07.19.2017

From Miss to Mrs: Name Change Guide

guide

It’s the final step in the annoying yet beautiful process that is getting married: changing your name – you know, assuming you want to do that. For me, I’d never considered not changing my name…probably because my given last name (Gwartney) is so weird. Then again, Worsham is right on par in terms of weirdness! It’s fine though…odd British names are my calling.

Here’s what to remember in the name changing process. The whole thing does take a little while, and will likely vary depending on where you live, but rest assured it’s way less annoying than wedding planning.

Things to Do Before the Wedding

  • Set up a new email – This is something fun and easy to do while the countdown to the wedding is on! You know you’ll need a new email eventually, so you might as well set it up now.
  • Change your social media handles - Most people wait until after they’re married to change their Instagram and Twitter handles, but I recommend doing it as early as you want! You would think I wouldn’t have any problems with a name like Kylee Worsham, but shockingly that handle was already taken on Twitter. I just used an underscore in between my name instead, but I’d imagine if you have a common name that might not be available either.
  • Get your marriage license – Duh. Not only is your marriage license what proves you’re married, it also proves to the government what your legal married name will be. Make sure you get several official copies – you’ll need them later. For Oklahoma, you can’t get your marriage license until the week of the wedding and then you have 30 days to turn it in. Make sure the person performing your ceremony can legally perform weddings in your state. We almost missed the deadline to turn our license back in because of this! Shout out to the State of Oklahoma for not caring that my cousin wasn’t registered here until after our wedding. People always say that the more problems you have during the wedding planning process, the easier your marriage will be – so far this is definitely true! ;)

Things to Do After the Wedding

  • Sleep, take a break, stare at wedding pictures, and bask in the glory that is BEING DONE with wedding planning!
  • Change your name on Facebook - Let’s be real, this is the first thing you’ll do after the wedding. It’s fun finally getting to see your new name on Facebook and getting to list that you’re married!

Things to Do After the Honeymoon

  • File for a new social security card - As soon as you have official copies of your marriage license, you can file to update your name on your social security card. This is the part of the process that takes the longest (especially in Oklahoma – literally one person processes ALL requests here. I happened to talk to them on the phone once when I called to check on mine). Click here for instructions from the Social Security Administration.
  • Get a new drivers license - Now I’m not sure if this is an Oklahoma thing or a small town Oklahoma thing, but I didn’t need my updated social security card to get a new drivers license. Apparently all you need is your marriage license. I’m sure that’s not the case in every state, so check with your local DMV. Pro tip: it doesn’t matter where you get your drivers license from, so try out the small towns – they have shorter lines. It also doesn’t matter what county you get your marriage license in – it can be different than where you’re actually getting married (e.g. we got married in Osage county – I think? – and got our license in Oklahoma county).
  • Let your employer know about your name change - Once you have your new social, you can let your employer know to update your name in all of their records. They will handle updating your direct deposit, health insurance, 401k, email address, etc.
  • Update your bank account info & any debit/credit cards - On that note, my employer was the only place that wanted to see my social! My bank only cared about my marriage license too, which I find super weird but whatever. Bring both with you just in case.
  • Update insurance you have outside of work - Don’t forget your car insurance, renters/homeowners insurance, etc.
  • Update online subscriptions/accounts - With basically everything being online now, this took a little while as well. Make a list of all your online subscriptions and accounts so you don’t forget any. Mine included: Young Living, Rodan & Fields, Lola (organic tampons delivered to your door, people! This is one of my fave subscriptions ever), Netflix, Hulu, A Small Orange (blog hosting), WordPress (for my blog domain name), Ulta rewards, and my account for the local day spa.
  • Update online payment portals - Basically, anything that automatically takes money out of your account will need to be updated. If you have an apartment, don’t forget to update your rent portal info!
  • Apply for a new passport - This also takes a while, but since you likely won’t be leaving the country soon after you get back from your honeymoon, it’s not a big deal. Despite this, I applied for a passport pretty soon after we got back. In the unlikely (I hope) but still possible event that America turns into the Hunger Games or Handmaid’s Tale, I ain’t trying to get stuck here. Bye, Felicia!
  • Apply for a new voter ID card - No matter what your political beliefs are, we can all agree that voting is important now more than ever. Go ahead and get your voter ID taken care of now. Vive la résistance!
  • Update your name on any tribal rolls - If you have a CDIB card, you should look into this. For the Choctaw Nation, I was informed that I could add my new last name to their records, but they keep your maiden name on the roll regardless. I didn’t bother messing with it, but it could be different for other tribes.
  • Update any online business ventures - Don’t forget about any business you do online! For me, this included updating my Kindle Direct Publishing info on Amazon.
  • Buy new checks - If you still use checks every now and then like I do (I always use one when I get my hair done), then make sure you get new ones.

Happy name changing!

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