Since I’m getting married TOMORROW(!!!!), and true wedding season is approaching, this topic felt doubly relevant. So if you’ll be getting married soon, or know someone who is, this might be exactly what you need.
When planning and preparing for a wedding, it’s easier to forget the less glamorous tasks. Let’s face it, there are so many pretty things to handle, fun things to do, stressful things to troubleshoot, and excitement to bask in. Although you may have already committed to the idea of changing your name, you may not have considered all the little things that your last name touches which may need to be changed. I’m hoping to bridge that gap for you and make the process a bit of a checklist instead!
STEP 1: Get Your Marriage License
Once you file for your marriage license, you’ve covered step 1(you obviously can’t get anywhere without that).
STEP 2: Change Your Name at the Social Security Office
Save yourself from a trip to the the Social Security Office and instead, cruise over to their website and, using your existing SS#, fill out the application using a new name. Once the application is complete, mail it into your local SS office and you should expect your new card within about 10 days.
STEP 3: Change Your Driver’s License
Once you’ve received your new social security card, it’s time for your favorite leisure activity, the DMV. As exhilarating as it can be to wait your turn in this office, it will be much worse if you forget your forms of identity required once your number is finally called. Remember to bring the following;
- Your old driver’s license
- Official marriage license
- Social security card and
- Passport if you have one(just in case)
- Your Title to your vehicle (if you own it)
STEP 4: Change Your Bank Account Name
For this, you’ll also have to head straight into an office, however I always find bank trips like this to be far less painful. Bring your marriage license and your new driver’s license with you. Remember to request new checks(or cheques, for my Canadianas-wink!) and a new debit card(you may get nailed with a fee for a new debit card, depending on how cool your bank is). For new joint accounts, you’ll also have to bring your spouse.
STEP 5: The Extras
- Credit cards
- Mortgage company
- Rewards program (frequent flyers/hotel programs) – this may require a formal letter asking them to assign you a new last name so they don’t start you from scratch as a new user altogether.
- Insurance company
- Online accounts (Amazon, eBay, other shopping sites…)
- Utility companies (electric, gas, cable, internet, cell phone, etc.)
- Your attorney (wills & legal docs.)
- Your employer (payroll is slightly important as far as I’m concerned)
- Post office
- Passport office / Nexus office (if you are a Nexus program participant)
- Doctor’s offices
- Investment accounts
- Schools / School loan holders
You may want to create a new email account with your fancy new last name. If you haven’t already, you can create the new address and let it sync to your current email; This way, your mail is all coming into the same place. This will give you time to update everyone about your new email and prevent you from missing messages or having to sign into two places to check your mail. Eventually you’ll be able to phase out of your old account but in the meantime, a sync is a great option. Gmail has instructions on centralizing email accounts here.
Congratulations to all you to-be-weds or newlyweds! Cheers to a beautiful new start and an organized name change!