Changing your last name.... AHHHH!!!

I got married January 7th and have recently returned from the honeymoon and now I'm having to deal with changing my last name and I'm really stuck. I've done research and asked around, but no one can seem to give me a straight or helpful answer on what to do.

Several sites that I've visited state that you have to contact the Social Security Office first. After visiting their site, it said that:

Documents for a name change: If you need to change your name on your Social Security card, you must show us a recently issued document as proof of your legal name change. Documents Social Security may accept to prove a legal name change include:

Marriage document;
Divorce decree;
Certificate of Naturalization showing a new name; or
Court order for a name change.

On the marriage license, I was instructed to sign my MAIDEN name by the clerk. How is that proof of a name change? Or is it the SS-5 form that I send into the SS office my name change request?

Or was I NOT supposed to sign my maiden name? Ugh, I'm so confused!
A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government. ~Thomas Jefferson
Your marriage license will have your maiden name, to show that it's you, but it will also have your husbands name. When you go to get your name changed at the SS office, they don't need any kind of proof of what your name is changing TO, but just who you were before, and your REASON for changing your name. There are only a couple of reasons/times when you are allowed to change your name. They just want to make sure this is one of them.

When you go in to change your name, you could change it to ANYTHING. Ever seen that episode of Friends? BananaHammock? Well, you go into the SS office, and fill out a form that just basically asks your date of birth, social, name, what your name is changing TO, and I think they ask some weird stuff like your fathers last name, and birthday and something weird like that - I don't really remember

Okay, so then you go up and give them the form, and they just do it all for you. If you want to change anything about your name, this is the time to do it. For instance, I changed my middle name to my maiden name.

And once you do it at the SS office, you can then do it at the registry.
~ the artist formerly known as babywavy ~

Please excuse any typos. For the time being, we are blaming it on my computer.
Your marriage license will have your maiden name, to show that it's you, but it will also have your husbands name. When you go to get your name changed at the SS office, they don't need any kind of proof of what your name is changing TO, but just who you were before, and your REASON for changing your name. There are only a couple of reasons/times when you are allowed to change your name. They just want to make sure this is one of them.

When you go in to change your name, you could change it to ANYTHING. Ever seen that episode of Friends? BananaHammock? Well, you go into the SS office, and fill out a form that just basically asks your date of birth, social, name, what your name is changing TO, and I think they ask some weird stuff like your fathers last name, and birthday and something weird like that - I don't really remember

Okay, so then you go up and give them the form, and they just do it all for you. If you want to change anything about your name, this is the time to do it. For instance, I changed my middle name to my maiden name.

And once you do it at the SS office, you can then do it at the registry.
Originally Posted by babywavy
Thanks so much, that helps a lot!
A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government. ~Thomas Jefferson
In Pennsylvania you can change your name for any reason and you do not need a court order. You just use the new name on all your documents, bank accounts, etc.
But different states have different rules so be sure and check with your local SS office, as they are the most fussy about name changes.
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Well, you don't HAVE to deal with it at all. You can always just keep your name.

I'm SO glad I kept my own name. It's such a hassle to change it...and the hassle goes on forever. Every time you renew your license or any other document, you will have to produce your marriage license, so don't lose it!
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Why would you have to bring your marriage cert. to renew your liscence? I mean- just the first time- but after that it's done. The week we got ome from the honeymoon, we set aside a day to go to the SS office, Drivers Liscence place and bank to change my name on everything. The only thing still in my old name is my passport.
A closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose.

"...you could have a turd on your head and no one would notice."~Subbrock

"I had an imaginary puppy, but my grandpa ate him."~Bailey
I kepy my last name... because I married someone with the same last name.




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It's pretty easy. I sat in the SS office for about 3 hours and got my name changed there. Then I sat in the drivers license office for about 1.5 hours and got my name changed on my DL. Both places just needed my marriage license and proof of my maiden name.

I doubt I need my marriage license every time I renew my DL since I can renew through the mail.
When are women going to face the fact that they donít know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

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Well, you don't HAVE to deal with it at all. You can always just keep your name.

I'm SO glad I kept my own name. It's such a hassle to change it...and the hassle goes on forever. Every time you renew your license or any other document, you will have to produce your marriage license, so don't lose it!
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
I tease my husband about keeping my last name, but I don't mind changing it.

However, I do want to keep my last name for professional reasons. But I'm not hyphenating because that would be a really long last name.

We'll see how things go... You guys have helped a lot!
A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government. ~Thomas Jefferson
Why would you have to bring your marriage cert. to renew your liscence? I mean- just the first time- but after that it's done. The week we got ome from the honeymoon, we set aside a day to go to the SS office, Drivers Liscence place and bank to change my name on everything. The only thing still in my old name is my passport.

It depends on the state, but in NJ, you have to provide your marriage license EVERY SINGLE TIME you renew your license...because the name on the birth certificate, which is the single most important document, is not the right name. You have to prove how you got from your birth name to your present name.
You could make your maiden name your middle name. Then you don't have to hyphenate.
When are women going to face the fact that they donít know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

Don Langrick
Bonsai Culturist
However, I do want to keep my last name for professional reasons.

How are you going to do that? Professionals generally get paychecks...paychecks generally have to be in a legal name. If you change your legal name to your husband's name, then your professional name is no longer your legal name. It's pretty impossible to maintain 2 names.
However, I do want to keep my last name for professional reasons.

How are you going to do that? Professionals generally get paychecks...paychecks generally have to be in a legal name. If you change your legal name to your husband's name, then your professional name is no longer your legal name. It's pretty impossible to maintain 2 names.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves

A lot of women do it so it must be possible. I know that when I was transitioning between the two names, my bank had records that indictaed that I was both DarkAngel MaidenName and DarkAngel MarriedName. I had no problems.


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
However, I do want to keep my last name for professional reasons.

How are you going to do that? Professionals generally get paychecks...paychecks generally have to be in a legal name. If you change your legal name to your husband's name, then your professional name is no longer your legal name. It's pretty impossible to maintain 2 names.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Well, I'd be using his last name for legal stuff. I have a small business that has a name based on my current last name. I'd be using my current last name for my business and my new last name for everything else. So my name would be First Middle Maiden Lastname. It would be just having 2 last names.

My current last name means a lot to me too, so I really don't want to let it go.
A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government. ~Thomas Jefferson
In Texas, we don't have to show our birth certificate every single time. we can show our previous drivers liscence when it's time to renew. It's all in their computer system anyway.
A closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose.

"...you could have a turd on your head and no one would notice."~Subbrock

"I had an imaginary puppy, but my grandpa ate him."~Bailey
In Texas, we don't have to show our birth certificate every single time. we can show our previous drivers liscence when it's time to renew. It's all in their computer system anyway.

You didn't used to have to show it in NJ either...not until 9/11 and the new identity regulations came about. Now anyone who's birth certificate name doesn't match their legal name, needs to show documentation of name changes at every license renewal. I'm sure other states have adopted that policy also, and more will continue to do so.
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Posts: 41,043
I kepy my last name... because I married someone with the same last name.
Originally Posted by spring1onu


Code:
kwym
In Texas, we don't have to show our birth certificate every single time. we can show our previous drivers liscence when it's time to renew. It's all in their computer system anyway.

You didn't used to have to show it in NJ either...not until 9/11 and the new identity regulations came about. Now anyone who's birth certificate name doesn't match their legal name, needs to show documentation of name changes at every license renewal. I'm sure other states have adopted that policy also, and more will continue to do so.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
You don't need to do all that in MA. It's all in the computer. But it sounds like in NJ you need to bring your birth certificate with you to renew your license; I don't think having to bring a copy of your marriage certificate would make it that much bigger of a deal. What's one more piece of paper at that point?


Anyway, I changed my name when I got married. Then I changed it back when I got divorced! It took a bit of work, but it wasn't a huge deal.
There is a way to keep your maiden name for proffessional reasons, but use a married name for other ones, although I'm not sure how it works. I have a friend who's a doctor who uses her maiden name in her practice, but uses her married name elsewhere.

I suppose you could "assume" your husbands last name in casual cases, but if your legal name is still your given name, you would have to sign that on legal documents.

I love that I changed my name. I feel very much a part of my husband when I took his name. I did change my middle name to my maiden, which made me feel good to have kept my last name somewhere.
~ the artist formerly known as babywavy ~

Please excuse any typos. For the time being, we are blaming it on my computer.
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 41,043
There is a way to keep your maiden name for proffessional reasons, but use a married name for other ones, although I'm not sure how it works. I have a friend who's a doctor who uses her maiden name in her practice, but uses her married name elsewhere.

I suppose you could "assume" your husbands last name in casual cases, but if your legal name is still your given name, you would have to sign that on legal documents.

I love that I changed my name. I feel very much a part of my husband when I took his name. I did change my middle name to my maiden, which made me feel good to have kept my last name somewhere.
Originally Posted by babywavy
I still sign my name the way I always have...
Code:
You can't read my cursive anyway...lol

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