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Jeffrey P. Bigham

How to change your name after your wedding

Jeffrey P. Bigham

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An annoying part of the after-wedding adjustment besides the whole moving in together (if you weren't already living together), getting back to work, and saying "my husband" instead of "my boyfriend" is changing your name. Of chourse, not all women choose to change their names. I don't blame them at all after seeing my wife go through the process. Not only are you losing a part of your identity and possibly part of your noteriety (if you're a professional or famous), but also you have to got through an incredible hassle. Not only that, but there's not good guide to exactly how you're supposed to do it that we could find. So, that's the reason for this guide.


  • Get your new driver's license.
  • Get your new Social Security Card.
  • Get your new Passport.
  • Why the license first?

    A crazy requirement of the social security administration is that you have an ID with your new name on it before you can get a new Social Security Card. Now, in times past, licensing offices required that you have a new social security card before you could get a new driver's license. Now, it seems that is backwards and most licensing offices are agreeing to issue new driver's licenses with a changed name just by seeing the marriage certificate (some may require a certified copy). You can also get away at the Social Security Administration with an employee ID or the like, as long as it has your new name on it and something else identifying like your birthdate, parent's name or possible a photograph. I'd go with the license though, peopel at Social Security are known for being less than helpful.

    My wife waited at the Social Security Office for over an hour just to be told that her Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificate, current Driver's License and current Social Security Card were not enough to establish her identity. The rude woman behind the counter erroneously suggested that she bring in her passport and that would be good enough. It's not. Don't let some moron make you wait longer than you should have to just to be told to go home!

    Getting through the Social Security Office

    Find your local Social Security Office and get there early. Changing your name probably isn't a pressing matter, so you'll be best off waiting until the middle weeks of the month. For some reason, the first is incredibly crowded and you can wait hours. You can also apparently do this through the mail, but I wouldn't trust the SSO with anything, especially not my original marriage certificate as they require.

    Jeffrey P. Bigham
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