Wedding planning can be so much work and it doesn’t stop after you come back from that relaxing honeymoon.  Now you are back and have updated your Facebook and are excited to start signing Mrs. but wait you legally have to change your last name.

Just like planning a wedding it’s a process and you need to do it one step at a time.

Here are few steps you have to take after saying “I do”

  1. Officially Sealed Document ~ Every county is different some counties will automatically mail and some will require you to request a copy before mailing it.  In Washington State the officiant has 30 days to submit to the county and then the county has their processing time frame.  So check with who officiated your wedding if you haven’t received your marriage license yet. 
  2. Social Security Card ~ Your marriage license will list your maiden name and your partners name you want to take, so to make it official, start by applying for a new Social Security card. You will need a certified copy of your marriage certificate with the raised seal to get the process started.  Link here
  3. Drivers License ~ Once you have your social security card brave the lines of the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a new driver’s license. You will need to bring with you your current license, your marriage certificate, and your new social security card.
  4. Passport ~ Once you have your new Social Security card and driver’s license you can now update your passport. Link here
  5. Other ~ Once these steps are completed, it’s time to start working through updating your name everywhere else. A good rule of thumb is to update your name at any place you would normally update your change of address for a move.  Place of employment, professional memberships, alumni associations, insurance/title for your car and home, your last will and your voter registration. 
  6. Financial ~ Now to get your financial affairs in order you’ll need to go to the bank and put your new married name on all your accounts. You’ll also need to order new checks, new credit cards, ATM cards with your updated name. Again, don’t forget to bring your marriage certificate, new social security card and driver’s license.
  7. IRS ~ Getting married also means changes to how you file taxes. You are considered married for the entire calendar year of your wedding, regardless of whether you married on January 1 or December 31, according to the IRS. Have a discussion with your spouse about your options to file jointly or separately, depending on your individual circumstances.

Whew!  You did it!  You’ve got a lot going on in your life!  There are without a doubt other things that may require you to give an update of your name, but hopefully this list gave you a good idea of just how thorough a process changing your name can be.  You’ve done all the work and covered the basics so RELAX and enjoy your new life as Mr & Mrs!

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