Your now married and have that fancy new marriage license with a new last name, but that doesn’t mean you’ve officially changed your last name. So how do you change your last name? We will review all the steps needed on how to change your last name here, but there are companies out there like Hitchswitch, MissNowMrs.com, Name Change Express and the Name Change Kit for Brides that have name changing service that makes life very easy to change your last name once you get married. They costs $29-$79, and it will save you on average 13-15 hours of frustration.
If you would rather do it yourself and spend countless hours driving, and spending time in line, here is what you need to do to change your last name.
Your original marriage certificate (or certified copy) will serve as your primary legal document for changing your name. After you get married, you need to file your marriage license with your county court house, you will receive a certified copy of your marriage certificate by mail in about two-three weeks (depending on the time of the year). Your marriage certificate only grants you the legal documentation to change your name. You will still need to do some work to notify the appropriate government agencies of your new last name.
First stop by the Social Security Office… To save time, you will want to fill out Social Security form SS-5 in advance. You will then take the form to your local Social Security Office . The staff there will confirm your personal information and give you a certificate showing that the Social Security Office has approved your last name change. Alternatively, mail your completed form SS-5 to your local Social Security Office with a certified copy of your marriage certificate, proof of identification and proof of age and your documents will be returned to you with your new social security card by mail within 14 business days of their receipt.
Within those 14 days of filing your last name change form, the Social Security Administration will notify the Internal Revenue Service. This is important because if you file a tax return with your new name without the IRS being notified, your return will be rejected. Because of this, and to be safe, we also recommended filling out I.R.S. form 8822 to further ensure that you don’t have any problems getting your well-earned money back on your tax refunds.
During this time, you need to make sure your employer knows that you are changing your name with the SS office. By changing your name with Social Security and your employer, you ensure that your wages will properly be posted to the right SS number, that your tax refund won’t be delayed and that other agencies will recognize your name change.
Next take a trip to the local Department of Motor Vehicles office to get a new license with your new last name. Bring all forms of identification — your old license, your marriage license and, most important, your new Social Security card.
At this point, you also should change your name on your passport by filling out and sending in the required form along with your marriage certificate.
Next, change your name for voter registration and change your name with the United States Postal Service.
Once you have delt with the government all of the other changes should be fairly easy.
Be sure to notify:
* Doctors’ offices
* Investment account providers
* Your attorney (to update legal documents, including your will)
* Utility companies (cable, phone, Internet, gas, electric, etc.)
* Electric and other utility companies
* Credit card companies
* Schools and alumni associations
* Mortgage company
* Insurance companies (auto, home, life)
* Cellphone company
* Student loans
* Alumni associations
* Club memberships (Costco, gym, grocery store cards, etc.)
It is suggested that you file all the government documentation within two months of your wedding (although there is no penalty, most states would like it done within 30 to 60 days) to avoid hassles like delayed tax refunds and missed flights.
Are you going on a Honeymoon??? Do you change before or after? You have to book your airline tickets and secure your passport before your honeymoon, and the name on both must match, so book your ticket and apply for your passport under your maiden name. Basically the simple answer is, if you need a plane ticket and a passport for your honeymoon, make it easy on yourself and don’t change your name until you return home.