How do I change my name after the wedding?

Posted by on Mar 9, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

How do I change my name after the wedding?

Dearly Betrothed,

      In a previous blog I took you and your fiance through the steps to get your marriage license.  Now in this blog, just for the bride-to-be, I would like to take you through the steps of legally changing your last name to reflect your new married status—if in fact, you want to take your beloved’s last name.  You must….

1)     Get a certified copy of your marriage license.  In order to do this, you must contact the circuit court where you received your licenses.  Remember, you received two originals which you gave to me, your officiant.  I signed those and sent them back to the circuit court after the ceremony.  The circuit court will charge you seven dollars for the certified license which should now have a raised seal. 

2)    Contact the Social Security Administration.  The number is 800-772-1213.  A series of prompts will take you through the name change process.  For sure you will need to visit the SS office in person, though, with proof of identification and the certified copy of your marriage license.  The address of the SS office in Charlottesville is 1470 Pantops Mountain Place, Charlottesville, VA 22911.  In Richmond, it’s 1834 West Cary Street; Richmond, VA  23220.  There is no charge for you new social security card. 

3)    Visit the Division of Motor Vehicleswith your certified marriage license and your new social security card in hand.  Be prepared to wait, and wait, and wait!  There be lines at
      the Division of Motor Vehicles! 

 Of course, this is just the beginning.  You will
need to contact your mortgage company, your utilities companies, the list goes on.  If you will be honeymooning outside the country, better to NOT change your name on anything until you return.  If your name change is in process, confusion will result and you may not be allowed to leave the country with your new husband!  A sobering thought.

Of course, you’ll have to decide for yourself if your name change is worth the trouble.  Ask around.  Get advice.  Have a heart to heart with the love of your life. 

Until next time.  Gay Lee

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