Well, first, CONGRATS! I've been married for a good month now (when this was written) and let me be the first to tell you, it's incredible. It's such an blessing to be united with another person, in a union created and blessed by God.
Well, I can honestly say, I made it through the process and have successfully changed my name. It is quite the process so I thought I would share my easy step-by-step check list with you.
1. Marriage License: Make sure to check the rules of the county where you're getting married. Some have rules that require you to get your license 24-hours before the ceremony, but then requiring you to get married within 30 days of getting the license. Head to your county court website and check the rules.
When Adam and I got our license, they gave us the option to pre-pay for a certified copy, do this! It was $30 and you're going to have to get it eventually anyways. If you wait, you have to wait to receive your "pretty" marriage license and then pay for the certified copy and wait for that. Paying for them both at the same time saves so much time.
Most government offices will not take the pretty marriage license, they require the certified copy. After the ceremony, make sure to sign all the proper signatures and then send that baby in! The quicker you submit it, the quicker you get it back.
1. Social Security Office: Once you receive your certified marriage license, go to the Social Security website and fill out the required form. You'll need proof of citizenship, aka your birth certificate or a valid passport. You need your drivers license, your certified marriage license and some patience.
I pre-filled out the form, arrived at the Social Security office 30 minutes before it opened and still waited 3 hours. My advice; you can make appointments online for your Social Security office. The appointments are usually a month in advance. Make one! When they finally opened the doors, they called for the appointments and like 4 people were able to cut the line and go in first. I didn't do this, hence the 3-hour wait.
2. DMV: When I received my paper from Social Security (the same day I went), I had to wait one day before the DMV would accept my new social security papers. So, I went to the DMV the day after the SS office. Make sure you bring the letter you receive from SS, your driver's license, your certified marriage license and I brought my passport (just in case), plus proof of your address for your drivers license. I went to the driver's license cue first. After that I moved over to the place where you change your registration and title to your car. I hope you're all reading a good book, this is a long process.
PS. You can do your voter registration at the DMV too.
Okay, so your name is officially changed! Congrats! Now it's time for all the fun stuff.
Here's a list of all things you'll want to change (maybe not right away, but soon!) Good luck!
- Employer - change all your info so nothing lapses.
- Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Bank Accounts: They require a drivers license and a certified marriage certificate
- Health Insurance: I got on Adam's health insurance once we got married and we had to do this 30 days after our wedding date! So get on this! They needed our certified marriage license.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards: This takes forever. You have to send a copy of your certified marriage license, your old rapid rewards card and your drivers license. I still haven't gotten my new card.
- Passport: Marriage license, drivers license and a check.
- Utilities - TV, Internet, Water, Electricity
- Apartment/Lease, etc
- US Postal Service : Do this so that is mail comes to your new name they don't send it back.
- Cell Phone Service: Want to spend a Saturday at Verizon? Yikes.
- Magazine Subscriptions: Most of these can be done online.
- Doctors: I did this as I visited the docs, no need to call ahead.
- Email: I wanted to do this to streamline everything, but here I am a year later and I still have my old email, just in case.
- Social Media - girl, this is your chance to really make it Facebook official!