How to: Name Change After Marriage

Name Change after Marriage Resources and Information

All marriage license documents are signed with one’s current legal name, never the intended new name.

  • There is no legal requirement for name change after getting married; it is a right a couple may choose to exercise.
  • Traditionally, the bride has taken the groom’s last name. If you are intending anything other than the traditional name change, check with each agency for its requirements to accomplish that. If an agency requires more than a certified copy of your marriage license, see King County District Court, for details on a court-ordered name change.
  • Washington State law does not impose a time limit after the wedding by which a name change must be accomplished. However, if you are making the change more than a year after your wedding, check with each agency to determine if a certified copy of your marriage license will suffice to change your name with them.
  • To assume the new last name, you should first obtain certified copies of the marriage certificate. Then work with each agency to change its record of your name.

Post Wedding Name Change Check List

Social Security Name Change Info

Website: or 1-800-772-1213

Whenever you change your name, be sure to report the change to Social Security. Otherwise, your earnings may not be recorded properly and you may not receive all the Social Security you are due. Not changing your name with Social Security also can delay your income tax refund.

Specific directions on how to change your name on your Social Security Card as well as you will need to fill out a copy of the SS5 Form to change your name for Social Security.  You will need to provide a certified copy of your marriage as well as proof of identity.  Your current driver’s license will work.  Click here to read the specifics needed from the Social Security Administration.

You will want to take the completed SS5 application and proof of identity to your local Social Security Office.

Passport Name Change Info

Website: or 1-877-487-2778

You may need to use one or more of the official forms listed below. Each form contains detailed instructions on it’s use.

If your name has been legally changed due to marriage or a court order within one year from the date of issuance of your current passport, send a completed form DS-5504, U.S. Passport Re-Application Form, a certified copy of your marriage certificate or your name change court decree, one recent color photographs (2″ by 2″), and your current valid passport to the following address:

National Passport Processing
P.O. Box 13290
Philadelphia, PA 19101-3290

Please be sure to go to check online for any updates and changes as well as learn how to expedite your name change on your passport which requires a fee.

Drivers License Name Change

Washington State Driver’s License / Identification Card:

Some Washington State agencies may accept the red and gold commemorative marriage certificate you receive after the wedding; however, you should expect most agencies to require a certified copy of your marriage record.

Immigration Services

Website: or (206) 553-5956.

Utility Services and More Name Change

You will want to update all of your local services with your name change. Some you will be able to simply call and update, some will have a simply form online and others will require a name change form letter.  I personally found that these type of services did not all require a notarized copy of my marriage license rather I was able to use a copy I had scanned and printed.

  • Utilities- phone, electric, gas, water
  • Banks
  • Other Financial Institutions (retirement, SEP, IRA, trading accounts, stock, mutual funds)
  • Insurance (home insurance, car insurance, life insurance, etc)
  • Employer
  • Military
  • Voter Registration


Below is a sample free name change letter template you can copy and customize.

Official Notice of Name Change

(For use with utility companies, banks, credit card companies and other financial records)

Company Name _________________________________________

Address _____________________________________________

City _____________________ State ________ Zip Code_______

Please be advised that the following customer has changed their name.

Current name on account ___________________________________

Account # _______________________________________________

Please change the current name on the account to reflect the new married name.

New Name ______________________________________________

Address ______________________________________________

City _____________________ State ________ Zip Code________

(Check all that apply)

___ The above also reflects a change of address.

___ Forward a Designation of Beneficiary Form. (if applicable)

Please make the above referenced change of record. If you have any further questions regarding this matter please call me at: ___________ (phone number) or email __________________.



___________ ___________

(Date) ___________
(Sign name and date here)


___________ ___________
(Print name here)

Encl: Copy of Certificate of Marriage


To verify if this information is up to date with the State of Washington –  click here.