For most brides, a new name comes with the ring
By Paul R. Huard, Copley News Service
When most women take their vows, they also take their new
husband's family name. It's a time-honored tradition that
still suits many brides, but it is also a choice that means
you should consider all the legal requirements of a name change
well before the wedding day.
According to the experts at WeddingChannel.com, if you decide
to change your name begin using it immediately (and consistently)
after the wedding.
Use your new name whenever possible -- liberal doses on business
cards, in introductions and with friends and family members
will get the word out.
But when you receive your marriage license, contact your local
Social Security office and Department of Motor Vehicles to
obtain new identification cards.
WeddingChannel.com has a Web page that lists the contact information
for each of the 50 states so you can begin the process of
obtaining new I.D. It's located under "Name Change"
in the "Bride & Groom" section of the Web site.
In some states, if a bride changes her name to anything other
than what is legally her groom's last name at the time of
marriage, she may be required to pay a fee.
Be sure to ask your county clerk about the specific laws governing
There are plenty of institutions and government agencies that
will need the updated name information. They include:
Employers, 401(k) or retirement accounts.
Banks, stockbrokers, credit card companies.
Post office, utility companies.
Voter registration, U.S. State Department
Mortgage/deed/lease companies, insurance
Personal memberships such as health or
athletic clubs, schools and alumnae associations.
By the way, avoid a common pitfall that could
spell disaster for your honeymoon trip if it includes foreign
In our post-Sept. 11 world, the name on your passport must
match that on your airline ticket (and your photo identification
card). Make sure your passport passes muster, or consider
changing your name after the trip.
Still feeling overwhelmed? WeddingChannel.com offers "The
Name Change Kit: Everything You Need To Go From Ms. To Mrs."
Billed as "the original, comprehensive name change kit,"
it includes a Bride Name Change Software information kit (Mac
and PC compatible) and The Name Change Kit Planner with three
checklists to track who needs to be notified.
The kit also includes step-by-step instructions on who, what,
and when to notify the government and others to change your
name, and time-saving tips to make the process more efficient,
a myriad of forms and templates that help you deal with everything
from changing your address to notifying various institutions
and individuals about your change in status. It costs $23.95,
plus shipping and handling.
© Copley News Service
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