Taking Spouse’s Last Name after Marriage

taking spouse's last nameCongratulations on getting married in the state of Arizona! You have filled out the paperwork, got your marriage license, gone before an officiate, and said: “I do”. The last step you need to complete is changing your last name to match your spouse’s. How do you go about doing that?

Marriage License

In order to get your name officially changed to your spouse’s last name in the state of Arizona, you will need to make sure that you have received the official certified copy of the marriage license. You will know if it is the certified copy if there is a raised seal embossed into it.

If you have not received this, make sure that you contact the local clerk’s office where you originally obtained the license with your spouse. For a small fee, they should be able to give you the certified copy right then.

Social Security Application

Before you can legally change your name, you will need to change your Social Security card. You can do this by going online to their website and filling out the application for a new card with the name changed on it. This is free to do. Your number will remain the same, your name will just reflect your new married name.

Once it is filled out you will need to send it and a copy of the certified marriage license to the Social Security Administration office. Once it is received you can expect your card in about 10 business days.

Another option would be to physically go to a Social Security Administration branch locally and take the required documentation and have them submit the application. They can print out proof that you have submitted the request. 24 hours later you can proceed to the next step with the proof they provide you. You will still receive your actual card with the name change in about 10 days in the mail.

Department of Motor Vehicles

Once you have the proof of your Social Security changes with your new name. Take the card and the certified marriage license to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get your new operator’s license with your married name on it. In Arizona, the fee for a new license with the name change is $12. Make sure that you bring an additional form of identification so that they can process your request.

Banking Institutions

After you receive your new license, you need to go to your bank and have them change your name there. In most cases, all that they require is the new license but bring the marriage certificate with you just in case.

You need to request new debit and credit cards, as well as checks that reflect your new married name. Your bank may assess a fee for the new replacement card and checks, check with your local bank to see what fees are associated with this.

Everywhere Else

Now that you have legally changed your name, it is time to start using that new name. Make sure that you are calling any place that you may have an account or a bill with and have them update the information. In some cases, they may require a copy of the marriage license.

Make sure that you have informed your employer, doctor’s office, insurance carriers, and anyone else who should be using this name. Making sure the name is being used is a good way to thwart off identity theft.

Make sure that you have updated your social media account and handle so that it reflects the change. Email addresses should also be changed. This can be done under the settings.

On a final note, changing your name is special when you get married and it is the beginning of a long journey. One thing to keep in mind though, just because your name has changed, it doesn’t mean that previous debts go away. Even if you have debt in your maiden name, it will carry over to your new married last name and you are still responsible.

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