Congratulations on your marriage! You have decided that you are going to change your name and are not sure where to begin. Follow these easy steps and you will be on the right path. The first 3 steps are in the order they must be completed. After that, you can work on name change in nearly any order.
- Get a certified copy of your marriage license. The officiant is required to file the license within 10 business days after the wedding (most of us do it the day after). You can get this copy from the same office where you purchased the license prior to your wedding. The cost for a certified copy is $10.
- With certified copy of the marriage license in hand, go to your nearest Social Security office. They will change your name on your Social Security Card and on their records. They also notify the IRS of the name change for tax purposes. This link will give you complete details from Social Security http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10002.pdf
- Once you have your Social Security Card with your new name, and the certified copy of the marriage license you are ready to go to Department of Motor Vehicles to get a new driver’s license or photo ID card. North Carolina requires that you get a new license within 30 days after changing your name. The North Carolina DMV website will give you additional information http://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/driver/renewal/
- Employers will need to be notified of your new name. This makes certain that they report your tax with holdings under the correct name. You will also need to change your name on any insurance and retirement accounts through your employer. The Human Resources office can guide you on their requirements.
- Banks or credit unions will need to see your driver’s license and perhaps your marriage license to change your name on your accounts. Each institution will have different requirements. But, don’t forget to change your name on your accounts. If you have direct deposit for your paycheck you don’t want something to go wrong on payday!
- Your voter registration card will need to be updated with your new name.
- Change your name on your passport. The rules regarding passports are more complicated than we can go into here. However, this link is helpful with time frames and links to forms you will need and complete information on how to get this task completed. http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/services/correction.html
- Other businesses and services that will need your correct name:
Lease on your apartment or mortgage company
Insurance company (auto, health, life, home, etc.)
Loans (car, student, other)
Utilities (if they are in your name or you are an authorized user)
Even if you are not planning to change your name legally, it is important that your employer and insurance companies be notified of the change of your marital status. Often that will save you some money in withholding and in premiums. This may the time to change any beneficiaries on your policies as well. Be sure to also notify your medical providers, marriage changes who is your legal next of kin is and you want your new husband/wife to be able to make medical decisions on your behalf when you can’t.