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How to Change Your Name After Marriage

Changing your last name is not as easy as it sounds. It can be a difficult decision in the first place, then the actual process of changing your surname gets to be so confusing, challenging and time-consuming that you end up wanting to scream. You’ll have to stand in long lines, fill out loads of paperwork, make dozens of phone calls to have the exact same conversation... you get the picture. To be honest, it sucks. At least it used to.

We’re all about simplicity (hence the name) and HitchSwitch fits right in with making marriage more straightforward. With HitchSwitch, changing your name requires ONE form and maybe mailing a couple of documents. You begin by filling out a one-page form with your basic information. Then, depending on the package you buy (which are super affordable, by the way) you’ll receive one of the following:

  • Online access to all the applications you’ll need to print out with your basic information auto-filled and corresponding instructions for submitting each application.
  • Printed copies of all applications that have been auto-filled with your basic information, a set of corresponding instructions on how to submit each application, and pre-paid envelopes for any documents that need to be mailed.
  • Printed copies of all applications that have been auto-filled with your basic information, a set of corresponding instructions on how to submit each application, pre-paid envelopes for any documents that need to be mailed, and a free passport photo.

You may be wondering, is changing your last name seriously that complicated? You can decide for yourself. Here’s what you’ll need to do to change your name:

Step 1: Get your marriage license

If you haven’t already submitted your marriage certificate, get on it. You can’t do anything with your name until you have a marriage license. If you are still waiting on your marriage license, call the clerk’s office where you submitted your certificate to see how long it will take.

Step 2: Get a new social security card

Fill out an online application through the U.S. Social Security Administration. You’ll need your marriage license to submit the application. Luckily, you get to keep the same number. You should get a new card in the mail about 10-15 days after your application is approved.

Step 3: Get a new license

You get to make a trip to everyone’s favorite place: the DMV. But you can’t go until you have your marriage license and your new social security card. Bring both of those and your current license with you whenever you go.

Step 4: Update your passport

Go to your local passport office and file a name change application. You’ll need to bring your current passport, your marriage license, a new photo, and an application. If you are going to another country shortly after your wedding, we suggest waiting to update your passport until you have time to spare.

Step 5: Update your bank accounts and cards

First, update your name with the institution(s) you bank with. Then, update cards. Depending on how many cards you have, this could be a total pain. If your cards are through your bank, you might be able to easily switch them all at once. If you have multiple cards through financial institutions or retail stores, you have to call or go online to update all cards individually.

Step 6: Update your name on all other things

Which includes but is not limited to…

  • Payroll with your employer
  • Utility and mortgage/rent services
  • Airlines (it’s messy if you have upcoming flights)
  • Doctor’s office
  • Voter registration (you’ll need to register again)
  • Insurance
  • Your devices and technology
  • Business cards
  • Email address
  • Attorney
  • Will
  • Social media

Unless you are a super fan of long checklists and having the same phone conversation ten times, check out HitchSwitch. They’ll help you change your name the simple way.

Article written by marissa
Marissa Lovell is a writer and publicist who thinks eloping is one of the most fun ways to get married (and has a little too much fun looking at couple's elopement photos). When not typing away on her laptop, you can find Marissa in the mountains, at a show, or snuggled up with a cat and a good book.
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