Whether you’ve decided to change your legal name due to marriage, divorce, or another personal or family change, there are a few things you’ll need to do once you’ve received your legal document declaring your new name.
First, you want to order a certified copy of the legal document confirming your name change—marriage license, final judgement of divorce, or court order. A certified copy is stamped and signed by the court clerk affirming the document is a true copy of the original court record.
Second, update your identification documents. This includes your:
Social Security Card (Social Security Administration)
Driver’s License/State ID (local Department of Motor Vehicles)
U.S. Passport (Department of State)
Birth Certificate, if necessary (Department of Health in your state)
You will need to update your name with the Social Security Administration first. Once you’ve received your new Social Security Card you can proceed with contacting the additional agencies to update your name and obtain new documents reflecting the new name.
DON’T FORGET! You will need to inform all other agencies and organizations with whom you do business of your name change. Each organization will have its own procedures for updating your name. Some important agencies/organizations to update your name with include:
Bank accounts, including a request for new debit cards and checks
Billing information for various credit cards, insurance (home, auto, life, health), utilities or memberships
Retirement and investment accounts
Wills, Power of Attorney, and other legal documents
Schools and alumni associations
Landlord or mortgage company
Resume, business cards, and professional accounts
This list is not exhaustive, so make sure to make a detailed list of all the companies you contact and receive communications from. The more frequently contacted places will be easier to remember than the organizations you only have to work with a few times each year.
Lastly, you will want to inform the people in your life of your new name to make sure they are addressing you correctly. This includes family and friends, colleagues, and the front desk staff at doctor’s offices.
If you haven’t yet completed your name change, but would like to, The Law Office of S.A. Peterkin can help. Contact us online at sapeterkinlaw.com or by phone at 321.325.1125 to schedule your Case Evaluation with the Attorney.