Who doesn’t love a wedding? The beautiful flowers, two people declaring their love for each other, and a big old party at the end of it.
The wedding day is the main event of the marriage, but after the fun and partying have ended you might be wondering if there are any legal matters that you need to attend to.
If you’ve decided to take your significant other’s last name when married, you’ll need to know how to legally change it. Not very romantic, but necessary.
This article will detail the necessary steps one must take in order to legally change their name in the state of Texas. Have your marriage certificate at the ready!
How To Change Your Last Name
Unfortunately, legally changing your name isn’t as easy as going down to a government building and signing a piece of paper. There are quite a few steps involved, so be prepared to fill out a lot of forms.
Yay. Some are easier than others, so let’s get started:
Change Your Name With Social Security
The social security office is the first place to visit as other government offices will not accept your name change if you’ve not applied for a new card with your married name on it.
In order to change your name on your social security card you’ll need a number of original documents that can prove your identity, your U.S. citizenship, and your new legal name.
One of these documents will be your completed marriage certificate, so keep it somewhere safe.
Application forms to change your name can be downloaded from the social security website and filled in prior to your visit to your local office. The whole process is free and less hassle than you’d think.
There is a mailing route to take, which does mean sending off original copies of things like your driver’s license which is why it’s less desirable.
A new social security card should be issued to you within 7-10 days.
Alert Your Employer If Necessary
Once you have your new social security card, the next few legalities will be much easier.
Alerting the employer of your name change is essential, although they will probably be aware of your upcoming wedding if you work closely together!
Changing your married name will therefore appear correctly on future wage slips. Certain employers will require evidence of this name change and there are new tax forms that apply to married couples.
Change Your Driver’s License
The dreaded DMV might be enough to make you put off your wedding. Just kidding, but it is the absolute worst so try and get it over with as soon as possible.
It’s important to note that you need to get this done within 30 days of your official name change in line with protocol.
Luckily, the DMV does take appointments so making sure you get in there quickly after your wedding day or scheduling it for soon after is important.
It’s not the most romantic thing you will want to be doing after all the celebrations but it has to be done.
In order to make the change you’ll need to bring your current license and your marriage certificate to verify this name change. Original or certified copies must be used as these are the only ones that will be accepted.
A small fee of $11 will incur for this name change. Hey, you might even be able to swing a new picture too!
Applying For A New Passport
Depending on whether or not you’re jetting off on a honeymoon shortly after your wedding will impact your need to change your passport.
American citizens are required to travel with a passport that reflects their current legal name, which means getting a new passport before traveling. Luckily there is a little win here, if the passport was issued less than a year ago there is no fee to pay.
Getting a new passport can be a dragged-out process, if you need one within the next two weeks to catch that flight then you can make an appointment at your nearest passport office to speed this process up.
They will require proof of identification, your name change, and your travel plans. The speedy process will cost around $60.
The slower version of events can be done by mail.
Navigate the Department of State’s website and download the appropriate forms before mailing them to the National Passport Processing Center along with your current passport, a photo, and a certified copy of your marriage certificate.
By mail, the process of getting a new passport can take between four to five weeks.
Other Significant Documents
Now the main considerations are out of the way, we can consider other areas where name changes will be required.
Credit cards, bank loans, and voter registration forms are all places that need your attention.
Here is a list of other legal documents you need to change your name on:
- Tenancy agreements
- Mortgage forms
- Car registrations
- Doctor’s and dentist records
- Insurance policies
Each of these will have its own processes which will be clearly indicated on the respective website or documentation that you already have. If in doubt, call a customer service agent to receive advice on how the name-changing process works.
Name Changing Services
Name-changing services are available for an extra fee, these will help to significantly reduce the process by pre-completing all the relevant forms.
They state that it only takes a few simple steps to change your name in all the areas mentioned above.
We would suggest thoroughly researching these companies beforehand. An example of one of these services can be found here.
The Bottom Line
There is no single form to fill out after you are married that will legally change your name.
However, the first step is to change your social security card and the rest will fall in line after this.