Thursday, August 27, 2015

How to Change Your Name After Marriage

The (Not-So-Blushing) Bride's Guide to Changing Your Name After Marriage:
by Kelly Felsted (Soon to be Mitchell)

After all the flowers, favors, and food have been consumed or disposed of, the fast-paced tornado of chaos has calmed down and now I am left wondering what to do with my free time. Fortunately for me, as the new blushing bride, there is a long list of things for me to do. First things first: I've got to change my name. If course its easier said than done, and I'm living proof. It was four months until I managed to get around to it. I'm an avid believer in procrastination when it comes to stuff like thison the plus side I got to wear my future Mrs. Mitchell shirt for a few more months.

What's in a Name?

Even though Romeo thinks that a rose by any other name might smell just fine, your legal name is a large part of your identity. So it is only logical that a change to your marital status would require you to change the way you identify yourself on a piece of paper. Some people may decide not to change their nameshowever choosing not to change your name may hinder future generations in their family tree search.

1. Legally change your name:

The first step is obvious. If you got married and you are changing your name to take your husband's, you can change your name at the social administration office. If you are doing a variation or alteration you may have to pay extra and go through the courts. (See step #2) They changed my name at the social security administration office for free.

If for some reason you are changing your name to something other than your husband's, you must go down to your local courthouse and obtain a name change form. They require that you bring an official copy of your marriage certificatethat's the one with the raised seal. Why? Because they don't like people randomly changing their names to things like Princess Consuela Bananahammock. (This often costs beaucoup-bucks so make sure your new name is worth it).

Here is the link for the courts in Utah: Instructions:
Name Change Form:

2. Change your name on your Social Security Card:
Social Security Number

3. Change your Driver's License or ID at the DMV. Also, don't forget to change your Passport if you have one:
Here is the website for Utah. Click on the link for "Name Change" and it will help you set up an appointment at a location near you.

You can complete the form online and print it before going in to your Passport appointment. If you are traveling overseas, be sure to allow a few months for processing.
US Passport:

4. Change your name for your bank accounts, loans, and retirement accounts:
This includes your savings and checking accounts, your stocks and bonds, your credit cards, your car loan, your student loans, your house loan, your loan-shark loan, your 401k, your IRA, your 403b, your kick-starter fund or whatever rainy-day fund you have lying around.

5. Change your name on your insurance:
Change your name on your car, home, mortgage, health, and life insurance. It may not seem like a big deal now, but when you need to make a claim it will save you one less frustrating step.

6. Change your name on your social media, email, and utility accounts

I know it seems kind of strange to put this at the very end of the list-- I updated my Facebook marital status before I was back from the honeymoon. But, honestly, in the grand scheme of things, this is the least important of all changes.

7. This step applies to anyone with a legal copyright, registration, trademark in their name. (Artists, writers, actors, etc.) If you have ever officially obtained a copyright in your maiden name, there are two things you can do: 
  • The first option involves filing a Form CA. This creates a supplemental registration on a single registered work. As of Dec 2015, that costs $130 and covers only one registration.
  • The second option is to record, or file, a document that can refer to a number of registrations. You will need to refer to Circular 12 for information on how to do this. This option sounds complicated, but it will make your life a lot simpler if you have more than one work registered. As of Dec 2015, it costs $105 to cover one transaction that refers to one title, and another $35 for two-eleven works. You can calculate the fees by viewing this pdf file:
Contact if you need help finding out which option is best for you.