Becoming a Mrs. is Exciting!
I remember the pure bliss I felt when my name changed from Miss to Mrs. I was so excited to take my honey’s last name, but what I didn’t realize was the vast amount of work that came along with legally changing your last name.
Until You Realize How Much Work It Is
After getting back from our honeymoon, I spent months coming across yet another thing I had to do to change my name. From my license to my checks, it felt like EVERYTHING had to be changed. Not only was the work a complete drag, but forking up money to legally be Mrs. Helm on multiple items wasn’t a blast either.
Because of my ultimate desire to be frugal, I decided to forego changing my legal name on my passport a year and a half ago when I first became married. I don’t remember my thinking process there, but I suppose I figured I’d get to it when I knew I’d be going out of the country for a trip. I’m now kicking myself for making that decision because it cost me an extra 115 dollars.
Don’t Make My Same Mistake, SAVE YOUR MONEY
What I hadn’t realized a year and a half ago is if you change your name on your passport within one year of getting married, it’s FREE!
Instead, I spent an unnecessary 110 dollars to change my legal last name on my passport this past week.
If that wasn’t enough, I then received letters in the mail a few weeks after sending in my passport application that said I had to get my passport photos retaken. The photo I sent with my application was taken 2 years ago, a year and a half too late as photos have to be taken within the past 6 months. I didn’t know that, obviously, and had to learn the hard way. (Fortunately, Costco did them for $4.99, a steal of a deal, but STILL. Unnecessary.)
I’m Here To Make Your Life Easier When It Comes To Legally Changing Your Name
So, because of these unfortunate events and wasting 115 dollars, I am now here writing this post for you all in hopes of helping all my fellow newlyweds save themselves a hassle and a chunk of money.
I, for one, was rather overwhelmed with the many things I had to do regarding my name change once I married. If I had stumbled across a post like this listing everything I needed to do, it would’ve immensely helped with the stress and overwhelming-ness of it all.
So, here we go!
The ULTIMATE Checklist For Changing Your Name After Getting Married
DO THESE FIRST –
1. Get an Official Copy of your Marriage Certificate or Use Your Actual Marriage Certificate
I just used my actual marriage certificate and had no problems. If you want to ere on the extra careful side, I suggest getting an official copy. Each state has different requirements for requesting an official copy of your marriage certificate. The easiest (and most likely best way to ensure you’ll get your copy that day) is to go to your local courthouse or records office and request a copy.
2. Change Your Driver’s License
Each state’s requirements may be different, but you’ll most likely need to bring your valid driver’s license and your marriage certificate to the DMV to get your driver’s license legally changed to your new last name.
3. Change Your Social Security Card
You will need to bring a filled out social security card application, your marriage certificate, and identification.
DO THESE NEXT –
For all the items listed below, you’ll need your current driver’s license with your new legal last name.
-Bank: My specific bank required me to change my last name in person, so I made an appointment and brought my license and my marriage certificate. Some banks allow you to send your documents by fax or mail, so call your bank to see what you’re required to do.
-Checks: When changing your legal last name with your bank, order new checks with your new legal last name while you’re at it.
-Passport: Fill out the passport application form for changing your legal last name. You’ll need to mail that, along with a check for the required amount, your marriage certificate, your current passport, and a current passport photo taken within the last 6 months.
-Credit Cards: Call or visit your online credit card account to change your last name. You will most likely need your certified marriage certificate and your driver’s license OR your state identification card and your social security card (all of these will need your new legal last name on them).
-Car Title: You must visit your DMV in person. Bring ID confirming your previous name, (check online for acceptable ID), documentation of your name change, your existing vehicle title or car registration, and means of payment.
-Insurance (all types): In most cases, you can change your name by notifying your insurance company either in your online insurance account portal or by calling your insurance company.
DO THESE “EASIER ITEMS” AS YOU CASUALLY COME ACROSS THEM –
In most cases for all the items listed below, you should be able to change your last name simply by calling or logging in online and changing your name in your account/online portal. These are not as time sensitive as the items listed above, so I suggest changing your name for the items listed below as you come across them, for example when you are billed, use your library card, etc.
And That’s A Wrap!
I hope this ultimate checklist for changing your legal last name has been useful. I know it seems like a daunting task but the faster you get it done, the less time you’ll have it hanging over your head. Congratulations on your name change and cheers to your first year of marriage!
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