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Congratulations, you’re married!!!! You’re officially a Mrs. and you’ve got the new last name to prove it!!! Or so you think!!! Without fail, at every wedding, when it’s time to sign the marriage license, the bride always asks, “do I sign my new last name or my old last name?” Until I got married myself, I never understood the answer. You sign your old (current) last name. Why??? Because your name doesn’t officially change until you change it legally!! At a recent wedding the bride asked, “wait, so how do I change my last name?” Immediately I flashed back to when I had to change my last name! I didn’t know what to do or where to start. But I did it! And since some of you brides may be in the same shoes, today I’m going to help you know how to change your last name!
By no means am I a legal expert, but I did go through this process just a few months ago. Keep in mind I am in South Carolina! The laws may be different in your state. But hopefully this will give you a good starting point! If you want to know how to change your last name, then keep reading, my friend!
The first thing you need to know about how to change your last name is that you need to get a new social security card with your new name! To make things easier when you visit the office, go ahead and print out THIS FORM and fill it out. It has all the instructions you will need to be good to go at the SSA office! Find out where you local SSA office is (I just googled it to find mine!), and bring along the completed form, your driver’s license, and your current social security card. I brought along my birth certificate and marriage license too just to be safe, but I’m not sure that they needed it!
After you have your documents in order, head to the office. You’ll sign in and get a number. I waited in line for over an hour, but after my number was called it only took about 5 minutes for them to process my request! Make sure you bring something to do while you wait, and go when you have a lot of time! They’ll ask about an address change if you’ve moved to a new location with your hubby. After that, they’ll give you a paper that says you’ve applied for a new card, and you’ll be on your way! This is when you are legally Mrs. new-last-name! Woohoo! You should receive your new SS card in a few days.
P.S. Did you know that a marriage license isn’t actually required in the state of South Carolina? Crazy, right? So if you didn’t get one, don’t worry! You’ll just have a few extra hoops to jump through, but it can be done!
Since your name is changed and you probably live at a new address, you’ll want to get a new Driver’s License! This is super easy, too! All you do is head to the DMV with your old driver’s license, marriage license, and new social security card. Tell them what you want to do, and they’ll give you a form to fill out. Make sure you look nice because they’ll also take a new photo! The cost for the new card is around $10. Wait for your number to be called, and they’ll take it from there!!
That’s it!! Now you know how to change your last name! It really is so easy!!
Before you can get around to change your name, it’s a good idea to take your marriage license along with you in case you run into any problems using your new last name! For example, I received some checks from some people as wedding gifts and they, naturally, wrote them to my new last name. To deposit these checks, all I did was took them to the bank and told the teller I got married and gave her my marriage license to prove it. To save myself the trouble, I asked people to write checks to my old last name until I had my name officially changed! But if you do have checks written to your new last name, don’t worry! The bank will handle it for you if you bring your marriage license.
Once you have changed your name and gotten your new driver’s license, you’ll want to visit your bank to update their records! If you don’t have time to change your name soon after your wedding and you need to still be able to receive mail from the bank, you can usually update your address online. To change your name in their records and order your CHECKS WITH YOUR NEW NAME YAY, you’ll want to visit them in person. I think you just need your driver’s license for this, but I brought along my marriage license too just in case! Also, if you’re wanting to get a joint checking account with your hubby, make sure he visits in person with you!
I hope that was helpful! Congrats to you, new bride, and have fun signing your new name to your heart’s content!!!
P.S. again… Did you know that I have a whole blog category with articles for brides? Read more of those HERE!