March 5, 2018
Once you’re married, one of the first things you might be placing on your to-so list is probably going to be changing your last name. After Richie and I got married, I waited. And it wasn’t because I wasn’t sure about taking on his last name, it was because I didn’t think I had time. I thought (mistakenly) that it was going to be a huge hassle. I believed changing your last name after you get married would be a whole lotta red-tape and time waiting in lines. But it wasn’t. Don’t get caught up in google searches. All you ned is this quick guide to changing your last name. And you can start ticking off each item on the list and be done with it in no time!
1. Get a copy of your official marriage license. You’re going to need the real deal. And not just for changing your last name, but for other pesky life events as well. You want to make sure that you officiant has submitted all the paperwork to your town clerk, and you will have to get your hands on the official raised seal copy of your marriage certificate. You’d be surprised how many couples forget to ever do this. The carbon copy you might have been handed on your wedding day is not the proof you were married. No worries though, most municipalities will send it out to you automatically. But if thy didn’t, just give them a call and ask for it to be sent out. Then once you get it, put it in a safe place with other important legal documents.
2. The next step is to change your name on your Social Security card. Despite might what you may have thought when you saw ads for those “change your name services” no one can do this step for you, no matter how much you’re willing to pay them. Before you jump in the car and head over to the Social Security Administration’s office, go to their website and fill out the application for a new Social Security card. Just an FYI: your social security number isn’t going to change. I was prepared to spend a long afternoon waiting at the office for this to happen. Seriously, I Was in and out of the office in less than an hour! And the people working there were really nice.
3. Change your name on your drivers license. You’ll have to do this step in person as well. But I just waited until my license expired. It just so happened that it did not long after I had been to the social security offices. So, I headed over to the NJ DMV and took every single piece of ID I could get my hands on with me. You will need your new social security card, for sure. After that, you will want to check out the DMV’s website to make sure you have accumulated the required number of identification “points” that NJ wants you to have.
4. Change your bank accounts. This one is important. Especially if you have a joint account with your husband, or if you own your own business, or it’s approaching tax season… The quickest way to do it is to just bite the bullet, and go into your local branch. You will want to bring your social security card (the new one) and your new driver’s license. Be prepared to drop a few dollars for new checks and maybe even a new debit card.
5. Your Employer. This is a big one to take care of as soon as you change your name with your bank. Especially if you have direct deposit. Now that your bank has your new name on file, you wouldn’t want your paycheck to end up in limbo. So make sure that your employer has the name that matches your bank account (you’re not changing your bank account number so really, nothing should get screwy here, but no one like to take a risk with their paycheck!) Just contact your payroll office and let them know. They should also be able to help you change and update your health insurance cards and any other information.
All the rest are pretty easy and can be done over the phone or through websites.
Are you still planning your wedding and not even remotely ready to begin thinking about your “after the wedding” to-do list? Give me a call, because I really want to help you avoid all the stress and have the most awesome relaxing chill wedding day!
Thank you to the photographers who allow us to use their images on our site:
Ashley Mac Photographs, Heather Palecek Photography, Idalia Photography, Jessica Erb Photography, Susan Elizabeth Photography, Delaney Dobson Photography, Ann Coen Photography & Melanie Cassie Photography
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