Thursday, October 20, 2011

Changing Your Name: Miss to Mrs

So I've been married a for a while now, and last month I finally changed my name! I had seriously been dreading this, but it was fairly easy. Here's a quick overview on what you need to do, but still check with your state laws for any differences or further actions you may be required to do.

First stop: Make sure you have your certified marriage liense, whether it's mailed to you or you have to pick it up from your county records department. This shows as proof that you're married and what your new name will be.

Next is changing your Social Security Administration and the DMV. It's best if you can make an appointment, the earlier the better! I was in an out of both Social Security and the DMV each after only 20 minutes. I couldn't believe my luck, I thought I'd be there for half my day at least.

The Social Security Administration's website is fairly user-friendly and your new card will be free! Yay!

The DMV will require you to take a new photo, so come prepared with good hair and some lipgloss. There also is a fee for your ID (in CA it's $25) and they will punch a hole in your current ID and give you paperwork as a temporary ID. Because of this, some restaurants, bars, travel places, etc can be sticklers about temporary IDs, so if you have something special planned in the next week, wait to do this step.

Now you're legally set! You'll have a new name on state records. Oh, but you're not done yet! You can't forget to update a few more items:

-bank information (this took me 45 minutes): all of your accounts and any credit cards will need to be changed
-passport: if your passport was issued within a year of your name change it will be updated free of charge, otherwise you need to pay for it again
-work: your paychecks, business cards, and work email will need to be changed
-Post Office
-voter registration
-insurance policies
-magazine subscriptions

There's still a few items I need to update (all of my magazine subscriptions), but I'm all set. Both SSA and the DMV said it would be a few weeks before I received my new cards/IDs, but I received them the next week. My biggest tips in changing your information would be to try and get it all done in one day, make your appointments or go to the establishments as early as possible, and bring some water and something to read in the likely chance you have to wait.

That's it ladies! Have you guys changed your name, what was your experience? Do you plan on changing your name after marriage? See my feelings about that here.
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