I had a co-worker the other day email me about changing her last name, and I sent her all the information and links she needed. I contemplated about turning it into a blog post and ran the thought by my husband. He quickly shot it down and said that it would be "the most boring post ever." However, I think it would be somewhat helpful, and I'm choosing to ignore his comment. So here is the "most boring post ever."
Step 1: Social Security Card
To make your last name change legal, you will need to get a different SS card. You will have to fill out an application on the official website of the U.S. Social Security Administration.
- You can find that application here: Social Security Application
- Once you fill the application out, you will either have to mail it or drop it off along with your marriage license and birth certificate. These will have to be originals, NOT COPIES.
- If you choose to mail, all your original documents will be mailed back to you. I chose to drop my documents off at the Social Security building in downtown Little Rock and will say they did not ask for my birth certificate so who knows.
- You can find where to take or mail your application here: Take or Mail
- Your new social security card will be mailed to your address afterwards.
Step 2: Driver's License
You will NOT be able to get a new driver's license until your new social security card comes in. Once you receive it though, you will need that and your marriage license again and take to your local revenue office.
- Click on the link to find your local revenue office: Arkansas local revenue office
- The new license will cost $10, no more than $20. No forms to print out and take with you either.
Step 3: Passport
Well, this part gets tricky since there are at least three options.
- However, this link will help you figure out which one you fall under: Passport
- You will have to once again fill out an application and mail back your old passport. (If you have never gotten a passport, obviously this wouldn't apply to you.) It's a bit more of a hassle, and to be honest, I still haven't changed mine!
Really, the first two steps are the most crucial unless you travel internationally frequently. If so, then you better get on all three! After you receive your new social security card and driver's license, then you will need to update your name on your bank account, credit and debit cards, insurance, etc.
There are also name changing kits for sale, but to me, it just seems like a waste of money. All the forms are free online, and all it requires is just a bit more patience to navigate through it all.
However, Arkansas Bride Editor, Lindsay Irvin swears by the name changing kit thing, as she used and highly recommends MissNowMrs.com after her name change from Turner to Irvin in ’08. She said it takes you step by step through the entire process.
“It cost $30, but it was worth every cent. I would’ve paid $50 because it’s so easy. All you do is fill out one electronic form, which automatically filters information into all the name-changing forms you’ll have to mail off. Then, you fill in any holes and mail to the addresses the site provides you with! You can log in and out of the site as you move along the name-changing process, but the site check off your progress and keeps you and your paperwork organized.
“The website gives you explicit instructions, so there isn’t really a way to screw it up,” she said.
Hope this information helps, and send me any comments or questions to DEdwards@ABPG.com!