What Comes After “I Do”?

Congrats, you’re married!! Now you get to spend hours scouring the internet to figure out the best way to go about the whole name change process. Lucky for me, I have an amazing group of friends who have already been through this, so this is the list I was given by them. I also used HitchSwitch.com to help make sure I had all the correct documents and forms. This was a huge lifesaver!

It doesn’t really matter the order you go in, but a lot of these steps can’t be done unless you go to Social Security, so I recommend you do that first. Figured it was time to share the love with all my recently married ladies, so here we go:

  1. Social Security card comes first. You cannot do this online although some sites will say you can. Required documents are U.S. Passport and U.S. Driver’s License (to prove citizenship, age, and identity), marriage license, and this document:https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf
  2. Driver’s License and voter registration (FOR MY TEXAS PEEPS). It will be $11. All you need is your marriage license according to the dps.texas.gov website, but I also had my old license and a completed form. I will insert the name later because I don’t remember at the moment.
  3. Bank Accounts & Credit Cards. I did this in person and it was so much easier than trying to do it over the phone. Y’all should go together if possible if you are combining accounts because you have to have approval and signatures from each person. Bring your temporary license or passport just in case.
  4. Passport. I would recommend doing it now so you don’t have to pay extra for rush shipping once you plan a trip out of the country and need it in a hurry! You will need your old passport, your marriage license, passport photo ($12 at Walgreens, annoying but I didn’t want to risk messing it up myself and then having to do the process all over again), and the name change application (DS-82 if it’s been more than a year since you got your passport and it will be $110, DS-5504 if it has not been one year since you got your last passport and it will be $0).https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/services/correction.html#Changes.
  5. Insurance. If you are the primary, you need to change your name on your medical insurance and add your spouse, or if he is the primary, get added onto his plan. You also need to combine car insurance accounts (a call was easiest), and make the changes to your renter’s insurance (either deactivate yours, or add him to yours).
  6. Title for car (FOR MY HOUSTON PEEPS). You need a filled out 130-U form, your marriage license, your original title, and I can’t remember or find how much it costs but I know there was a fee. Take these to 1001 Preston Street (Harris County Tax Office) and be prepared to wait in line for over an hour possibly.
  7. Bills. If you are moving in with your spouse, he may already have this set up in his name which would be awesome. Andrew moved in with me, and I had to change my name for the gas, electric, internet, and water accounts. If you are moving into your place, be sure to talk to your landlord about changing your lease for your new name as well.
  8. Airline and hotel accounts. This one may be easy to forget but it’s important if you want to keep your miles/rewards. Southwest, Hyatt, and Enterprise were the accounts I had to change over. Most of them I called and then had to email in a copy of my marriage license (you would think you could just change your name in your settings, but of course it’s more complicated than that).

One other tip- when looking at websites make sure you are looking at the “.gov” ones. There are a lot of copycat “.com” sites that may not have correct information.

Hope this was helpful for all of the beautiful brides out there. I know how challenging wedding planning can be when life gets in the way. I wasn’t a COVID bride, but a hurricane bride. Unlike COVID brides, I didn’t get to watch my wedding slowly dwindle down. I had to make day off decisions to change all of my plans. I will share on more of that in a later post, but I just wanted you to know, you are not alone.

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