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  • Writer's pictureMarylee Marmer

How to Change Your Last Name After You're Married

You’re married! Now what? Once you’re married, you typically have a new last name, whether you take your spouse’s or choose to hyphenate. But how do you change your name legally? Check out our steps below for how to go about changing your name and what items you DEFINITELY need to have your name changed on. 

Photo Credit: Sara Christin Photography

How to Change Your Name in Virginia

  • To start the process of changing your name, you’ll need a certified marriage license. Most of the time this has already been completed before or on your wedding day or shortly after. You’ll then need to head to the local circuit court with your partner.

  • When going to the circuit court, you’ll want to make sure that you take your marriage license (or a certified copy) as well as your valid VA issued driver’s license or another form of identification (photo ID card, passport, etc).

  • There is an option to begin the application process online, but you will need to appear in person to complete the process. 

  • The application will be completed within the court and your name will be officially changed!

Photo Credit: Sara Christin Photography

What Items Should You Change Your Name On?

  1. Social Security Card 

  2. You can fill out the application for a social security card online or on paper and then you will mail it or drop it off at your local Social Security Administration office. 

  3. You’ll also need to have a proof of identity (driver’s ID, passport), a certified copy of your marriage certificate, your current social security card, and a proof of citizenship (birth certificate or passport) when you’re submitting your application.

  4. By changing your name on your social security card, this will also change your name on tax forms/information.

  5. Driver’s License

  6. This step has to be completed in person so you will have to visit your local DMV. 

  7. Most DMVs treat this as a license renewal, so you can save time by filling out the paperwork ahead of time and bringing it with you. 

  8. You will also need to bring your new social security card, proof of address (if required), and a certified copy of your marriage license.

  9. Passport

  10. This step can be completed by mail.

  11. You will need to to complete the DS-5504 or DS-82 form from the US Department of State’s website. You will also need a certified copy of your marriage certificate, your current passport, and a check for the fees if necessary. 

  12. You will mail all of these documents to the National Passport Processing Center

  13. Voter registration card

  14. Bank Account

  15. Depending on the bank, you may be able to do this online or by mail but you might also be required to make an appointment in person.

  16. You’ll need your new social security card, your new driver’s ID, and a copy of your marriage license.

  17. Once you complete this step, be sure to order a new debit card and checks that have your new name on them. 

  18. Credit Cards

  19. Different companies will have different processes for changing your name on the card. You can call the customer service number on the back of your card to learn more about the process.

  20. Insurance

  21. You’ll most likely need your new ID and/or a certified copy of your marriage license to validate the claim. 

  22. You might be able to be placed on your spouse’s health insurance without having to wait for a new enrollment period but you still want to update all of your insurance policies.

  23. Property Title (house, car, etc)

  24. The same process for insurance can be applied here as well. 

  25. Mailing Information

  26. Medical information

  27. This can most likely be done in an online portal (if offered) or in office at your next appointment. 

  28. It would be smart to bring your new ID and potential copy of your marriage certificate to validate the change.

  29. Bills 

  30. Most of these can be changed under your account information in an online portal. 

  31. Work Information

  32. You’ll want to notify your job’s Human Resources department of your name change so that they can update payroll information as well as any sponsored benefits

  33. Resume

  34. Social Media Accounts (optional)

  35. You can opt for FirstName NewLastName (OldLastName) for up to 6 months after your wedding to allow for people to still find you or get used to seeing the new name. 

  36. You can also opt for FirstName OldLastName NewLastName if you are choosing to use your precious last name as your middle name

If you still have questions on how to change your name, you can always ask or research the specific item you are looking for. Most agencies/companies provide information online about the process and what items are required.

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