How To Change Your Name

Paul Morrone |

Over the past few months after our wedding, I’ve watched Jill endure the hardest part about getting married: changing her name. And to make it worse, she’s learning the various ways people like to spell her new last name (its ‘MO’, not ‘MA’, 2 ‘R’s, ending in ‘ONE’). For her, transitioning from a Berman to a Morrone has been quite the full time job. Personally, I was under the impression that a lot of this stuff happened automatically once you updated your name with the Social Security Administration and the DMV, however I am clearly in the wrong. She had been warned by friends who were already married that it’s not an easy or overnight process, and that has since proven to be true.

You would have thought after planning a wedding that all the headaches were behind you, but that has proven not to be the case. Even 10 months later, and diligently making sure we have dotted all of our I’s and crossed all of our T’s, Jill is still finding out that the process is not fully complete. In order to help make the process a bit easier for those who are just embarking on this journey, below is a rather comprehensive checklist to help guide you:

The obvious:

  • Social Security Administration – to be done first
  • Driver’s license – followed by this
  • Passport – then this
  • Bank accounts
  • Cell phone providers
  • Credit cards

The not-so-obvious:

  • Register name change with your employer (security ID badges, system logins, email address, etc)
  • Update employee benefits (health, life, disability insurance)
  • Private insurance and annuity contracts (auto, home, liability, life, LTC, DI, etc)
  • Retirement/Investment account registrations
  • Pension administrator
  • Union memberships
  • Beneficiary designations
  • Estate planning documents
  • Licensing boards for professional licenses/designations
  • Regulatory agencies
  • Association/Club memberships
  • Title to real estate and personal property
  • Outstanding loans/mortgages
  • Utility companies
  • TSA Pre-check, Global Entry, NEXIS, SENTRY
  • Frequent Flyer programs
  • Voter registration
  • School/Educational institutions
  • Gym memberships
  • Healthcare and dental providers
  • Online accounts (yes, there are likely a lot of these!)

PS – be sure to have a copy of your SS card, driver’s license and appropriate document (marriage certificate, divorce decree, court document, etc) to make everything go as efficiently as possible.