Changing your last name after marriage is such a hot topic and it seems like lots of people have differing opinions on the issue — there is no hard fast rule on the name game.
I think it's a pretty antiquated tradition to take your husband's last name automatically when getting married and my biggest turn-off is when people address women by their husband's full name like "Mrs. Yeah- any guy that was dogmatic about it and said "because that's how it is" would be the exact wrong one for me!
Now that we are officially hitched and back from our honeymoon, I'm ready to begin the process of changing my last name! The good news is that the steps to changing your last name are the same whether you choose to change your last name entirely or hyphenate! First, make sure that you write down the last name that you want correctly on the "New Names" portion of your marriage license; it makes things much more difficult if the name you now want doesn't match the one that you originally included on the certificate prior to the wedding.
You'll also want to keep in mind that you need an official copy of your marriage license to even begin the name change process. Once you have a obtained a copy of your marriage license, know that it is usually best to start with the most important items and work your way down to the less important documents.


Along with the completed form, you are required to have a few other documents to certify that you are who you say you are. Once you've completed the form and have all of the necessary documents in order, you can choose to mail in your form and the supplemental documents, unless you live in any of the following areas: the New York City metro area, Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix, Sacramento or the Greater Twin Cities metro area. Your new social security card will have the same identifying number - the name will just be changed!
In most states, the DMV will allow you to change the last name on your ID if you just have a copy of your marriage certificate, but some also require that you have an updated social security card.
When you're ready to apply for a new ID, you'll want to make an appointment at your local DMV, where you'll complete the Driver License or Identification Card Application, give a thumb print, take a new picture and pay the application fee. Keep in mind that you'll want to make sure your new name is updated on any cards and accounts, as well as assets like property titles, deeds, trusts, any loans you may have, and investment accounts that you have if not already through your employer.
Make sure that your home or renter's insurance providers, landlord, home owners association and utility companies are all notified of your new last name. Notify all of your doctors, therapists and counselors, and make sure your new name is correct with your health proxy and on your will (if applicable).


DO keep in mind that you should wait until you're done traveling for the wedding or honeymoon, especially if you're planning to leave the country, before you actually complete and submit the paperwork. Bank of America customers, for instance, are required to bring a government-issued photo ID along with your marriage license to a local banking center. Some think that the traditional route of taking on a husband's last name is the best option, while others want to keep their maiden name because they prefer their last name and don't want to deal with the hassle of the name change process. Given the whole list of options on new last names, such as mashups and hyphenated surnames, it seems like there is something for everyone.




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