I have recently been getting so many questions about changing your name after you get married. I realized that I wrote a post on HitchSwitch after our wedding, but never did a full post on the name changing process. Since I’ve gotten so many questions recently, I figured now was as good a time as any to talk about how I changed my name.
Yes, I used HitchSwitch, however you still have to physically go to the offices to get everything changed. So this is the process (at least for Georgia.) It’s awful, and I am still technically Helen Gaillet on my bank account. I’m close to having it all official.
First, I want to talk about why I decided to change my name. I went from Helen Elisabeth Gaillet to Helen Gaillet Bailey. I’ve also decided I want to go by all three. As much as I don’t like the Kardashians, if Kimmy can be Kim Kardashian West, I can go by all three too. It’s fine. Plus I’m pretty sure Helen Bailey sounds like I’m 86 years old.
Anyways, back on track, I know there are lots of opinions on women changing their name, and I definitely see both sides. But I’m going to tell you why I elected to change mine. I changed my name because Stephen is the family I chose. I chose to be his wife, I chose to call him my family. So I chose to share his name. The important thing to me was that it was MY decision. Bonus: Gaillet is really hard to pronounce and Bailey is not. I no longer have to spell my name when I go places lol.
Also, I used to work in the development office in a private school. Paperwork was much harder when the mothers didn’t have the same last name as their kids. If we ever have kids, I’m just thinking of future administrators who have to file their paperwork…no I’m actually not kidding.
ANYWAYS, Ladies I think it is totally YOUR choice if you want to take your husband’s name. And if that’s what you decide to do, here is the process for getting it done.
Step 1: Buy HitchSwitch. Thank me later. You only have to fill out ONE form and then your information is populated for you on all the forms you need.
Step 2: Order as many copies of your marriage certificate as you can possibly purchase. If you think you have enough, order more. At the very least I would order 10. Making a copy of your certificate doesn’t count. It has to be real documents from the court where you received the original. You can usually order these online on the court’s website.
Step 3: Start with Social Security Administration. If you go with HitchSwitch, the proper forms are already provided in your kit. If you don’t, you can get them in the office. Go in to your local Social Security office, prove your identity, provide your marriage certificate, then your new card will be mailed in like 10ish days.
Step 4: Change your Driver’s license. Go to the DMV and bring your old driver’s license, your marriage certificate, I brought my passport just to be safe, and then most importantly, your NEW social security card. I=They will give you a paper license and your new one will be mailed in 10-ish days. You CAN technically go from the social security office to the DMV, but make sure you have ALL the documentation you just received. It will be a little harder and takes awhile longer, but I was able to do both in one day.
Step 5: Change your passport. You can get away with waiting on this ONLY IF you purchase plane tickets in your maiden name. Just go ahead and change it though. HitchSwitch allows you to mail it in with the proper forms, you just need a new photo but you can get that at CVS or with the app provided by HS. Then your new one gets mailed back to you, and the old one comes back with a hole in the middle.
Step 6: Change your bank account. You have to go to the bank with all your identification and your marriage certificate. They can change it for you.
Step 7: Update your credit cards. I had a very easy time with this and all of mine allowed to me change them online. This will be specific to your own cards though. You may have to provide marriage certificates (hence why I said get lots of copies) and pieces of identity.
Step 8: Fill in the missing pieces. Employers for payroll, car titles, insurance, bills and utilities, loans, alumni or professional associations, you name it..it needs to get changed. These can all be done on an individual and specific basis based on what the company policies entail.
See, it’s not super easy. I absolutely recommend HitchSwitch. I purchased the Platinum package and I was so so so thankful I did.
Did you change your name when you got married? What was your least favorite part?