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Miss to Mrs: Planning the bride’s change in name

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If you have decided to change your name when you get married (a decision which is yours to make, as it not obligatory in the USA), it is worth starting the proceedings before your wedding, especially if you are going overseas on honeymoon.

Before the wedding

You need to check the exact rules at your local city hall, but in general, you can get started by telling your employers and your friends and family. You may want to get new business cards printed ready for going back to work after the honeymoon, as well as a new email address.

Honeymoon

Don’t forget to make your honeymoon reservations in your maiden name, as you will not have a passport and driver’s license in your new name yet, and travel documents need to match your ID.

Social Security card

After the wedding, apply for your marriage license, which generally takes a few weeks to be mailed to you, and fill out a form from the Social Security website. Take the form, marriage license and ID to your nearest Social Security office and you will receive a new card.

Driver’s license

Most Departments of Motor Vehicles will change your driver’s license with the marriage license, but some require you to change your Social Security card first. Check with your local DMV. You may also be able to change your voter registration at your local DMV.

Financial documentation

You will need to change your name on any financial information such as tax, using your new Social Security card. To inform other institutions such as insurance companies, banks and credit card companies, memberships, professional associations, etc., write a letter with all relevant information, including your old and new names, address, account information and social security number, along with a copy of your marriage license.

You will also need to order new credit cards and checkbooks.

Everybody else

Other people or organizations that need to be informed utilities companies that are in your (maiden) name, landlords, agencies, medical insurance companies, doctors, and dentists. You may need to rewrite your will in your new name, change website domain names if you are a professional (although many professional women decide to maintain their maiden name), change your personal email address (you can reroute new mail sent to the old address if you don’t want to lose your account), and even social media sites.

Get used to your new name!

Using your new last name may seem strange at first but you will soon get used it, as will everyone else. Do feel that you can gently correct people when they use your maiden name by mistake.

Change in address

The same basic rules apply to a change in address as a result of getting married. You will need to inform everybody of this change, possibly at the same time as the bride’s change of name.

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