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.

Get a Marriage License

This is the most necessary step, because you won't be able to change your name at all without this document.

Obtain a New Driver's License

You'll have to take your marriage license and current driver's license to the DMV to get a new one issued with your new name.

Apply For a New Social Security Card

The Social Security Administration has specific requirements for issuing a new card — you'll need a new application, proof of citizenship, proof of your legal name change, proof of identity, and proof of your old name.

Visit its website for examples of accepted documentation.

Talk to Your Company's Human Resources Department

Your employer reports your Social Security payments, so you need to make sure to take this step immediately following your name change with Social Security.

Replace or Renew Your Passport

The requirements vary depending on whether you received your passport within a year of marriage or more than a year prior. Here's what you'll need:

Within a Year
This information can be found at the US Department of State's website, and you need to fill out a Name Change, Data Correction, and Limited Passport Book Replacement Form: DS-5504 and send it in with two passport photos, a certified copy of your marriage certificate, and your old passport.

More Than a Year
You'll need to apply for a new passport and pay $110 for it.

Update Miscellaneous Accounts

Online accounts, credit cards, bank and brokerage accounts, 401(k): basically, anything you can think of that has your old name on it!

Scott Webb