Steps to Changing Your Last Name

Updated: May 9

Something the government doesn’t do well is to provide complete, easy to find information (shocking, I know). When I got married in 2017 I was SO excited to change my name — with a married name like “Hoppe,” I just couldn’t wait to start with the puns.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy or quick as I hoped it would be. That’s why I created a complete checklist to changing your last name. All of these changes will hinge on when you receive your certified marriage certificate from the state (your officiant will usually mail your application off while you’re on your honeymoon). You’ll receive this mail within 14-21 days of your wedding, provided your officiant got it in the mail on time.

Social Security Office

This is the very first place you’ll go to start your name change, and no… you can’t do it online. You’ll need to bring with you the following documents:

  • Marriage certificate

  • Proof if identity, like a passport or state issued license. Photo copies are NOT accepted

  • Printed application

  • Cash — governmental agencies typically charge extra for digital currency, if they take it at all


Office of Motor Vehicles

The next place you will need to visit is the OMV. You cannot do this at an Express OMV. This is what you’ll need to bring with you:

  • Marriage Certificate

  • Current license

  • Proof of residency, like a phone bill with your address (your current name is fine on this)

  • Proof of car insurance

  • Cash — governmental agencies typically charge extra for digital currency, if they take it at all


Formal Documentation

You’ll want to make sure to go ahead and formally change your name in these places too! It would be a damn shame if you got your next paycheck but your bank held your funds for a name discrepancy. Each agency will require different documents, some not requiring any formal documentation at all, and usually this can be done online through a portal or emailed documentation.

  • Passport

  • Health insurance

  • Car insurance

  • Life Insurance

  • Bank accounts & debit cards

  • Credit cards

  • Job records in Human Resources


Informal Documentation

Though these are usually the easiest to change, they aren’t as crucial as the sections above.

  • Social media

  • Email - be sure to have your old email forward any new emails to your new account!

  • Doctor’s office


If you’ve read all of this and thought, “Damn, that sounds like a nightmare,” you’re right. It is a nightmare. If you’ve read this and are second guessing formally changing your name, I don’t blame you. After changing my name, I considered whether I should have just changed my name on Facebook and called it a day.


BUT if you’ve read this and are eager to get your new, married name all official then I sincerely hope this checklist creates a seamless experience for you!





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