Minnesota After I Do

Making it Official

March 21, 2016

Congratulations on getting married! Congratulations on getting through the ceremony and sorting through all of the details that the big day entails! Congratulations on joining your lives and starting off on this new adventure! ...Congratulations, Congratulation, Congratulations...

Now it's time to get down to business.

If you plan to change your name, may I suggest doing it before the wedding dust settles. The process can be a bit daunting but it's only a few steps and just requires a little organization and patience. Plus, some states have time limits for filing it (so) easily.

You can handle this! Here's how....

Take your new marriage license (the real one, not a copy) to your local Social Security office, along with two forms of identification. They'll file a copy and issue you a confirmation page that you'll take to the Department of Motor Vehicles, along with your marriage license, to get your new driver's license. Don't forget to change your passport, too, as that can be a hassle if you forget and try to travel internationally. It's a simple 1-2-3 process with the third step completed by mail if your local U.S. Post Office doesn't provide on-site facilities.

Here are a few more steps to make changing your name less difficult personally and professionally:

The Steps

There are three major steps involved in changing your name.

Step One: The List

First you need to make a list of everything that you have under your non-married name. Typically your list will include things like:

  • Your ID/Driver's License
  • Your Social Security Card
  • Your Passport
  • Your HR Information at Work
  • Your Bank Account
  • Credit Card Accounts
  • Your rental agreement/Mortgage agreement
  • The title and registration for your vehicle (if you have one)
  • Your Library Card
  • Your Gym Membership
  • Store Discount Cards
  • Magazine Subscriptions
  • Online Profiles


Step Two: Prioritize

Obviously it is going to be more important to change some of these things than others. Your legal identification (driver's license or ID card), and your social security card should be at the top of that list.

Tip * Consider keeping your "maiden" name as your middle name. This has proven invaluable over the years, as I've discovered places I forgot to change my name - random car rental points or airline frequent flyer miles, for example. It's also important for reconnecting with old friends on social media.

Step Three: Take Action

While you are waiting to receive your new social security cards and photo IDs (this can take longer in some states than in others. In New York it can take a month. In Oregon it takes about a week), you can get the ball rolling with your employer and at places like your bank. These typically will accept the temporary (((paperwork.)))?


More good news:

There are some really great online tools that will help you streamline this process. Head to our website to find more information on changing your name and the platforms that offer a centralized online portal that helps you track everything you need to do and how to keep organized, step-by-step.

Now, relax.

After all, what matters is that you are married and you are starting a brand new adventure with your partner!


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