Things They Don’t Tell You About Changing Your Name

I finally got my name legally changed this past week (I sent in my paperwork to the Social Security office on May 3rd and got my new SS card back on June 14th), and ever since then I just keep coming across new things that I have to change my name on.

Changing your name is a tedious and awful process.

So far, I’ve managed to change my name on my driver’s license and I’ve sent in my passport name change application, and that’s it. (I mean, I’ve changed it on all of the shopping/food apps that I use, but those doesn’t really count because that’s not a government-issued name change; I could put my Panera order under “Batman” for all they care).

I only have one copy of my marriage license, so I can only change one thing at a time. And since I decided to send in the license with my passport renewal, it’s going to be a minimum of seven weeks before I’m able to do any other name changes that require the license. Or it was – until I researched how much it was to request a certified copy of the license and it’s only $15.00, which is worth it so I can get everything else changed while I wait on my passport to come back. I don’t know why I didn’t take up the probate clerk’s offer of getting a second copy when we got our original license, but I’m going to tell everyone now: GET TWO COPIES OF YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE IF YOU’RE GOING TO CHANGE YOUR NAME! I wish I’d been told this before I got to this point!

I still have to change the following items:

  • Credit Cards
  • Bank Accounts
  • Car Title
  • Retirement Account
  • HSA
  • Car Insurance
  • Doctor’s Offices

There’s just so many things. I’ve probably left a few off of this list because I don’t have my checklist in front of me (it’s sitting in my name-change folder at home).

I also found out that changing my email address at work to my new married name wiped everything that I had saved under my favorites and messed up all of the applications that we use (like WebEx, etc) because it’s treating me as an entirely new person with a new account instead of just porting over my old account with a new name. Nobody had told me this before I said “Sure, let’s change the email address” or I would not have changed the email address. I hope they’re going to start training the HR reps to let people know that changing the email would break everything.

“But Lauren,” I can hear you say, “why are you changing your name in the first place? Aren’t you a feminist?” And to that I say, Yes, yes I am, but I want to take my husband’s last name. I don’t think he owns me or is better than me, but I really, really wanted to share a last name with him. Don’t shame people for taking their partner’s last name, and don’t shame people for not taking their partner’s last name. Live and let live. It’s not going to affect you in any way, so why do you care?

I even paid for a name change service (Hitch Switch, if you’re interested), and I paid for the lowest tier. I probably could have done it all by myself for free (and probably would have spent hours trying to find the right forms), but what I liked about it is that it found all of the forms that I needed, and they were all the most recent form. I filled out all the forms online, printed them, and then I had to change everything myself. Their highest tier of service will send the forms to you with a stamped envelope, but that didn’t seem worth paying for.

So in short, I love my husband dearly but the name change process is so tedious and I wish there was an easier way to do it.

And as always, keep reading.

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