The wedding is over, the gifts are put away and now you're settling in together as a married couple. One of the most important ways people signify their commitment to each other is by one or both partners changing their name. Whether you're both hyphenating your surname or one of you is taking the other's last name, you'll need to go through a series of steps in order to change your name in Michigan. The process can take quite a bit of time, so it's smart to wait until after your honeymoon travels are over before you begin your name change after marriage in Michigan.
Gather Together Your Information
Changing your name in all of the places you're currently on file will be an elaborate process. It's best to gather all your paperwork together in one file before starting. You'll need one or more hard copies of each of these documents before beginning your post-wedding name change:
- A true birth certificate (not a hospital certificate)
- Your driver's license
- Your passport, if you have one
- A certified copy of your marriage license, including the official county stamp
You can get multiple copies of your marriage license from the county in which you held your wedding. Check the county website for further instructions.
The Social Security Office
Your first step in changing your married identity should be the Social Security office. Before you go, print the application for a Social Security card, used when requesting a name change. Take this application, along with your folder of documents, to your nearest Social Security Administration office. It's important that you do this before your current driver's license expires, as the SSA requires a valid identification card. When you turn in your name change forms, you'll receive a receipt to show you've begun the process.
Secretary of State Name Change
It will take about 24 hours for the SSA computers to update your information. After that, go to your local Secretary of State office to get a name change on a license or identification card. You'll get a new photograph and a new license, and the SOS will charge a fee. If you have only a few months left on your license, it would be a good idea to renew it at this time.
Change Your Name in Other Locations
Once you have a new Social Security card and driver's license, it's a good idea to update all the other businesses with which you are connected, to inform them of your name change. Go to your bank or credit union to change your name on your accounts as well as to order new credit or debit cards with your new name. Once you get your new cards, call any creditors that are connected with your old cards, such as utility companies, the gym or online businesses.
Call your insurance company and inform it of your name change. If you need to change the beneficiary of your policies, now is a good time to do that, as well.
Contact the State Department to get a new passport. The State Department allows online applications, but you'll need the documents that you gathered at the beginning of this article, as well as a printer, in order to complete the application process.
No matter how thorough you think you are, you'll probably find additional instances in which you need to change your name for months to come. As long as you've completed the major identification changes, small places like the local library or your garden club membership should be simple tasks.
- marriage image by Mykola Velychko from Fotolia.com