Did you know February 13th is "National Get a New Name Day"? To celebrate this holiday of reinvention, we asked Danielle Tate of MissNowMrs, for her top tips on how to change your name after marriage. Changing your name is a deeply personal decision -- MissNowMrs actually has a fun little quiz to help you decide which name option is best for you! -- and this information is meant to make things a bit easier for those who have decided to change their names.
1. Understand your name change options. Different states have different rules regarding things such as taking your maiden name as your middle name. Knowing your options in your state is a great way to start.
Note: Men who live in CA, GA, HI, IA, IL, LA, MA, NY, or ND can use the married name change process to take their spouse's name. If they live elsewhere, they'll need to petition the court system for a legal name change. Same-sex couples who live in states that recognize their marriage can also use the married name change process to change their last names, or petition the court system for a legal name change if their state of residence does not recognize their union.
2. Request 2-3 certified marriage certificates. Multiple certificates will allow you to file more name change forms simultaneously and will prevent you from losing your only copy. Who doesn’t want to spend less time dealing with the DMV?
3. Prioritize federal to state to personal. First file your name change forms with Social Security, the State Department, and the IRS first. Then file for your new state driver’s license, vehicle/title registration, and voter registration updates. Finally alert your creditors, employer, subscriptions, and medical providers of your new moniker.
4. Save time online. Consider using an online name change service such as MissNowMrs that auto-completes all of the necessary paperwork to help you go from Miss to Mrs. in a matter of minutes!
Danielle is the founder and president of MissNowMrs. She is an entrepreneur, wife, mother, Pilates devotee, and name-change expert.