The Rules to Changing Your Name
Once you’ve decided to change your maiden name, most of the paperwork can be done immediately after your wedding. There’s no deadline, but you’ll need to make your new name legal ASAP, for all your important documents in the coming years. Honeymoons and passports are the big “if,” as many couples like to have their married names on travel documentation. If you don’t try and change your passport name before the wedding, remember to purchase all of your tickets under your maiden name. (However, since we’re no longer living in the Dark Ages, don’t worry about raised eyebrows over different last names.)
To legally change your name, obtain copies of your marriage license (in itself, it does not mean your new name is legal), and get a new Social Security card. You may be able to make the changes online, or you may have to make a trip to their offices. There are some states that require a Petition for Change of Name, so check with your State Supreme Court to find out about any requirements unique to your state.
Once you take care of the Social Security card, contact the DMV and visit their offices with the correct documentation. (Call ahead to make sure you have everything you need.) If you haven’t changed your passport information, now’s the time to make that change.
Once you make the major changes, contact all banks, credit cards, utilities, newspapers, employers, mortgage companies, voter registration, even wills. As a back-up plan, whenever an important bill comes in with your maiden name, contact them immediately to correct the discrepancy. Some companies will only need you to call and answer questions or to fill out a few forms. For insurance companies, it’s more than likely you will have to visit their offices.
Since changing your name is not a requirement of marriage, whatever name you have should not affect legal issues, such as your taxes, provided all the necessary documentation has been made. Make sure all important paperwork has the correct name, so you won’t run into any conflicts later on in your new life.
Check Out Obligations & Traditions After Your Wedding
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Check Out Love & Marriage: Staying in Love