Monday, August 30, 2010
Getting a legal name change is a royal pain. Each place needs its own documentation, but no office tells you exactly what you need to bring. Frustration.
Name change survival guide, with the things I have learned from our misadventures:
Start out with the Social Security office. You will need the card for other places. Bring your old SS card, if you can find it (which I couldn't.) I used my marriage license and birth certificate and was fine. They will mail your new card to you within a week or two.
Then to the DMV to spend the next several years waiting in line and trying to finish the longest form in the history of bureaucracy. After you answer questions about your breathing status, (O2 tank dependent? Needing an inhaler?) and if you would like to sign up to be an organ donor and make a "life saving anatomical gift", you continue to wait. I picked up a form and filled it out at home before we went. This was nice, but you have plenty of time waiting to fill it out. I brought my birth certificate, new SS card, marriage license, and old drivers license. Between all of those, I had enough proof to get my new drivers license. If you are changing your address while you are there, you will need to bring two proofs of your new address, like an apartment contract, utilities bill, the little paper hooked to the SS card when you get it in the mail that has your name and address on it, etc. I didn't bring these things, but I had changed my address online before, because you are supposed to do it within 10 days of moving (surprise!). Beyond all the papers, it was pretty painless. (Hint, don't go during lunchtime. It is busier.) They will give you a paper temporary license and tell you to wait 4-6 weeks for the plastic one to come in the mail.
Where you go next has more flexibility. To change marital status and name at school, you need your SS card. With the proper information, it was pretty painless. They asked me for Davids SSN, which was weird, but he knew it so it was fine. They said that it takes 3-5 days to process the information and to get it up on the system.
After the name change has gone through with the school, you can go get a new ID card. This was easy as well. I just gave them my old ID and told them that I needed a new card because I got married and they took a new picture (Hooray!) and printed out a new one for me.
Another place to go is the bank to change the name on the account. Not too hard, but you need the marriage license and a drivers license or ID. (They accepted my old ID without problems). This is also when we put David on the bank account. I went back and got my new bank card after I had all my new IDs so that I would be able to prove who I was with the new name.
Pharmacies are another place that will need to be notified of a name change. Mine hasn't had any problems, but I plan on calling the doctor and asking for them to change the name on the prescription so that I won't have problems with that.
Be sure to check if your name was changed on your records with the Church. The lady in Records at the temple changed my name when we were getting married.
Basically, be sure to have proof of who you are for anything you change. As long as you can prove it, you should be fine. Good Luck!