The flowers have started the wither, the food has all been eaten. Your cake topper is wrapped lovingly and placed in the freezer for next year. You’re now home from your honeymoon and you’re settling into married life with your best friend. There seems to be so much to take care of, but you don’t really know where to start. And if you’re thinking of buying a house together or starting a family together, you definitely have a lot on your mind right now!
I found myself in this exact same position almost 10 years ago after I was married and then, I didn’t know where to begin with my name change either. Honestly, it took me quite some time to realize that there were a few more locations to change my name than I thought. So in order to make this a little bit easier on you I thought I would provide you ladies with a list that’s easy to access and loaded with helpful information! Let’s dive in!
Where To Begin
- The first place you’ll want to make sure your name is updated is the Social Security office. If you have an office near you, you may want to fill out the proper forms and make an appointment to go there in-person and speak with someone. Since you cannot request a new social security card online, it’s necessary to make sure you have all of the proper documentation with you when you go. Here’s a convenient list of those documents. And, for your convenience you can print out the Application for a Replacement Social Security card (HERE), fill it out, and arrive with everything in-hand. Be prepared to be there for a few hours, as these offices are usually full and can possibly take a while before your name is called.
- Update the information on your Passport after you receive your new Social Security card.
- Schedule some time to head to the DMV/MVA to update your Driver’s License/State ID, and don’t forget to update your School ID and/or Work ID. Remember to bring along all necessary identifying documentation with you when you go to the DMV. These people are sticklers for proper documentation! If you don’t have it with you, chances are you’ll have to leave and return later.
- Head to the bank. Updating your account information and ATM/Debit cards is the next step. This is usually pretty easy and just requires a quick application. Once filled out, it may take 7-10 business days for your new cards to come in.
- Next, contact your landlord or your mortgage company and make arrangements for these records to be updated. Be sure to do this with all of your utilities as well. Some companies (like Comcast) actually require you to visit a local office with your marriage certificate in order to update your records. Be ready for the possibility of having to go out.
- The IRS also needs to be notified of your updated status and name change.
Now that you have the major locations down and the majority of your heavy duty paperwork has been done, you’re ready to tackle the smaller updates. This shouldn’t take you long and may only require a quick email request or phone call. Even though they’re not as serious as the ones listed above, you definitely don’t want to overlook these.
Where Else Should I Go?
- Voter Registration Card
- HR office
- Post office
- Medical Insurance
- Car Insurance
- Renter’s/Homeowner’s Insurance
- Retirement and Investment Accounts
- Doctors and Dentist’s office updates
- Military record updates (if applicable)
- Will and Life Insurance
- Subscriptions (newspaper, magazine, box subscriptions)
- Social media accounts and any offline networking accounts
- And finally, any business updates (if applicable)
Can This Be a Little Easier?
Surprise! There are “kits” you can purchase for a small fee that will help you stay organized and point you in the right direction! If you want to save a few bucks and do-it-yourself (like I did) it’s totally possible. But for those of you who want some assistance and a little more structure than just hopping from one office to another not really knowing what to expect – these “kits” are for you.
Hitchswitch is The Knot’s version of the name change kit! They offer three packages at different price points, depending on your needs. The packages start at $29 and top out at $79. The Platinum $70 package even includes a brand new Passport photo.
Miss Now Mrs. offers a very similar service for name changing after marriage, and they even let you try their service before purchasing. They link you directly to all of the government forms you’ll need to get started. And they even have a fun section on their website for newly weds.
I hope this blog post has helped to shine some light on something that may be a little daunting. And once everything has been updated, hopefully it won’t be anything you’ll need to do again. Happy record keeping and congratulations on your new marriage!!!