How to Change Your Name If Married in Another Country

getting married image by Bettina Baumgartner from

Having a destination wedding in another country can be an exciting and romantic – and in some cases practical – option for couples. Once the couple is married, the bride (or even the groom) might choose to change her last name to that of her new spouse. This does not happen automatically, of course. A last name is not legally changed unless the change is requested with proof of documentation showing a valid reason for the request. Fortunately, changing your name after your marriage in another country does not have to be much different than changing your name after your marriage in the United States.

Gather all documentation showing that the marriage outside of the United States was legal. Each country has its own requirements for documentation. After your marriage, you should receive a marriage license or marriage certificate, and possibly a document showing the registration of the marriage. Collect any documentation that shows you were officially married outside the United States.

Locate your Social Security card and take this card and the marriage documentation to your local Social Security office. With legal proof of the marriage, the Social Security office will change your official last name on your Social Security card, thus enabling you to make other changes.

Take your new Social Security card to the local office for the Department of Motor Vehicles to have the name on your driver’s license or state ID card changed. Be sure to bring the marriage license or other proof of marriage along as well, in case the official at the DMV requests to see it.