Now that you’ve just had the wedding of your dreams and are showing off a brand new wedding ring on your finger, it’s time for…paperwork? Yep, that’s right, we’re talking about changing your name after your wedding! It’s something that will always be a part of the wedding process! However, most couples aren’t sure where to start and what all is included. Trust us, you’re not alone with this thought. It’s a significant project and certainly worth your time going through all of those government forms (and probably sitting on hold at least a few times!).
To help ensure you’re not wasting too much of your time and taking care of the most important items first, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide on best practices for making the entire process as stress-free as possible. At the end of the day, we don’t want this exciting time for you to be spoiled with stacks of paperwork!
Marriage License (and Certified Copies!)
Before you can even change your name, you’ll need to be able to provide either the original or a certified copy of your marriage license. If you don’t already have copies, make sure to call the clerk’s office where you filed for the license and ask for them. Additionally, while you’ll definitely want to keep the original certificate somewhere safe and secure, it doesn’t hurt to have one of the copies on you throughout this entire name-change process. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Social Security Card
Step #2 is to update your name with the Social Security Administration. This will need to be completed before you’re able to change your name anywhere else (such as a driver’s license bureau, passport and so on!). You can either do this through mailing in the form or doing it in-person at your local Social Security Administration office. If you choose to mail it in (which we recommend!), simply go to the Social Security website, fill out the application form and mail it to the local SSA office. In either case, you can expect to receive your new card in about a week or two. As a side note, your social security number won’t change, just your name.
Next up is time to take a visit to the DMV. You shouldn’t need the physical copy of your new social security card, but you will need to wait at least 24 hours from when you filed the application at the SSA office. With this said, every state’s DMV is a little bit different when it comes to what information they need you to provide (marriage license copy, proof of address, old license, birth certificate, etc). Double check on your state’s website for document requirements and check-in beforehand to avoid having to wait for hours on end to hear your name called at the DMV.
Changing the name on your bank accounts is another item that tends to be easier when you do it in-person. Plan on heading to a one of the branch locations for your bank with your updated driver’s license, your new social security card and a copy of your marriage certificate. While you’re there, the banker will likely get a new checkbook, debit card and credit cards ordered as well.
Other Credit Cards
While we’re on the topic of finances, if you have any other credit cards that aren’t through your bank, you’ll want to get those changed now as well. The process for this depends on which company it is and each is a little bit different in terms of the proof you’ll need to provide to make the change.
Next on the list of changes is your passport. If you’ve had your current passport for over a year, you’ll be charged with a fee of just over a hundred dollars. Other than that, the process is fairly straightforward for password corrections. You’ll fill out this form here and then send in the requested documents, along with payment, to the National Passport Processing Center.
With your bank accounts now switched to your new name, you’ll want to notify your employer, so all of your checks from here on will be issued correctly. This should be a fix that’s easy to make for the payroll department. However, you’ll want to make sure it’s fixed shortly after you change your ID and bank account to avoid any headaches later on!
As is the case with the bank accounts, you and your spouse will need to decide whether you’re planning on combining coverages or keeping individual policies for the time being. As you might guess, there’s a little bit more to the process if you’re opting to combine coverages in comparison to just updating information on an individual policy. Luckily, marriage falls under the category of “major life event,” so you won’t need to wait for open enrollment to make the needed changes. If your insurance is covered through your employer, reach out to the HR Department and they’ll be able to let you know what the necessary steps are.
While we’re on the topic of insurance, make sure to take care of auto, home and life (if you have it) insurances at this time.
Good news! You’re almost there! If you’ve managed to take care of everything on this list so far, you’re definitely on the home stretch. Without a doubt, all of the items above encompass the most important items and ones that will have the largest impact! However, there are a handful of other loose ends that you’ll need to fix in the weeks or months after. Here’s a few to keep in mind:
There’s no need to waste any time updating these before your next appointment. As you’re probably already aware, most doctors or dentists require you to update contact and insurance information every year. If it’s been under a year since your last visit, just show up a little early and get them taken care of.
We touched on the payroll aspect earlier in the blogpost, but it’s also important to notify any colleagues, vendors or clients with the new name you’re going by. This is particularly important if you’re also making a change to the actual email address you’ll be using.
Depending on how many you have in this category, this very well may be something you just do as you think of them. It’s definitely not an urgent item, so just tackle them one-by-one.
All the Others
While we could likely fill nearly a hundred potential areas where your name will need to be changed, everyone’s situation is going to be different. Just off the top of my head, here’s a few more to remember: airlines (don’t want to lose any miles!), voter’s registration, utilities and any other legal documents that are relevant for you!
* For all Madera couples, we’re happy to announce that one of our nationwide partners, HitchSwitch, offers 10% off their services. Trust us, their packages can definitely help streamline the entire process! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about them!
Before All the Paperwork
Hopefully, we haven’t scared you off too badly with all the paperwork involved in the name change process! It may seem like a lot from the onset, but once you start tackling the major items, you’ll find yourself finished in no time! However, before you get to all of this fun paperwork, there’s plenty of excitement with wedding planning and the big day itself. We’d be honored to be a part of your wedding day and would be happy to offer a free tour at our luxury wedding venue in Conroe, TX, Madera Estates. Just fill out the form here and our sales director, Stacie, will be in touch!