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  • Writer's pictureDiana Belle

Just Married And Ready To Change Your Last Name?

Updated: May 2, 2023

Here are some easy steps on how to change your last name and what you really need.

I was super stressed about changing my last name. I went to the Social Security office got my ticket, waited for approximately 45 minutes until they called my number. When they finally did, I rushed to the chair and dumped my purse with all my proofs of identity. I read I would need my birth certificate, my marriage license, my passport, my bills and my I.D, to prove my identity and how difficult the interview could be. The man looked at me, giggled, took a sip from the huge container of Starbucks cold brew and said, "I don't need all of that but boy are you ready!"

So here is what I actually needed... and it was EASY! I was out of the SS office in under an hour.

Tip #1 - Make Sure You Have Received Your Marriage License

You NEED this.

1. Obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate. This document serves as proof of your marriage and will be required when updating your name on legal documents.

Tip #2 - Go To Your Nearest Social Security Office

I yelped a few offices around me to find out which one had the least wait time.

Update your Social Security card by completing Form SS-5 and providing a copy of your marriage certificate. You can obtain this form from the Social Security Administration website or a local office.

Your SS-5 Form has to match your marriage certificate and the name you decided to change at the time of going to the county register clerk.

Tip #3 - Wait 24-48 Hours Before Going To The DMV- BE PREPARED TO TAKE A NEW PHOTO

Update your driver's license or state ID card by visiting a California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office in person. You will need to provide your current driver's license or ID card, your marriage certificate, and any other required documentation.

I was told at the SS office that I wouldn't need anything but I still took my items with me. Because you know, I don't want to have to return again.

Don't forget to do your hair and make up and be prepared to take a new photo! Especially if your I.D is almost at the expiration date.. BE PREPARED, NOT SORRY.

Tip #4 - Wait For Your I.D TO ARRIVE Before Making Anymore Changes

You want to make sure you have your I.D physically present before making all the other changes. So you can prove your identity.

Tip #5 - Update Passport and EVERYTHING Else.. get some wine too!

Update your passport by submitting a passport application with your new name and a certified copy of your marriage certificate. You'll also need to contact every account you have ever made with your maiden name and update it to your new last name. Good Luck!


I looked into a lot of companies that send you all the paperwork but honestly, it was so costly. I'm glad I didn't do it. Instead I bought myself some wine and spent a few hours going back and forth making all the changes.

I hope this was helpful!

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