So you just got married and returned home from the honeymoon. On top of sending out thank you cards for all the nice wedding gifts and attendance to your wedding there is one more very important task to left to do. If you have changed your name you need to begin the daunting task of notifying everyone you do business with about your name change. Any organizations and institutions you deal with will need to be notified so records can be changed. Not doing this can cause serve credit issues, tax issues and more.
While this process can be time consuming it is pretty easy to do. You will want to obtain your marriage certificate as soon as possible if you have not yet already obtained it. In most cases you will receive this in the mail within a few weeks of getting married. Your marriage license will not suffice as this is just the legal permission to get married, while your marriage certificate records the fact that you indeed did follow through and were married in a legally binding manner. You will need this certificate for banks, credit unions, social security, your work place and more.
The next step will be to update Social Security on your new name change. You cannot do this online but it will not cost you anything to do. You simply need to visit your local Social Security office with a copy of your marriage certificate and fill out some forms, as well as showing some points of ID. You can also mail these in but if you mail them in you need to provide the originals which Social Security claims will be mailed back to you. Given the many mistakes that the Social Security Administration makes I would highly advise going in person. Failing to notify social security in a timely fashion can delay tax returns and lower your future social security benefits so this needs to be as soon as possible.
You will next want to update your drivers license and passport. Updating your drivers license is as simple as visiting your local DMV and showing your ID, marriage certificate and other points of identification. Your passport will be more tricky, as you will need to apply for a brand new passport, full out multiple forms as well as wait up to six weeks for your new passport to arrive and this will of course limit your travel options during this time. The good news is the passport can be handled by mail, simply fill the forms out, include your old passport, the original marriage certificate and a color photo for your new passport.
You now need to focus on the financial institutions you do business with such as banks, credit cards and even your auto loan providers. The best way to do this is in person with your new updated drivers license and a copy of your marriage certificate. You should ask for new checks and new debit cards with your updated information. Also contact your credit card provider. My wife was able to simply fax them a copy of her license and marriage certificate. Most times they will issue you a new card for free, if they try to charge a fee ask to speak to a manager especially if your account has been in good standing. To guarantee accuracy on your credit report, you should inform the credit bureaus of any your new name change as well.
You should also of course update your doctors, medical insurance providers, auto insurance, home insurance and employer about your name change. Many people forget to notify the post office and this should be done as well. Some of these may have online options to update the information. Name change kits which average between $20 and $30 can assist you with the process by providing forms, envelopes and instructions. These kits just help save you a little time but are not needed as with just a little time and patience you can breeze right through the process.
Ryan Stevens writes for the InstallmentLoansHub a leading consumer lending portal that helps to educate consumers searching for short term loans on credit, finance and money savings topics.