Marriage Name Change Options
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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 stats, 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 and the request and process is universally understood by all companies and agencies. A marriage certificate is the only proof of name change required 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. State agencies, such as the DMV allow this, unless you live in New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania or Washington. If this option appels to you, read our dedicated section on making your maiden name a middle name after marriage.
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 or without a hyphen. 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. The only proof required is a marriage certificate.
Something totally different
If you want a name other than your current name, or one of the options listed above, then 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. First, notify the SSA of your new name using form SS5. Allow a few 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, and all require you to visit a branch in person. Get the forms for these and all other state and federal agencies in our basic kit, for just $19.95.
Next, 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 procedure plus ready to send forms or letters, if required. In many cases you can just sign and send! Just click below to get started.