Changing Your Last Name?


Congratulations! You survived wedding planning and finally got to enjoy your big day. If your experience was anything like mine, exhaustion has set in by now and the last thing you want to do is deal with more wedding-related logistics. Problem is, you’d like to take your partner’s surname. I’m here to let you know that this doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Follow the ten steps below and you’ll be using your new last name in no time:



1. Begin with Social Security. Visit your local Social Security Administration office and bring your marriage certificate or registration document verifying your domestic partnership. The SSA Office in San Diego is located at 1333 Front Street, San Diego, 92101 (between A St and Ash St). Their phone number is (619) 557-5081. Click here for complete information and the form you’ll need to fill out. You should have your new social security card within about a week of your visit.

2. Next stop is the Department of Motor Vehicles office, for a new driver’s license or identification card. I recommend making an appointment, if possible (which you can do online through this link). Again, bring your marriage certificate or domestic partnership document. Note that the DMV requires your update with the SSA prior to making an appointment. Click here for the form you’ll need and additional information. The two DMV locations in San Diego are located at: 3960 Normal Street, San Diego, 92103 and 4375 Derrick Drive, San Diego, 92117.  Their contact number is (800) 777-0133.


3. If you want to update your passport or apply for one with your new name, drop by the San Diego County Administration Center, located at 1600 Pacific Highway, Room 402, San Diego 92101. Click here for forms and more information, or here for answers to frequently asked questions. Remember to bring all relevant documentation of your new name.


4. Employers usually require steps 1 & 2 or steps 1 & 3, but definitely step 1, so you can change your name at work next. Contact your Human Resources representative for policies and procedures. If you have any investment accounts, such as a 401(k), HR can probably help you with this as well.


5. Another place you’ll want to change your name is the bank. I believe that an updated driver's license or identification card gets the job done, but I recommend contacting your specific financial institution for more information. You’ll want to change the name on your account(s) and request new checks while you're at it. If you and your beloved are opening a joint account, it is best to visit the bank together.


6. Next up is your credit card(s). Every company is different, so I suggest calling customer service and asking what documentation is required.


7. Do you have any student loans? Another call/e-mail to customer service and you can scratch this one off of your list too.


8. If you are registered to vote or want to register with your new last name, contact the Registrar of Voters. In San Diego, this is located at 5201 Ruffin Road, Suite I, San Diego, 92123. Their phone number is (858) 565-5800. Give them a call, or visit them online


9. Do you belong to any professional associations? A quick e-mail or phone call should take care of it.


10. Other places to consider are your doctors and dentist (including health insurance cards) as well as your car registration and insurance. If you have a mortgage, let your mortgage company know and remember to change your name on property titles or leases.



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