How to Change Your Name After Marriage in Washington, DC

By Tiffany Raiford
You aren't required to change your name after marriage; but if you do, the process is tedious.

marriage image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com

Not everyone elects to change their name after marriage; but for those who do, the process can seem intimidating initially. If you live in Washington D.C. and you want to change your name after your wedding, you can do so once you receive a certified copy of your marriage license in the mail. Your wedding officiant files your marriage license with the clerk of courts after your wedding; and once your license is officially filed, you receive a copy in the mail.

Change your name on your Social Security card first. Obtain Form SS-5, the application for a Social Security card that allows you to change your name. This form is available at your Washington D.C. Social Security Administration office or online (see Resources). Fill out the information on the form and deliver it to the Washington D.C. Social Security Administration office, along with a copy of your marriage license. Your new Social Security card will be mailed to you within 10 days. The Social Security Administration will notify the Internal Revenue Service of your name change, as well.

Visit the Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain a new driver’s license (see Resources). Provide the clerk with your current driver’s license, and a copy of your marriage license and/or social security card. Your name must be changed in the Social Security Administration’s database before a new driver’s license will be issued to you.

Inform your employer of your new name so your employer can change your name on your payroll and W2 information. Since the IRS is already aware of your name change, if the name on your W2 does not match its records, you will face problems when filing your tax returns.

Contact all of your financial institutions. The process for each is different so you’ll have to contact them individually to inform them of your name change. Some might require a copy of your new driver’s license while others will want your marriage license to verify your name change. You’ll need to contact your mortgage company, landlord, insurance companies, banks, credit card companies and utility companies.

Obtain a new passport. Download the correct form for your name change from the U.S. Department of State's website (see Resources). Two forms are available depending on your situation: fill out form DS-5504 if your current passport was issued less than 12 months ago or form DS-82 if your passport is more than a year old. Fill out your form; include a copy of your marriage license, your new driver's license and your current passport ; and mail the form to the address listed on the form. Your new passport will arrive in six to eight weeks.

About the Author

Tiffany Raiford has several years of experience writing freelance. Her writing focuses primarily on articles relating to parenting, pregnancy and travel. Raiford is a graduate of Saint Petersburg College in Florida.

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