The vows were said, the party is over, another ring on your finger and you’re officially a Mrs. (or Mr.)! Unfortunately, there is still a bit more official behind-the-scenes business to accomplish entailing your new nuptials — the name change. Maybe I’m the only one that feels this way but not only is this process annoying and a pain but it’s kind of sad! Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to be married but not only have I been called this name for 24 years but it just flows so well! Boo hoo suck it up, Jordan, time to get off your soap box. Maybe if you feel that way too it will bring you some comfort to know that you aren’t alone.
Oh! In case some of you are thinking, “Why don’t you make your last name your middle name?” Well… My middle name is practically part of my first name so it wouldn’t be right. I’m Jordan Jean aka Jordy Jean to most people. How can I change that?!
Now… Onto to the boring stuff —
Pre Wedding Day Note: Make sure you do your research on the county you are getting married in months before your wedding! All counties are different. For instance, Fairfax County handles it completely different than it’s handled in Pittsburgh, PA. We had to get married by the court or church within 60 days of getting our certificate. We originally planned on getting our certificate in December when we were together but found out that wasn’t possible so we had to squeeze in the trip to the courthouse a couple of days before our ceremony. My point — do your research.
1. Obtain your marriage certificate from the county in which you got married. This can be a bit different for everyone depending on where the marriage took place and the county. Look up “________ County Circuit Court marriage license” and it should help. For us, our priest had to sign and send in all of the documents (including the marriage certificate) to the county, we waited until that took place, I submitted a form (and money) requesting for official stamped and signed copies of them, and a few days later we received them in the mail. I would suggest ordering at least two so that you don’t have to go through this process again. You must have the ‘original’ documents versus copies.
2. Change your name (and your mailing address if you moved) at your mailing address. I didn’t realize the importance of this until I was speaking with the gentleman in the social security office. Make sure that your new home address has your new name registered with the USPS. If your new name is not registered, they will not deliver the social security card so it’s important that you don’t miss this.
3. Change your name on your social security card. To do this, you’re going to need to bring or mail in the required identification documents to the nearest social security office. Proof of identity, proof of marriage, etc. All of the documents you’ll need are on the link above.
4. Get your military ID. This can finally happen after you receive your new social security card (with your new name) in the mail. Congratulations! Your name is officially changed. They say it can take up to two weeks to receive your new card. Once you have received your card, bring that along with your marriage license on base to MPS. They should be able to set you up with a new card there.
5. Update your drivers license. Look up your local DMV to determine ahead of time which documents you will need to bring. Along with the theme of this post, it will depend on what state you’re in. You’ll most likely need your proof of marriage, filled out paperwork, and proof of identification (your new military ID should suffice). A little hint I’ve learned from fellow Air Force wives — they use their military IDs for everything so if you don’t have the hankering to go and get your drivers license updated right away, don’t stress over it. I’ve never had a drivers license from anywhere other than Virginia so I can’t deny that I’m a little upset about this part too… I know I’m pathetic.
6. Update your passport. Depending on when you received your original passport, you’ll have to fill out different forms and mail in all of the required documents. Click here to determine which applies to you. I’m going to spare you now by warning you, the fee can be up to $165 depending on which form you have to fill out. WHAT. IN. THE. WORLD?! Mail all of the required information in and start your timer… But don’t hold your breath. If you have never had a passport this process is actually a little bit simpler for you.
7. Set up your bank account. Whether or not you want to set up a joint bank account for you and your boo is up to you. I’ve heard of so many different ways that couples go about this. Perhaps that will be another post. For now, I would suggest going into your bank’s local branch with your marriage certificate and new license or passport. If you decide that’s not the way you want to roll, contact your bank to determine what you need to bring in, send to them, etc. to show proof of your new last name.
8. Take care of any loose ends. The rest of the stuff is all of the extras. Things like your doctors office, credit card(s), insurance companies, utility companies, etc. that should be pretty simple to change over. Something that is NOT simple by any means but you’ll most likely need to do is your name at work. I’ve heard from multiple people no matter where they work that this part is a pain. It is indeed…
Other things to consider —
Another you do you boo boo situation… Insurance. Most military spouses go onto their new spouses insurance after they get married. There are SO many questions about insurance that this topic deserves a post all on its own. We’ll make sure that happens!
We hope that this information is helpful, especially if you’re newly married! Spouses that have anymore insight — please feel free to comment below with any other tips/advice that you have! We all really appreciate it!