How to Get Through the Name Change Procedure

Hello My Name Is (Blank) Sticker

Congratulations on getting married! Congratulations on getting through the ceremony and dealing with all of the details that that sort of thing entails! Congratulations on joining your lives and starting off on this new adventure! Congratulations on all of the other cliché things that people are saying are happening to you right now! You're probably sick of hearing them, but they are still true. In fact, at this moment it is likely that you are so sick of wedding stuff that you don't ever want to hear the words "wedding", "ceremony" "bride" "groom" "decision" or "but what about… " ever again.

You probably just want it to all be done.

If you would like to change your name online, you can make use of our name change application to complete the required forms.

You've probably (hopefully) had a fantastic time on your honeymoon and now you are ready to just settle into the business of your regular routine again. Sure you've got some thank you notes to write but that has to be it, right? And really, you can do those in the evenings after work.

Not so fast!

Before you toss your tired body on to your couch, kick up your feet and declare yourself done, are you sure that you've taken care of all of the details that go into getting married? After all, the wedding and the thank you notes are just a part of it. There are also some legal things that need to be taken care of. For one thing, if you didn't keep your name, you have to make sure that you have your name legally changed on… well, as exhausting as it sounds, everything.

How Exactly Do I Change My Name?

First things first: you need to get a certified copy of your marriage certificate. This can usually be done by visiting your local records office and requesting a certified copy. It shouldn't take long for them to get it printed out and stamped for you. You might order a couple of them, just to keep your bases covered. They aren't usually expensive to have printed out for you.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The fancy looking certificate that you signed at your wedding doesn't actually count as your marriage certificate. That is just for you to put up at home. The legal document you signed and turned in when you applied for your marriage license and that your officiant had to sign and turn in after the ceremony are what make your marriage legal and will result in the production of a marriage certificate. You probably already know that, but it seemed like a good idea to include that here, just in case.

The good news is that, in most states, all you have to do to change your name is decide what your name will be after you get married and include that on your marriage license. This isn't always the case, though. In some states you are still going to need to go in to the courthouse, with your certified marriage certificate, and meet with a judge to get the process finalized.

Once you've gotten your name legally changed and you have official and certified proof of the change you are ready to get rolling.

Changing Your Name: The Steps

There are three major steps involved in changing your name.

Step One: The List

First you need to make a list of everything that you have under your non-married name. This is going to get overwhelming and quickly. It is possible that you have things listed under your name that you've forgotten about. That's okay. For now, let's start with what you can remember.

Typically your list will include things like:

  • Your ID/Driver's License
  • Your Social Security Card
  • Your Passport
  • Your HR Information at Work
  • Your Bank Account
  • Credit Card Accounts
  • Your rental agreement/Mortgage agreement
  • The title and registration for your vehicle (if you have one)
  • Your Library Card
  • Your Gym Membership
  • Store Discount Cards
  • Magazine Subscriptions
  • Online Profiles
  • Any other thing you can think of

Step Two: Prioritize

Obviously it is going to be more important to change some of these things than others. Your legal identification (driver's license or ID card), and updating your social security card should be at the top of that list.

This is usually because, to have your name changed on other documents and accounts, you will need these things to display your new name as proof of your new "identity." In some instances the marriage certificate itself is good enough because it will contain your pre-marriage name. In other cases, however, like with gym memberships, prescriptions, etc—you will need a new legal photo ID to get that done.

Step Three: Take Action

While you are waiting to receive your new social security cards and photo IDs (this can take longer in some states than in others. In New York it can take a month. In Oregon it takes about a week), you can get the ball rolling with your employer and at places like your bank. These typically will accept the temporary ID issued to you by the DMV as well as your marriage certificate as proof of the name change.

When you have your new photo ID and social security card, you can start to change things like the name on your library card, your gym membership and the name on your credit cards.

How Long Does This All Take, Anyway?

This is going to take some time to complete, especially if you try to do it all by yourself. You can probably get to the DMV and the Social Security Administration in a day, depending on where you live and how busy these offices are.

It might also be worth it to change the name on your vehicle registration and title while you are at the DMV changing your name on your license.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You are allowed to mail in your marriage certificate and other information to the Social Security Administration to get a new social security card, it is just a longer waiting process for the new card when you do it this way.

From there it is mostly about how much time you have each day to devote to changing your name. You are going to have to pay a visit to your bank to have your name changed on your accounts and, potentially to order new checks (though this can be done at any time online). The same is true if you have a mortgage or auto loan—you'll have to pay a visit to those lenders to change your name with them.

Other things, like changing your name on your credit cards will need to be done through the mail or by faxing in a copy of your marriage certificate. You can do a few of these things each day so that it doesn't seem overwhelming.

Wow! That's a Lot of Work

It truly is a lot of work to change your name. Like planning a wedding, making sure you get it all done means being organized and making sure that you've got everything written down and a centralized location in which you can track your progress on each place in which you need to change your name.

The Good News

The good news is that changing your name doesn't have to be a completely overwhelming process. It's really just a matter of getting all of your ducks in a row and then just going down your list.

The Better News

There are some really great online tools that will help you streamline this process. This very website you're reading, for one, offers you a centralized online portal through which to track every thing you do not need to do live and in person. It offers you a simple step-by-step form in which to input your information and then you can print out the forms you need for each type of name change. It can even help you get through the submission process.

Hey That Sounds Like a Sales Pitch

It isn't. It is up to you to figure out how to do the work of getting your name changed. If you prefer to take care of all of the details yourself and feel more comfortable that way (type A's, we're looking at you), that's fine. It is definitely an option. If you don't have the time or inclination to do every little part yourself and in person, tools like our online name change service can be of major assistance in guiding you through the name change procedure.

To Sum Up

Changing your name is a huge process. Don't let anybody lie to you and tell you that it is easy. It is one of those things that, just when you think you've got everything done, you find a new account or a new piece of mail arrives that is still in your old name. It can be frustrating.

What matters is that you will get through it. Much like planning and carrying out your wedding, changing your name is something that you are more than capable of doing. It might not seem like it now but you had moments when you were sure you'd never get your wedding planned, right? You got through that! You can definitely get through this.

After all, what matters now is that you are married and you are starting a brand new adventure (stop gagging; it is true, you know that it is true and you love that it is true. It's okay to admit it)!

Do you plan to change your name?

Our online name change kit makes it easy.

Get Started

974 Comments

  1. Salicia Leland

    Hi, My name is salicia and I wanted to know exactly what I needed to do first to get my name changed me and my husband got married last month so what would be the first step to take for me to change my last name, this will be my first time so I am very lost in what I need to do first.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Salicia. You'll want to get a certified copy of your marriage certificate from your vital records office. Then use it to assist with updating your federal and state documents, such as your SSA, driver's license, and passport. Other non-governmental organizations should be updated as well (e.g., banks, credit cards, doctor offices, online accounts, employer). If you're moving, notify the post office and any other entity that needs to update their records. A photocopy of your marriage certificate is typically sufficient proof for non-governmental institutions.

      Reply
  2. linda thielsen

    I cant get an id until I change my social security name. I cant fly to manila to get my marriage liscence. I checked confidential marriage liscence. I must appear in person. I need a passport cant get on without an id . Please help. Originally had liscence and dmv saw it but not ss

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Linda. Are you saying you've unsuccessfully tried to acquire a copy of your foreign marriage certificate through the mail?

      Reply
  3. RC

    Hi there,

    I got my marriage license yesterday and decided to change my surname to my husband's surname. However, the marriage will be done today – when I mail the paperwork.. Do I have the option of writing a note when I have the documents mailed that I want to keep my maiden name .. Even though I changed when I completed the application?

    Also, if I cannot do anything now – would it be okay If I do not change my name legally and keep my maiden name? Thanks for your help!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi RC. If you ultimately choose to keep your maiden name, then you needn't be concerned with what's on your marriage license. It won't affect anything.

      Reply
  4. Molly

    Hi there,

    I am changing my name in WA but was married in IL recently. If I am sending in my application will an original copy of my marriage certificate suffice (has my maiden name and my husbands name, but not my new name on it)? Do I also need to send in proof of identify with my picture (license/passport) in which case I am guessing I would have to go to the office sense I need the original?

    Thanks,
    Molly

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Molly. You'll be fine to change your name as long as you send in a certified copy of your marriage certificate and not a photocopy. If you're referring to the SSA, then you'll want to send in proof of your identity, such as your passport. You can do so by mail or in office. If you're doing it by mail, then they'll mail back your marriage certificate once they're done processing your form.

      Reply
  5. Kali

    I was married last October and took my husbands last name. We live in MN, I got my new social security card this summer but haven't done my DL yet for reasons of being out of state, not having time. I looked into doing it this weekend and just realized it says I have to do my DL within 30 days of my new SS card. What will happen when I go to do it this weekend?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I looked into doing it this weekend and just realized it says I have to do my DL within 30 days of my new SS card. What will happen when I go to do it this weekend?

      Nothing, really. It's not like they'll penalize you. The logic of it being there is: A) to motivate people to keep their records up-to-date, and B) if they do catch you doing something nefarious that's one extra knock they have against you. So, just coming in way later to update your license isn't going to jam you.

      Reply
  6. Erica Piatt

    Hi I got married in April I was wondering if I change my last name to his his last name would it mess up anything and how long would it take for my medical card to be changed to his last name

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Erica. It shouldn't mess up anything. As your medical card isn't a federal or state organization, it's difficult to provide a turnaround time estimate. There are two points in the timeline: 1) Having your name updated within their system, and 2) receiving your updated medical card. Some organizations will update your record over the phone, or through their website, and provide a method for you to download your new updated card while a physical copy is mailed to you. Inquire with them directly about the fastest way to update your document.

      Reply
  7. Nichole

    We are getting married next month and both my husband and I would like to change our last name. I have been married before but would like for our new last names to go to his last name hyphen my maiden name instead of the ex's last name i have right now. I have checked several different places and seem to get different advice on what we need to do to accomplish that. Do you know what steps we need to take or where I can go to find out the correct info? Any help is greatly appreciated!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Nichole. Some states allow this sort of flexibility, some states don't. To find out definitely, you can contact the office where you'll be applying for your marriage license. They can advise you on the possible name reconfiguration or combinations.

      Reply
  8. Promee

    Please help!

    I am from ny but got married in nj in June this year. I did not change my last name to my husbands name on the marriage cirtificate thus it still shows my maiden name. Can I take my marriage cirtificate to the Social security office to legally change my last name to his? Or do I need to get a petition?

    Promee from New York.

    Reply
  9. Mary

    Hello, I got married in 4months ago in Ca. I just moved in MA and I didn't have time to go to SSN or DMV to change my last name after my husband name. We have a mariange license. I started school , apply for medical, got a new DL here in MA with my maiden name. I am wondering if it can be any problem with the SSN office because I didnt change my new name yet.
    Does it show on the system that I am maried or not?
    Will be any problem if I will do my taxes separate?
    Please help! I would really appreciate your help.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I am wondering if it can be any problem with the SSN office because I didnt change my new name yet.

      No.

      Does it show on the system that I am maried or not?

      Not really pertinent.

      Will be any problem if I will do my taxes separate?

      No.

      Reply
  10. Teri Testa

    Can I just use a hyphens on checks without changing my maiden name due to being disable or any other documents we where married 2 years ago i really want to keep maiden name It is on marriage certificate than you Teri Testa

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Teri. Are you saying that you haven't or don't want to change your last name, yet you want to informally use a hyphenated version of your name when you sign checks? If that's the case, it may not pose much of an issue, but you may need to update your signature card at the bank and notify them of your intentions.

      On the other hand, if you're wanting to have personal checks printed in your hyphenated name, you can run into issues when trying to cash the checks, as it won't match the name on your ID. That's something that will have to be worked out with your bank. They may or may not allow it. If that's not what you're asking, please clarify.

      Reply
  11. Paul

    Hi,
    I live in Texas and I want to take my future wife's surname. Texas isn't very helpful when it comes to giving "unusual" information, but they will tell you that it's an odd request. Do you know if I can change it on the marriage license here or do I have to go to court? I'm from Massachusetts and my fiance is from new York but we are getting married and live in Texas now. I know that in those other states you can do it on the license.
    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Paul. While NY and MA would allow for you to take your future wife's name as part of a marriage-related name change, Texas would require you to petition the court. The marriage license wouldn't come into play there.

      Reply
  12. April Moore

    I did not change may name when I was married 13 years ago can I do it now using my marriage license.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi April. Yes, you can still change your name, but you'll have to use a certified copy of your marriage certificate, not your marriage license.

      Reply
  13. Yuzzzra

    Hi,

    I got married 3 months ago. At the time of marriage, I didn't know if I wanted to change my name or not. At the time, I ended up changing it:. My husbands last name is his father's first name. My original last name was my father's first name.

    On the marriage license/certificate, it lists my new name, with my FIRST HISLAST (father's first). I still haven't changed my name anywhere, am I required to do so? I changed my mind and want to keep my original name. Although the marriage certificate had my new name listed in 'new name' section, does that certify my name had been changed legally? Am I required to change it or can I keep my original forever?

    Please advise.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Am I required to change it or can I keep my original forever?

      No, you are not required to change your name, regardless of what's specified on your marriage license/certificate. Name change is optional.

      Reply
  14. kathy

    My daughter was married 4 months ago. She took her husbands name on the marriage certificate. She has changed her name with social security. She is in the process of changing her name on her passport. She went to the DMV in New Hampshire to change her name on her drivers license and they stated that since 90 days have passed, she has to go thru probate court. Cost is $110.00 for filing and she will have to appear. If granted, the cost will be $10.00 for a new license. She is thinking of just using her passport for legal ID and just not dealing with the DMV. Is that ok? Will she be able to just change it when the license is up for renewal just using her social security card, passport and marriage certificate?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kathy. At renewal time, she'll be facing the same issue. So it's more a matter of deal with it now or later.

      Reply
  15. Delilah

    Good afternoon,

    I got married about 5 months ago. When applying for the marriage license I hyphenated my name with my husband's last name on the application for a new "surname". The marriage license has my last name and husband's last name hyphenated. Do I still have to change it on important documents because I sort of don't want to. But if I have to then it's fine I'll do it.

    Thanks :)
    Delilah

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Do I still have to change it on important documents because I sort of don't want to. But if I have to then it's fine I'll do it.

      Not at all. If you choose not to go through with a name change, you can just disregard what you originally stated on your marriage license. That document doesn't obligate you to do anything.

      Reply
  16. Janet

    I am from Arkansas, and I have been divorced for 3 years. I am wanting to legally change my last name back to my maiden name what is the first step in that process?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Janet. If your divorce decree has an order restoring your maiden name, order a certified copy of your divorce decree to change your name with the SSA, then DMV. If it doesn't have a restoration order, then you'll have to petition the court for a name change.

      Reply
  17. MC

    Hi Valera,

    Thank you for your replies. I was going through the blogs and one question came to my mind. So is it OK if I change my name only on my passport and leave other documents as my maiden name?

    Thank You,

    MC

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi MC. You can do this, but you'll want to make sure the name on your passport matches the name on your airline tickets.

      Reply
  18. Deanna

    I recently submitted a passport renewal because my passport was expired. I married 6 years ago and my maiden name was on the expired passport as well. I had all my paperwork checked at a nearby passport facility and they said everything was fine. I wasn't sure if I had the right certified marriage certificate, but they said I had the correct document. I just received an email from the government stating that I need to submit "a certified copy of the court order or marriage certificate reflecting your legal change of name…." My certificate only has my maiden name, but after reading through these posts, it sounds as if this is the case for some states. I have tried to contact the National Passport Information Center without success. I obtained new certified marriage certificates if for some reason the one I sent was not a certified one. But I do not want to send this and have them reject it because it still has my maiden name. Any advice? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Deanna. It's worth sending the newer certified copy, as you're certain it's valid. They'll send it back to you once they're done processing it.

      Reply
  19. Jen

    Hello,

    Quick question-If I wanted to do the mail in way, can I send a copy of my DL and the original copy of my marriage certificate? Or do i have to go in with physical copy of ID and my marriage certificate?

    Any help is appreciated.

    Jen

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jen. For federal and state government organizations, physical copy of license and certified or original copy of the marriage certificate. For nongovernmental organizations, a photocopy is usually sufficient.

      Reply
  20. Linnai

    I'm not sure if there is time to get an answer on this – I'm getting married in Puerto Rico this Friday. The wedding planner has asked me to send her a copy of my birth certificate so she can start the marriage license process. I told her my legal name isn't my birth name, it is my name from prior marriage. She said the marriage certificate WILL be in my maiden name though. Since all my legal documents, SSA, drivers license, passport, etc is in my prior married name, will the marriage in my maiden name be legal and will that document allow me to change my name legally on passport, drivers license, etc?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Linnai. Yes, your marriage will be legal, and you'll be able to use the marriage certificate they provide.

      Reply
      1. svetlana

        i dont think that is correct..i have same problem..got married 2nd time..all my docs have name from prev.marriage..now, my 2nd marriage certificate has my maiden name that i used over 20 years ago…i went to SS office and they said they needed both certificates from 1st and 2nd marriages..my utility company is asking me for marriage certificate, but they will see there my maiden name that they never heard of…
        Valera please help me to clarify…thank you very much

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Svetlana. Are you unable to get a certified copy of your marriage certificate from your first marriage in order to satisfy their request?

          Reply
          1. svetlana

            thank you for prompt response…i only have a copy..i m afraid that for my passport they will make me to get the certified copy..i will have to order it..it was 23 years ago

          2. Valera

            Hi Svetlana. It looks like that's what you'll have to do.

  21. Liz

    I've already gotten married, but when I did I didn't write what my married name would be on the certificate as I didn't realize thats what I needed to do. How would I go about changing it since my marriage certificate doesn't even have the correct name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Liz. In most cases, marriage certificates can't be amended unless there's a clerical error on the part of the recording office.

      Reply
  22. Mary

    Hi
    My name is Mary I'm 5 months married when im get marry im put my last name and my husband last name now before I do everything I want to change just my husband last name where can I go? And what I need to do?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Mary. First, get a certified copy of your marriage certificate. Then update your name with the SSA, DMV, passport office, etc.

      Reply
  23. mathota

    I am a married women my name is Mathota i want to know i never change my surname in my ID so now i want to change it only surname i don't want to do onether id how much it can cost and how much it can cost

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Mathota. If you're referring to your driver's license, you may be charged a reissue fee. Are you referring to another identity document?

      Reply
  24. Teresa Ackerknecht/Reed

    Teresa, I just want to know if you have a time limit to change your last name on your license
    or your social security card. And can you change it in the middle of the year.

    Reply
  25. Daphne

    I've changed my name legally, but i left my husband 1 month after i changed my name. So i didn't really have chance to change any of my ID's and other documents. Do i still need to change them all or is that okay to keep using my ID's and documents with my maiden name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Daphne. Did you change your name with the SSA already? If so, you may eventually run into problems with your remaining identification not being in sync.

      Reply
      1. Daphne

        Yes i did! :( I left my husband already. It doesn't make sense to change everything, wait for 1 year and change everything again! It's not fair i'm going true all these problems and he doesn't have to deal with any of them. I don't know what to do! :(

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Daphne. I'm sorry you're having to go through this hard time. It can be difficult dealing with a name change and looking to potentially undo it. The SSA runs things technically, and in order for them to return to a previous name they'll need something to confirm your name change event, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree restoring a previous name, or court order. While there's nothing to force you to change your other ID, your legal name is what's on your SS card.

          If you need to get things in sync you can opt to go for a court petitioned name change. It's a little bit of work, but it'll get the job done. And it's quite a common thing that people go through.

          Reply
          1. Daphne

            Thanks so much Valera! I'm sure it's less work and cost than changing everything twice! :)

  26. Naomi

    Hi Valera,

    Hope all is well! I live in New York and got married in New York 6 months ago, but I am from Texas. I do not yet have a NY ID, but I'd like to get one with my new surname. (I am in the process of changing my surname and dropping my maiden name.) To be more specific, I have actually lost my Texas ID and as I live in NY I cannot easily replace it. I have obtained a Driver's Abstract, though.

    So, if I go to the DMV with the following documents, will I be able to get a NY ID with my new married name? :
    1. TX Driver's Abstract with my maiden name
    2. New SS card with married name
    3. New Passport with married name

    Thank you so much for your help and advice here!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Naomi. Also bring a certified copy of your marriage certificate and you should be fine.

      Reply
      1. Naomi

        Hi Valera,

        Hope you are having a great day! Checking back in here for some extra support. (THANKS!) My update:

        I am currently waiting for my new SS card with my married name. They said it should be about two weeks, and one week has passed so far.

        I am also still waiting for a certified copy of my marriage license. It has been almost 6 weeks since I mailed everything to the NY City Clerk's office. I know I need this document to apply for the updated passport.

        SO, I do not yet have on hand a passport with my new surname nor a new SS card with my new surname, but I am getting really anxious to get the NY ID. If I go to the DMV with the following document, will I be able to get a NY ID with my new surname?:

        1. TX Driver's Abstract with my maiden name
        2. Passport with my maiden name
        3. Marriage certificate

        Again, thank you so much for your help here!

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Naomi. You'll need your social security card to move forward, so you'll have to wait for it to arrive. Your SS card, passport, and marriage certificate is sufficient.

          Reply
  27. Felicia

    Hello!
    I am getting married in August and we are planning on going on a honeymoon cruise in December. I will be changing my last name to my husbands last name on the Marriage Certificate as well. My question is in Minnesota we are required to update our drivers license within 30 days, however I really do not want to have to try and get everything adjusted and pay for a new passport before the cruise as my documents need to match the name I use to register for the cruise. Will I be fine to wait until after the cruise in December to change everything so I don't have to spend $110 on a new passport?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Will I be fine to wait until after the cruise in December to change everything so I don't have to spend $110 on a new passport?

      Yes, that's a common route many people choose to take; complete the name change later when there's more time available.

      Reply
  28. Kay

    So grateful for this blog.

    Question: After our wedding, I went to the Social Security office and changed my name to a hyphenated version (MAIDEN-HIS). We never thought we would be able to have children and it was a much better professional choice for me. However, SUPRISE! We now have a sweet little one and I would like for our last names to match (HIS last name)…this is such an awesome problem. :) Based on the new Social Security rules…can I simply request a "name correction" or do I need to go to the SS office and request a "name change" or do I need a court order? If I do need a court order, will the order change my name on my birth certificate?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kay. You'll have to go the court order route. Yes, it would allow you to modify your birth certificate.

      Reply
      1. Kay

        Thanks for the speedy reply! :)

        So, would I be able to leave my birth certificate as it is currently AND request a name change? In short, I would like to leave my birth certificate with my maiden name. Will I be able to do this and change my name to Kay "HIS last name"?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Kay. Yes, you can leave your birth certificate alone, while still changing your married name.

          Reply
  29. Bonnie

    I used my first husband's last name when we got married I got my s s # changed but we divorced I got married the 2nd time did not change my ss# if I was to get married again would I use the name on my ss# or the last person I marred to sign the new marriage license ?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      if I was to get married again would I use the name on my ss# or the last person I marred to

      You'd use the name on your SS card.

      Reply
  30. stephanie

    i have a question i live in wis i got married a few years ago but when i signed the certificate it was with my last name can i still change it to my husbands last name!!

    Reply
  31. Kathleen Esposito

    Hi Valera!

    Can I use my old passport (maiden name) while I'm waiting for a new one with the name change if I already have a new Social Security Card and Drivers License? Will the old passport still be valid?

    Thanks!
    Kathleen

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kathleen. Yes, it's still valid. It's a good idea to keep to certified copy of your marriage certificate with you, on your travels, to answer any name discrepancy questions that may arise.

      Reply
  32. Rachel

    I have a question my husband and I got married in New York State in 2010 and on the application for marriage name change i kept my maiden name. My marriage certificate has my maiden name on it as my last name (maiden ) on it as well. I now reside in New Jersey and would like to either hyphenate my husbands name or take his last name for all legal documents. My question is do I need to go and legally change my last name with the courts? or is my marriage certificate showing that we are married enough to take my husbands name legally? Thank you

    Reply
      1. Rachel

        I saw that you stated my marriage certificate would be enough but I see the that the person after me sent you a similar question and she states that city clerk said she needed to remarry or go through court process and now I am confused?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Rachel. You're changing your name in New Jersey, while she's changing it in a different state. Different standards for different states.

          Reply
  33. Sara

    Hi I got married 6 years ago in New York and did not change my name to my husbands last name that time. Called city clerk office today and they said to change it I must remarry. Is there any other way I can do this without remarrying. If I do re-marry will my original/first marriage certificate be null and void ?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Sara. An alternate approach is to get a court petitioned name change. Folks in CA, if they didn't specify their name change at the marriage application time, face similar situations.

      Reply
  34. BLT

    I got married this week in a different state from where I reside. I plan to change my name. Here's the tricky part (or hopefully not): We are planning on moving from this state to another in about 6 weeks. My feeling is that I can just proceed with name change via SSA, then, when I move to new state, change my driver's license and everything else then. Seems like a big waste of time (and expense) to do it now and then again in 6 weeks… is there anything I'm missing?

    Reply
  35. Lis Sandoval

    Hi valera

    I recently gotten married so I went to the bmv to change my last name on me driver lincense and before my new picture was taken they asked for my signature and I singed with my maiden name, instead of signing with my new last name, at the time I did not realize what a did until I got home. My name and everything else on the papers I signed on the temporary paper to drive are correct, just the signature at the time of the picture not.
    Will I have any problems with that?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Lis. It's doubtful it'll pose a problem in any typical real world sense. The signature is important for identification purposes, so if you're concerned about it you can have your signature redone and license reissued. Since the mistake was on your part, you'll have to pay any renewal fee and have your picture retaken.

      Reply
  36. JM

    Hi! My husband and I are both US citizens, and we got married in Manila just last December. I was able to change my last name at SSA using the marriage certificate from Manila (which is written in English). However, when i went to the California DMV, they told me that they do not accept foreign documents, even though the SSA was able to change my name with no problem.

    Additionally, they told me I had to go get a court order to change my name (which I researched online can cost as much as $450??) AND on top of that, they said that I would have to go to New Jersey (where I was born) to get the Court Order.

    PLEASE HELP!

    I find it impossible that every single person who had a destination wedding has to go through that process!

    Reply
  37. Amanda

    I live in Florida and hear it's a 3 hour wait for the ss office here so I'm considering the mail option. Will a color photocopy of my driver's license and my original marriage certificate work? Do I also need to send a certified copy of my birth certificate? I sent off for some certified copies today, but not sure how long it will take to receive them. Thanks!

    Reply
  38. Francisco M

    Hi I live here in Florida since I was 8. I was born in Puerto Rico. my name has two last names. when I got married in 2001 my wife wanted only one of my last name. in the marriage papers that says both last names when she got her driver's license between 2001 to 2016. she had just one of my last names. When she went to get her address change they told her. a new law in FL that she has to carry both of them last names. I don't know if this is true or what but I really want to know how can she just only keep one of her last name if I have to go to court and change my name I will do it for her. which the proper way to go with this.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Francisco. If you're going the court route, she'd be the one who'd have to go.

      Reply
  39. Elizabeth

    Does it make a difference if i change my SS or license first? Or can i do either first without it being a problem.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Elizabeth. SS first, in case the driver's license office queries the SSA database for a name match/mismatch.

      Reply
  40. Chelsea

    Hi there. My husband and I were married in 2011. We reside in Illinois. For some reason, I changed my name on everything but my social security card. I printed off the forms yesterday and noticed that it said for proof of identity since it's been over two years I would need something with my previous name. My current driver's license has my married name. I have my certified marriage certificate, birth certificate, and drivers license with my husbands last name. Will this be a problem for me at Social Security office? I plan on going in person. Will I have the right documents???

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Chelsea. If you go to the SSA and allege to not have any identity document in your prior name, they'll use the new name on your driver's license (along with your marriage certificate) to process your name change.

      Reply
  41. Tanya

    Hi I'm remarrying in June on the 25th my social says my married name but my ID says my maiden name and my divorce is nearly final on June 14th if I change it back to my maiden is it affective immediately and will they give me a temporary proving it's changed or what please help

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Tanya. Once your divorce is final and your divorce decree orders a restoration of your maiden name, it does not automatically change your name back. You'll have to contact the SSA, driver's license office, and other institutions, to notify them of your name change. You'll have to supply a certified copy of your decree as evidence of your name change event. You can do this the same day you get your decree.

      If you intend to change your name to that of your new spouse, you can skip the brief married to maiden reversion, then just go straight from old married name to new married name using a certified copy of your marriage certificate.

      Reply
  42. Barbie

    Hi. I got married back in Oct in Tn. I haven't not legally changed my last name ( via ssa and dmv) but would like to use my husbands last name. Is it legal for me to fill out government documents using his last name, when social n drivers license still all in maiden name??? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Barbie. You should fill out such forms using your maiden name.

      Reply
  43. Sara

    Hello Valera,

    I got married on November 2014, and the person guiding us said that I have to use my husband last names both of them. I asked him if I can used my father last name with my husband last name and he said no. We got married in NYC and I am worried if i remarry again the dates will be change and the site of the ceremony as well. Do you recommend to keep the marriage license the way it is or to go and remarry again changing SS etc? Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Sara. If you remarry, the older marriage certificate wouldn't matter. Differing dates or venue sites wouldn't impact anything.

      Reply
  44. Judy

    Hi Valera
    I am trying to get a passport and just relized that on my marriage license that my birth name is on my marriage license. I was adopted an my parents changed my birth name which is on my adoption papers. I just relized that when we got married 40 years ago that my birh name and not my adopted first name is on our marriage license. Immigration wanted proof that I was married so that is when I saw that my name was wrong on our license. My application for my passport was denied and I think it is because of this. even though I sent a copy of my adoption papers with my legal name on it . What do I need to get this fixed.

    Reply
  45. Angela

    A friend of mine had her name changed to hyphenate her last name and her husband's last name on her marriage license/ certificate – in CA (they married in 2012). Now she just wants his last name. She never changed her name with SS or DMV etc to the hyphenated name on her california marriage certificate. Would she able to to change her name just to his last name at SS office? ( and then the DMV) Or do you think she would need a court order? I am asking because the name change filing fee is pretty steep ($435)

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Angela. While she may not have an issue with the SS office, the CA DMV can be strict about the name on the certificate not equaling what she'll be changing to. She can give it a try, and if it doesn't work out she'll either have to attempt another DMV office or go through the court system.

      Reply
  46. Octavia Furlough

    I am trying to get my name on my DL changed to my married name but I seem to never have the time can my husband take care of it for me?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Octavia. I don't know of any state DMV that'll allow a person to update name or change of address information for someone else. You can contact your DMV to determine if they'll allow a proxy, but 1) it's unlikely they'll accept any scenario for a name change, and 2) if they did, the reason would have to be extraordinary.

      Reply
  47. Shaina

    I saw a couple of questions about this but no clear answer for the state of California – I would like to change my last name to my husband's now, but my marriage certificate reflects my maiden name as my "declared surname" since I wasn't sure about changing it at the time. Will I be able to use this certificate to change my social security card and driver's license or will I need to get the marriage certificate changed first, and how do I go about doing that? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Shaina. You can read more about changing your name in California. Since you didn't specify your new name on your marriage license, you'll likely have to go through a court petitioned name change. Marriage certificates can be altered if the mistake is on the part of the clerk. Any other such modifications aren't likely to be accepted.

      Reply
  48. Travis

    Hi my name is travis and just got married by my pastor she sign certificate. Do i have to take it back to the court before i go to dvm and social service or can i use the certificate that we signed at the wedding.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Travis. It differs by state. You'll have to contact the driver's license office to determine if they require a certified copy from the recorder's office.

      Reply
  49. Maureen Wilkinson

    I have my maiden name on my marriage certificate and want to change my last name to my husbands. I see that I have to file a petition with the county court clerk to change my last name… but how do I change it on my marriage certificate? Is it important to get it changed on the marriage certificate as well?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Maureen. Name changes on marriage certificates aren't possible unless the clerk made a mistake recording it.

      Reply
  50. Maureen Wilkinson

    Hi again, I just found this comment on another website, "I know how confusing that Social Security name change can be. Some forms say that you need to have your new name on your marriage license/certificate in order to change your name. I thought that meant that the marriage license had to show my name with both my maiden name and the married name I’d like to have. What it really means is that your marriage license just has to have the name you want to change yours to on it. So as long as your husband’s last name is on the cert. and that’s what you want to change it to, then you’re all set."
    Is this true? Or do I still have to petition the court? I live in Georgia.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Maureen. This is true for some states and not others. Some states have a slot for the new name, some don't. If the application has a name after marriage area that you don't intend to abide by, there's a higher likelihood you may face difficulty with state agencies (such as the driver's license office) getting your name changed to something other than what was originally specified. Some applications directly state this "may" be a possibility, so it's not written in stone.

      Reply
  51. Jill

    We got married several years ago. Our certificate has my maiden name. I don't see a space where I could have indicated my preferred new name. I live in Florida. I'm concerned that I may run into a problem when I attempt to change my maiden name to my married name. What do you think? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jill. You should be fine. Not every state provides a space to specify a name change on the marriage license, which would subsequently be reflected on the certificate.

      Reply
  52. diane milner

    Diane 11 july 17
    Please help I was divorced from my first husbands in uk and then married to my second husband in Navada on our marriage licence I put my first husbands name as my maiden name does this mean we are not married? Can I change it to my maiden/ birth name

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Diane. You're fine. You don't need to do anything, but if it's bothering you, you can contact the Nevada county recorder's office to request an amendment to your certificate. But those aren't usually granted unless there's a mistake on the part of the clerk.

      Reply
  53. Christina

    I have my mom's maiden name as my middle name if I get married and decide to change my name to his. Do I still gonna have my mom's maiden name on ss, bmv. I would just like to have my future husband name and remove my mom's name

    Reply
  54. wendy

    Hi,
    I just got married in NY and have changed my name to my husband's last name on the certificate. Will I need to change it to my new surname with the social security office before change it with the NY DMV or will they just accept the marriage certificate as proof of change?

    Separately, once I change my name with social security, will that affect my passport? I have a few years left on my passport and would rather not change that just yet because my travel and frequent flier accounts all have my maiden name and we are traveling abroad for our honeymoon at the end of the year.

    Thank you for your help!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Will I need to change it to my new surname with the social security office before change it with the NY DMV or will they just accept the marriage certificate as proof of change?

      You'll need to do your social first.

      Separately, once I change my name with social security, will that affect my passport?

      No, you can continue to use your current passport. Carry the original or certified copy of your marriage certificate with you when traveling to answer questions about name inconsistencies between your driver's license and passport.

      Reply
      1. wendy

        Thank you Valera – I actually just returned from the DMV and they let me change my name without the SSN change! very strange, but glad that it saves me a trip back! Appreciate the response!

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Great news Wendy. Thanks for coming back to share your experience.

          Reply
  55. Kacie

    Hi Valera!

    I know many ppl asked practically the same question, but I'm still not 100% comprehending….

    On my marriage certificate I had my maiden name moved to my middle and switched his last name to my last name. FIRST, MAIDEN, HIS

    I do not plan on changing any of my documents to reflect the marriage certificate with his last name (SS, drivers license, bank, passport, etc.)

    What will my "legal" name be then, aka the name I sign legal documents? Will it be first middle maiden? First maiden his?

    If my legal name is still my previous First Middle Maiden, then what would the name on the certificate matter/be used for?

    Thanks soooooo much!!!! So glad I found this thread. :)

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I do not plan on changing any of my documents to reflect the marriage certificate with his last name (SS, drivers license, bank, passport, etc.)

      What will my "legal" name be then, aka the name I sign legal documents? Will it be first middle maiden? First maiden his?

      It'll still be first middle maiden.

      If my legal name is still my previous First Middle Maiden, then what would the name on the certificate matter/be used for?

      It won't be used for anything.

      Reply
  56. tracy smith

    I have kept my married name for years now even after my divorce. I am getting married next month and want to change my name back to my maiden name and hyphenate it with my new married name. How can I do that?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Tracy. It can depend on the state. While all allow hyphenation, only some will allow hyphenation with a previous name. If you're not certain, you can contact the office which issues marriage licenses to determine what your options are.

      Reply
  57. Debbie

    If I use both my current ;last name ( which is my divorced name I kept because of children) and my new married name on the marriage license do I have to change all my legal documentation? ( SS#, driver license ( Calif), bank accts, credit cards, etc). I have been divorced for over 25 years and have had my divorced last name longer than my maiden name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      do I have to change all my legal documentation? ( SS#, driver license ( Calif), bank accts, credit cards, etc)

      No, you don't have to make any change. You can keep your name as-is and unchanged.

      Reply
      1. Debbie

        Thank you, but I can use his name for informal situations, not legal ones, correct?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          but I can use his name for informal situations, not legal ones, correct?

          Certainly.

          Reply
  58. Stefanie

    Hello,
    I recently got married back in July and I had originally hyphenated my name. I'm now wanting to take just his name but I got married in Hawaii and we are stationed in California. We're both active duty military and I have to change my uniform to my legal name. How can I go about getting my name changed to just his? Will I have to file a petition?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Stefanie. Did you already change your name with the SSA and driver's license office? If so, you'll have to petition the court.

      Reply
  59. NANCY

    On my marriage license I signed it husband last name then mine. my question is when I go to change my last name do I have to change as that or can I do it mine then his? I was just gonna take his but last minute I ended up signing my maiden name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Nancy. You mentioned "signature", but name change goes by the printed portion of the application. For the printed portion, it can vary by state and how flexible the various agencies (especially the driver's license office) are in allowing you to change the sequence. Some states require the name change to be as it was originally spelled out.

      Reply
  60. Renee

    Hi Valera,
    I have a double last name (so my maiden name, then my husband's last name, with no hyphen). I've already changed my SS card, driver's license, etc. We're planning on going to the Caribbean for our one year anniversary very shortly. Do I need to apply for the new passport for a name change to take the trip, or will my current passport with just my maiden name on it suffice?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Renee. Your current passport will suffice as long as you make sure it matches the name on your tickets. You can change your name on your passport after your trip.

      Reply
  61. Q

    Me & my wife got married in Philadelphia but we moved right after to South Carolina, she didn't change her name but would like too can she still change it even though we moved to another state?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      she didn't change her name but would like too can she still change it even though we moved to another state?

      Yes, residency doesn't impact whether or not she can change her name.

      Reply
      1. Mike

        I have a similar situation. We live in California, but plan to get married in DC (with small official ceremony) and then have larger ceremony a few days later in Virginia. Both my fiance and I plan on changing our names (bride change last name, groom change middle name). Can we change our names in California, or do we need to do this in DC (where we got married)? I ask, because California is easier to change names for males.

        Reply
  62. Alex

    Hi,
    So I have a kind of complicated situation. My wife and I are residents of Alaska, but we got married in Arkansas a month ago. She has changed her social security card. We need to get her name changed on her Drivers License. The problem is that I am in the military, and she will not be able to get up to Alaska for quite some time. So we are in Arkansas, and wondering how she can change her name on her Alaska Drivers license. Really worried she will have to just get her drivers license in Arkansas, but we want her to maintain her residency in Alaska. Anything will help. Thanks.

    Reply
  63. Alexandra

    Hello,

    We filled out our marriage certificate with me taking my now fiance's last name. How long after the wedding ceremony do I have to go through all the legal steps (social security, etc) to change my last name? We are taking our honeymoon a little later after the wedding, about 2 months, so I would like to wait until then so I dont have to deal with getting a new passport, ID, and changing the airline tickets.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      We are taking our honeymoon a little later after the wedding, about 2 months, so I would like to wait until then so I dont have to deal with getting a new passport, ID, and changing the airline tickets.

      You can wait until later to change it, when it's more convenient.

      Reply
  64. Karen

    We got married in California in 2004. Traveled and lived abroad and this year we've just moved to my husband's home state. To change my name now can I do this from Ohio BMV, Ohio SS office etc..as long as I have the CA marriage license in hand? I'm making a trip to CA soon and wonder if there's a benefit to starting the process in CA? Would it be beneficial to do the name change before I apply for an Ohio drivers license?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Karen. With a certified copy of your CA marriage certificate, do Ohio SS then BMV.

      Reply
  65. Bri Schleining

    Hello, my husband and I have been married over a year and I have changed my last name on every document except SSC there was a misspelling of my first name (by one letter) on our marriage license and I was not able to change it on my social. Will everything be ok as long as I use my maiden name for jobs and such?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Bri. Well, that would be the name to use as it matches the name on your SS card. You're in a situation where the choice has been made for you due to a lack of options. For your workplace, they'll want your legal name. For payroll, taxes, they'll want the name they use to match what's attached to your SSN.

      If the name misspelling on your marriage certificate was an error on the clerk's part, have you tried to get it corrected? You can typically get such documents amended after the fact, if clerk's office is the one who erred.

      Reply
  66. Tsveta

    Hello Valera,

    My husband and I have been married for two years. I have been putting off changing my name, but it is time. We are from Atlanta, GA and got married in Cobb County.
    My marriage license has my maiden name. I have the original, and an extra copy with the seal.
    Where do I go from now? I keep reading something about petitioning the court and having to run something in our local newspaper? Or needing a marriage license with the new last name.
    Please help.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Tsveta. Just make sure your marriage certificate is the original or certified copy. Take it to the SS office to change your name, then to the GA DDS.

      Reply
    2. Sara

      Hi Tsveta –

      were you able to change your name after such a long time? I am in the same situation and don't want to have to go throught the court

      Thanks!

      Reply
  67. Jeff

    Hi – we could really use some help. My wife and I were married in Indiana a little over 10 years ago. We she took my last name but we never changed it with Social Security. Until 8/13/16 she had a valid drivers license in her new married name (Mine) here in Colorado. Her driver license expired and when we went renew, the CO DMV said that her name doesn't match. She now doesn't have an identifying document (UNEXPIRED Drivers LIcense) and doesn't seem to have anything else that qualifies. Seems like we are in unresolvable situation. Any help greatly appreciated!
    Jeff

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jeff. If your wife were to petition the court for a name change, the resulting court order would satisfy the Colorado DMV.

      Reply
  68. Katherine

    Hi,
    I recently got married and want to mail all my documents to the ss office (in IL). Its says it needs me drivers license, can I send a photocopy of it in? Thank you!
    From, Katherine

    Reply
  69. Jem

    Hello Valera,

    I married 5 years ago in Hawaii and on my marriage certificate I claimed my maiden name. Now I would like to take my husband's last name for all legal documents. My question is do I need to file a petition for a name change or am I able show my marriage certificate to the SS office to legally change my last name?

    Thank you so much!

    Reply
  70. Nicole

    This is probably the dumbest question ever, but I have to ask beforehand. I just got married on Saturday and we received our marriage certificate in the mail today. I opted to change my name so I am filling out the paperwork for DMV and Social Security before I take the trip to the offices. I got all of the papers filled out and then got to the signature line. Do I sign my new married name or is it not official until I go through the Social Security change? I just don't know which name to sign on the social security paperwork.

    Reply
  71. Diana Delacruz

    I got married last week and on the marriage lisence I put my husband's name as my new surname. Can I ise a hyphenated version even if its not on the certificate. I live in NYC

    Reply
  72. Bernard

    We are both American Citizens and plan to get into a same-sex marriage in California. We want to create our new Middle Name by combining our pen names. Will it be allowed on the marriage license application?

    Reply
      1. Bernard

        If that's the case,
        Before we get married in California, is it okay to Petition Name Change (our Middle Names) at the Court and that We BOTH put the the new Middle Name we would like to use together? What's the best route just so we can have a new middle name that we can share as a couple?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Bernard. Yes, that would work. The court order would be sufficient for you to change your name before marriage.

          Reply
  73. Kelsey Thomas.

    I got married on January 20th, of this year. I would like to know if, I go to change my name right now, will the Virginia DMV change my name to my married name, with me using my marriage certificate? I wanted to get a Photo ID, because I wanted to go hunting with my husband. I can't go hunting with him, because I need a photo ID showing my married name. They've changed that. Now, I have my social security card, that still shows my maiden name. So, how could I go about changing my social security card and my name and get a photo ID? I believe I would need a photo ID of some sort to be able to change my social security card name. But, I would need my maiden name put on the photo ID to have my name changed to my married name wouldn't I? I'm very confused and I need some help figuring this stuff out. Please help me?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kelsey. Change your name with the SSA first, then DMV. Bring your marriage certificate to both. If you don't have any ID when going to SSA, they can accept alternative documents, such as military/school/employer/insurance card. Something that'll help identify you.

      Reply
  74. Hope

    Hi I have been divorced before and remarried but when I remarried I never changed my previous name on my license, with the IRS etc.. I have been filing taxes and using my previous husband's name it's even still on my social security card. I got married to the other husband after him and never used his last name on anything. Now I am a bout to divorce this current husband. My problem is I don't know what name to put on my divorce petition. Do I need to put whats on my driver's license which is the first husband or do I put my current's husband's name I'm about to divorce? Due to the fact they will want to see my Id and ask about the previous last name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Do I need to put whats on my driver's license which is the first husband or do I put my current's husband's name I'm about to divorce?

      First husband's.

      Reply
  75. Alicia

    Hello, I recently applied for a marriage license, and got married on Saturday. I would like to change my first name at the same time I change my last name. Do you know what my first step would be to do this?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Alicia. First name changes aren't possible through marriage. You'll have to petition the court for that.

      Reply
      1. Max

        Hi Valera,

        My fiance wants to change her first name, in addition to picking my last name through marriage (which is happening in less than a month). I understand that first name changes aren't possible though marriage and she'll need to petition the court for that.

        In order to do it optimally, avoiding unnecessary delays and expenditures, we need to understand the following (at least):

        (1) can we change her last name through marriage and then, without changing SSC, driver's license and permanent resident card, petition the court to change the first name (and only after that change the SSC, DL and PRC, so they're not changed twice)?

        (2) or, should she just change both first and last names by court petition and not even mention the new last name in the marriage application?

        (3) something else?

        The trick is that court petition process will take a far longer time compared to our marriage timeframe.

        Any advice is greatly appreciated!
        Thanks,
        Max.

        Reply
        1. Valera

          (1) can we change her last name through marriage and then, without changing SSC, driver's license and permanent resident card, petition the court to change the first name (and only after that change the SSC, DL and PRC, so they're not changed twice)?

          That would require changing it twice, which is the less practical option.

          (2) or, should she just change both first and last names by court petition and not even mention the new last name in the marriage application?

          By petitioning the court, she could change both first and last simultaneously. It wouldn't matter what's mentioned in the marriage application, as the court order would take precedence.

          Reply
  76. Monae Alvarado

    Hello, me and my fiance just applied for a marriage license in pottsville pa. We are from Philadelphia pa. When i applied i ask the clerk i want my last name on my license to be my fiance last name. She told me it won't be necessary because once I'm married i can bring the certified marriage certificate to the dmv and ssa to get a name change. I want to know will my name on the certificate have my fiance surname on it? Will it matter if it have my surname, and will i be able to use it to change it when i go to the dmv and ssa? Im very confused here. Please help.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I want to know will my name on the certificate have my fiance surname on it?

      No.

      Will it matter if it have my surname

      No, it's not important.

      and will i be able to use it to change it when i go to the dmv and ssa?

      Yes.

      Reply
  77. Krys

    Hi,

    My marriage licence has a hyphenated name but I wanted to have 2 last names and not keep the hyphen. Is this possible? I was married in Ca 9-4-16 and was told I was not able to have 2 last names but I know people who have 2 last names.

    Licence has Molina-Hurlburt but I wanted Molina Hurlburt

    Thanks!!!!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Krys. You can have a combined last name or hyphen, but not space. That would require a court petitioned name change.

      Reply
  78. Rose

    Hello I want to keep my last name as well as adding my husband last name but I did not put my last name when I applied for my marriage license..how can I get my last name as well as his last name on my marriage certificate?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Rose. You can contact your town/county recorder's office to request an amendment, but they don't typically allow changes unless they're errors.

      Reply
  79. Gen

    Hi,

    My husband and I married in Colorado 5 years ago, at the time I kept & signed as my maiden name. I am finally looking into the process of changing my last name to his. Is the marriage certificate all that I need to begin that process? Also I need to change this on my green-card as well, I am not an American citizen.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Gen. Correct. A certified copy of your marriage certificate is all you need.

      Reply
  80. Cynthia

    Hello,I live in California, got married in Las Vegas 9 years ago I am trying to take my husbands last name.At the court house when we filled out our marriage license application I didn't put my name as it would be with his,it's still under my maiden name.Would there be a problem changing it here in California or would our marriage license would be good enough?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Cynthia. It'll be good enough. Make sure you get a certified copy of your certificate, not license.

      Reply

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