It’s one of the biggest decisions you’ll make when getting married: Will you say “I do” — to changing your last name?
If your answer is an enthusiastic “yes!”, then you’ve got some tasks to cross off your list, because you’ve got to update everything that has a record of your former life. Here’s who to get in touch with first.
THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
So much of your life is tied to your Social Security number that you want to make sure it’s attached to the right name. You’ll need to apply for a replacement Social Security card in person at your local Social Security Administration office. Here’s where to find more info. This change is free.
You have to make sure that taxes and Social Security deductions are credited to the right person, so let your HR department know your name has changed. You should fill out a new W-4 while you’re at it. And if you have a retirement account at work, make sure that you update the beneficiary to your new spouse.
It’s likely your main form of ID, so don’t forget to visit your local DMV to get a new driver’s license. Save some time by downloading the forms beforehand from your state’s website. (And while you’re at it, maybe you can score a better photo.)
YOUR BANKS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
You don’t want to interfere with access to your finances because of confusion over a name change. So get in touch with your bank, credit card company, mortgage lender and any places where you have an investment account to update your name. You may have to go to a branch in person to do this, and should bring along a copy of your marriage certificate.
THE STATE DEPARTMENT
If you haven’t gone on a honeymoon yet, why not get your passport changed now to make it more obvious you’re traveling as two happily marrieds? Get started by visiting the U.S. passport website.