After the Wedding: Changing Your Name

Marriage

After getting married, most states will allow you to change your name simply by usage. However, you will also need to contact organizations and institutions listed below. Remember, different organizations have different rules regarding name changes. If an institution is not willing to recognize your new name, you may need to get a court order. Contact your county courthouse for more information.

Divorce

Name changing laws may vary by state. Ask your lawyer about name changing procedures and what to do in your state

You'll need to contact a number of people and organizations with your new name or the family's new name. Here is a list of people to notify about the name change as well as documents you'll need to alter.

  1. Banks and other financial institutions
  2. Credit card companies
  3. Employers
  4. Friends and family
  5. Gym/Club memberships
  6. Insurance policies
  7. Library card
  8. Magazine subscriptions/Other deliveries
  9. Medical records (doctor, dentist, etc)
  10. Mortgages and leases
  11. Phone company and other utilities
  12. Post office
  13. Schools and alumni associations
  14. Social Security: You will need to complete Form SS-5 (which is available for download or at your local Social Security office) and submit evidence of your identity. See the Social Security Web site for more information, visit your local Social Security office or call (800) 772-1213.
  15. Stocks and bonds
  16. Taxes
  17. U.S. Passport office
  18. Voter registration
  19. Wills

Additional Information

  • Nolo.com
    Nolo.com features a Name Change FAQ section. Nolo.com is a legal guide, which provides do-it-yourself legal solutions for consumers and small businesses.
  • TheKnot.com
    Name Change 101: This wedding planning site offers tips and advice on changing your name. TheKnot is a comprehensive resource for couples seeking information and services to help plan their weddings and their future lives together.

    Updated: 5/2009