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Changing Your Name After The Wedding

Bride signing marriage license

Credit: Catie Bartlett Photography

One of the best days of your life has come and gone and now you may be feeling overwhelmed with the steps needed to change your last name on everything. Well, no need to worry! We're here to help you out! This is Texas specific, but should easily be applied to other states.

1. Marriage Certificate and Certified Copies

These copies will be the most important documents of the process. Get at least 3 copies with your new last name to start off with because each government entity will ask for it. You can obtain these at your local county clerk's office and fees vary per county.

2. Social Security

This is where you'll need one of those certified copies of your marriage certificate and should be your first step. Until the Social Security office recognizes your name change, no one else will. Visit the Social Security Administration website and fill out the application for a new Social Security card. Your Social Security number will be the same and just your name will be different. Mail in the application to your local Social Security Administration office and get your new card in 10 business days. Once you receive your new social security card, inform your employer so your taxes don't go to the wrong person.

3. Driver's License

The next step is your driver's license and does need to be done in person and within 30 days of your name change. Take a trip down to your local DMV and bring all forms of identification - your current license, your marriage certificate, and your new social security card. There is an $11 fee in Texas and most DMVs charge a credit card processing fee, so save some money by bringing your check book. You'll be given a temporary license until your permanent one arrives in the mail within 45 days.

4. Passport and Travel Documents

This step depends on if your passport was issued in the last year or not and does need to be done by mail. If your passport is less than a year old, fill out this form and mail it in with a copy of your valid passport, marriage certificate, and a new color passport photo. If your passport is older than a year, fill out this form and mail it in with the same documents, plus a $110 fee. There is no fee if your passport is less than a year old.

If you have Global Entry, you'll need to visit an Enrollment Center to update your information, but will have to wait until your new passport arrives first. If you have TSA PreCheck and not a Global Entry card, you'll need to call 855-347-8371 and they'll give you an email address to send a scanned copy of your marriage license to begin the process.

5. Fill in the blanks

Once you've obtained your new social security card and driver's license, the others should be fairly easily. Some places might just need a phone call and some may need a copy of your marriage license or one of your new IDs. Be sure to inform:

- Employer/payroll

- Bank and credit card companies

- Insurance (auto, home, life)

- Landlord

- Loans (auto, mortgage, student)

- Car title/registration

- Electric, cable, utility companies

- Post office

- Voter registration office

- Attorney (update any legal documents including your will)

- Doctor's office

- School and alumni associations

- Kids' school

- Airlines frequent flyer programs

- Investment accounts

- Professional licenses

6. Feeling overwhelmed? Hire a service

Skip steps 2-5 and visit or! These websites have designed packages ranging from $29-$89 depending how much you want them to help you with and take away the hassle for you.

#NameChange #Afterthewedding

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