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Changing Your Name

Taking on your new married name doesn't require a court proceeding as long as you begin to consistently use your new name. You do however; need to complete the change to all of your financial and government (federal and state) agencies. Most of this can be done either online or through the mail. There is a specific order however, based on each agency's requirements for processing your name change. Note: You will need to carry a copy of your marriage certificate for each change.


1. Social Security First and most importantly, you must notify the Social Security Administration (SSA). You must have your original marriage certificate or a certified copy, proof of U.S. citizenship, and proof of identity (This will require your current driver's license so do this first). File a Form SS-5, available on the SSA website or by mail. The SSA will also notify the IRS so that your new name and identification number on your tax forms match your Social Security records.


2. DMV Next, off to the Department of Motor Vehicles to correct your driver's license or state identification card. Changing your driver's license or start identification card will make it easier to complete your name change process with other companies. This requires your new Social Security Card so wait until you receive your new social security card before you head to the DMV.


3. Other Once you change both of the above documents follow this checklist of important financial and government agencies that impact you:

  • Banks
  • Investment Accounts
  • Mortgage lender or landlord
  • Employer
  • Credit card companies
  • Insurance companies
  • Doctors
  • Utilities (phone, electric, gas)
  • Passport office
  • Voter registration
  • Miscellaneous accounts and memberships such as cable, internet, magazine subscriptions, auto club, and gym
  • Lawyer, if you need change your legal documents, such as your will or any other contracts.

**Keep in mind, if using any of the other listed services requires you to show your driver's license at time of transaction, you may want to ensure you change them around the same time or your names may not match. For Example, if you are attempting to write a check and you have already changed your name on your Driver's License but not at your bank, the names on the two will not match and the check may not be accepted.

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