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Social Security Name Change

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Changing Your Last Name with Social Security


Remember that the act of getting married does not change your name... you must actively request a name change

and provide proof of your marriage for each government or business entity you need a name change for.

Many (but not all) of these organizations are listed below.


NOTE : Check with each of the organizations below as to whether they need an original certified copy or a photo-copy of it in order to complete a name change. It might not be necessary to send an original certified copy to all of the below.


1. After your wedding ceremony, your license will be signed by the Officiant, Minister, or Notary Public and sent in to the county that issued it for registration. Along with the license, it is recommended that you order several "certified copies" of your marriage certificate. These will be needed in order for you to change your name or provide legal proof of your marriage in the future. Certified copies are sent to the couple after your license registration process has been completed by the county.

2. When your certified copies are returned, make some photo-copies of them as back up. Remember, certified copies will be required to change your name on federal, state, banking, healthcare and insurance documents.

3. Take a certified copy of your marriage license along with other identity documents as shown on the application available below to the Social Security Administration office closest to you to get your new Social Security Card. You should get your new card before going to the DMV or any other agencies. You will need to have completed SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. Save the wait and fill it out before you arrive. 

Social Security Application for Name Change:

4. Take a certified copy to the Driver's License Office to get a new driver's license. Keep your old driver's license (if the DMV allows) so you have a photo ID to show the transition between names until your name change has been completed with all entities and you have received your new driver's license in the mail.

5. Take a certified copy to your doctor. They will need it to change the name on your medical records and computer files. Also, ask them about what you need to do so your spouse has access to your records and prescriptions. You both may have to sign a form. Then go to your spouse's doctor and complete the same form so you can have access to their records. If you get your prescriptions filled outside a hospital (at a drug store) be sure to ask them what you both need to do to pick up each other's prescriptions.

6. If you are military or becoming a military dependent, check with the payroll office of the military branch you or your spouse is in to see what their requirements are for getting allotments, etc. set up. A certified copy is usually needed for this.

7. Take a certified copy with you to all your banking agencies to change your name on your accounts (Banks, Savings and Loan companies, etc.). Also do this for your spouse's separate accounts if you want your name added to these. They may want to keep the certified copy (or they may just make a photo-copy of it for their records).

8. Send a certified copy to your insurance agency with a letter asking for your name change.

9. Send a certified copy with a letter requesting a name change to your credit card companies. (Check to see if they will accept a photo-copy of your certified copy... sometimes an original certified copy is not required). Be sure to ask them for new cards with your new name and you and your spouse add each other to your accounts with new cards.

10. Take or send a certified copy to your cellular phone company. If you mail it, you will need to send a letter with your signature requesting the change.

11. You will need to call your utility companies (electric, water, cable, etc.) asking them to make the name change or "combine bills" to transfer one account into two. They might give you a fax number to fax them a copy of the license. They may want you to mail them a letter with a certified copy of the license (or photo-copy) but this can take much longer. Sometimes it's best to go in person.

12. Don't forget those other places and documents like the health club, your library card, video rental store, the dry cleaners, the vet, your church, etc.

13. Congratulations! You've got a new name! You might want to carry a certified copy of your license in your purse for the first year in case you forgot something and might need to provide proof of your marriage.