The wedding vows have been said, the marriage certificate has been signed, a party was had, and the day went by surprisingly fast. All the wedding stuff is behind you. Unless, that is, you plan to change your name. In that case, you’ve got quite a bit more paperwork to fill out.
But what institutions do you need to change your name at? What are the dos and don’ts when it comes to honeymoon travel? And where do you start? Bookmark this page, because the following guide has the answers and will help turn a tedious process into something that’s - well - less so.
Use your maiden name when traveling on your honeymoon
First and foremost, if you are going on your honeymoon right after your wedding, use your maiden name when booking travel. There are a several reasons for this.
Get certified copies of your marriage certificate
To prove that you have a legal name change, you’ll need copies of your marriage certificate. However, making a copy from your home scanner won’t cut it. These copies need to be certified from the county where you got married. I’d get two, maybe three certified copies so you can speed up the name-change process. Each certified copy will cost you. In Dallas County, for example, each certified copy is $10.
Get a new Social Security Card
After getting the certified copies, this should be one of the first things on the list to take care of. This is because you’ll find that you’ll need your SSN/card to get a new driver’s license in many states. The cards are issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Get a new Driver’s License
Check online for specifics in your state, gather the correct documents to change your name, head to the DMV, wait for 3 hours, and repeat after the nice worker at the front tells you the documentation you have actually isn’t good enough.
But seriously, each state is slightly different as far as what you need to update your license so make sure you try to bring the documentation they say they require to get that taken care of.
Update your passport
You’ll need a certified copy of your marriage certificate to do this. Like most government departments, the Department of State, which issues U.S. passports moves at a snail's pace. Expect not to get your new/updated passport back for five or six weeks.
Are you part of TSA Pre-check? Global Entry? Make sure they have your new name
According to the TSA, if your name has changed you can give them a call to make the change.
As far as Global Entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection says, “If the passport involves a name change, issuing authority change, or is a new document not previously associated with your account, then you will need to visit an Enrollment Center. No appointment is needed, but please contact your local Enrollment Center first.”
Be sure to tell your financial institutions
Don’t forget about all those credit cards you have that you used to pay for your wedding and, in turn, go on an extravagant honeymoon. Different banks require different documentation to prove your name change. For example, Chase requires you to fill out this form and attach a copy of your marriage certificate. American Express also requires you to fill out a form along with a copy of one of your (recently changed) IDs.
Besides credit cards, there are probably other accounts you’ll want to change. From checking accounts and savings accounts, to car loans and mortgages, everything will have to be updated. And by the way, once you do that, your credit report(s) will automatically change.
Tell any rewards programs you're a member of
Once all of the above is taken care of, it’s time to start changing your name at all the rewards programs you are a member of. Like banks, most programs will require you to send them an ID or a copy of your marriage certificate. Whether it’s an airline, a hotel, etc, you can find out by either calling them, emailing them, or going to their website.
Potentially helpful websites
Now, you can do this all on your own, but if you are feeling overwhelmed or seriously have zero idea where to start, there are several programs out there that can help. Two examples are HitchSwitch and MissNowMrs.
They will all charge you a fee, but they will do a lot of the legwork for you.
If you need something visual to check off as you go along, below is a checklist created by SomethingTurquoise that you can download and/or print out.
Indeed, changing your last name can be one of the most romantic things you do. But it’s a somewhat grueling task to undertake. The idea behind this post is to make that as easy as possible. And if you’re looking to make travel as easy as possible too, don’t go away just yet! I’ve got a travel library for you that’ll make planning your next vacation a breeze. Just fill out the empty lines below - and you’ll be off on your next vacation before you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.