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Changing Name After Marriage

By Edited May 6, 2014 0 0
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Marriage is a wonderful blessing that combines two willing people who want to spend the rest of their lives together.  Merriam Webster Dictionary defines marriage as “the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law [and] the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage.”  The act of a marriage is conducted at a wedding ceremony.  Religions will also play an important roll in the wedding ceremony. 

Planning a wedding ceremony is time consuming, expensive, and sometimes stressful.  A traditional American wedding invites family and friends to both the ceremony where the religious and official marriage is formed and a reception where the celebration begins.  There is so much planning that the bride and groom may forget some of the after effects of a wedding such as changing last names.

Traditionally, brides drop their maiden last name and pick up their husband’s last name.  Since people are getting married later in life, more brides are choosing to keep their maiden last name for professional reasons.  Other brides who choose to keep their maiden name after marriage could simply prefer their maiden name or find the tradition old fashion. 

If the bride plans on taking her husband’s last name after the marriage ceremony the following will need to happen.  One critical piece not to forget or ignore is that changing the bride’s last name after marriage takes at least a few weeks.  Many government departments are involved in the name changing process and many documents will need to be changed.  Therefore, if the couple plans on taking a honeymoon after the marriage, they should make the reservations with the bride’s maiden name.  Airlines and other travel related companies are not forgiving to this frequent oversight.

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Here are the steps needed if the bride is changing her name after marriage. 

  1. The first item needed in changing a last name is evidence of the reason for the name change and documentation of the new name.  This can all be found on the marriage license.  Most states require the license to be sent in to the state after the ceremony.  It is important to check to see if the state issuing the license will send a copy to the bride and groom or if they will need to call to order a copy.
  2. Once the license has been issued, the next stop is the social security office.  Most social security offices will have a list of other documents needed to obtain a new social security card with a changed last name.  Those documents frequently include an official government photo identification and birth certificate.  Make sure to check the local social security office’s website for a list of the exact documents needed.
  3. With a new social security card, a driver’s license is next.  A driver’s license is an easy change if bringing all of the necessary documents.  The documents needed are proof of name change (social security card), government photo identification (previous license), and proof of residency (previous license if in the same state). 
  4. The final things to consider when changing a last name after marriage are credit cards, passports, bills, mortgage, and employer documents.   


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