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Name and Address Changes

 
Name and Address Changes

Whether you're following tradition and taking your husband's name, hyphenating, or making any other change you want legally recognized, here are the steps you'll need to follow. (Of course, these same steps apply to him if he's changing his name too.)
The good news is that this is not yet another task you need to accomplish before the wedding. Until you receive your signed and sealed marriage certificate back from the registrar, you won't be able to begin the official name change process. (You could start in advance on minor things like changing magazine subscriptions and ordering new checks with your married name, but that's about all you'll be able to do without that certificate.)

Given that fact, be sure to book all airline tickets for the honeymoon under your maiden name - obviously your ticket will need to match the name on your passport, and even if you're not traveling abroad, all airlines now require a photo I.D. which matches the name on the ticket.

Once you receive your official marriage certificate, the first step of recording your name change is with the Social Security Administration. Obtaining a Social Security card showing your new name (your number won't change) is free and fairly easy. You can download the required form, SS-5, along with instructions, from this page of the administration's website: www.ssa.gov/online/ss-5.html. Or you can pick up the form at your local office (click here to find your nearest office). Mail or bring the completed form, along with the documents specified in the instructions included with the form, to your local office. The administration will return your documents right away, followed in a couple of weeks by your new Social Security card.

Next comes the pleasure of a visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles to update your driver's license. You will need to appear in person for this change. Bring your marriage certificate and new Social Security card, as well as your new proof of address if you've moved as well. Don't forget your old driver's license, which you'll have to surrender in exchange for an interim card until the new one arrives by mail. For more information on changing your name with the DMV, visit the California DMV's Web site at http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm

Once that's done you've essentially established your official identity with your new name, but there are still many more, less crucial changes to make. Some of the following simply need to be notified about the change; others will require official proof, so don't file that marriage certificate and Social Security card away just yet. Don't forget to change your name with:

  • Your employer
  • Your bank
  • Your mortgage company
  • Your passport
  • Property titles or leases
  • Credit card companies
  • Investment accounts, including 401(k)s
  • Car registration and insurance
  • Utility companies
  • Insurance policies (life insurance as well as health and dental)
  • Your doctors and dentist
  • Any memberships, such as your health club or alumni association
  • Voter registration
  • Magazine subscriptions
One major organization you don't need to notify about the change is the Internal Revenue Service - the Social Security Administration will automatically tell the IRS about your new name (creepy, huh?). Don't worry if your W-2s or other forms still list your maiden name; simply cross it out and write in your married name when you file.

Information provided by Bridal Guide

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