A marriage license with your new last name does not automatically mean you've changed it. You shouldn't change your name before the honeymoon, because your new name has to match all travel documents, most importantly, your passport -- processing name changes on passports generally takes anywhere from four to six weeks. (Hint: Make it easy on yourself and get the Name Change Kit on TheNest.com.)
Getting a marriage license with your new name on it does not mean your name has automatically changed.
1. Get your marriage license
Before you can change your name, you'll need the original (or certified) marriage license with the raised seal and your new last name on it. Call the clerk's office where your license was filed to get copies if one wasn't automatically sent to you.
2. Change your Social Security card
Visit the Social Security Administration's website and fill out the application for a new Social Security card. You'll keep the same number -- just your name will be different. Mail in your application to the local Social Security Administration office. You should get your new card within 10 business days.
3. Change your license at the DMV
Take a trip to the local Department of Motor Vehicles office to get a new license with your new last name. Bring every form of identification you can lay your hands on -- your old license, your certified marriage license and -- most important -- your new Social Security card.
4. Change your bank accounts
This one's a biggie, especially if you're setting up a joint bank account, or if you have one already set up. The fastest way to change your name at your bank is to go into a branch location -- bring your new driver's license and your marriage license. You should request new checks and debit and credit cards on top of changing the name attached to your accounts. Something to note: You might get hit with fees for requesting a new debit card.
4. Fill in the blanks
Once you have a social security card and driver's license in your married name, other changes should be fairly easy. Some places only require a phone call; others may ask for a copy of your marriage certificate or social security card. Be sure to notify:
- Post office
- Electric and other utility companies
- Credit card companies
- Schools and alumni associations
- Landlord or mortgage company
- Insurance companies (auto, home, life)
- Doctors' offices
- Voter registration office
- Investment account providers
- Your attorney (to update legal documents, including your will)
- Passport office
See More: Wedding Planning Basics