Free Name Change Kit for Brides





Government Records

Most government agencies have a fixed protocol for correcting records which may involve a special form. For those not mentioned the approach should be to contact the agency or visit their website for their standard method.

Next: Financial Records


Changing your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA) is the primary step in the name change process. Having a card in your new name is often a prerequisite for changing financial and other important records. Your Social Security number will remain the same. 


To apply for your new card use form SS-5 Application for a Social Security Card. You will also need a certified marriage certificate and drivers license or other photo ID. Appearing in person is preferable because you don't have to put your documents in the mail and you may get your new card a few days sooner.

Option 1: Appear in person at a local SSA office.

Option 2: Mail the SS-5 form and required documents to a local SSA office.

You should receive your new card in the mail in about two weeks.



The Internal Revenue Service database is tied to the SSA so your IRS records should automatically be updated when you apply for your new Social Security card. This means you don't have to notify the IRS of your new name. (While the IRS does have change of address form #8822 it’s unnecessary as long as you put your most recent address on your application for your new Social Security card).

Tip: After you get married you may want to modify your Federal income tax withholding. See the Tying the Knot section.



The forms used to change driver license and motor vehicle records are state-specific and easily obtained from your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or driver license office and website. See the DMV page for information on your state's procedures.

Appear in person at your local DMV or driver's license office. Bring your old license and marriage certificate. In some states you must apply for your new Social Security card first. There's usually a fee.

Tips: 1) To avoid waiting in line call your local office to see if they accept appointments. 2) Include your most recent address on your driver license application. 3) You can usually pick up a voter registration card at this time which can be filled out at home. 4) If you plan on changing your vehicle registration or title you may be able to accomplish this during the same visit.

Vehicle Registration

Most states recommend that the name on your vehicle registration matches your driver license (some mandate it). Changing the registration can be an involved process which may require you to apply for a new title, and if you have a loan on the vehicle to involve your bank or lien holder. For information about your state’s procedures see the DMV page. 

Vehicle Title

If you want to change the name on your vehicle’s title or must in order to update the registration you will need to submit the original title along with the necessary forms and fees to your state DMV. If a finance company or lien holder has the title you may need to include them in the process or have them make the change for you.

Tips: 1) If you keep the registration in your old name keep a photocopy of the marriage certificate in the glove box in case you're ever required to produce proof of ownership. The next time you renew the registration use your new name. 2) If you decide to keep the title in your old name it will remain valid and you shouldn’t have a problem selling the vehicle as long as you provide proof of your former name (your certified marriage certificate) and sign off the title with both former and new names.

To change your name on a U.S. Passport you must apply for a new one. New passports have an embedded electronic chip for easier verification. See the Passport Name Change Page at the State Dept. website to confirm which form to use and walk you through the process.

Use form DS-82 Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail if you can submit your most recent passport, you were at least 16 years old when your most recent passport was issued, and your most recent passport was issued less than 15 years ago.  

If you’ve had your current passport for less than a year use Form DS-5504, Passport Re-Application Form, which can be downloaded from the State Department website. For other situations and first-time applications use Form DS-11, Application for a U.S. Passport, and appear in person at a designated passport acceptance facility. Bring your old passport (if you have one), proof of citizenship and identity, certified marriage certificate, two conforming photographs, and the passport fee. For more information visit the State Dept. website.

Tip: If you plan to honeymoon in a foreign country make sure that all travel reservations including airline tickets and hotel reservations are made in your former name. You won't be able to get a new passport until several weeks after the wedding.  

If you hold any government licenses, certifications, or registrations related to an occupation or activity you should notify the appropriate licensing board of your new name. A special form is usually required so you will need to contact them or check their web site for instructions. You may be asked to turn in your old license and credentials.

Whenever you change your name or address you should fill out a new voter registration card. This is a form on which you put your current name, address, and political party so you can become eligible to vote. These forms are state specific and can be found at the local DMV, libraries, banks, post offices and other government offices.

Mail the voter registration form to your county elections office or other agency listed on the form. You should receive a voter's card in the mail with your new details on it.

While the US Postal Service doesn’t require you to report a name change you may want to let your local post office and mail carrier know about your new name to prevent any confusion.

If you have a new address you should follow the procedure below to have your mail forwarded:

Change of Address:

Use two PS 3575 Official Mail Forwarding Change of Address forms.

On the first form put your former name on on lines 5 and 6. On the second form put your new name on lines 5 and 6. This will enable mail addressed to both names to be forwarded. Follow the other instructions on the form, they can be sent without postage.

First class mail sent to your old address will be forwarded for 12 months (60 days for magazine subscriptions). Hopefully by this time you will have notified everyone of your new name and address. If you receive mail with a yellow label attached you need to notify the sender because they don't have your new address.

Tip: Changes of address can be done online at (there is a $1 fee charged to a credit card to verify your identity).


Next: Financial Records