Free Name Change Kit for Brides





Financial Records

Many financial institutions will require that you have a Social Security Card in your new name before you can change your records. Alterations to insurance and benefits coverage should be handled as soon as you are married. 

Next: Business Records


The best way to change your name with local banks, credit unions, and other establishments is to appear in person. Your financial institution should provide you with all of the necessary paperwork to change your records including new signature cards. Don't forget to include any changes in your contact information (address, phone, or email). You may also want to order checks in your new name.


Appear in person at a local branch (preferably the branch where you opened the account). Bring a recent statement of the account, any debit or credit cards associated with the account, your new Social Security Card, and certified marriage certificate.

Tip: When you change your bank and credit card information you'll need to update your billing preferences with companies that keep your financial information on file for automatic payments (e.g., loans, insurance, utilities).



Contact the financial institution for their accepted method of making a name change on the account. This information may appear on their website or you can call or email customer service. There may be a special form you need to download or have mailed to you.

(Note: For accounts that can be accessed over the Internet you may want to first check to see if you can make corrections online.)



Many credit and charge card companies will update your records over the telephone. You will be sent a new card with your new name on it. In most cases the card number remains the same.

Call the customer service number on the back of the card. In some cases the changes can be made right over the telephone after verifying your identity. If not you can find out what is required. If they ask for something in writing you can send them a name change letter (available in the Forms section of this kit).

You are not required to notify the major credit reporting agencies with your new name or marital status. The three nationwide consumer reporting companies are Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. They should automatically update your records when you change your name with your financial institutions. In a few weeks your new name should appear on your credit report. 

It's a good idea to get copies of your credit reports a couple of months after you get married to make sure the changes have taken effect. This will also allow you to check for any errors and omissions (see Tying the Knot).

Tip: The top three credit bureaus will provide you with a free copy of your report once every 12 months. They have one central website where you can get all three reports for free at:


After updating your bank account you can change your name with your employer’s payroll department. If your wages are directly deposited to a bank account you may need to fill out a new authorization form. 

Provide your employer with a photocopy of your new Social Security card. You may want to update your emergency contacts to include your spouse.

Tip: If you plan to file jointly you and your spouse may want to submit new federal and state withholding forms to your employer to adjust your income tax withholding (see Tying the Knot).


Decide what changes, if any, to make to your benefits plans. If you want to modify coverage or deductibles, add your spouse or his children, or sign up for a totally new plan, time may be of the essence. Benefit choices are usually in effect for one calendar year and can only be changed during the annual enrollment period. One exception to this is a change in family status like marriage that allows a special opportunity to make changes (a grace period of 30 days after the wedding is common).

The benefits administrator at your workplace should have the forms required to update your benefits. If you're making significant changes or adding new family members you may need to fill out brand new applications.

Pensions and Retirement Plans

After your wedding you may want to adjust your retirement contributions or participate in a different plan.

Let your company's in-house pension or retirement plan administrator know about your recent marriage and new name. They should be able to provide you with the proper forms needed to update your records. In some cases you may need to contact the actual plan provider (i.e., the mutual fund company, bank, or insurance company) that manages the plan to make changes.  

Company ID, Etc

Don’t forget to change your name on everyday things like your company ID, business cards, voice mail, email, and directory. Your human resources department should be able to assist you with this.

If you or your spouse is leasing a house or apartment you should provide the landlord or property management company with a notice of your marriage and new name. If you are combining households, meaning one of you is moving into the other's dwelling, you may need to obtain prior approval from the landlord. If you want to add your spouse's name to the lease you will need to fill out special paperwork provided by your landlord.

Before contacting your insurance providers you'll want to decide if you're going to make any changes in coverage.

To update your name and marital status on a policy you can use a letter or call your agent or insurance company. If you're adding new family members to a policy or making other changes you'll need to make the necessary arrangements with your agent. (If you can access your account over the Internet you may be able to make policy changes online)

Auto: Declare your spouse as an additional driver. Putting both of your policies with the same company may get you lower premiums.

Homeowners/Renters: Update your policy to include your rings, valuable wedding gifts, and additional belongings. Both of you should be a named insured on the policy.

Health/Medical: Review the details of your policies. You may want to consider adding your spouse to your policy or vice versa.

To let interested parties of agreements and contracts know about your new name you can give them a name change letter. This will simply provide notice of your new name and marital status but won't actually change your documents. If you wish to have the documents amended you'll need to contact an attorney.


Next: Business Records