Changing Your Name – A Checklist

What you need to know about changing your last name

Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links. To learn more, read our full disclosure policy.

What you need to know about changing your last name

The other day, I was thinking about all the things I want to accomplish this year, and then I remembered that my last name is changing at the end of May. Why is it so easy to forget that major detail of marriage? Then I started thinking about all the people and places I would have to call in order to restart my life as a new person. Some of it will be simple; some of it will be a freaking nightmare.

So for all the ladies out there getting married soon who are changing their name, I have compiled this checklist. Hopefully, it will help us all remember what we have to do after we are married. I know I am absolutely dreading it.

Tips to Make the Process Easier

Get certified copies of your marriage license. You’ll need at least one to send to the Social Security Administration, and who knows who else will want to see one after that. I would get at least two to be safe.
Make a list before you’re married. I’m writing this for everyone, but also for myself. By creating a list before we’re married, I won’t be scrambling around wondering if I’ve forgotten a financial account or something else important.
Change social media accounts first. It will make you feel like you have a jumpstart on everything, even though these accounts mean nothing in the grand scheme of name changes.
Stay calm and be patient. Need I say more?

Start with your Social Security Card

You are nothing without your social security card. Your number is your identity. Once you’ve completed this all important task, you can begin working your way through the masses of financial accounts and other lifestyle pieces.

Conquer the DMV

Once you receive your new social security card in the mail, you need to head over to the DMV and get a new license. Most of the time, your social security card and license are enough to change every other possible account you may have.

Change your Workplace Info

Your work shouldn’t give you any trouble about changing your last name. It should be simple since your social security number isn’t changing. This depends on your workplace though. And their HR department.

Call your Financial People

Now that you have the most important documents taken care of, you can start calling your loan servicers and credit card companies. This includes student, personal, auto, and home loans. Most of these places will not let you change this kind of information online, so a phone call is a must. Plus, you’ll need new credit cards anyways.

You’ll also want to head on over to your bank. This is a great time to open up a joint checking account (if that’s your plan), order new checks, and debit/credit cards. Hopefully, your bank is low-key and will make changing your last name seamless.

Don’t Forget Petty Places

Do you have magazine subscriptions? A cell phone or utility bills? What about a library card? Now is the time to tackle those places. Obviously, you should hit utility companies and phone/tv services first. You may let the post office know as well, though your post man will probably catch the drift that you’re married now, based on previous wedding mail.

Below is a Helpful List of Items You’ll Need to Change

-Social security card
-Driver’s license
-Banking information (checks, debit, credit card)
-Credit Cards
-Passport
-Student Loans
-Vehicle titles
-Mortgages
-Voter registration
-Insurance (auto, health, life, etc.)
-Utility companies (gas, water, electric, phone, tv, etc)
-Memberships and Subscriptions
-Social media profiles like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.
-Home address labels
-Apartment rental contracts
-Employment info – Talk to HR
-Email address and signature
-Business cards
-Schools and alumni associations
-Doctors’ offices
-Department of Work and Pensions (if you are entitled to any benefits)
-Dentist
-Pet Vets (if applicable)
-Professional Institutes and bodies

I think the key here is to be patient and persistent. Slowly work your way through the list you created, and eventually, you will finish. It might take some time, but once the biggies are out of the way, everything else should be gravy. At least, that’s what I’m hoping!

Did I forget anything? Do you have tips to add to the list?

Tell me what you think!