5 Tips for How to Change Your Name After Marriage

Taking his name? Work through the logistics with this helpful advice.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Know Your Options 

While you may want to go by two last names, two middle names, or a blend of surnames, each state has its own laws on what’s legit when altering your name. “Don’t set your heart on something you can’t have,” says Danielle Tate, of missnowmrs.com, an online name-changing service. And decide early. “In some states, what you write on your marriage license dictates your name choices later.”


Follow Procedure 

Ask for multiples of your certified marriage certificate (not copies), which you’ll receive about two weeks post-vows. With those in hand, you can begin the process (or hire a service to do it for you). “You need to file separate paperwork for everything: social security card, passport, license—the list goes on,” says Tate. Find the forms at travel.state.gov and faq.ssa.gov, then submit them with a marriage certificate.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Move Onto Your Next Order of Business

With your passport and social security card updated, notify banks, creditors, doctors’ offices, insurance agencies, and employers of your new surname in writing with your marriage license enclosed. Changing the text on your driver’s license requires an in-person visit to the DMV. 


Pay Up

It can cost about $30 to revise a driver’s license and up to $140 to change a passport.


Make No Mistake

Never book honeymoon airline tickets using your future title because all tickets must match current forms of ID. Also, some records, like birth certificates and education degrees, require a maiden name to remain valid, so don’t tamper with originals.