Free Name Change Kit for Brides




This is an overview of changing your name and and updating your records when you get married.

-Before the Wedding-

You and your fiancée will need to decide what names to use. This will probably be based on a number of factors as well as personal preference (see Name Options). Besides that, there's not much to do beforehand as far as changing your name goes.

In some areas the bride and groom will be asked to put their new married names on the original marriage license application. This step should be given careful consideration because these will be the names that will appear on the official marriage certificate.

If you'd like to get a head start on the name change process you can begin making a Checklist of contacts that you plan to notify with your new details. 


-After the Wedding-

Marriage Certificate

A certified copy of your marriage certificate will enable you to apply for a new Social Security Card and Drivers License (or state ID card), the steps that make your new name official. This document will have a raised seal from a government authority certifying its authenticity and shouldn't be confused with the souvenir type of marriage certificate. Most jurisdictions will automatically mail one to you a couple of weeks after the wedding, but in some areas you must request it so it's a good idea to find out the practice for your area.

One certified copy of the marriage certificate can suffice but you may want to order an extra copy or two if you plan to mail the application for your new Social Security Card, change your Passport, or have other records that require you to put your document in the mail (otherwise you'll have to wait for it to be sent back before you can correct other records). Your spouse may also need to use it on occasion. Certified copies can be obtained from the county recorder's office where you got married or other appropriate agency for a fee.

Tip: It's a good idea to keep a certified copy of the marriage certificate with you (like in your purse) as you go about updating your records so you'll be ready when someone asks for it. 

Related FAQs:  

    What if my marriage certificate does not show the name I want to use?

How long do I have after my wedding to change my name?




The biggest part of the name change process is the notifications. This is when you let others know about your new name, marital status, and other details. You may have already notified many friends and relatives by way of wedding announcements and invitations. After the wedding you will do a similar thing for the government agencies, businesses, and organizations you deal with so they can correct their records You may also wish to notify additional friends and family. 

Notification methods include appearing in person, special forms, cards and letters, telephone, and Internet (see Instructions page). Since procedures vary widely you may need to check with some businesses and organizations to see what they accept.


Other Changes

Here are other changes to make when you update your records:

Change in Marital Status 

When using special forms there may be a box or line to indicate this. This kit's name change letters (and notification cards that can be purchased in the store) automatically include this in the verbiage. Your spouse's name may also be of importance for some of your contacts. 

Contact Information

If you have any new contact information (address, phone number, email, etc.) include it with your notifications. This will save you from having to make these changes separately.

Emergency Contacts

You may want to update your emergency contacts on employment, medical, and other records to include your new spouse. This is also true with any children's records.


Beneficiaries are often specified on financial records such as bank accounts, insurance policies, and investments. If you wish to change your designations you will need to obtain special forms from your financial institutions. 

For other considerations that go along with getting married and updating records see the Tying the Knot section.


For other considerations that go hand-in-hand with marriage and updating your records please see the Tying the Knot section.



Next: Instructions