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Changing Name Checklist After Marriage

New-Bride's Guide to Changing Her Name

Updating your email address to reflect your new married name is the easiest step of all, but unfortunately the laundry list of other changes is much more time-consuming. Some women end up procrastinating because it isn't exactly anyone's idea of fun.

If you've considered everything and still want to change your name, then make the process less painless by following our New-Bride's Guide to Changing Her Name. Simply print out the checklist to learn what steps you may need to take. You'll find that some areas require more attention and paperwork than others, but keep in mind that you only need to (hopefully) do this once! Make copies of all the documents for your records, just in case.

Image Source: Scott Webb
KMattes KMattes 8 years
PS I hate it when people get all preachy.
KMattes KMattes 8 years
My husband and I both changed our names to something new, but still meaningful to us and our families.
Monique-Marie427757 Monique-Marie427757 8 years
You should also put info up about how the man can change his last name as well, my husband took my last name.
PearlWhite PearlWhite 8 years
Cool check list :) Found a cool website to help get this done and it was free --
valancyjane valancyjane 8 years
Ha, actually, changing my e-mail address was one of the hardest things. So many people/organizations had my e-mail address that it would have been hard to switch cold turkey, and I didn't want to be checking two e-mails all the time. (I have a Web-based account so I don't have auto-forward.) That aside, let me say: There are some things you can do later on. You can spread out the work if it makes it easier. I still haven't changed my passport (I don't have any foreign trips in the offing) and I haven't gotten around to changing all my credit cards. As long as the CC companies get paid they don't care! I kept my name at work because it was easier - I always have ongoing projects and it would have been confusing to change, plus it made the adjustment easier to have one area of my life where I didn't change. But I go by three names in daily life - Jane Smith at work, Jane Smith Doe at home - so anyone who knows me in one arena can tell who I am in the other. Though I did take my husband's name, I put a lot of thought into it and I encourage anyone else to do the same. You are just as married if you have different last names (or if he takes your name, or if one or both of you hyphenates, or if you both take a new name, or whatever). Find something that works for you. In response to katie 225 and ladytron7000: I would say this is a tradition that still DOES mean something (otherwise why do so many men get pissy if you don't want to take their name), but I choose to believe that you can be an independent women (or a strong woman or a feminist or however you want to put it) and share a name with your husband. I wrote a novel ... you can tell I care a lot about this!!
dyskrasia dyskrasia 9 years
Just a heads up: my browser had difficulty saving this file, because it has a forward slash after the .pdf, which implies that we're browsing to a directory!
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
see - that's where the questions come along - how to change your name and to what extent. i figured that i would change my name personally but keep my name professionally - but i don't know if that makes things even more confusing. i'm usually one to be pro-active about things, but to be honest, i'm really not overly excited to do that whole paperwork processing thing.
gatsby-esque gatsby-esque 9 years
Without disclosing my last name here, it has eight letters in it, and six of them are vowels, including 2 "i's" and 3 "a's!" So you can see why I'm so anxious to change my name.
gatsby-esque gatsby-esque 9 years
I am changing my name because I hate my last name. It's one of those names that's hard to spell, hard to pronounce, and hard to remember. I can't wait to have my husband-to-be's last name. Those who criticize others don't realize there's a convenience factor that justifies changing one's name. They must all have easy last names like "Smith" or something.
DCBaxter DCBaxter 9 years
Tejo, maybe I just had it really really easy - that totally sucks about spending all day at SS!! I would have gotten annoyed and gave up! :) One other tip for others in the process - fill the forms out online ahead of time - it saved me a lot of time as well!
katie225 katie225 9 years
ladytron, there are a lot of traditions that people take part in that have LOST their significance and NO LONGER mean what they used to. nobody's forcing you to take a man's name, and no one should force (or bully, like you are doing) anyone else not to take a man's name. every woman has her decision.
tejo14 tejo14 9 years
I expected to be able to get it done all in one day also. I ended up spending an ENTIRE day at the SS office, after being there when they opened. I decided to switch one credit card at a time, so it wasn't so much work all at once, and easier to keep track of. If it is remotely close to tax season, or you are flying anytime soon (honeymoon) I would wait to make the changes.
DCBaxter DCBaxter 9 years
I think some people make the process of changing your name to be worse than it really is. I did all of mine in one day - I started at Social Security, then went to the DMV, then the bank. It was honestly not a big deal at all! It helps if you take a day off work to just get everything done!
SomethingWicked SomethingWicked 9 years
Printing this out and putting in my wedding notebook right now! Thanks!
Ladytron7000 Ladytron7000 9 years
Or, you could just keep your name. Because you already have a name. Changing it reflects the historical practice of transferring the duty of taking care of a woman from her father to her husband. Because women are not full people capable of taking care of themselves. You are not becoming a new person, and you are not getting a new parent. You are an equal partner. Nobody expects men to change their names, and that's bull.
meena1677 meena1677 9 years
Hi Everyone, this is so valuable. Please follow this to a T as I had problems with my tax refund this year due to the lack of coordination between the SSA and the IRS. I did finally get my refund but it was like 3 months later and had spent about a million hours on the phone and the SSA office. Finally received the refund but now am waiting for my stimulus check! :)
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
This is super handy. Hopefully I'll be getting ready to do this soon haha
nv27 nv27 9 years
Wow. Theres quite a bit to do. I never understood before why people put it off for so long, but now I get it. I still think that the excitement of taking your new last name would make it worth it though, especially if youre one of those girls like me who doodles my name with my boyfriend's last name on it constantly.
ehadams ehadams 9 years
Reading this checklist has made me more determined to keep my name! ;)
kristyy kristyy 9 years
Thanks Savvy! This is very helpful!
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