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Name Change

How to Complete a Legal Name Change After Marriage

LegalShield lawyers can make the entire name change process quick and easy and ensure it’s completed correctly, for a fraction of normal lawyer fees.

To Change or Not to Change. What’s Best for Your Family?

Name change after marriage is an important choice and couples have several options to choose from. Newly-married individuals can change their last name to a married name or stay with their maiden name.

Keeping your maiden name will allow you to retain your current driver's license, U.S. passport, credit cards, and other documents and accounts with your legal name. 

Required Paperwork

Changing your last name is a process that involves filing paperwork with your marriage certificate. You can obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate from the county clerk where you applied for your marriage license.

You may also have to provide your birth certificate, social security card, or other identification cards based on your state laws. Some states even issue you a court order after successfully changing your name.

After submitting the completed forms and paperwork, you can obtain legal identification such as a new Social Security card, birth certificate, or a new passport.

Driver's License & Other New IDs

Don't forget these when you head to the Department of Motor Vehicles for your new driver's license.  These new IDs will allow you to update your bank accounts, voter registration, doctor's office, investment accounts, and anything else that requires your legal name.

Some organizations require you to submit paperwork to local and government agencies within a certain period of time after your marriage.

Also, it’s far more common these days to have children from a previous relationship involved when you get married, which may raise additional issues. Whatever option you choose, LegalShield is here to help.

Couple discussing a name change after marriage
woman considering name change options

Modern Name Change Options

Do Nothing

While the figure has declined in recent years, 80% of brides change their names after marriage. That said, there is no law that says you have to change your name. If you don’t change your name, there is no legal action you need to take.
Standard Approach

If one party decides to take their spouse’s last name to replace a maiden name or hyphenate their last name with the maiden and new name, there are legal requirements that may take a year or more to complete. We can help.
Brand New Name

While not common, you can change your name to almost anything you want. Just know this route has a couple of exclusions and can be more challenging.
Learn more in our marriage guide.


Like you, your children can keep their current name, change to the new last name of your spouse or adoptive parent or change to a completely new name. Another set of rules and considerations apply.

Name Change Resources

The first step is to discuss the options with your soon-to-be spouse and select the right choice for your relationship. Once you know what you’d like to do with your name, it’s time to figure out what documents you need and where to file them. That’s where LegalShield comes in.

LegalShield is your partner in successfully navigating the legal requirements of any type of marriage name change.

Get Educated

If you’re not sure which way to go or you’re curious about what’s legally required for each option, check out these free name change resources.

Couple reviewing name change resources
woman getting legal help with a name change petition

Get Legal Help

LegalShield offers legal plans that provide a lawyer to help you through the name change process. The average fee for name change legal support is $900. Our legal plans, which start at $29.95/month, include a host of other valuable legal services such as the following.

  • Unlimited consultation with a lawyer.
  • Legal forms and document review.
  • A lawyer created Will and Living Will.
  • Letters and calls on your behalf to resolve disputes.

View Details and Pricing

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A Name Change is Easy with LegalShield
Plans Start at Only $29.95/month