our everyday life

How to Legally Change Your Name When Married

by Ann Johnson

After getting married, a woman often assumes her new husband's surname. This does not happen automatically--she needs to take certain steps after the marriage to change her last name. Once this is done, there will be a new Social Security card issued to reflect the name change.

Print out a change-of-name form from the Social Security website (see Resources). Fill out the form after printing it out.

Go to your local Social Security office. Take the completed form, marriage license, driver's license (or a valid photo identification) and your Social Security card with you. You will be issued a temporary Social Security card.

Go to your state's department of motor vehicles to change the name on your driver's license. Bring the temporary Social Security card, marriage license and current driver's license.

Contact your credit card companies, banks, vehicle registration department and companies you do business with to notify them of the name change. Some may require that you complete their own forms.

Items you will need
  • Name change form
  • Photo ID

Tip

  • If you have not established citizenship with the Social Security office, bring along a proof of citizenship.

Warning

  • Don't assume that changing your driver's license to reflect your new name will change the name on your vehicle registration. You need to do this separately.

About the Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.

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