Checklist: Where to Change Your Name

By: Staff Writer July 18, 2012
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This may be difficult to fathom, but name change notification does not stop at Facebook or Twitter. There are other authorities to notify should your name change due to:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Court order
  • Certificate of Naturalization showing new name

Who to Notify of Your Name Change

To begin, focus on updating your identification by notifying:

  • The Social Security Administration. Your Social Security card is your most important form of identification. Update this first before notifying other agencies, as some may require a Social Security card showing your new name.
  • Your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. Most DMVs require name change notification within a specified number of days. It's especially important to update your drivers license and identification card since both can be used for boarding at airports, cashing checks, and registering to vote.
  • Your county voter registration department.
  • Your State Department for the purpose of updating passport information.

After updating your identification, you'll next want to notify in no particular order:

  • Your insurance companies (car, health, home, rent, life).
  • All employers. This sounds obvious, but it's needed for new business cards, payroll and withholding tax forms.
  • All schools, if applicable.
  • Your doctor, dentist, optician, veterinarian, and pharmacist.
  • Your bank or credit union and all other financial institutions.
  • Your post office.
  • All utility companies (electric, phone, cable, gas).
  • Magazine and newspaper circulation departments.
  • State and federal tax departments.
  • Your landlord or mortgage company.
  • Credit card companies.
  • Government assistance programs, if applicable.
  • Veteran Affairs Department, if applicable.
  • Your county tax assessor.
  • Your library.

Other Documents to Update

Though not required, to avoid possible confusion in the future, also consider updating:

  • Car title
  • Will
  • Power of Attorney
  • Health care directive
  • Living trusts

Have we left anything out about changing your name? Share your smarts with our online community by leaving a comment below.

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