How To Change Your Last Name After Marriage

After marriage, it is usually the case that the wife changes her surname to take on the name of her husband. It is a life changing experience: many are confused about how to go ahead with it, while others eagerly wait for it to happen. If you fall under any of these two categories and wish to change your last name after marriage, do not worry at all. It is not a herculean task and can be easily managed if you follow these simple steps with care:

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1. Obtain Your Marriage License At First

The very first step will be getting hold of your marriage license. Photocopies of the certificate need to be supplied to various institutions and offices for the changes to be made in the official documents that concern you.

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Your marriage license will have your new last name with a raised seal on the certificate, the seal being proof that your last name has been changed. Make sure that you collect your marriage license and a number of copies from the clerk at the marriage bureau.

2. Apply For A New Social Security Card

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After you get your original marriage certificate, the next step will be to change your social security card so that it bears your new last name. This needs to be done as early as possible. For doing so, you will have to visit the Social Security Administration’s website where you will have to fill out an application to apply for the change in the document.
Your number will remain the same, only the last name will be changed. You will also have to mail your application to the local Social Security Administration office. You will then receive your new card with the changed last name within ten to fifteen business days.

3. Make Changes In Your License At DMV

Once you get your new social security card the next thing to do is to visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office to obtain a new license with your changed last name. The documents you will need to get the new driving license with your new name include: your old license, the original marriage certificate along with its photocopies, and the newly obtained social security card that has your new last name. Depending on where you are, the DMV may also require other documents of identification.

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You will have to submit photocopies of the required documents. Expect to get the new license (with your changed last name) within ten business days.

4. Change Your Name In Your Bank Documents

Once you get hold of your new driver’s license and social security card, you can now apply to the bank for a change of name in all your official documents and records. This process can be time consuming, especially if you have joint accounts, so patience might be required.

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Visit your bank with your documents in original as well as photocopies of the same. After filling up a form, you will also have to give specimens for your new signature using your recently changed last name. Once that is done and verified by the bank, you can ask for a new check book featuring your new name and the validity of your new signature.

Once done with the above, you can ask for new debit and credit cards. Some banks may also charge a nominal fee for these cards.

5. Miscellaneous Forms To Fill

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The difficult areas where you might find it a bit of a problem to change your last name is the social security office, the driver’s license and the banks. In the rest of the areas, it will be quite easy to go ahead with the change in the name. All you have to do is call and supply them with the marriage certificate as a proof of your changed last name. Some of the places where you would have to make this change include:

  • Your office
  • Electric and other utility companies
  • The Post office
  • Credit card companies
  • Doctor’s offices
  • Schools and educational institutes
  • Insurance companies
  • Passport office
  • Landlord or mortgage company if you have any
  • Voter registration office
  • Your attorney
  • Investment companies

6. Take Professional Help

In case you can’t spare the time, or want to be spared the bother of running around, there are professionals who can handle everything without hassle or fuss. All you have to do is just fill out a single form, pay their fee, and everything will be taken care of. You will find your new name in all the important documents and the updates will be made in just a matter of days. No sweat.

Images Source; Shutterstock

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