Step by step guide to successfully change your last name when you are getting married.
We get asked all the time by our couples, “how do we go about changing our last name?” Since your last name is your name by law, there will be some legal paperwork to fill out. We know this seems like a daunting task and a little overwhelming, but don’t worry, your pros at Cross Creek Ranch are here to help!
Here is an overview of the steps required to change your last name:
Now let’s dive a little deeper into each step:
1. Have you decided if you will change your last name? We ask this because not everyone will immediately take their partner’s last name. Some couples have decided to:
– hyphenate their maiden name with their partner’s last name
– change the middle name with their maiden name or
– create a new last name by combining both last names (this will require a separate process)
2. Complete a marriage license application form. Here are the steps to complete this task:
– Schedule an appointment with your county clerk of court to obtain your marriage license. You can visit any county clerk’s office in the state of Florida regardless of what county you reside or what county you are getting married in. This will require you both to take some time off of work or school. While appointments may not be necessary it will ensure that you don’t have to wait in line. Both people must be present.
– The legal items you will need to bring with you to your appointment:
1. A valid driver’s license, state identification card, or passport (the actual document will need to be presented)
2. To know your social security number. There is no need to bring your social security card with you.
– Both people must jointly complete a marriage license application form. This can be done during your appointment.
– Be prepared to pay a nonrefundable marriage license fee of $86.00. This can be paid by cash, money order, traveler’s check, credit card, or personal check. You may receive a discounted price of $61.00 for Florida residents who have completed a premarital preparation course with a qualified registered course provider.
Florida residents will have to wait three days to receive their marriage certificates. The document is valid for 60 days after issuance, so be sure to keep that in mind when you schedule your appointment.
3. Wedding day! Your officiant will sign your marriage certificate after your ceremony. There is a section on the certificate where additional witnesses can sign. In Florida, they are not required by law to do so, however, we suggest they do in the event that proof of your marriage ceremony will be needed in the future. You or your officiant will need to return the marriage license to the same county clerk’s office that issued the certificate within 10 days of your wedding ceremony. They will process the certificate and you should receive certified copies back by mail.
4. Where else should you change your name?
– Your first stop after you received your certified marriage license back will be at your local Social Security office. Here is what you will need:
1. You will need to fill out and print the application for a new Social Security card.
2. A valid driver’s license, state identification card, or passport
3. Proof of citizenship (such as your birth certificate)
4. Your marriage certificate
Once you have received your new social security card complete with your name change, the next stop is the DMV.
– We know you may seem a little exhausted by now but hang in there, you are almost done with this process! In the state of Florida, you will need to visit the DMV within 30 days of your name change. Here are the items you will need to bring with you:
1. Marriage license
2. Current drivers license
3. Proof of citizenship (birth certificate or US passport)
4. Social security card
5. Two different documents with your residential address, such as Florida voter registration card, mortgage, Florida vehicle registration or title, utility bill, W-2 form or 1099, etc (click here for a more extensive list of acceptable documents)
All documents must be original copies and must be current (not expired).
– Next will be your passport. Click here for the applicable forms that will need to be filled out and printed. Send the forms to the National Passport Processing Center along with
1. Your current passport
2. A certified copy of your marriage certificate
3. And one color passport photo
You will not have to submit any fees unless you request expedited service. Be prepared for it to take anywhere from four to five weeks to receive your new passport.
All other updates where you’ll need to change your name include but are not limited to:
– Employer information – forms for tax purposes, email signatures, etc.
– Bank and credit cards
– Car titles and registration
– Personal email
– Voter registration
– Lease agreements
– Social media accounts
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