Checklist: 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Changing Your Name After Marriage

mistakes to avoid when changing your name after marriage


Although you have probably practiced writing what is to become your new name long before your wedding day, formally going through the potentially-arduous name change after marriage process (to match all those signatures in your journal) could be an experience that is just as enjoyable IF you avoid these 7 common mistakes.

You change your name in some places, but not all.

When you consider all the documents, institutions, credit cards, and identifications that have your name on them, it can seem overwhelming trying to contact every organization with which you are associated to complete the change name after marriage process.

Don’t make the mistake of filling out only a few name-change forms for some organizations and ignoring the rest  – you have to contact them all. Some of your contacts will require a letter, some will want the completion of a pre-printed form, and others prefer to be contacted via email, fax, or in person.

These agencies and parties to be contacted include:  credit card companies, organizations affiliated with your profession (nursing, law, medicine, education, etc.), government agencies, financial institutions, alumni associations, zine subscriptions, car titles and registrations, among others.

You use a service on the internet that doesn’t have a secure site.

Don’t make the mistake of haphazardly picking a service on the internet that claims to be able to provide you with all the forms you need to handle the change name after marriage responsibility but that doesn’t have a secure site and requires you to enter all your personal information directly onto their site. Beware if a service asks you to provide information like your mother’s maiden name, or father’s middle name, which can put you at risk for potential identity theft. Instead, you ought to be able to save the forms to your own computer. Further, the internet service shouldn’t be storing your credit card data when you pay for the forms.

You change your name too soon.

If your parents bought your husband and you a month-long honeymoon adventure throughout Europe, you want the name on your travel tickets, passport, driver’s license, social security card, and birth certificate to all match. Having some of them state your new married name and the rest your maiden name will delay your travels and add undue stress during your trip abroad. Wait until you get home and are settled in to start the process.

You waste the opportunity to remind your loved ones of your name change.

Whether it’s when you send your wedding thank you notes out or are writing your holiday cards, be sure to let your family and friends know (especially those that couldn’t attend the celebration) that you now have a different last name.

You notify the HR department once you return back from your honeymoon.

To avoid having your paycheck delayed and having to cross out your name on your old business cards and write in your new married name, give your employer plenty of time – ahead of time – to take care of those details.

You think keeping your maiden name and adding a hyphen is enough.

Even though you may be simply adding your new name to your already existing name, you may be required (in your state) to register your new name with the Social Security Administration or the Department of Motor vehicles.

You try to get a new driver’s license first – before anything else.

You’re wasting time if you make this mistake. You have to change your name through the SS Administration before you can go to the DMV (they’ll ask to see it!)

In addition to avoiding these common mistakes, save yourself even more time and frustration by using a secured, online service to help with the change name after marriage process!

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