After your wedding ceremony is over and you’re enjoying your honeymoon with your new spouse, your officiant, or minister, is filing your marriage license with your local Clerk of Court in Texas. Once your license is filed and your marriage is legal, a certified copy of your marriage license is mailed to you. With your certified marriage license in hand, you may begin the process of legally changing your name. The process of changing your name in Texas is the same as changing your name in any other state, considering that most of the institutions that require notification of your name change are national, such as the IRS, the Social Security Administration and your credit card companies.
Contact your local Social Security Administration (SSA) to file a name change form (see Resources). This is the first step in legally changing your name. Drop off or mail your name change form to your local SSA along with a certified copy of your marriage license. You will receive your new social security card and your marriage license in the mail within 30 days of notifying the SSA of your name change. This automatically updates your name with the Internal Revenue Service for tax purposes.
Visit your local Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to change your name on your driver’s license, which simultaneously changes your name on your vehicle registration as well as your voter’s registration. Give the DMV your current driver’s license and the certified copy of your marriage license. Your new license is issued while you wait.
Contact all of your financial institutions, including your mortgage company, banks, your employer, your credit card companies and your utility companies. Be prepared to send or fax copies of your new driver’s license and/or marriage license to each company to verify your name change. Each company’s requirements for notifying them of a name change is different; you’ll have to inquire about the process with each company.
While it isn’t necessary to change your name on your passport – if you even have one – as a means of legally changing your name, you will want to change it if you travel internationally. You can do this by visiting the U.S. Department of State passport website (see Resources).