"IT AIN'T WHAT THEY CALL YOU. IT'S WHAT YOU ANSWER TO" - WC FIELDS - A CHECKLIST FOR CHANGING YOUR NAME
There are plenty of things that they don’t tell us about the whole “getting married” process. For example, no one talks about the 20 questions game that you will inevitably have to play as soon as you utter the words, “I do”:
“So when are you going to have children?”
(When we feel ready…)
“What’s your five year plan?”
(To get out of this uncomfortable dress and watch Netflix.)
“Don’t your feet hurt in those shoes?”
(Yes, but don’t they look gorgeous?!)
“How did you two meet?”
(You take this one, honey. I’ve already told the story sixteen times…)
“Where is your Drunk Uncle Larry?”
“Are you going to change your name?”
Signing that pretty marriage certificate doesn’t automatically change your name. In fact, it doesn’t do much at all – not the “display case” certificate anyway. Getting your marriage license is just the first step of the process.
There are kits that are available for purchase which can make the process a bit easier. If you want to go the old school route, VG Invites has compiled a checklist for you below. Along with these checklist items, we strongly urge you to remember that every state has different regulations so make sure that you double check those requirements with the clerk’s office. Also consider taking a day off to complete the process. Don’t drag it out. Take a weekday off of work (the middle of the week is fairly slow for most of these offices), grab a coffee, and bring this checklist.
Get your marriage license. You’re going to need the certified marriage license with you. These come with a raised seal and your new last name on it. You can find them at your local auditor clerk’s office. I suggest getting an extra copy, just in case.
Head to your local Social Security Office. You can go to the website and fill out an application beforehand to help speed the process along. Once you get your name changed there, they will issue you a new social security card which you should receive in the mail within 10 business days.
Get a new driver’s license. Your local DMV probably isn’t your favorite place in the world so I suggest that you go there with a full belly (right after lunch or a quick snack), and with a book to read. There’s no reason to complain about the wait if you know that there is going to be one beforehand. Also make sure to bring every form of identification that you can get. My husband and I moved just before we got married so we made sure to wait after the wedding to change our address (and my name) in one go.
Go to the bank. You’re going to need to change the name on your bank account. You may also want to set up a joint account. This is something that you both should discuss before—hand (not in the bank lobby). Request new cards and new checks. Also make sure that you bring your temporary license.
Head home and set up your speakerphone and put Netflix on mute. There are many places that only require a phone call, which is convenient but can get tedious. So get comfortable and
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