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How to Change Your Name

October 12th, 2012

Introduction to the ULC Name Change Guide

Change Your Name - ULC Guide

Change your name with this guide from the ULC.

The Universal Life Church Monastery ordains more ministers than any other online church. This is mostly due to the fact that the ULC encourages people of all religious beliefs (and even some people that are not religious) to become ordained ministers online through them. Due to their mission of including people of all religious backgrounds, they are one of the most popular online ministries in the world. Concordantly, ULC Monastery ministers officiate the weddings of thousands of people from a variety of cultures every year. We are proud that our ministers have bound so many loving couples in matrimony and do all in our power to help both the wedding officiants and the couples.

The ULC staff understands that many newlywed couples can be confused about changing their names after their weddings. That is why ULC ministers should forward this packet to the couples whose weddings they perform; any helping hand that reduces their stress levels will be greatly appreciated. Send this guide to as many newlyweds as is necessary; the Universal Life Church wants to help as many people in this regard as possible!

Do You Have To Change Your Name?

It is important to remember that you are not required by state or federal law to change your last name after getting married. Although it may not be required, it is common in many cultures for women to take their husband’s last name after getting married. Also, both men and women in Western cultures have begun to combine their surname with their spouse’s in the last couple of decades. Before you pick up the phone and start notifying businesses and governmental agencies about your name change, you should have a long talk with your spouse and decide what you want your new name(s) to be together.

Please note: if you are traveling to a destination out of the country for your honeymoon, you shouldn’t try to change your name until after you arrive back in the United States. Trying to change your passport and other documents before a destination honeymoon can cause an unnecessary headache. You can quickly notify the Bureau of Consular Affairs, the U.S. governmental agency that issues passports, after you get back from your honeymoon about your change in marital status and last name. It can take up to six weeks to receive a new passport that reflects these changes.

How to Change Your Name

Social Security card and government documentation

Arguably the most important part of your name change will be updating your Social Security card, passport and other forms of identification.

Before you can begin the process of changing your last name you will need to make sure you have the necessary paperwork and documents. This normally includes multiple copies of your marriage license, since many companies will need this as physical evidence of your changed marital status. You can get a copy of your marriage certificate by contacting the county clerk of the county where the marriage license was filed. You should receive copies of the marriage license a couple of mailing days after the wedding.

Another common required document businesses and government agencies will want to see is your Social Security card. Make sure to have it with you so that you can present it along with your marriage license.

Each of the companies and organizations you contact about changing your name will likely have completely different documentation requirements. One company might only need a phone call to verify the change while another could only recognize the name change after receiving a notarized copy of your marriage certificate. To avoid confusion, keep track of exactly what each business needs from you in order to document the name change.

Government Agencies

The United States Social Security Administration is one of the first government agencies you should contact after you decide to change your name. You can go to one of their offices to fill out Social Security Form 5 or download it off their website. Many experts recommend that you file these forms with the Social Security administration as soon as possible so that your name and marital status will be up to date when you file for taxes. Worried that your Social Security number will change? Don’t be. Only your last name on your card will be affected. After you submit the completed application you should receive your new card in the mail in a couple of mailing days.

Even if you decide not to change your last name, it is still a good idea to notify the Social Security Administration about your recent change in marital status. They may also request a copy of your official marriage certificate for their records.

The Department of Motor Vehicles or Department of Licensing in your state should be next on your list of places to change your last name. Be prepared to show them a copy of your new Social Security card, marriage license and your old driver’s license in order to update your information.

Private Companies

Do you have a life insurance policy or an Individual Retirement Account? All your insurance policies and investment accounts should be informed about your name change. You should also notify your employer so the name on your payroll can be updated.

Credit card companies and car registrations should also be changed. Normally these changes can be made with a phone call, although some companies may need a copy of your marriage certificate.

You will want to order new checks with your new last name once you have notified them about your name change. Your bank may need a copy of your new driver’s license and marriage certificate before making any official changes. Please be aware that there will probably be additional fees that you will need to pay for any new banking cards and checks you order.

Additional Places to Register Your Name Change

Remember to notify your voter registration bureau so that you can vote under your new name. If you have prepared your will, your lawyer should be notified as soon as possible so that your estate and other legal documents can be updated. The last item on your list should be medical offices and dental providers that will only require a quick call to update their patient records.

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