There’s so much about weddings and getting married that no one tells you about. Sounds like some crazy wedding planner scheme BS but it’s true! I’ve explained a bit of it in previous posts, and now, after having planned and experienced the most perfect wedding day of my life- I’m on to the changing my name part of it all. Oh, change your name they said, it’ll be easy they said. Well they lied dammit.
Let me tell you a story. So like many unknowing and slightly lazy people, I went with an assisted name change service and purchased the Platinum package from Hitch Switch. It’s a service that (I was hoping) helps you change your name by providing you with all of the paperwork and forms needed and removing the fuss from the entire process. Depending on the level of service you purchase (from $29-$89) they will send you the paperwork and even fill it out for you if you pay for it. The Platinum package gives you all of the forms automatically filled out, provides you with pre addressed envelopes, and a passport service. However, NONE of this is impossible for you to do on your own. So save your money and let me tell you how to change your name. For free. And PS you have to go into certain government offices in person, and no name change service can save you from having to do that, so . . .
YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY CARD
Social Security office: do this FIRST. Go to your local social security office and if you go early you’ll be in and out of there pretty painlessly. You have to take care of your social security card first because this particular process will need to be completed 48 hours before any other documentation is submitted to any other government office. Bring to your local Social Security office:
a) a completed SS-5 Form (don’t forget to sign your new married name)
b) provide the original or certified copy of your Marriage Certificate
c) proof of identity (your driver’s license, state issued ID card, or US Passport)
They’ll give you a receipt (mine cost me $0.00) and notice that you’ll receive your new social security card within 2 weeks. Mine came in after 2 business days.
YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE
DMV: this is next in the process, go early! If you don’t have an appointment I suggest you go at least 30 minutes before your local DMV office opens and wait in line. I got to ours at 7am and by 8am when the doors opened I was 17th in line! You’ll need to bring:
a) the original or a certified copy of your marriage certificate
b) your old driver’s license (you’ll be taking a new photo so come camera ready 😉
c) 2 proof of residency documents (CA doesn’t need this verification)
d) a completed DL 44 form which they’ll provide for you at the DMV as original signatures are required on the form.
* on the DL 44 form: don’t forget to sign your married name at the bottom, check mark the “have you ever applied for a DL under a different name”, and list your maiden name next to it.
We’re going to Bali for two weeks for our honeymoon and I learned that if you’re traveling abroad you’ve got to give yourself plenty of time to have your Passport sent in and your new one sent back to you. Expedited processing may be your best bet if you have less than a month before you depart. Pro tip: when you change your name your Passport number changes. So when you book your flight either use your new married name with your old Passport number and then call the airline to correct it once your new one arrives, OR wait to change your name until after you’ve traveled as it becomes a headache to correct once you’ve entered in all of the information.
a) complete the DS 82 Form *sign your new married name
b) attach a Passport photo to the left of Section 10 in the designated box. Hitch Switch’s provided photo service took longer than expected so I personally suggest going to Costco, Walgreens, or another retailer that is in compliance with government Passport photo requirements.
c) submit the DS 82 form with your new photo attached along with your current Passport, the original or certified copy of your marriage certificate, and a check or money order made out to ‘US Department of State’. For $110 if you’re going with standard processing (4-6 weeks) or for $170 for expedited processing (3 weeks).
d) you’ll want to get tracking on this just because it holds your original passport and marriage certificate. In most cases it’ll be free or there may be a $5.95 fee – totes worth it.
For Standard Processing:
National Passport Processing Center
P.O. BOX 640155
Irving, TX 75064-0155
For Expedited Processing:
National Passport Processing Center
P.O. BOX 90955
Philadelphia, PA 19190-0955
The rest of it like your banking, credit cards, businesses, work stuff etc will work themselves out. Honestly, I haven’t even gotten to that part yet BUT these initial steps will help you get your name changed and save you some money. I’m so upset with myself for paying for a service that I could have easily done myself had I just done a lil research. You’ll be paying for them to print up the paperwork, fill it out for you, and send you a few pre paid envelopes. Save yo money honey.
Are you changing your name? Have you looked into name changing services or the paperwork needed to do so?