What name-change choice should I go with?
When it comes to making a name-change it really is a personal preference. It depends on what’s important to you. Many people take things like career, family, etc. into consideration. Most of our customers complete their name-change within the first two years of marriage – a decision triggered by starting a family or finally getting around to tackling the paperwork. Here are five examples of the most common marriage name-change choices:
No change: Jane Smith – nothing needs to be done – just carry on as usual. You can decide to complete your name-change at a later date if you wish – there is no deadline, all you need is your marriage certificate.
Take partner’s name: Jane Alexander (drop Smith). In this case you need to complete your name-change with all organization’s you belong with. For financial, insurance, and government organizations you will need to provide a proof of your marriage (original or copy) and government issued photo identification (i.e. driver’s license).
Hyphenate: Jane Smith-Alexander. In this case you need to complete your name-change with all organization’s you belong with. For financial, insurance, and government organizations you will need to provide a proof of your marriage (original or copy) and government issued photo identification (i.e. driver’s license).
Add partner’s name, no hyphen: Jane Smith Alexander. In this case you need to complete your name-change with all organization’s you belong with. For financial, insurance, and government organizations you will need to provide a proof of your marriage (original or copy) and government issued photo identification (i.e. driver’s license).
Make maiden name, middle name: This one can be tricky…but is also becoming a really popular name-change choice. Each state/province has different rules – so you really need to double check before you submit any paperwork with this in mind. If your region allows this, you need to complete your name-change with all organization’s you belong to. For financial, insurance, and government organizations you will need to provide a proof of your marriage (original or copy) and government issued photo identification (i.e. driver’s license). The states that currently don’t allow this are Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington, or Ohio (unless your marriage certificate reflects this change). More states are switching to this rule – so make sure to double check – we’ll also update as we hear news.
Create a new name: Jane Smalexander. In this case you need to go to a lawyer and complete a legal name change as a couple. Once the legal documents are finalized you need to complete your name-change with all organizations you belong to. You’ll need your legal name-change documents and your marriage certificate, in addition to government issued photo identification.
If you have any questions or need any help with policy updates, please email me at email@example.com.
How to change your last name in NJ? Can I change my middle name to my maiden name in NJ? We get these questions a lot, so wanted to share our most recent update (as of June 6th, 2016). As stated in previous posts, rules around middle name changes are frequently changing (New York has just updated their policy to include middle name changes this year). We strongly recommend checking to make sure your state allows the name change you wish before submitting any paperwork. We are happy to check for you – just email us when you are ready to change your name.
The real issue with making your maiden name your middle name has always been with the NJ MNC (the SSA is supportive of this change nationwide). When we checked in last week, we received mixed information when speaking to 4 different customer service agents. We followed up a fifth time by email and received the following email correspondence.
Thank you for your email inquiry. Your maiden name cannot be used as a middle name unless it is court ordered. Your will need to provide 6 points of Id, you will need to bring your birth certificate along with your marriage certificate. Here is a link that will help assisst you with the 6 point ID: http://www.nj.gov/mvc/Licenses/6PointID.htm.
So, at this time, NJ is still not allowing this change without a court order. This is similar to NY State’s previous policy. When NY State had this policy in effect, several of our customers were successful using the following work-around. Full Disclosure: We do not guarantee that this will work, however, we have many customers that were successful using this process. It ended up saving them time and money vs. getting a court ordered name change. If you are considering doing this, feel free to email us and we can share if other customer’s have had success or challenges.
The NJ MVC requires identification proof to total ‘6 points’ as per their system. They count your old driver’s license as 6 points, which is what most people show and is required in order to get your new license. If you get your SSA card first (1 point), US Passport (4 points) and a bank statement or record (1 point) – you can insist they use those documents as your proof documents (totalling 6 points) and they should use these for proof of name. Please review the 6 Point Checklist carefully. There are a lot of options to choose from to make up your 6 points. It will also guide you though what you need to provide proof of address.
Again, we do not guarantee that this will work but are reporting that we have spoken with some of our customers that have successfully changed their maiden name to their middle name in NJ using this method. Please email us if you have questions or are looking for a name change policy update for the State of NJ.
Hope that we have helped with this update on how to change your last name in NJ. Please email with any questions. Happy Name Changing! firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s officially Wedding season…are you on the hunt for really good wedding gifts? Well, I am…so I thought I’d share some of my favorite finds.
Truth be told, many of us are getting married a little later in life…so often when couples say ‘I do’ …they already have everything. Here are my favorite unique wedding gifts that you can be sure won’t be a duplicate.
The Gift of Experience: I have to say, giving the gift of a memorable experience is probably my favorite thing. It only gets better when that experience is followed with a case of delicious wine curated to please your very own taste buds. Enter Club W, a wine club that not only offers a personal experience but also delivers on quality wine. I’ve tried several, and they deliver. Their team of winemakers really know their stuff. And with such great branding, it makes a beautiful gift. You can purchase gift cards in $50 increments (approximately $50/month). This one is always a big hit!
The Gift of Travel: With the costs of weddings being so high…the gift of travel can be something that the couple might not actually give themselves. We like Honeymoon Wishes, it’s a full service registry that lists destinations all over the world. They’ve even granted more than one million honeymoon wishes! But the best part is they have a toll-free registry line to help guests that might not be tech savvy (ahem, mom…that’s you!). Guests can choose to pick something specific off your registry – i.e. experiences like a spa service or excursion, or contribute via gift card to be used as the couple chooses.
The Gift of Memories: This can often be a tough one to achieve, but with so many great sites out there offering unique photo books and prints, giving the gift of memories just got easier. One of my new faves is Artifact Uprising. I like it because their products are beautiful, and extremely good value for the quality of the products. There are also a lot of options – so say if a couple’s photography package already included a photo book, they still have other options, like this incredible wooden photo box, to choose from. You can purchase gift cards in any denomination and send by email or print and include in a card to gift in-person. You can also upload photos via mobile or right from Instagram just to make memory-making that much easier.
The Gift of Time: The gift that none of us seem to have enough of – TIME. I couldn’t possibly share my favorites list with out our very own I’m a Mrs. Name Change Package (shameless plug, but seriously, it makes a great gift). With so many cards in our wallets these days, we end up saving the average bride about 15 hours of time. We put all the forms and instructions in one place…and help out answering questions or finding any unique forms that are needed. We’ve also pre-populated emails and addresses to make it the process as simple as possible. Now, a trip to the DMV to get a new photo and sign that new signature is still necessary, but this way you can spend your time getting camera-ready instead of filling out paperwork. Gift cards are available for $30 and can be sent by email or printed and added to a card to be given in-person.
Do you have any good wedding gifts you want to share? I’m always on the hunt…so please send my way! email@example.com.
Ok, so you’ve done the fun part. You walked down the aisle, said I do and are well on your way to your happily ever after. I wish that’s all it took to officially become a Mrs.! Unfortunately, you’ve got a little work to do to make that happen. We’re here to point you in the right direction and help make your married name change as easy as possible.
Official/Certified Copies of Your Marriage Certificate: This is the first and most important step to becoming a Mrs. On your wedding day, you signed your marriage license. That paperwork is then sent to your county clerk’s office (typically your officiant will do this – a good question to ask in advance), they will file it and send you your official marriage certificate by mail. This is the one piece of paper you will need to complete your married name change for nearly all organizations. Depending on how quickly you would like your name change completed, ordering 2-3 certified copies can be a good idea. (put one in a safe deposit box if you have one). Note: This process can take 2-3 weeks before you will have the official certificate in hand…so keep in mind when booking travel, etc. that you will likely have your maiden name for at least 6-8 weeks post wedding before you’ve been able to make changes everywhere.
Social Security Administration: Your very first stop will be the SSA. Now while we have the SSA form in our database (just so you can keep all your forms in one place), it’s important to note that this form is available for free from the SSA. You can find it here. Your number will stay the same but your name will be updated to your new married name. You can mail your form or go in-person to your local SSA office. In-person is faster, but by mail is less hassle. Either way, you should have your new card in about 10 business days – and you really need that before you can do anything else (even credit cards will use your SSA number to verify your new name).
Driver’s License/State Identity Card: Next up on your married name change journey…you get a photo ID with your new name on it! Very exciting 😉 We have all the forms you need for your driver’s license name change in our database….BUT….you still need to go in-person to actually make the change. We get a lot of questions and comments on this, unfortunately, there is nothing we can really do except make sure you have all the paperwork, tips like doing your vehicle title form at the same time, and links to scheduling a DMV appointment time to make the experience a little easier. This may seem like a big hassle, but its necessary to protect your identity. Bring: New SSA Card, Old Driver’s License, Official Marriage Certificate – and double check our tip list because some states go on a point system for proving your identity. We give you tips on how to make sure you have everything you need.
Bank Accounts/Payroll: After your Social Security Administration name change and the DMV, you can really just start knocking the rest off your list. One thing to note though is that most payroll is done electronically these days…and the name on your payroll must match the name on your bank account or it could get rejected. So, make sure you’ve alerted your payroll department about your married name change as soon as you’ve made the change on your bank account.
It takes the average person 25 hours to complete their married name change on their own.
Most people have 30-50 organizations they need to change their name with (we can thank multiple credit and loyalty cards for this.
88% of people get mail 6+ months after their married name change with their maiden name on it
On average, we save our customers between 13-15 hours of their personal time…I mean, who wouldn’t rather be enjoying newlywed bliss!
If our name change experts can help in any way, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy to help!
How do teachers change their name ofter marriage? Check out these teacher name change tips.
We love it when our customer’s send in questions (do you have one? send away!) This one of our customer’s that’s working on their married name change in California. We get this one fairly often, so thought we’d share these tips to help if your working on a teacher name change with all our teacher friends out there.
Where do you start a teacher name change? This is a really good question – and there are a handful of things you need to consider if you are a teacher looking to complete your married name change. While in most cases the rules and forms vary from state to state, here are a few things to keep in mind.
State Licensing Boards: You’ll need to change your name with your state Department of Education. The application is often called an Educator’s Licensure Application. They can be lengthy – but are very straight-forward in terms of questions asked. Depending on your state, there may be a fee required.
The I’m a Mrs. database does include these forms – they are under the ‘Professional Association’ tab during form selection – so be sure to look for it if you are registering and a teacher. Note – if your teacher name change consists of multiple states, make sure you select each form to avoid confusion down the road.
HR Department – Benefits, 401K, Payroll: You’ll need to contact your human resource department to ask about any forms specific to your extended benefit provider. Often, your HR representative can share your information, but you will need to provide a copy of your marriage certificate in most cases. They can also make sure your name is updated on your payroll – this one is really important because the name on your payroll needs to match the name on your bank account in order to be deposited (otherwise it could be returned to issuer, and no one wants that). Your HR person can also advise on 401K – this one almost always has to be done through your employer but also usually includes additional paperwork that will require your new signature.
We hope these teacher name change tips helped! Do you have a name change question for us? Drop me a line at email@example.com. Our name change experts are always happy to help!
We probably get asked this question 10 times a week. Especially this time of year when wedding season is getting into full swing. It’s often not top of mind when you book honeymoon travel months in advance…but as you get closer to saying ‘I do’ and becoming a Mrs. is a reality it’s something you need to think about.
There are a few factors you need to keep in mind when making this decision.
What name did you book your honeymoon travel in?
If travelling by air or leaving the country, the name on your government issued ID must match your travel documents. So make sure if you’ve booked your honeymoon in your married name you give yourself enough time to get your government issued ID changed (good rule of thumb is 6-8 weeks).
When do you leave on your honeymoon?
If you are leaving on your honeymoon within two months of your wedding date, we recommend waiting until you get back to change your name. It can take around 3 weeks to get your official marriage certificate in the mail, and you need this to change your name with most organizations. Once you get it, it can still take a few weeks to get your new SSA card, Driver’s License, Passport…so just to be safe, it’s worth waiting. If your honeymoon is booked a few months out – go ahead and get changing as soon as you get your marriage certificate in the mail.
What about frequent traveller points?
Frequent traveller programs (airlines, hotels, etc.) are actually really strict when it comes to name changes. Not only do they often require multiple documents, including certified copies of your marriage certificate and copy of your new passport, they also require the name on your travel document to match the name on your membership in order to collect points. Some will allow you to fill out a form to claim the points if the names don’t match – but it’s a hassle to go through that process. So, make sure you move frequent traveller programs up on your priority list if your honeymoon is on the horizon.
Hope this helps answer your honeymoon name change questions! If you have any other name change questions, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy to help!
For the last couple of years the big trend in changing your name after marriage has been moving your maiden name to your middle name and adding your partner’s last name. Unfortunately, for brides of New York, this option was an extremely difficult process. While I’m a Mrs. found a loophole and shared the work-around with New York customers…it still meant extra hoop jumping and extra time spent. Very happy to say we have closed that chapter and are happily moving on!
The big issue has always been with the New York State DMV, who have thankfully updated their rules (see footnote 1 below)
So, here’s how you change your name on your New York Driver’s License:
Some people like to have more traditional weddings, so remember there’s no rule that says you have to follow the trends. But if you have a trendy wedding to attend in 2015 and want to get a head start on planning a wedding shower that’s just as trendy here are some of the 2015 wedding shower trends to keep in mind:
When planning a wedding you know how stressful it can be; there are so many moving pieces to planning a perfect day, and knowing if you’ve covered all your bases! So we created a handy wedding checklist to help you stay on top of things.
If you want your bachelorette party to go over big in Toronto, here are a few unique ideas to try. There are plenty of nighttime hot spots in Toronto who don’t mind helping out the bride-to-be and her comrades. Just be sure to plan ahead. Here are 5 great ideas on themes to get you started: Continue reading →
For just over five years we've been helping people navigate their marriage name change. Here, we're going to compile all of the trends, time-saving tips, and answers to obscure questions that we get everyday. Is there something you'd like us to cover? Drop us a line - we're happy to help.
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and tips on how to get started after the big day!