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Newlywed Advice

From Miss to Mrs – A Name Change Guide

San Diego Wedding Planner

If you just recently returned from your honeymoon, you likely have a significant list of to-dos. From opening any remaining gifts to completing your thank you cards, there are a number of items that need to be addressed once the wedding dust has settled.  One of these tasks is changing your last name, if you have decided to do so. While this is one of the more exciting tasks to complete (hello, Mrs!), taking action may be a bit daunting as there are a number of steps involved. If you are ready to make it official and change your last name, but are not quite sure where to start, this post is for you! 

Step One: Certified Marriage License AKA Marriage Certificate

Your certified license is often available within a week or two from the date that the signed copy was returned from your local county office. A fee may apply, so we suggest checking online or contacting your local office for details. We also suggest obtaining at least two copies.

Step Two: Social Security Card

In order to update your social security card, you will need to complete this application and either mail it in with the appropriate documents or visit a local office. New cards are typically received within ten days. 

Step Three: Driver License/Identification Card

Once you've received your new social security card, you will be able to visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles to apply for a new driver license. Be sure to bring your old license, your certified marriage license, and your shiny new social security card.

Tip: We suggest making an appointment beforehand to (hopefully) eliminate any excessive wait times. 

Step Four: Financials

Whether or not you've decided to have joint accounts, we highly recommend changing your name on your accounts as soon as possible. Most banks require that you wait until you have your newly updated ID in hand, but some may allow you to update your account(s) just by presenting your certified marriage license and/or social security card. While you're at it, be sure to request new checks - you never know when you may need them!

You'll also want to update your information with your credit card companies or any other lenders, including those for any mortgage, car, or student loans you may have. No mortgage? Don't forget to notify your landlord, if applicable.

Step Five: Passport

If you are not planning on traveling internationally anytime soon, this change will not be as time-sensitive; however, if you are planning on going overseas in the future, keep in mind that it often takes several weeks to receive new passports. Updating your passport is fairly easy and can even be done via mail. All you have to do is download and complete this form and mail it along with an updated passport photo, your original passport, and your certified marriage license. 

Step Six: Everything Else

Once you have your new social security card and driver license, updating everything else should be fairly easy.

Some important items/companies to update are:

- Your Employer

- Utilities

- Insurance companies (health/auto/home/life)

If you are a little less DIY, there are kits available to assist you with your name change, such as HitchSwitch. While these kits do not eliminate the need to visit certain locations to complete the name change process, they make the process a bit easier as they complete the required applications and forms without you doing much more than providing basic information. 

If you found this list helpful, we've created a free printable for you to keep on hand when changing your name. You can download it below!

San Diego Wedding Planner





The Gilded Rose Weddings | San Diego Wedding Planner