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checklist for marriage name change

Checklist for Marriage Name Change in the USA

Congrats on your recent American wedding! As you settle into newlywed life, one of your top priorities should be completing your marriage name change (if taking on your spouse’s last name). Having an organized checklist for marriage name change makes the process smooth and hassle-free.

Whatever you decide, don’t leave your marriage name change until the last minute. Use this comprehensive checklist for marriage name change immediately while your beautiful wedding memories – and certified marriage certificate – are fresh.

See also our guides for name changes after marriage in other countries:

United Kingdom – Post Wedding Name Change Guide

America – Checklist For Marriage Name Change

Canada – Post Marriage Name Change Guide

Australia – Change Your Name After Wedding Tips

Why Do Most American Women Change Their Name After Marriage?

Across Western cultures, the tradition of a bride taking her groom’s last name during the marriage process dates back hundreds of years.

Nowadays, the stereotype of obedient women surrendering their pre-marriage names due to pure convention has shifted. Modern American newlyweds view altering their surnames as a symbolic bonding ritual and sign of unity. Taking on your hubby’s established family name – the one you will pass on to future children – cements that you are now kin. Two lives join as one family.

What Are My Name Change Options in the US?

Women in the USA have a few options when it comes to their last names after a wedding:

1. Take Your Husband’s Last Name

This traditional route involves legally changing your maiden surname to match your hubby’s name fully. Dropping your birth name in place of his identity. 

2. Hyphenate Your Last Name  

A popular middle ground is hyphenating your own surname with his last name, linked by a dash. You maintain individual history while also visually marking the marriage merger. Think Jane Doe-Johnson.

3. Form a New Shared Family Name  

Some egalitarian couples are getting creative by blending components of the bride and groom’s last names to craft a entirely new marital surname. Like the surnames Shea and Carey becoming Sheary.

4. Keep Your Own Birth Name   

In the 21st-century female empowerment era, retaining your distinct pre-marriage name, individually earned credentials, and career is totally acceptable.

Do I Have to Change My Name Post Wedding in the USA?

The short answer is no – taking on your spouse’s surname after ‘I do’ is fully optional for both the bride and groom in the United States. Currently, no federal or state laws require a mandatory legal name switch due to marriage.

The choice comes down to aligning with tradition versus asserting independence. Or finding a middle ground. Discuss intentions openly with your fiance before officially tying the knot at your American wedding.

That said, be aware that if you plan a post-wedding surname change, the sooner you begin the marriage name change process checklist, the better. Don’t leave it lingering for ages you can Easily Change Your Name After Marriage in the USA Here

How Much Does a Post Wedding Name Change Cost in the USA?

Budget wisely for costs linked to your marriage name change checklist completion. While submitting basic name change notification paperwork is fairly cheap, the fees climb when needing to obtain replacement copies of all identification documents and official records bearing your updated married title. 

Add up these name-change essentials in your plan:

– Marriage certificate copies: $10 to $30 each  

– Social Security card replacement: Free if no changes  

– New driver’s license with updated name: $20 to $60   

– Passport renewal fee: $130 

– New checks, debit cards, credit cards: Free to $25

All said, expect to invest $150 to $400 to fully cover a complete marriage name change alongside checking tasks off your checklist. 

Streamline fees where possible by double-checking every form’s accuracy before submitting to avoid any rejections and re-work. Typos happen but cost time and money. 

checklist for marriage name change
checklist for marriage name change

Checklist for marriage name change in the USA

Follow this comprehensive checklist for marriage name change to smoothly transition your maiden name to your preferred married name after a wedding in the United States of America. 

Get Copies of Your Marriage Certificate   

The first step for American newlyweds is obtaining several certified paper copies of their marriage certificate from the county records office. This official document proves the name change is related to your nuptials. Expect a small per-copy fee.

Update Social Security Records  

One essential stop for US brides changing their last names is the local Social Security Administration bureau. Complete paperwork to legally revise your current name in their databases to match your post wedding choice. Also, ask for an updated SSN card.

Apply For a New Social Security Card     

While visiting SSA to modify your listed name, order a fresh social security card clearly displaying your new surname. Keep your SSN card private, but the government and employers need the number with an updated marriage name for taxes, payrolls, etc. Cards are usually received in under two weeks.

Change Name on Driver’s License    

With your passport, SSN, and other national IDs impacted by marriage, having an inconsistent driver’s license causes hiccups. Visit your nearest DMV office with the name change authorization portion of your marriage certificate in hand to replace your old license with an updated card bearing your married name and signature. Bring cash for any applicable state fees, too.

Apply For New Passport  

Do you have a foreign honeymoon planned? Ensure smooth travels by overnight shipping a new passport expedited application to the processing agency. Submit alongside marriage certification that aligns all names. Standard processing is 4-6 regular weeks, but pay more to speed that timeline up for any bookings. No international transport or port-of-entry problems!

Notify Your Employer    

Speak to your company’s HR team about formally updating your personnel file first name, middle name, or last name due to recent marriage. Modifying work records prompts an updated email address, reissued employee ID, changed company directory listing, amended payroll deposit name, payroll tax reporting name, and more. Verify all Internal systems show your latest legal name. 

Update Medical Insurance and Records  

Health coverage and care continuity both involve frequent name checks. Begin by contacting your insurance provider to swap out membership cards, online account names and policy documents for your married name. Similarly, phone doctors, dentists, and pharmacies to update files with your updated details, ensuring correct identification, prescriptions, and billing. 

Change Name on Financial Accounts    

Visit your bank or credit union branch bringing marriage papers to facilitate editing the account names legally showing your spouse’s surname instead of maiden name on products like checking, savings, money market, CD, mortgage, auto lending, and credit cards. Double-check canceled checks or past statements going forward reflect the appropriate new account holder name.

Change Name For Transactions and Memberships     

As newlyweds begin sharing more services, bundles, and expenses, keep your post wedding name change consistency going by updating the account name affiliated with your monthly subscriptions, service providers, property managers, or points programs. Typically, an email, call, or bill pay site login easily amends Amazon Prime, gym memberships, Netflix, insurance policies, landlord lease documents, and more.

Easily Change Your Name After Marriage in the USA

If thinking through each business and agency requiring newlywed name change notifications seems overwhelming, consider using Easy Name Change to handle the heavy lifting discreetly online. Thorough experts track down each entity and furnish legally valid documents so companies can promptly swap your credentials for reasonable fee relief from paperwork hassles.

Simple Checklist For Marriage Name Change in the USA

Refrain from assuming updating your Social Security card, driver’s license, and passport means you’re 100% finished with marriage name change obligations as a newlywed. Continue monitoring mail, accounts, and memberships, tapping maiden name data for anything missed needing modification to current spouse surname credentials.

Frequently Missed Account Name Change Updates:   

  • Online Shopping Profiles   
  • Property Ownership or Rental Records  
  • Investment Platform Accounts 
  • Insurance Documentation   
  • Government Taxation Identities   
  • Professional Certifications or Licenses  
  • Company Work Credentials   
  • Vehicle Ownership Papers  
  • Passport for Minor Children  
  • Wills, Trusts, and Estate Plans   

These accounts often rely on Social Security number connections. So, although some organizations eventually notice an updated national identity name change, don’t risk assets or rights lingering under incorrect maiden name records. Utilize your marriage name change checklist until you are satisfied!

How Long Do I Have to Change My Name After Marriage?

Unlike divorces, which legally mandate name revisions finalized within 60 days, post wedding name changes have no strictly enforced completion timeline. Generally, when American couples return from honeymoons, it is the most effortless period for brides or grooms to modify their surname across accounts—floating in newlywed bliss rather than juggling hectic career and family responsibilities.   

While name change procrastination is not illegal, putting off inevitable paperwork does tend to spiral stressful headaches. Set clear, self-imposed target dates for completing your full marriage name change checklist. If you drag your feet endlessly on intended name modifications, documents eventually requiring maiden name matches to back up marriage identity get complicated.  

Suppose you do need more time to decide on a surname for personal reasons. Keep utilizing your maiden name consistently until the choice gets officially enacted through the marriage name checklist completion. Sudden back-and-forth name fluctuations on applications cause rejections. Stick with one name or the other uniformly during any transition process.


Summary of Checklist for Marriage Name Change

You can Easily Change Your Name After Marriage in the USA here. Updating your long-held maiden name definitely holds sentimental changeover challenges. However, methodically following an American checklist for marriage name change eases the procedures—map workflows in advance instead of scrambling amid honeymoon bliss. Verify every corresponding account shows surnames and first names accurately tied to your updated post-wedding identification. Maintaining diligent records prevents omissions. If you are too involved, hire affordable name change agents to handle so you can focus on married life!

Checklist for Marriage Name Change in the USA

Gary’s goal is for you to have the best wedding day possible!  He is an enthusiastic, grounded, fun-loving and relaxed Wedding Celebrant and Professional Wedding MC.
He was an electrician who loved his wedding so much, he quit his job and became a full-time celebrant. 
He’s here to help you plan your wedding and get the party started!