Maiden to Middle Name
Decide before you apply for a wedding license
Some states, such as California and New Jersey, require you to nominate your future name on your marriage license at the time of application. Give due consideration to your future name before filing your wedding license. Once your wedding license is filed and the fee is paid you can not make any changes to your nominated future name.
Once you are married apply for a certified copy of your marriage certificate. This is generally available from 2 weeks after your ceremony. This will list your name at the time of application and the name you will use once married. Your wedding certificate can be used everywhere as proof of your new name. Brides are increasingly choosing to use their maiden name as a middle name. So if you were Sarah Anne Jones and married Alex Jackson, your new name would be either Sarah Anne Jones Jackson or Sarah Jones Jackson.
How to make your maiden name a middle name
As with all name changes SSA records must be updated first. The SSA will allow your maiden name to become a middle name regardless of where you live. Then you should get other government records updated. Your passport will be in the same name as your new social security card. (continued...)
State DMVs have varying policies on what names you can take after marriage. Proving your identity will be difficult if you have updated your federal ID to then find you can't get your state driver license to match. Always confirm with your state DMV what their current name change policy is before applying to the SSA for a maiden to middle name change.
You may reside in a state where your marriage certificate clearly states what you have chosen as your future name. In these cases you can confidently apply for your name change everywhere in that same name.
More advice on making your maiden name a middle name is included in our Easy Name Change guide, which comes with all name change kits. If your state DMV has special requirements to make a maiden name a middle name, we explain this in your personalized checklist which is included in your kit.
States where maiden to middle name is not possible
Bad luck if you live in Washington. It is the only state that requires a legal name change order if a bride wants to move their maiden name to become a middle name. While you will be able to get your maiden name recognized as a middle name on federal identification, the Washington State Department of Licensing will not allow it. In such cases you would be required to get the name on your SSA record changed into a format allowed at a state level before the name can be changed on your license.
If Washington brides are insistent on their maiden name becoming a middle name they must successfully file for a legal name change with the county court and pay $202 in fees. Read more on how to legally change names in Washington State.
States where you need additional proof
Some state DMV's like New York and Pennsylvania allow you to move your maiden name to become a middle name, however you must have additional proof of this name already in use before applying. We therefore suggest changing names with SSA first, then filing your name change in a few other places, such as banks, credit cards, utilities or passport. Once you can present sufficient additional proof of your new name your driver license can be changed to match.
The exact proof documents will be explained by your state DMV so check with them before filing for your name change with the SSA. We provide detailed notes these state DMV's in your personalized checklist, included with all Easy Name Change kits.
Ready to start changing names now?
You can start using your preferred name immediately after your wedding ceremony. To start updating your accounts and ID you only need your marriage certificate. Save hours and get ready to send forms, letters and emails from over 1,000 US organizations! Our kits are guaranteed to save hours or your money back! Get started below - it's free to browse our database as part of our no surprises name change kit.
* Note that this guide was correct at the time of writing, however state laws are continually changing. For the most accurate information check your Easy Name Change kit or contact your state DMV directly.
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