Marriage Name Change Options
Marriage name change is customary and not required by law, however, over the past decade the number of newlyweds who go onto take their spouse's surname has remained steady. While there are no official statistics sources quote that around 80% of brides going on to change names. You have a number of options available...
The traditional choice
The traditional choice is still most popular, with one of the newlyweds swapping their surname with their spouse's. 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
Increasingly popular with brides, they choose to move their maiden name to become 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 required. 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 appeals 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 birth surname in some situations. Many professionals continue to be known by their birth 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 barrelled names
Falling in popularity are joined names, where either spouse may add the other's surname to their own. The 2 surnames may be separated by either a space or hyphen. This was once seen as the best of both worlds and very popular in the 80's. Fewer newlyweds choose this because they often become 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.
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. Once you have received correspondence from the SSA confirming your name has been changed, then go onto change names with the DMV. A few state DMVs have a special form to complete, however all state 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, travel rewards, banking 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, letters and emails. Just sign and send! Just click below to get started.
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