address.

Woman driving car on a rainy day glimpses an ominous sight in the rearview mirror
The DMV's daunting deadlines advance like an 18-wheeler barreling down your rearview mirror.

Note: We'll use DMV as shorthand for your state's Department of Motor Vehicles.

What do your state's laws require?

The most common name change notification intervals are 10, 30, and 60 days, as shown in the following table. This data is sourced from state government statutes, with linked citations for accuracy and transparency.

StateDeadline
AlabamaNone1
Alaska30 days2
Arizona10 days3
Arkansas30 days4
CaliforniaNone5
Colorado30 days6
ConnecticutNone: 48 hours notice only applies to change of address7 with $92 infraction fee (fine and surcharge)8
Delaware30 days9
District of ColumbiaNone: 60 days notice only applies to change of address10
Florida30 days11 with $30 violation fine12
Georgia60 days13
Hawaii30 days with maximum $25 violation fine14
IdahoNone15
Illinois10 days16
Indiana30 days17
IowaNone: 30 days notice only applies to change of address18
Kansas10 days19
Kentucky10 days20
Louisiana10 days21
Maine30 days22
Maryland30 days23
Massachusetts30 days24
MichiganNone: Requirement to "immediately" notify only applies to change of address25 with maximum $93 to $111 civil infraction fine26
Minnesota30 days27
Mississippi30 days28
MissouriNone29
MontanaNone: 10 days notice only applies to change of address30
Nebraska60 days31
NevadaNone: 30 day provision32 repealed in 201733
New Hampshire30 days34
New Jersey14 days35
New Mexico10 days3637 with $25 penalty assessment misdemeanor38
New YorkNone: 10 days notice only applies to change of address39 with $75 to $300 violation fine40
North Carolina60 days41
North Dakota10 days42
OhioNone: 10 days notice only applies to change of address4344
Oklahoma10 days45
Oregon30 days46 with $115 Class D traffic violation fine47
Pennsylvania15 days48
Rhode Island10 days49 with $85 violation fine50 specific to vehicle registration51 (not license)
South Carolina10 days52
South DakotaNone53
Tennessee10 days54
Texas30 days55 with maximum $20 violation fine56
UtahNone: 10 days notice only applies to change of address57 with $50 infraction fine58
Vermont30 days59
VirginiaNone: 30 days notice only applies to change of address for license60 and registration61 with $5 violation fine
Washington10 days62
West Virginia20 days63 with maximum $500 misdemeanor violation fine64, but exempt from six-month imprisonment clause
Wisconsin30 days with maximum $50 violation fine65
Wyoming10 days66

These timeframes are trivial if you were only changing your address; many DMVs offer change of address online or by mail. But name change requires two extra components:

  1. Changing your name in person
  2. Updating your social security record beforehand

Explaining what it means to notify

What does it mean when your state driver's license office says you must notify them of your address or name change within a specific number of days—10, 30, 60, or whatnot?

The DMV doesn't receive automated alerts about your name change intentions from other institutions at the federal, state, county, city, or court level. You must do the notifying.

Woman boldly announcing into a megaphone amidst falling snow in winter weather
You must explicitly request a new driver's license after changing your name.

For example, here's Texas' notification statute (the language is similar across states):

[You] shall notify the department of the change not later than the 30th day after the date on which the change takes effect and apply for a duplicate license

Example name change statute.

But what does "notify" mean?

  • Sending an email
  • Making a phone call, or
  • Submitting a form online or by mail

And what does "of the change" and "change takes effect" represent?

  • The day you get married
  • The day your marriage license is recorded, or
  • The moment you receive your marriage certificate

Here's the real-world translation:

You must apply for a new driver's license, REAL ID, or state-issued ID card—in person—within 30 days of changing the name on your social security record.

Clarified rewording of the prior example name change statute.

Not 30 days from your marriage, divorce, or other name change event, but counting from when the Social Security Administration updates your record.

Driver's license and social security names must match

You may have noticed throughout this page references to your social security record, not your social security card. Your "record" is what's used by your driver's license office.

First, the DMV will use your marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order to validate both your name change event and requested new name. But that alone isn't enough.

Woman looking through a large magnifying glass, with eyes magnified, creating a unique perspective
With forensic-like precision, DMVs cross-reference applications, certificates, and SSA data.

DMVs in every U.S. state and territory (excluding the Virgin Islands)67 perform real-time name and SSN verifications through the Social Security Online Verification (SSOLV) system68.

Woman holding two mirrored puzzle pieces in front of her face, illustrating their lack of unity and connection
The DMV will deny name change requests that don't match SSA response output.

Your driver's license name change depends on your social security name change finishing first. Your name change will get rejected if they discover an identity mismatch.

Caution: Space out your social security and driver's license name changes by 24 to 48 hours to allow time for the SSA's database to refresh before it gets queried.

Penalties for not reporting

You may incur a penalty for failing to report your address or name change to the DMV within the allotted time frame. For instance, Florida imposes a $30 fine, while Oregon's is $115.

Woman with a somber, downcast gaze, holding an open brown envelope with the word 'PENALTY' stamped across
In some states, failure to notify can result in notable fines.

A failure to notify penalty is most often applied when a police officer pulls you over for an unrelated traffic violation, and not upon renewing your driver's license.

At worst, failing to report your address or name change will result in a monetary penalty. You won't face criminal charges or get your license suspended.

Complying with the law when time is limited

Abiding by narrow time constraints may be challenging, even if you're intent on following the spirit and letter of the law by expediting your name change.

Woman engaged in a heartfelt conversation with a police officer at night in a dark urban cityscape
Unconnected traffic violations frequently bring failure to notify scenarios to light.

Your DMV's name change deadlines may appear difficult or impossible to honor, given their expectation that your social security name change gets finished first.

Waiting for your new social security card to arrive by mail—which takes 7 to 14 calendar days—may conflict with or exceed tight state notification deadlines.

In such cases, you can verify your social security name change status over the phone with the local SSA office that processed your paperwork, whether submitted in person or by mail.

Woman sitting in the dark, deep in contemplation, hands clenched in nervous anticipation, awaiting news
You may ease anticipation by calling the SSA 24 hours later to check if your name change is done.

So you can update your driver's license name before your new social security card arrives; just wait at least 24 to 48 hours after filing with the SSA for the SSA's system to refresh.

Passport notification deadline

The U.S. State Department doesn't exact penalties for failure to change the name or address associated with your passport. You could even renew your passport in your old name.

If your honeymoon is imminent and you don't have time to update your passport, you may travel under your maiden name as long as your airline tickets match.

Woman embarking on a global journey, holding suitcases in front of a world map
For international travel, the name on your passport and airline tickets must match.

Your passport's age affects renewal fees, forms, and steps. Waiting too long risks increased fees and rules out the convenience of mailing your paperwork.

Worn passport resting beside vintage books and a classic bell alarm clock
Passport reissuance becomes more complex and costly after the first and 15th year.

If your passport is less than one year old, you can renew it by mail for free using Form DS-5504. This is when good timing and expeditiousness can save you money.

Between one and 15 years, fees above $100 kick in via Form DS-82. Mail renewal is still an option. Beyond 15 years, higher fees and in-person filing are required via Form DS-11.

IRS notification deadline

When you change the name on your social security card, the SSA will automatically alert the IRS that your name has changed.

Overhead shot of a woman working at a desk by candlelight, looking over papers and using a calculator
The name on your 1099s, W-2s, and tax returns must match SSA records.

The name on your tax returns, W-2s, 1099s, and employee records must agree with the SSA's records. This can push against federal tax filing deadlines, resulting in tax return delays69.

Review our IRS name change guide for guidance on how and when to start your name change so that it doesn't disrupt your tax filings, now or in the future.

Deadline to final destination

There's no cut-off-point deadline for changing your name after marriage, divorce, or court order. But target dates in between may make your life harder when they're past due.

Two key takeaways:

  1. Don't procrastinate.
  2. Don't start what you can't finish.

And a third takeaway: get started. Our online name change kit can help guide you through your new name journey, specific to your timetable.

Article sources

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Our name change kit helps you change your name, either before or after marriage.

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112 Comments

  1. Hello!

    I just got US naturalization certificate two months ago. The officer that did my naturalization interview looked at my marriage certificate and insisted that I put my husband's name on my naturalization certificate and passport – basically insisted that I start using my husband's name.

    I wasn't going to because I was trying to avoid paperwork hassle. I don't think it was correct to force me to change my name but that's what I was told at the time and so I didn't want to argue.

    Now, two months later, I've gotten my passport with my married name and have changed my bank card information. I haven't gotten to the SSA yet, but planning to go within next month or so – as soon as I possibly can work it out.

    Could you please tell me if this will affect my tax records and tax return – the fact that I haven't gone to the SSA yet. Is there a deadline at this point for me to get it changed with the SSA – once I've already changed my name on the bank cards and passport?

    I will appreciate your advice.

    Thanks very much.

    • Hi Tanya. Your tax return isn't affected by your passport name change. You should file your taxes to match what's on record with the SSA, which would be your name before marriage.

      • Thank you very much Tyrone! I appreciate your answer, its very helpful.

        I am planning to go to SSA office in next couple of months to update the records and my name change. Then the SSA will have my updated married name.

        I wanted to ask one more question: Does my W2 form has to have same last name as the SSA records? If so, how do I make sure that my W2 have my updated married name?

        Thanks so much in advance for your answer!

        Sincerely, Tanya

        • how do I make sure that my W2 have my updated married name?

          You'll have to notify your employer about your name change so that they'll provide an up-to-date W2 with your new name. You'll want this done after starting your name change with the SSA.

  2. Hi! I live in Florida. I got married in 2006. I changed my name on the SS card on 2013. I changed my name on the driver's license in 2020.

    Now, I want to change the name in my US Passport. I filled out the form DS-82, but in the form it asks me "What date I changed my name". I put 2020 because it is the one in my driver License, but I'm concerned that this date doesn't match the date in my marriage certificate which is 2006.

    I tried to put 2006 in the form, but it says that the date should be after the passport was issued (2018 or after).

    Is it okay to put 2020 on the date I changed my name? Or will my passport with the new name (hyphenated) be denied due to this discrepancy between the date I legally changed my name and the date of the marriage certificate?

    I'm going to send a copy of my driver license. Should I also send a copy of the SS card? Your answer to my questions is highly appreciated! I will be mailing the form in the next couple of days. Thank you!

    • Is it okay to put 2020 on the date I changed my name?

      Your name change date is the day you got married.

      Or will my passport with the new name (hyphenated) be denied due to this discrepancy between the date I legally changed my name and the date of the marriage certificate?

      Are you changing the name on an existing passport that's between one year and 15 years old? Are you certain you're using the right form?

      I'm going to send a copy of my driver license.

      You don't need to mail your driver's license with form DS-82.

      Should I also send a copy of the SS card?

      No, sending your social security card alongside your passport application isn't applicable, as it's not a valid form of ID.

  3. Do I have to wait 30 days before I contact SSA to change my name? I live in Michigan and married in early December. I'm just trying to get everything done, but I'm not in a rush.

    I planned to go to SSA, wait about a week and then go to DMV to change license. We married a week ago. Is this too soon to do?

    • Do I have to wait 30 days before I contact SSA to change my name?

      You can start your SSA name change anytime.

      I planned to go to SSA, wait about a week and then go to DMV to change license. We married a week ago. Is this too soon to do?

      Waiting one week between the SSA and DMV is reasonable, and not too soon. The least you'd want to wait is 48 hours, but a week is fine.

  4. My divorce (which involves a name change decree) will be finalized right at the end of the year. If I wait to file the change with the SSA and everyone else, can I file my taxes under my married name? I'm trying to avoid the hassle of potential name mismatches on my tax documents.

    • Hi Courtney. You'll want to file your taxes to match the name on your social security card. When you update your SS card, the SSA will notify the IRS of your new name. So when you file your taxes, you'll want your name to match between both institutions to avoid delays processing your paperwork.

  5. Hello! I put my husband's name on my marriage certificate. I have not changed my name with any of the government agencies – not with DMV, Social Security or any others. My Green Card is still with my maiden name. My husband's name is only with my marriage certificate.

    I am about to apply for naturalization. Can I keep my maiden name on my future American passport or do I have to change my last name to my husband's name after my current IDs with my maiden name expire?

    I would be very grateful for your answer.

    Thanks so much,

    Sincerely, Tanya

    • Hi Tanya. You do not have to change your name to match the new name you specified on your marriage certificate. The married name on your certificate provides you the option to change your name, but it's nonbinding, meaning you can disregard it.

      • Thanks so much Tyrone! You're incredibly helpful! Thanks very much for your patience with all the questions!!!!!

  6. Hi, I'm in the middle of a name change and in the process of getting a visa to study aboard. Once I get the court order do I need to change my social security, drivers license etc, within a certain time frame? Or can I change it all once I'm done with my studies aboard? (which would be in about a year)

    I leave in about a month and I'm worried of changing all my documents including my passport, because it would delay my visa (since I'd have to change my name on my passport, wait for my number passport number then have to resubmit my visa application).

    • Once I get the court order do I need to change my social security, drivers license etc, within a certain time frame?

      Your court order won't expire, so you can use it to change your name far long after you get it.

  7. Hi! I just got married on Nov 4 this year of which I will be changing my last name (and middle name) via my marriage certificate. I also have a court hearing to change my first name in December. Can I update all my documents (SSA, license, passport, etc) for all my name changes at once? Are there any roadblocks or issues I may encounter? I live in Florida and was married in Georgia. Thank you!

    • Hi Nikki. You can skip the initial marriage name change using your marriage certificate and do everything at once when you go to court to change your name.

  8. Hi, I got married almost 2 years ago now. I went to social security office in august to legally change my name. But I haven't had time to go to the DMV and change my license.

    It's been about 45 days since my new SS card came in the mail, and my state has a 30 day period from the day I went to SS office. What will happen know? Can I still get my name on my license changed?

    • Hi Vianka. Yes, you can still get your license updated fine. At worst, your state might impose a minor fine.

  9. Hi, I got married in a foreign country, and I am currently in the process of changing my name on my social security card. I am not in the U.S. Can I mail the documents to the SSA office in any state to get the name change? What are the documents required to send?

    I won't be able to change my driver's license in person, so the grace period to notify the DMV will have past. And my license is expiring.

    Would you suggest renewing it online with my maiden name first until I can get to the states to notify them in person (fully aware of the fees)?

    My SSA application isn't sent yet. Or what's the grace period after the license expires to renew it and change my name in the process (state if NJ)?

    • Can I mail the documents to the SSA office in any state to get the name change?

      Yes, you can mail your paperwork to any SSA field office in the U.S., but you should use the one nearest to your address.

      What are the documents required to send?

      Please review the SSA name change article.

      Would you suggest renewing it online with my maiden name first until I can get to the states to notify them in person (fully aware of the fees)?

      No, you cannot renew your NJ driver's license online, even in your maiden name. You can only order a "duplicate license" within 90 days of it expiring. The expiration date of a duplicate license will match your old license. Duplicates are for lost or stolen licenses, not renewals.

      And renewing your driver's license in your maiden name would only work if you do it before updating your social security card. Otherwise, the NJ MVC will flag a name mismatch.

      Or what's the grace period after the license expires to renew it and change my name in the process (state if NJ)?

      I'm not sure what you mean by "grace period." You only have to start over from scratch with a "first-time" driver's license application if your license expired more than three years ago.

    • Hi Gokce. You don't need to tell anyone or do anything if you're getting married and not changing your name. Take not action and your name will remain the same.

  10. I got married 5 years ago. I did not change my name. I would now like to change my name. I would like to add my husband’s name since we have had kids.

    I plan to hyphenate his last name to my maiden name. Is this possible? And if it is, will it effect my kids birth certificates or can they remain with my maiden name? Would they then need birth certificates with my new last name? Located in VA

    If this changing my last name is possible what is the first step? I have a certified marriage certificate but am uncertain what to do next.

    • I plan to hyphenate his last name to my maiden name. Is this possible?

      Yes, you can hyphenate.

      And if it is, will it effect my kids birth certificates or can they remain with my maiden name?

      Your children's birth certificates can either share your hyphenated name or your maiden name. It's up to you to specify.

      If this changing my last name is possible what is the first step?

      Please take a look at the name change how to article.

  11. Hi, hypothetical question: what if a couple was married 13 years ago and neither understood the need to change neither SS# or ID? Is there an issue for them to look forward to or no? What penalties are out there of the different states like Alabama, Louisiana, and California?

    • Hi Roberta. If this hypothetical couple never initiated a name change on their social security card or state-issued ID (e.g., driver's license, REAL ID), then there would be no repercussions, regardless of where their marriage took place, where they have lived, or where they now live.

  12. I live in New York. I am getting married in about two months. I love my maiden name and I am the last in my family with my name. That combined with the hassle of it all, I am unsure if I want to hyphenate my name with my future husband's or not.

    At the and time I want to show him respect as he really wants me to change my name. Any suggestions?

    If I change it on the marriage certificate, is that still considered a legal name change if I don't change it anywhere else?

    Is it OK to just change it on the certificate and use my married name in some situations but leave my maiden name on government records?

    And if I do change it with SSA and DMV, I assume I have to change it at work as well, is that correct?

    • If I change it on the marriage certificate, is that still considered a legal name change if I don't change it anywhere else?

      No, that does not constitute a legal name change.

      Is it OK to just change it on the certificate and use my married name in some situations but leave my maiden name on government records?

      Yes, you could keep your maiden name legally, while using your married name socially and informally.

      And if I do change it with SSA and DMV, I assume I have to change it at work as well, is that correct?

      Yes, workplace HR needs your legal name to match what the SSA and IRS have on file.

  13. I am going through a divorce in FL and will be going back to my maiden name. I have international travel plans a few months out. There is a good change the divorce decree will be issued not long before I travel.

    My best bet is to wait to start the name change process with the SSA until after I get back and there will be no issues since it will be well within the two-year window, correct? And thank you for clarifying this!!

    • My best bet is to wait to start the name change process with the SSA until after I get back

      What matters is your passport name change, not your social security card. You could change both in parallel. But if you'd prefer to complete your entire name change without a gap, waiting until after your travels conclude makes sense.

  14. So I got married back in Feb 2019, it was a destination wedding outside of the US. I have not yet been able to change my name or even change my SS info to state that I am married but I have been filing as joint/married every tax season.

    When COVID hits and everything shuts down, everything kind of been set in the back burner. Now my question is, can I still change my name/register that I am married? Will that create problems when filing taxes even though I've been filing under joint/married?

    • Now my question is, can I still change my name/register that I am married?

      Yes, you can still change your name after several years have passed since you married.

      Will that create problems when filing taxes even though I've been filing under joint/married?

      You're fine as long as the name on your tax filing matches what the Social Security Administration has on file. This is the case whether you file married filing jointly or married filing separately.

  15. Hi. I have a question. I got married on May 26. And my passport was issued less than a year (Aug 30). So, today (Aug 9) I changed my last name and is gonna take two weeks to get my new social security card.

    Can I send my documents by mail on August 28 and still applying for the free renew? Other question, can I send my documents now? I have my marriage certificate and a letter of SSA saying my new name and that my new card is gonna arrive in two weeks, or should I wait?

    • Hi Ana. You can change the name on your passport right now, even before receiving your new social security card by mail.

      The Social Security Administration and U.S. State Department passport office are not dependent upon each other, so you can renew documents handled by the respective organizations at the same time.

  16. Hi, I got married almost 6 years ago and just never changed my last name even though I put it down on the marriage certificate. We were going through a lot of personal life stuff so it never took priority in my mind.

    Up until recently, I thought maybe I should change it finally but don't know how to go about it or if they'll even let me at this point. Is there any way I can still change my last name here in California?
    Thank you.

  17. Hi, I got married last year and I still haven’t updated my drivers license with my address and name change. What penalties will I receive when I go in and change it today?

    • What penalties will I receive when I go in and change it today?

      It varies. Can you specify the state where you will renew?

  18. Hello! I have an unusual situation – my mom gave me an unfortunate middle name when I was born and I filled out the paperwork to get it changed over a year ago. Just the middle name. I completely forgot about it (a lot of bad stuff happened, keeping me distracted) and my fiancé and I have decided to just go ahead and go to the courthouse next month.

    I never changed my name with social security, I only have a certificate showing my name change. Will I need to complete this name change process before getting married? Or can I "start over" in a sense because we are both planning to change our last names to something completely different, and can I then only report one name change to social security once I get married. As if that first certificate doesn't exist?

    • Hi Jana. Yes, you can ignore your first name change document, which you never used to effect a name change with any institution or on any credential.

  19. Hello! I recently got married, in Illinois where I live, and I've been trying to figure out what I want to do about changing my name.

    Would it make my life difficult and complicated if I adored my maiden name as my middle name and took my husbands last name? I've heard mixed reviews on this subject. Any tips or tools? TIA!!

    • Would it make my life difficult and complicated if I adored my maiden name as my middle name

      Replacing your middle name with your maiden name is one of the cleaner, well-balanced options. This allows you to maintain a bridge with your family name.

  20. Hi. I got married Nov 2021 and changed my last name same with my partner, as seen on our marriage certificate. I already changed my name on SSA (2021) and currently, I am in the process of renewing my greencard with my married name on it.

    The thing is, I still have my maiden name on my driver’s license, IRS, previous W-2, passport, assets, bank, CC, and even on my employment papers. I also just moved to a new state. As of now, I want to keep using my maiden name.

    1. Is it possible for me to just keep on using my maiden name?
    2. Will I get any problem with green card renewal (like denial) and application for naturalization in the future?
    3. What advice can you give me regarding this?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Mitch. You can continue using your maiden without fear of denial. During the naturalization process, you can ask the USCIS official who conducts your interview to complete the Petition for Name Change form, assuming you decide to change your name after all.

  21. We got married in a foreign country in 2017 and til now I haven't changed my last name to his. When I renewed my foreign passport in 2021, I asked to keep the maiden name since I haven't changed my last name yet. The reason why I didn't change it before was my cousin told me she experienced some complications when they ask for documents or IDs and the names are mismatched.

    Can I still go to SSA office and ask for a name change? Then DMV next, the bank and so on?

    Thank you.

    • Can I still go to SSA office and ask for a name change? Then DMV next, the bank and so on?

      Yes, you can still change your name after marriage the standard way years after getting married. Just make sure your marriage certificate is a certified copy.

      If your marriage certificate is not in English, the SSA may take longer to process your application while awaiting translation.

  22. So this following is in the above article. So what is the date of the name change for a passport then? That question is on the passport renewal form. Do I put my wedding date or the date I went to the SSA for name change?

    "Do you know when the name change process starts?
    Upon marriage, divorce, or court petition.
    Updating your social security card.
    Updating your driver's license.
    None of the above.

    The answer is split:
    None of the above for passports.
    Updating your social security card for everything else."

  23. My ex got remarried about 6 years ago. She legally changed her name but didn't tell her doctor or pharmacy and is still getting controlled substances with her old last name.

    Does this fall back on the pharmacy and/or doctor? What if she gets pulled over and they see that it's an alias name? Is it illegal to have a narcotic prescription without her legal name being on it?

    • Does this fall back on the pharmacy and/or doctor?

      The patient.

      What if she gets pulled over and they see that it's an alias name?

      She could reconcile the difference by explaining, showing ID in her prior name, or showing a legal name change document of her name transition.

      Is it illegal to have a narcotic prescription without her legal name being on it?

      It's up to the pharmacist to run the script. If they know her, they'll exercise reasonable discretion.

  24. Would I be able to change my first name as well as last when applying for the pre-application? When searching it up it sounds vague just saying "name" and not specifying anymore.

    • Hi Jasper. You cannot change your first name through marriage. You must petition the court instead.

  25. XS Hi Tyrone,

    My husband and I were married 11 years ago and I never legally changed my name. We had a honeymoon to Europe and I was confused and concerned about complicating it with the name change. So here I am wondering what to do next – it’s been so long! Do I need to go through the courts and do a name change or can I just use my marriage certificate and go through the process like a newlywed.

    • Hi Olga. You would still use your marriage certificate to change your name, even after many year have passed.

    • Hi Olga! Have you started the name change? I've been married for 6 years and haven't changed my last name. Now I'm anxious and nervous om what to do because I want to apply for naturalization for me and the kids.
      Thank you. Stay safe!

  26. I got married just over 15 years ago, and have been considering changing my last name to hyphenate my and my husband's last names. Can I still use my marriage certificate for changing it, or do I have to do it through the court? I live in Florida.

    • Can I still use my marriage certificate for changing it, or do I have to do it through the court?

      Your marriage certificate is still good for name change purposes.

  27. Hi! So, I changed my name with the SS office in January and then moved states. I never got a chance to change my license with my new name and address within 60 days, which is what my new state requires. Will this be a problem? If so, what will happen?

    • Hi Genesis. It wouldn't apply in your new state if you hadn't yet obtained a license from your new state. It's no longer relevant to your old state as you're no longer a resident there.

  28. When I signed my marriage certificate, I wasn't asked about changing my name, so I signed the certificate with my maiden name. Will it this be a problem?

  29. I got married in January. I added my husbands name to my name with a hyphen. I changed my name on my Social Security card and on my drivers license.

    My passport says my old name without the new hyphenated name. I want to travel and use my passport without the updated name change. Will this be an issue?

  30. Hi, question about passport…

    I got married July 2022 but haven't changed my last name yet because we're taking a honeymoon on Aug 2023. I didn't want it to interfere with the passport.

    If I ended up changing my last name now, would I have to change it on the passport too? Or can I just leave my maiden name on my passport and still travel with it even though I changed my last name with everything else (ssa,dmv,etc)?

    Or will it flag my passport when I go to travel because my last name has changed but I didn't change it in the passport?

    • Hi Brianna. The name on your passport can differ from what appears on your social security card or driver's license. You can keep your passport in your maiden name and change it after your honeymoon. Just make sure your airline tickets match the name on your passport.

      If you're questioned about the name inconsistency between your driver's license and passport, you can show a copy of your marriage certificate.

  31. Hi, We have an odd situation. I had my name changed with the SSA, but I had to make a correction due to a spelling error. After this, I got pregnant and sick with COVID.

    Now, the 60 day window in my state to update my name with the DMV has passed. Will I be able to update my license now? What do I do?

    • Will I be able to update my license now?

      You will still be able to update your driver's license past the expected notification deadline. But your state may impose a minor fine for waiting too long when you go to update your license.

  32. I have an "odd" situation, I guess. I married overseas and changed it on the Passport first, it's now been "several" years ago. I've been fighting the Social Security Administration ever since I got back into the States.

    I went in in-person to a field office and they refused to accept my US passport as proof of identity, saying that "identity" did not include my NAME.

    I've looked up the Social Security Administration's OWN rules and it states that the "number holder's" name must match the name on our primary identification document, especially the Passport.

    My problem is that the Passport office "file" contains the last copy of the marriage certificate because my bag with all my "papers" in it got stolen overseas, and it will take "forever" to request another one through the Embassy of that country.

    This is now going on YEARS that I'm sitting here with no social security number I can use, because everything I apply for with my Passport, gets "name mismatch" when they check with the social security assholes.

    So I have no ability to get a driver's licence, no food stamps, no income whatsoever, and no job (well nothing will hire me anyway but that's another story).

    I am limited to living with only the things that don't check with social security. So, almost nothing.

    In the absence of a marriage certificate they're required by law to honour the passport, and I'm contacting my Congressmen and Senators and going to sue the Social Security Administration if this keeps up for more YEARS and YEARS.

    • Hi Pamela. The Social Security Administration needs two primary documents to change your name: ID and a name change event document.

      Your marriage certificate would have served as your name change event document, but since it was stolen and you're unable to obtain another copy within a reasonable length of time, you don't have an authorizing document to change your name.

      Here are a couple workarounds to consider:

      1) Some states will record a foreign marriage certificate within state records and issue you a state-level marriage certificate. However, you don't have a foreign marriage certificate to show them, so you can inquire if they'll accept a sworn affidavit attesting to the facts of your situation.

      You may need the assistance of attorney to draft the correspondence. This option is the most brittle approach.

      2) Get remarried and obtain a new marriage certificate. For instance, New York State will issue you a regular marriage license to get married a second time to the same person, even if you are married now. It's not considered a vow renewal, but an actual marriage.

      They would issue you a new certified marriage certificate referencing your new name after marriage. You could use your passport as ID when applying for the license.

      3) Petition the court for a general adult name change and use the eventual court order to change your name with social security and everybody else. Your court order would be your new "name change event" document, and you wouldn't need to depend on your missing marriage certificate for name change purposes.

      There's time and expense that comes along with petitioning the court, but that varies per state. Some states make it easy by not requiring newspaper publication of a name change notice. Some don't even require hearings.

      But there is a filing fee. However, many states will waive the filing fee for financial hardship reasons.

  33. I changed my name when we got legally married in December 2022 on our marriage license. How long do I have before I need to change my name with social security and therefore my drivers license and passport?

    Thank you

    • Hi Marla. You can wait to change your name as long as you like, but take into account the social security two-year standard that adds additional ID requirements beyond your marriage certificate if you wait to change your name more than two years after getting married.

    • The passport office has no such time limitations. Trust me, I have it changed just fine on my passport and that's the ONLY thing I have as proper ID as a result.

      The problem you will have is walking around the US with literally ONLY a passport in your correct, legal name. Trying to change everything else using that passport, will prove damn near impossible as it has for me.

  34. Hi, my fiancée and I want to do a combination of both our last names. We live in the state of NJ. How can we go about this?

    • Hi Meyri. A combination name change through marriage beyond regular hyphenation isn't supported in New Jersey.

  35. I was married in July, and due to some hold ups, I have just recently received our Marriage Certificate with my new, hyphenated name on it. I have NOT changed my SSN or updated official documents in any other way.

    My concern is that my husband and I are about to buy our first home, and I am wondering if I am making a mistake buy purchasing this home in my maiden name, knowing later down the line I will be changing everything to my new last name.

    Could my maiden name on the deed lead to issues later down the line (like selling the house in 10 years)?

    • Could my maiden name on the deed lead to issues later down the line (like selling the house in 10 years)?

      A name mismatch on your deed shouldn't affect future sales since you can reconcile your name and identity using your marriage certificate and government-issued ID.

  36. Hello,

    I was married in Ohio in October 2022 but live in Indiana. I changed my name in November through the SS office, have requested an updated passport, but have not done my driver's license.

    I was holding off until February of this year, since we were moving and I want to change my last name and my address at the same time. I was unaware of the 30 day policy in Indiana.

    Will it be okay if I go now/in the future to change my name? Will I be penalized?

    • Will it be okay if I go now/in the future to change my name? Will I be penalized?

      Since you're moving, your Indiana driver's license will be replaced with an Ohio driver's license. You won't face a penalty because your next driver's license application will occur in Ohio, not Indiana.

      By the way, since you're moving and changing your name, you may want to review the USPS name change and mail forwarding article.

  37. Does the 30 days start when I change my name with SSA or when I sign my marriage liscence? I'm traveling soon and don't think everything would be processed in time for my trip so I'd like to wait until after I return if I can.

  38. We will be eloping in September and I do plan on changing my name; however, our family will not know about our elopement. We plan on getting “married” with family/friends a full year after. I should write the name I’m taking on my marriage license, then report the change to DMV & Social Security etc. correct?

    • I should write the name I’m taking on my marriage license, then report the change to DMV & Social Security etc. correct?

      Correct. And this reportage may take place before or after your informal marriage ceremony amongst family and friends.

  39. So just to clarify because I worry… Let's say I hyphenate on the marriage certificate and NEVER change it anywhere else (not SSN, ID, etc) nothing happens, right? Is there a scenario where showing a marriage certificate with the semi-different name will be an issue (for example changing health insurance due to qualifying life event)?

    • Let's say I hyphenate on the marriage certificate and NEVER change it anywhere else (not SSN, ID, etc) nothing happens, right?

      Right, the status quo remains.

      Is there a scenario where showing a marriage certificate with the semi-different name will be an issue

      No, because your marriage certificate will still show your current, legal name, alongside your proposed new married name—which doesn't exist outside of the certificate. In most real-world cases, your marriage certificate isn't even considered an identity document.

  40. I am getting married in February but have a trip to Iceland in September (7 months apart). Everything from my passport, plane ticket, and reservations are all in my maiden name. Will I be ok going to a different country if I wait until October to begin changing my name or will I have problems leaving the country.

    • Hi Justine. Yes, you'll be fine waiting until later next year to change your name. It's important that the name on your passport and plane tickets match.

      If you were to change the name on your passport before departing, you would need to get your airline tickets reissued under your new name.

      You can avoid the hassles of a name mismatch by deferring your name change until your after your travels have concluded.

  41. My wife changed her name to a hyphen version because our kids were young. They have all grown and we want to get the name changed to my married name without the hyphen. Will the marriage certificate and driver's license work to complete this with SSA.

  42. I got married last year and just haven't updated my married last name through the SSA yet (I am currently in the process now). I did however update it at my bank because I knew I was going to change it eventually and was on the phone with them about something else and they asked me if I wanted them to change it for me.

    It has taken me over a year now to officially start the process. I sent my marriage certificate into my bank last year and they changed it in their system and on my debit card.

    I just got a letter in the mail saying I need to fill out this form because my taxes got filed under my maiden name for 2021 (because again my name hasn't been updated through SSA) so basically my last name at the bank and my last name on my SS card and through IRS do not match anymore.

    My bank has not really been helpful in helping me with what they need from me to fix this issue. Is this a big problem now?

    • Hi Marie. The path of least resistance may be to revert your name change on your bank account, while asking them to continue honoring your maiden or married name on checks, deposits, and debit cards. They may require two signature cards stored on file.

  43. Help! I got married 4 years ago. I never changed my name with SSA because..well… Covid. (Offices near me were closed and I would have had to go to Orlando.) But I would really love to do it now and have it be a surprise for my husband for his birthday. I live in Florida… is this going to be impossible and what should I do?

    • Hi Jennifer. The procedure for a delayed name change is very similar to one that takes place soon after marriage.

      Since your marriage took place over two years ago, you're no longer in the SSA two-year name change window, which means you'll have to provide identification along with your social security application.

      Had you changed your name within two years of marriage, your marriage certificate could have been used for ID (under common criteria).

      • Hi Tyrone. After the 2 year SSA window, what do you mean by provide identification? Like a driver license's even though it says my older name (before marriage)? This is the additional documentation needed in order to do a name change after the 2 year window? Is there anything else?

  44. I changed my name at the SSA two days ago but the soonest I could get an appointment with the DMV is a month and a half from now. My state has a 30 day time limit for updating at the DMV. Will I be penalized?

  45. I am getting married in IL today, but retiring in March 2023 and moving to MI where my hubby was transferred. I am planning on changing my name when I move. Will it be all right to wait? Of course I will change ssi first, but not until the move.

    • I am planning on changing my name when I move. Will it be all right to wait?

      Yes, you can wait to change your name until your ready. The various countdowns begin once you change the name on your social security card, not when your marriage takes place.

      • Thank you for this clear answer. Other websites say “from the date of your legal name change” but they don’t say what that date is!

  46. I have an odd situation. Back when I got married I decided to leave my last name as it was. My husband purchased a new car and had the title paperwork done up with my name included, and the dealership clerk assumed that my last name was the same as my husbands.

    Long story short – they insisted I run to the local N.Y. DMV to have my license changed so they could complete the sales transaction. It is the ONLY doc I have with that last name! So, Soc. Sec., IRS, banks, etc. all have my other name.

    I've been able to make it work, except that we just moved to PA – and when I went to change from a NY lic to PA … they aren't wanting to let me use my old name, and that is what all of my other ID is in. And I do mean ALL.

    I had at one point (still in NY) thought about changing everything to my husbands last name, but we had been married longer than 2 years by then and the Soc Sec rep informed me that I would have to apply for a formal name change through our county Supreme Court! At this point I don't even know what to do. The PA DMV clerks weren't too sure either.

  47. I hyphenated and added my husbands my last to name when I got married but have kept using the same name (my first name, last name) without the hyphenation, I never contacted SSA. Can I just keep using my name or do I have to notify SSA or DMV of my new hyphenated name.

    • do I have to notify SSA or DMV of my new hyphenated name

      No, you do not have to take further action. You only have to notify once you begin the legal name change process by updating your social security record.

  48. So I got married in July and I filed for A disability claim in June. I haven’t changed my name yet because I am at the end of my third trimester and about to pop. Will getting married have postponed my disability claim because my last name is changed on my marriage certificate?

    • Will getting married have postponed my disability claim because my last name is changed on my marriage certificate?

      Changing your name through marriage or showing a changed name on your marriage certificate doesn't affect disability benefits. SSDI benefits aren't affected because of marriage, no matter what your spouse makes. But SSI benefits are affected by marriage because the SSA will consider part of your spouse's income in their calculations.

  49. So I changed my name on my social security card a few months ago but nothing else. Will the DMV find out if I don't tell them?

    • Hi Lina. The SSA will not notify the DMV about your name change. It's not their their responsibility.

      • Thanks but what about the county clerk? My marriage certificate says I changed my name and I'm wondering if they share it with the DMV. Can they somehow get this info about me?

        • Hi Lina. The county clerk isn't going to notify anyone about the contents of your marriage certificate other than the state vital records office when they report your marriage.

          The DMV and other federal or state agencies aren't notified about the new name shown on your marriage certificate. They aren't notified about your marriage at all.

  50. If I make an appointment to change my driver's license name and it's not matched with social security will I have to keep coming back?

    I sent in my SS name change paperwork two weeks ago and it hasn't come yet. Can the DMV just hold my info and retry without my being there and just send my license once they're done?

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