People are increasingly choosing to keep their surnames even after getting married, but many still take the name of their partner after the ceremony. Still, other couples may choose an entirely new last name for their own, new family. The other popular choice is creating a hyphenated last name, but this still does not make the process of changing your name legally any less complicated.
Changing your name can be viewed as the norm and perhaps even a romantic gesture, but it is hard to get over the fact that it some paperwork needs to get done to make it all work well for you. If you are thinking about changing your name, regardless of your justifications, follow this guide to know what travel documents are needed after the name change.
1. Certified Copies of the Marriage Certificate
You will first have to prove that you have changed your legal name. For instance, after marriage, it means providing copies of the marriage certificate, showing your “new married name” on it. It is important to note that those are not just regular copies of the marriage certificate but rather certified copies.
You can get a certified copy of your marriage certificate through the records or vital statistics department of the state where you got married. You can expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $30 for each and order multiple copies preferably.
2. Social Security Card
The first step in changing your ID and Official Records should be to update your social security card. The Social Security Administration (SSA) computer recognition of your new name, plus your new Card are what you need to get a new driver’s license, and that will also be required for updating other documents.
Changing your name with the SSA will also notify the other government agencies and help ensure that your name and social security number match. If you don’t like the idea of mailing in your ID and marriage certificate, find a local SSA office and make the change in person.
3. Social Security Number
With your new Social Security Card that bears your new name in hand, you are now ready to head over to the DMV. You should check online with the Department of Licensing in your state for a list of documents you need to bring with you to get a new ID that reflects your new name.
You will most likely be required to bring your current driver’s license, your new social security card, and a certified marriage certificate. You should find out at this stage whether your voter registration will be changed along with the driver’s license. If not, you will also have to do a voter registration name change.
To update your passport, you will be required to first find out what form(s) you need to submit and whether or not you can submit it mail if that’s an issue for you. For instance, in case the passport was issued less than 1 year ago, you will follow a different process than if it is more than 1 year old.
You will have to follow the passport renewal process in case the passport was issued over 1 year ago. Whatever the case, you will most likely have to include a certified copy of your marriage certificate or a certified Decree Changing Name from Superior Court. Processing new passports can take between 4 and 8 weeks, although expediting the process is possible if necessary.
5. TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Name Change
Call 855-347-8371 on weekdays, between 8:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M. ET to change your name for TSA PreCheck. However, to change your name for Global Entry, you will be required to visit one of the TSA enrollment centers.
Fortunately, you don’t actually need an appointment to do that, but it is always advisable to reach out to your local center to confirm that you can come in for the name change. You should bring your new passport, social security card and marriage certificate with you just in case they are needed.
6. Financial Records
Now that you have an updated driver’s license and Social Security Card, you are ready to update your financial records. Your first stop should be your local bank branch and don’t forget to bring your marriage certificate and new ID.
You will have to mail or fax a copy of your new ID that shows your new name for most credit cards. However, each card will have its own forms and method. Check with the issuer to find out what evidence and forms will be needed.
Once you update your name on your credit cards, your credit report will eventually be updated with your new name. You can, but don’t have to contact credit report companies directly. But avoid applying for new credit cards until the new name is reflected in the credit report, whenever possible. The credit report is also an excellent resource for identifying all financial institutions where you have accounts.
7. Reward Accounts
Once you have finished updating personal documents, you need to turn your attention to your rewards and loyalty program accounts. Just like with the financial institutions, you will have to contact each program to find out what’s needed for a name change.
The vast majority of programs, including Marriott and Hyatt, will require you to mail or fax your legal documents to a specific address. Similarly, United and Delta will request you to provide a copy of the marriage certificate.
In case you have existing reservations that you made before the name change, most airlines in the United States can accommodate a name change without charging a fee as long as it is legal. If you are enrolled in several programs, it can be helpful to sign up for an e-fax service.
Legally changing your name can be quite exciting and liberating. However, it is also quite an irritating if you don’t get your ID and Official Records switched over in an orderly and timely way. The information provided here should guide you when it comes to updating your travel documents after legally changing your name.
If you find this entire process overwhelming, you can use various services and professionals to help speed up the process. If your state didn’t provide a marriage certificate that shows your new married name, you can use a cost-effective Name Change Specialist to help you get the court order you need. Also, you can use a service that allows you to submit basic information online to autofill all the forms needed to effect the name change for the credit card companies and your other accounts. After the paperwork is all done, you’ll be left with the pure joy of your new married name.