In 2014, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) rewarded women with a decision, giving them one of the simplest processes of changing their middle names into their maiden names on their drivers' licenses after getting married.
The Department of Motor Vehicles now requires just a marriage certificate to help with the maiden to middle switch. The process was an expensive and time-consuming headache before this grand shift. This decision is one that's of tremendous help to married couples and women throughout New York.
The pressure to change came from New York's new wave of empowered women, who wanted their identities and communities preserved. These brave individuals were not only fighting for themselves, but their families, friends, coworkers, and colleagues, too.
The New York State Assemblyman David Buchwald (D) played a vital role in pushing this through procedural legislation. He was one person looking out for his constituents' best interests. Benefits which every New Yorker will now enjoy.
The DMV modernized a procedure that was anti-women and would now benefit those getting married. Particularly the increasing number of New York women who want to maintain their maiden names by making it their middle names.
Going to court just to pursue a simple name change was discouraging. Changing your name through marriage should be simple. A rite of passage that every couple should enjoy. Minus the obscene expense. This new clarification makes it so. Ushering in affordability to married people throughout the state.
This change should reinforce the idea that both partners are equal in marriage, while professional women's lives would be simplified henceforth. This is a positive step towards equality worth celebrating.
In years past, the practice grew and culminated in the new change. Coretta Scott King, a civil rights leader and Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential candidate, were pioneers for women to maintain their maiden names as middle names with no negative impact on their marriage, personal, and professional lives.
This change lets them support a very important part of themselves without changing the sanctity of their marriage or disorganizing their professional careers and lives.
This new policy recognized that middle names do indeed change after marriage. Likewise, New York and the DMV needed to make changes that allowed such easy alterations. Just like it's easy for newlyweds to change their last names.
In the past, before the inquiry was pursued, DMV accepted middle name changes only when the interested individuals followed any of two almost unattainable processes. In one pathway, the interested individual needed lots of documents that were virtually hard to get.
It was also possible for people to change their names through the court system's legal process, which was very burdensome, so much that it took a number of months to effect the change and expensive since it attracted a minimum of $100 in fees.
Through the inquiry, the system was updated allowing middle name changes to be done into maiden names just by providing a genuine marriage certificate.
Lots of women have waited for the change for decades. After marriage, they could only make their middle names into maiden names in all areas of life, from credit cards, travel documents, businesses to academics among others, except on their New York driver's license.
Newlyweds had also been affected before the change and after effecting change on all other areas. The only problem was the driver's license. Apart from being burdensome, the process was also very confusing and too much for working parents who needed to be working and not following the matter in the corridors of justice. The new change would now bring honor to most families' legacies while simplifying their professional lives.
Procedure of changing names with the New York DMV
To change your name, including changing your maiden name into your middle name, you must avail yourself in person. You may update your vehicle's certificate of title, vehicle registration, and ID card, driver's license, or REAL ID to match.
Remember, you cannot effect or complete your name change by email, phone, mail or the DMV's website. You only need to visit the local office of the NY DMV closest to you.
As you visit the DMV office, do not forget to carry with you the current documents from NY DMV that will need to have the name changed and bring proof of identity, which can be a United States passport or passport card, New York photo driver license, ID or permit or a photo ID card of the United States military which can be from a retired, reserved or active personnel only.
You should also bring a certified document for name change, such as a court order issued within the United States only, a decree of divorce carrying an official signature from the United States, or simply a certified copy of your marriage certificate issued by a county, city, or state within the country.
You need to bring a completed application for Non Driver ID Card or Driver License, which is form MV-44 or a Title Application/Vehicle Registration of application-form MV-82. Check the fees required to change your name within New York for guidance on whether they require a replacement fee.
Once you've provided the required details, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles will mail you your new driver's license, title, or vehicle registration within 10 days. It's important that before you start the name change process you check all the documents accepted for proof of identity.
Current name change fees on NY DMV documents
Changing the name on your certificate of title and vehicle registration is free, while a non-driver ID card name change is only $5. Changing your name on your driver's license or the permit for learners is only $12.50.
Perhaps the important thing to remember for those newlyweds or married in New York is that the long, almost impossible, procedure that took time and money simply to have someone maintain their maiden name as their middle name on their driver's license is now the easiest it has ever been for decades.
It makes little sense to have every document you own changed except your driver's license and the new NY DMV name change clarification puts men and women on an equal footing.