Published Oct 05, 2020

So, you just got married and adopted the surname of your spouse. You’re overjoyed; it’s the start of a new life. But then reality hits you, and a million questions flood your mind, “Do I have to change my name on my passport?” or “What about my driver’s license?” 

While a marriage certificate is a legal document that allows you to change your name, it’s only the beginning of a long process. You need to be patient because your name change won’t be official until you complete all the necessary documents.

What agencies and offices require notification of a name change?

Most, if not all, agencies and institutions require notification of a name change. This especially applies if there are legally-binding documents with your maiden name on them. The agencies you’ll want to notify first is the Social Security Administration (SSA). You’ll want to follow that with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)


Other agencies you may need to notify include:

  • Passport Office (Yes, you’ll need to change your name on your passport too.)
  • Post Office
  • Voter Registration
  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Credit Card companies 
  • Insurance companies
  • State Tax Authority
  • Doctor’s records
  • Utility companies
  • Memberships
  • Employer
  • Retirement plans
Excited woman holding her passport

How will I go about updating my name with these companies?

The great thing about changing your name after marriage is that it’s quite straightforward. Your marriage certificate makes the whole process much simpler than other reasons for name changes. 

The agencies listed above may have different forms for you to fill out, but the important thing is that you have copies (yes, plural) of your marriage certificate. You’ll want to secure more than one copy of your marriage certificate to process different applications simultaneously. Requesting multiple copies of your marriage certificate also gives you more bang for your buck in processing fees. 

You’ll want to ensure that the SSA processes your name change first, before anything. From that point, with a little time and a whole hell of a lot of paperwork, you have your new name. Congratulations!

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Author Terrence Tan Ting

About The Author

 is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.