From Miss to Mrs: A guide to changing your last name

And the DIY Playbook’s recent survey says…. there are quite a few daily readers that are currently ENGAGED (congrats!!) and taking on this whole wedding process at the same time as us! Although we are no experts here, today’s post is for you lovebirds!! We hope you bride-to-be’s, bridezillas, and future brides (yes, we’re talking to you single lady) will find these tips helpful when it comes time to make the switch from Miss to Mrs. 
Here is our general guide to changing your last name & making this dreaded task a little less daunting (if that’s even possible). Side note: For the singles and/or married readers tuning in, you may want to either tune out now orrrr forward today’s post to a bride-to-be in your life.  
  1. Obtaining a Marriage Certificate for the big day!
    Apply for a marriage license at the County Clerk’s Office within 60 days of the marriage ceremony. Key detail: within 60 days of the ceremony. Speaking from experience, if you pick up this application before the 60 day mark… it will be EXPIRED before your ceremony date and completely useless. Not only will you be out $60, but you won’t legally be married right away and you’ll have to truck back down to the courthouse to start the whole process over.
  2. Sending in your Marriage Certificate
    On the day of your marriage, have the officiant, pastor or priest SIGN the marriage certificate right alongside you and your new spouse’s signatures. If your church is really organized, they will mail this paperwork into the state to be approved, if not, make sure you bring this certificate (or application) back to the Clerk’s Office within a week or two to be approved and filed.
  3. Picking up your official Marriage License
    Once the certificate is “approved” and filed through the state, pick up your official Marriage License back at the courthouse. It is not until this moment that you are “officially” married… legally that is. (Rookie Tip: You may want to pay for a few extra copies at this time… I think they were around $6 for an additional copy).
  4. A new Social Security Card, NOT a new Social Security number
    Take the Marriage License, a photo ID  and this document to the Social Security Office to change your last name officially. (Rookie Tip: your name will change, the social security number will NOT). You will either get a new Social Security Card or they will mail you one within a week or two.
  5. A new Driver’s LicenseTake your Marriage License, a photo ID, and your new social security car and head on over to the DMV… don’t forget any of these important docs. Heck, the more identification you can provide the better. Get ready to pay another fee for that brand new ID.
  6. A new title on your bank accountTake that same Marriage License, your new photo ID, your new SS card and finally head to your bank. Talk to a banker to change your information on all of your accounts.
Don’t Forget…Have your new photo ID, new SS card, marriage license, and anything else that identifies you as you OUT and ready in order to change your name at these important places:
  • Work
  • Credit Card Companies
  • Utility Company/Cable Companies/General Bills
  • Mortgage Company or Lease
  • Insurance Company (maybe this will come with a marriage discount… seriously)
  • Library Card
  • Passport
  • Cell Phone Company
Oh, and if your new name comes with a change of address as well (lucky you!), don’t forget to forward your mail to the new place using these tips & tricksGood luck to all of our bride-to-be’s tuning in…  We wish you good luck on your big day and a drama-free journey converting to your new last name.

  • Kim Guse

    Used this post to change my name and it made the process so easy- THANKS! I love reading your blog- you girls are so cute!

    • Thanks Kim!! Your wedding pictures are GORGEOUS!! You looked stunning and we love, love, LOVED your dress. Congratulations on becoming Mrs. Guse.

      PS. Did you ever get the sander?!

  • Kim Guse

    YES I did get the sander- thanks!