How to Change Your Last Name After The Wedding
One of the big decisions you and your partner will make as you’re wedding planning is whether one of you, neither of you, or both of you will change your last names (by combining parts of both your last names). If you decide to change surnames, it's wise to include that information on your marriage license application in the state of Wisconsin.
If you include this information on your marriage license application, it will become your legal surname. That makes it easier to change your name after the marriage certificate has been signed and filed. However, your name won't automatically change. You still need to inform all interested parties of the change.
First, you must obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate. The process to do this is specific to the county in Wisconsin you were married in. If you type the question, "How do I obtain a certified copy of my marriage certificate in _______ County, WI" in the search bar, the county-specific process and contact information will pop up on the screen.
Print off and fill out a copy of an Application for a Social Security Card, also known as Form SS-5. Take the form to your local Social Security Administration office. Provide a certified copy of your marriage certificate as evidence of your name change. As proof of identity, you'll also need to show a U.S. passport, a U.S. driver license or a state-issued ID card. You'll receive a new Social Security card with your name change in the mail. There is no charge for this service.
Be sure to change your name with the SSA before the Department of Motor Vehicles. After changing your Social Security information, allow 48 hours for your information to update in the DMV system before going to update your driver's license. All requests should be made in person; you cannot change your name at the DMV by mail or online. Visit your local DMV office within 30 days of changing your name with the SSA. You'll need to show your marriage certificate to prove your name change and provide a document that confirms your identity. You can use one of the following:
A Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization
A United States Uniformed Services Privilege and Identification Card
A Temporary or Permanent Resident Identification Card
The staff member processing your application will ask to see your current driver's license with your previous name. There is a license replacement fee to change your name. The name change won't affect your license expiration date. Once you receive your new license, throw the old one away.
Other institutions and agencies that need to be informed about your name change include the US Postal Service, Voter Registration, US Passport, IRS file, Vehicle Title and Registration, your employer, attorney, bank, insurance companies, healthcare providers, mortgage company, Power of Attorney for Healthcare forms, all companies you have subscriptions or memberships with, such as magazines and gyms, notify your creditors in order to link credit files and change your beneficiaries if you choose to.
It can seem like a daunting list, but you can probably knock it out in one day. Third party companies offer helpful services to assist in changing your name with various agencies, institutions, and on forms. They can really prevent the name-changing process from becoming overwhelming. I recommend Miss Now Mrs.
I have to say it, but the above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice. The process of changing names can be a very stressful wedding-related task, but since names are one of the most vital parts of our identities, it's well worth the effort to be called by the name you choose for yourself. Comment below and tell me, if you could change your last name to ANYTHING, what would it be?