After the ceremony is over, all of your friends have congratulated you, the last call has passed, and you’re safely encapsulated on an airplane to somewhere like Tahiti, it’s time to think about changing your name. You may want to become Mrs. Bride, Mrs. Groom, Mrs. Bride-Groom, Mrs. Groom-Bride, or something else, but Bankrate suggestions leaving the official change until after the ceremony. Why? Because apparently, many places will ask for a copy of the marriage certificate. They recommend starting this arduous process by ordering 25 copies of your marriage certificate…lest meddlesome officials fail to believe you’re actually hitched.
Next, request an updated Social Security card by calling (800) 772-1213 to get the necessary forms. Doing this first makes almost everything else easier. Your taxes will be more likely to stay straightened out because they notify the IRS for you, which is a huge plus.
To match your new name with your old number, file Form SS-5 with the Social Security Administration. For more details on the process, check out SSA Publication No. 05-10642 on the office’s Web site.
Then, call your local DMV (or RMV, for people who live in states like MA), and ask what forms (yes, more forms) you will need to change your name on your vehicle registration and license. Don’t forget to ask about which documents you’ll need to bring with you. Having a photo ID with your new name will help the rest of the process along.
Now, if you have a passport, you’ll need to fill out an Passport Amendment/Validation Application (hint: it’s a form) and send that off with a fee, your old passport, and your marriage certificate.
Once that’s taken care of, change your name with your bank and with your employer, so the paychecks you receive match the name on your account. While informing your employer of the change, remember to make sure they “update the beneficiaries on work-provided benefits, such as life insurance or your 401(k) plan, as well as look into whether you want to include your spouse under applicable company coverage.” If you’re a student, ask your school to change your name in their records.
Call your landlord, mortgage company, insurance company, utility providers, investment broker, credit card companies, department store account companies, local tax boards, and voter registration board and tell them the good news. Then visit the post office to inform them of the change and hope your mail is taken care of properly. Don’t forget to notify your doctor and dentist. You may have to fill out a few forms here, too.
Finally, consider all of the “miscellaneous accounts and memberships (Internet service provider, newspaper and magazine subscriptions, auto club, alumni association, etc.” that you hold and call them to determine how to get your name switched in their records.
Then, hold your breath and hope that it all happens as planned.