Full disclosure before I go any further-- Lee and I have been married for nearly two years, and I have yet to complete these steps. . (To be fair, I DID go to the Social Security office to begin the process, and never received my completed paperwork-- but more on that in a bit).
Here is a seemingly simple process for getting your name legally changed after you say I do.
1. Social Security Card. The first thing you will need to do is to apply for a name change at the Social Security office. You will need to bring a copy of your current Social Security card, as well as a copy of your marriage license-- which can be picked up at the Register of Deeds Office.
2. DMV. Once the new card comes in (supposedly in 2 weeks time, unless you have my luck apparently), you can go and apply for a new Driver’s License. You will need your marriage license and your new Social Security card for this trip.
3. Passport. If you plan to travel abroad, you will also need to update your passport. This can be taken care of at the Post Office, although you will need to make an appointment.
NOTE: If you are planning to travel shortly after marriage, you won’t want to start this process until after your return, as this process can take several months and all of your forms of identification should match.
4. Bank Cards. This switch can sometimes happen over the phone or even online, but will require ordering new copies of your card, which at some branches, means that your card number will also change. This can sometimes be a frustrating process, if you have automated payments that get drafted out of those accounts.
5. Insurance & Investment Accounts. Your HR department at work and/or insurance broker can switch these documents over for you, and tend to be updated before the end of business on the same day. Your financial planner can take care of the namesake on any investment accounts you may have.
6. Doctor’s Offices. These updates can be made as needed, when appointments arise. While not necessary, you may also choose to call each office and let them know of the name change, so they can update it right away.
If you don’t have the time to sit and wait in line at each of these offices, there is a company called HitchSwitch that is also a good option for filing for name change. While there is a small fee, if it’s between paying $60 and waiting in lines at Federal offices like the DMV, I would say that is money well spent!