How to Change Your Name on Your Driver's License After Marriage

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If you decide to take your spouse’s last name after getting married, you will need to change your name on your driver’s license. Although exact requirements differ slightly from one state to the next, the process generally involves presenting several forms of identification, filling out some paperwork and paying an administrative fee. You can change your name on your driver’s license quickly and efficiently simply by gathering some basic information about yourself and making an appointment to skip the long lines at the local branch of your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

Gather at least two forms of identification that have not expired, at least one item that lists your social security number, two items showing proof of residence and an official copy of your marriage certificate. Although sufficient forms of identification can vary by state, your old, valid driver’s license, passport, Social Security card, W-2 form, government ID, green card, vehicle registration, recent utility bill and birth certificate are commonly accepted identifying documents. Contact your local DMV office if you are unsure which forms of identification you need to bring with you.

Call your local Department of Motor Vehicles office and make an appointment to see a representative; DMV offices are generally very busy and making an appointment will save you a great deal of time.

Tell the representative, during your appointment, that you wish to change your name on your license and ask him for the appropriate forms. The representative will provide you with an application for a new driver’s license or an application for an amended driver’s license, depending on the procedural requirements of your state.

Fill out the application in its entirety, sign it in the presence of the DMV official and present your identification.

Submit to any additional required procedures, such as fingerprinting, thumbprinting or the completion of a vision exam. Have a new picture taken, if necessary. These requirements vary from state to state, but the DMV official will let you know if any additional requirements exist.

Pay the required fee; amounts vary by state.


  • In some states, such as California, you must change your name with the Social Security Administration, also known as the SSA, before changing your name on your driver’s license. Certain states verify the personal information of a driver through the SSA’s database. If you do not change your name with the SSA before changing your driver’s license information in such a state, your new name will not match during the verification process and you will receive a temporary license and a letter of verification to which you must respond before you can acquire a permanent license. Call your local Department of Motor Vehicles office to determine whether you should first change your name with the SSA. When changing your name with the SSA, contact your local SSA office to make an appointment and fill out all required documentation.



About the Author

Mike Andrew has written business and legal articles for "850 Magazine" since 2008 and covers college football for several websites. Andrew is a freelance writer, attorney and music producer based in Florida. He received his Juris Doctor from Florida State University.

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  • wallet and car key image by Richard Seeney from