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How to Change Your Last Name After Your Wedding

Changing names in life is never the easiest process, but it happens all the time, so you can do it! Here is how to change your last name after you have been married.

Congratulations on your wedding! I'm sure it was magical; you found the perfect stationery to use for the invites, the band/DJ was amazing, and everyone enjoyed themselves. It's totally fine I wasn't invited, don't even let it bother you. Now, you want to legally change your name but don't know how to go about it. It's a common enough question, and a surprising number of people don't know how to get it done. The change process is tediously long but relatively simple if you know where to go. Here's how to change your last name after your special day.

Pick up your marriage license copies.

The first crucial step if you're wondering how to change your last name, you will need to get copies of your marriage license. This will act as a proof of your marriage and name change. You will need enough copies of your marriage license to bring to all of the upcoming places you will be traveling to. Trust me, there are a lot of trips you will need to make, so it's best to get a few.

Get a new social security card.

The first item that will need to be updated is your social security card. This can be done online or at a social security center close to you. Whatever route you decide to take, this needs to be taken care of first to let the U.S. government know what name you wish to be referred to by in the future. 

Make sure to update your driver's license.

Next up, the best place in the entire world! No, not Disney World, I'm talking about the DMV, of course. The good old-fashioned Department of Motor Vehicles, a place where your dreams come true and happiness overflows. If you convince yourself that even one percent of that is true about the DMV, and trick yourself into going, you are a brave soul.

The DMV may be slightly less magical than I described (only slightly though), but it is the necessary next step to changing your name. You will need various documents and proofs of identity to get through your new driver's license. To be on the safe side, bring your passport, driver's license, marriage certificate, and your new social security card. If you really want to be on prepared, you could also bring your birth certificate. 

Update your passport.

The following step if you're wondering how to change your last name will be to get new travel documentation. If you're going to be honeymooning in an exotic place after your wedding, this needs to be handled ASAP. This may appear to be the most complicated step, but I assure you it isn't. The U.S. Department of State has created a handy guide on ways to change or correct your passport for all kinds of scenarios.

Change the name on your bank accounts.

Whoaaaaaa, we're halfway there, whoaaaaa, changing names with a prayer. Leave it to Jon Bon Jovi to make legally changing your name more bearable. The bank that you use should be the next destination on this long, perilous journey. It's the home stretch of the change process. You will need to bring all the documents you just got with your new name on them to officially change your bank account. Remember to get new names on your account, a new checkbook, a new ATM card (if you use one), and anything else related to your account. 

Credit cards should be switched next.

Tired yet? I would be. Take a breath and relax, I promise we're almost at the end. Credit cards are next on how to change your last name after your marriage. As is the case with the other institutions on this list, proof of identity will be required. All credit card companies are different, so the steps of how to acquire a new card will vary. However, most companies offer online paths that are quick and painless. Once your new card arrives, check to make sure the name is correct and treat yo self (getting a new credit card is more than enough reason to celebrate!).

Tell your employer about the change.

If you are in the majority and receive direct deposits from your place of employment, you'll want to be sure your paychecks are going to the right place. Since you just changed the names on your bank accounts, this step is crucial. Of all the steps on this list of how to change your last name, this one may be the most overlooked or forgotten. Be sure to let human resources or payroll know about your new name, you don't want to find out you messed this up by not getting your hard-earned cash.

Change any miscellaneous accounts with your old name.

This could apply to Netflix, HBO, DIRECTV, your cable and internet provider, Apple, or any other account you created before tying the knot. This will make it easier to deal with these companies, especially in terms of paying them. This is not a necessary switch on the list of how to change your name, but it will make your life easier. 

Let your insurance company know if you're planning on updating your policy.

My parents recently went through a snafu with their insurance company over this very issue. My mom, who recently switched jobs, was not covered for medication she needed because her new insurer had her marked under her name before marriage. My parents were married back in 1990, so everyone was confused as to how the mix-up occurred. Either way, it was a mess. Be sure to update your insurance company on your name change and if you decide to change your policy. Marriage gives you a lot of different coverage options and deals, look into them all and see what option is best for you and your new spouse. 

Change your old last name to your middle name.

Okay, so you don't have to do this, but I think it's a neat idea. This way, your old last name will always be a part of you. Most of the married women I know have done this and support their decision. So unless you have an incredibly cool middle name, this would be a cool idea to utilize. I mean, you're already switching your last name, what's one more change?

To save the bad news for last, most of these institutions will issue filing fees for all of these changes. While unfortunate, you only change your name once (hopefully), so the fees shouldn't demoralize you too much. 

Now that this has been handled, perhaps look into mortgage tips and ways to beautify your new living space if you're looking to become a homeowner with your now legally-bound significant other. Enjoy your marriage and the new name. Maybe I'll snag an invite to your next big event!

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