Changing your last name after marriage in Pennsylvania does not require a visit to the court house or a lawyer. The change can be done with proper documentation, a visit to your local Department of Motor Vehicles and Social Security office, and completed necessary forms obtained at those offices.
Changing Your Social Security Card in Person
Take your original official marriage certificate, and a proof of identity document to your local Social Security office. The proof of identity document must show your previous name (expired documents are acceptable as long as they show your old name). The identity document must also contain identifying information or a recent photograph. Examples of a proof of identity document include a Pennsylvania Driver's License, Pennsylvania state ID card or passport. If these cannot be obtained within 10 days, a health insurance card (Medicare cards are not accepted), School ID card or Military ID card can be used as a replacement.
Go to the Social Security office and request form SS-5. This form can be printed online prior to arrival at the office. If the form has not previously been printed, you can fill it out now. You can find your local social security office on the official Social Security Administration website.
Show the clerk your identifying documents, as well as your marriage certificate.
Receive your new Social Security card (there may be a waiting period while the clerk prepares your card).
Changing Your Social Security Card by Mail
Print form SS-5 from the Social Security Administration website.
Fill the form out in its entirety using only blue or black ink.
Collect your marriage certificate and identifying documents. The identifying documents have the same requirements in person or by mail.
Mail the marriage certificate, identifying documents and form SS-5 to any Social Security office. Find your local Social Security Office on their official website.
Receive your new social security card in the mail, along with the documents you sent.
Changing your Driver's Licenses or State ID
Take your new social security card, marriage certificate and current driver's license or state ID to your local Department of Motor Vehicles. You can find your local DMV by using the link in the resources below.
Present the identifying documentation, marriage certificate and check for $12 made out to PennDOT to the clerk.
Sign the bottom of the form they present to you after reviewing your documentation.
Wait in line to have your photograph taken for your new driver's license or state ID.
Changing Vehicle Registration
Print form MV-41a from the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles website. If you cannot print the form, go to your local DMV and request the form.
Fill out side A of the form to request an updated vehicle or trailer registration card. Fill out side B if you are also requesting an updated title.
Contact your title holder if you are requesting an updated title and are not the title holder. Ask if they participate in the Electronic Lien and Titling Program (ELT). If they do, the DMV can contact them for the title. If they do not participate, check the box on form MV-41a that states "No Title Will Be Attached". If you are the title holder, you must bring the title with you.
Go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and present the documentation, title, and check for $22.50 made out to PennDOT.
Receive your new vehicle title.
Visit the social security office prior to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Having an updated social security card expedites the process at the DMV.
Not changing your social security card can delay your tax refund or keep wages from being reported for social security benefits.