As much as you’ll want to simply enjoy the entire experience, there are a handful of administrative tasks that will require your attention. One such chore, for those altering their surnames, involves notifying various organizations and institutions that you’ve made that change.
But don’t fret. This process is relatively straightforward. You just need to know what steps to take and whom to tell. Aside from friends and family, here are some of the most important places that will want to hear your news.
Keep an Eye Out for Your Marriage Certificate
Obtaining your marriage certificate is a vital first step in initiating the name-change process. You can expect to receive this document in the mail within a few weeks of getting married.
Remember, a marriage license is the document that essentially gives you the green light to get married; the certificate legally documents your union. You’ll need the certificate when going to places such as your bank or credit union and state agencies to have your new surname recorded in their systems.
Before you do anything, you’ll need to update your Social Security information. Although you can’t do this online, making the change is free. You’ll need to fill out the appropriate forms and provide a couple forms of ID, as well as an official copy of your marriage certificate. You can either drop these off at the nearest Social Security office, or mail them in. You’ll need to send original documents, but the Social Security website says these will be mailed back to you.
Failing to notify the Social Security Administration about your new surname can delay tax refunds and lower your future Social Security benefits, so this isn’t something to put off.
Driver’s License and Passport
Next, you’ll need to get your state driver’s license updated. Depending on where you live, this may cost you anywhere from $10 to $30.
You’ll also need to apply for a new passport by filling out several forms and sending them in by mail, along with your current passport, the original marriage certificate and a color passport photo. When booking honeymoon trips abroad, keep in mind that it can take the U.S. State Department six weeks or more to process your application. During this time you won’t have a passport, and it could limit your travel options.
Banks, Credit Unions and Financial Services Providers
Be sure to notify your bank or credit union as well as other financial services providers about your name change, especially if you’ve recently opened a new account, taken out a loan or plan to take out a loan in the near future. The easiest way to do this is to visit the nearest office with your marriage certificate and new driver’s license in hand. While there, look into ordering new checks and getting an updated debit card. Don’t neglect contacting your credit card and charge account providers about the change as well.
Others worth Informing
You’ll want to notify the U.S. Postal Service, your employer, insurers and your doctors. Again, simply showing these various parties your marriage certificate and updated driver’s license should be sufficient to get them to record the change. It’s worth calling ahead to see if you can get the information updated online instead of in person.
If hunting down the necessary paperwork sounds too stressful, consider investing in a so-called “name change kit,” which generally costs $20 to $30. These kits include all the forms and documents you’ll likely need, along with instruction and labels for envelopes. Although tackling the name-change process on your own is totally possible, these kinds of services can save you the hassle of figuring out which forms you need to fill out.
If you change your name after getting married, it will be important to spread the word. All it takes is a little organization, time and energy. Before you know it, you’ll be able to turn your attention back to your other half.
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This article originally posted on, money.usnews.com.