It is up to each organization to determine what documents they accept as proof of name change. This means a company may have a policy not to accept a foreign-issued marriage certificate. However, there is almost always a way around this.
First, Change names with Social Security
Fortunately, the SSA recognizes all marriages conducted abroad, providing it was a legal marriage ceremony in that country. If your foreign marriage certificate is not in English you must provide an approved translation. SSA records can take up to 4 weeks to be processed if mailed in. Wait until you have proof of your updated name with SSA, such as a letter or new SSA card. Then update all other records, starting with photo ID such as your driver’s license or passport.
Religious or government-issued marriage certificate?
A number of state DMVs do not accept religious marriage certificates as proof of your new name, no matter if the marriage certificate was issued in the USA or abroad. If you have a religious marriage certificate you may need to apply for an official government-issued marriage certificate. This could be issued by a foreign government agency such as Vital Statistics, the Department of Health, Births Deaths and Marriages or equivalent. A government-issued marriage certificate has certain security features that may not be on a religious certificate, such as watermarks and a registration number. If you don’t know where to order this from then call the US embassy in the country where your wedding took place for further advice.
Changing names with other companies
Once you have government records in your new name, including proof of SSN in your old and new names and photo ID, companies will be hard-pressed to refuse your name change. It is always worthwhile to be persistent with any company that makes your name change difficult. While your foreign marriage certificate may be rejected, it is unlikely your updated government ID will not be accepted. If experiencing difficulties ask to speak to a different representative or a manager. You can always close your account and open a new one as you will have identification in your new name.
Ready to start changing names now?
No matter if you’re already married or about to tie the knot, you can start your name change paperwork now. An Easy Name Change kit allows you to choose as many companies as necessary from our database of thousands. Get ready to send paperwork for your bank, credit card, utilities, insurance and more. Click below to get started. Don’t have a printer? We can mail everything to you!