Important Things to Do After Changing Your Name

Marissa Scott
October 19, 2021

There are a variety of reasons why someone might change their name. Some of the most common reasons include taking your partner’s name after marriage, or returning to their maiden name after a divorce. In most cases, the first step in changing your name involves filing required documents with your local court. These documents will vary depending on which state you live in, but will likely include a name change form and a petition explaining why you are changing your name. Once your name has been legally changed, the real work begins. In fact, it may feel overwhelming to determine what steps to take next. 

Here are some tips to help guide you through the aftermath of a name change:
 

Get a New Social Security Card

Since all your official records tie to your social security number, you should start the name change process there. The U.S. government does not allow you to update your social security card online, so to change the name on your card you will either have to go in-person to a Social Security office near you, or mail the required documents to the closest office. You must provide proof of your citizenship, age and identity, as well as proof of your name change. Below are examples of the types of documents you may provide:

•    A birth certificate or unexpired passport to prove you are a legal U.S. citizen
•    A copy of your marriage license, divorce decree, or legal document stating your new name
•    Your current social security card
•    A driver’s license, a state-issued photo identification card, a United States military identification card, or a current passport to prove your identity 

Update Your Driver’s License

Although it may take several weeks for you to receive your updated social security card in the mail, the name associated with the card will typically be updated in the Social Security Administration’s online system within 24 hours. It is recommended that you wait at least this long before going to your local DMV office to update your driver’s license. 

Each state has their own fees associated with getting a new license. You will typically need the following documents to request a driver’s license with your new name:

•    A certified copy of your marriage license, divorce decree, or legal document
•    Your current driver’s license with the old name
•    Your new social security card if you have it, or a receipt from the Social Security office showing that you have requested one
•    If your state requires additional proof of address, you will need to produce a bank statement, utility bill, or similar document to show that you receive mail at that address 

Be sure to check the requirements for your specific state before heading your local DMV office. It’s also worth checking with your local DMV to see if it’s possible to update the name on your vehicle registration and vehicle title while you’re there.

Change the Name on Your Financial Accounts

Once you have updated your social security card and driver’s license, you can begin the process of changing your name on your financial accounts. Each financial institution may have different requirements for the name change process. Most will require you to provide proof of your updated social security card and driver’s license, which is why those should be changed first. Depending on the account, you may be able to submit your name change request online. Although bank accounts will likely be your first thought, other financial accounts may include:

•    Credit cards
•    Mortgages and other loans
•    Investment accounts
•    Retirement accounts
•    Insurance policies

Don’t forget that if you have a physical card tied to any of the accounts you update, such as a debit card or insurance card, etc., you will need to request a new copy of that as well. 

Additional Items to Change

Once you have updated your name on the most important items, it can be easier to change it in other places where you may have records. These could include your social media accounts, shopping websites, school accounts, in-store rewards programs, voter registration, and passport. It may feel overwhelming at first to think of everywhere your name needs to be changed. Try to keep things organized by making a list of everything that needs to be changed and which are the highest priority. If you happen to be in an online account and notice your old name, change it while you are in there and cross it off your list.

For some of these changes, it may be as easy as typing in your new name online, while others may require verification or documentation. Each organization will have its own requirements for  name changes. You may be able to find this information on the organization’s website, or by calling their customer service line.

One final thing to remember is that your state of residence may have different rules if you take on a hyphenated last name rather than replacing a first or last name with another. You should contact your state records department to determine the steps you need to follow if this situation applies to you.

If you are a Bank5 Connect customer and have recently changed your name, you will need to send us a copy of your government issued ID. If your government ID does not yet reflect your new name, you will also need to send us proof of the name change such as a marriage license or divorce decree. For assistance or more information, contact us today. 

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