Married Name-Change 101

Posted by Azure on March 18th, 2009
Special feature by Danielle Tate of

Name change is a very big decision for brides. It’s important to take some time to consider how you and your fiancé feel about name change as well as what form of name change you both want. Will you change your name to his, hyphenate, or use your maiden name as your middle name? With so many choices and strong opinions, it has become increasingly important for couples to compromise on your new married name.

Remember that a marriage is built on love, trust, teamwork, and compromise, so try to be open-minded to the many name-change options when you discuss them with your future Mr. For example, you may hyphenate your last name with your husband’s, or he may keep his name the same or add your last name to his. If you do choose to hyphenate your name(s), you should definitely discuss whose name will appear first in the hyphenation.

While changing your name can seem very overwhelming, it’s best to start the name-change process before or right after you are married. The longer you procrastinate, the more likely you are to never change your name.

After your wedding, it is important to request a few copies of your certified marriage certificate to use during the name-change process. Several state and government offices need to see a certified marriage certificate as legal proof of your marriage before they can process your name-change request forms.

Once you have your certified marriage certificates, you may start filing your legal name-change forms. You'll need to cover Social Security, your driver’s license or state ID, the IRS, the Post Office, your U.S. passport, and your creditors All of these offices have specific name-change request forms to submit.

If changing your name seems a bit overwhelming, there is a service available to help you through the process. MissNowMrs is a website that provides all of the state & U.S. government name-change forms as well as name-change notification letters. Their service auto-populates the forms and letters and also provides detailed filing instructions. The service saves each bride an average of 13 hours of form research, completion, and filing mishaps so she can focus on the fun of being a newlywed!

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