Marriage Name Change Options
Marriage name change is customary and not required by law, however, over the past decade brides are increasingly changing surnames after marriage. While there are no official statistics some sources quote that over 80% of brides going on to change names. You have a number of options available...
The traditional choice
Increasingly, the majority of brides will only be known by their husband's surname. Around 65% of brides changing names will go down this path. It's the most straightforward type of change. When making this name change request it is universally understood by all companies and agencies. A government issued marriage certificate is the only proof you'll need to get started.
Maiden name becomes middle 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 Sarah Anne Jones Jackson. All state DMV's allow this except for Washington, where a legal name change is requried. When you file for your wedding license you may be required to state your preferred married name so it can be printed on your wedding certificate and used as proof of your new name. If this option appels to you, read our dedicated section on making your maiden name a middle name after marriage. (continued...)
Using both married and maiden names
The next most popular choice is to change names on all records, such as your identification, accounts and memberships, but retain use of your maiden name in some situations. Many professionals continue to be known by their maiden name years after making the change. If you choose this path just ensure any travel arrangements made with work are booked under the same name that currently appears on your identification. You may also need to let your workplace know if changes need to be made for payroll and banking, for health insurance or any other external companies your workplace may deal with on your behalf.
Joined or double barreled names
Falling in popularity are joined names, where the husband's surname is added to the bride's surname, either with a space or hyphen between the surnames. This was once seen as the best of both worlds and very popular in the 80's. Fewer brides choose this because they will be the only person in the family with this name and it is not usually passed onto children. This is a straight forward request to government agencies and companies with most state agencies allowing this change with only a wedding certificate. The only proof required is a government issued marriage certificate.
Something totally different
If you want a name different from the options listed above you will need to file a petition with the court for a legal name change. See our dedicated legal name change section for more information. Of course if you’ve been married you can also choose to leave your name as it is. Changing names after marriage is not required by law.
How do I change names after marriage?
Once you've decided which way to go the process is simple. Start by notifying the SSA of your new name using form SS5. Allow a three working days for your SSA records to be updated then change names with the DMV. A few state DMVs may also have a special form to complete. All DMV's require you to visit a branch in person. Get the forms for your DMV and all other state and federal agencies in our name change kit, starting from $29.
Finally get your name updated everywhere else! Consider insurance companies, utility providers, phone accounts, loyalty clubs and more. If you don't fancy calling each one and waiting on hold we can provide you with each company's name change process plus ready to send forms or letters if required. In many cases you can just sign and send! Just click below to get started.
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