I know I’ve been over this before, but I’ve gotten so many questions lately about the details of changing your maiden name to your married name, that I thought I’d better write a blog about it. It’s a complicated process – no question, but if you go through each of the steps described below, hopefully it will be a little simpler.
Step 1. Obtain a marriage license from the local Marriage License Office. To get a marriage license you must have your application form filled out, bring proof of age (you must be 19yrs or older) a drivers license, passport, birth certificate or state ID will be fine, and proof of residency. To save time, be sure to fill out the marriage license application form at home ahead of time and bring it with you. If you are on Oahu, you and your fiancee must go downtown office on Punchbowl Street together. The exact address is: 1250 Punchbowl St. (corner of Beretania and Punchbowl Streets). Please note that you must apply for your marriage license no sooner than 30 days prior to your wedding date. License will cost $60 + a $5 processing fee. For additional details please check out the Hawaii marriage license website.
Step 2. Get Married! Yay! Make sure you have your marriage license with you, it is probably a good idea to have your officiant or wedding planner hold on to it for safekeeping before the ceremony. After the “I do’s”, make sure your officiant or priest file or wedding planner has properly filed your paperwork – this is usually their job so you shouldn’t have to worry about this part.
Step 3. Wait to get your official Marriage Certificate in the Mail. This process usually takes up to 4 months, so don’t bother changing any of your other id cards until you get your marriage certificate. Enjoy your maiden name a bit longer, it won’t be around for very long.
Step 4. Get a new Social Security Card. You finally got your marriage certificate, Horray! Keep it in a safe spot and get ready for the real headache of the “official name change”. The best place to start is with your social security card. First fill out this social security name change form. Then head down to the Social Security Office on the corner of Punchbowl St. and Ala Moana Blvd. with either a state ID, passport, drivers license, or birth certificate PLUS your marriage certificate AND your old social security card, if you don’t have your old card, don’t worry about it, they will give you a new one anyway. New social security cards take up to 8 days to come to you by mail. HINT: Get there early! Metered parking usually only lets you put in 2hrs. worth of quarters and you are likely to go overtime if you don’t get there early and have all of your paperwork filled out ahead of time. It is easy to park on Punchbowl and just walk right into the office. Grab a number and wait for your turn to submit paperwork. This process should take no longer than 2 hrs. if you get there early… I’m talking like 8am early, so get a good night sleep the night before.
Here is the exact address of the Soc. Sec. office in Honolulu:
Social Security Administration, Federal Building, Rm 1-114
300 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96850 (corner of Ala Moana Blvd. & Punchbowl St.);
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 3:30 pm (closed on federal holidays)
Phone: 800-772-1213 (Toll free number)
Web: SSA website (for information and office locations on other islands)
Step 5. New State ID. If you don’t have a state ID, it is really a great thing to have because it is just as valid as a drivers license and if god-forbid you ever lose your drivers license, you will always have a back-up ID. A Hawaii State ID is very in-expensive and easy to get. You will need to bring your NEW social security card, birth certificate or passport, and marriage license certificate. A new state ID card is just $18.00. HINT: Fill out all the paperwork online, pay the processing fee, and set up an appointment on the Express Hawaii State ID website. This will make everything super easy. The line to get a new state ID can easily take up to 4+ hours, but if you do everything online ahead of time, all you have to do is show up with your paperwork at your designated appointment time and take a new photo. You’ll speed by the dummies who didn’t take advantage of the new express check-out and be will be so thankful you were super prepared!
Here is the exact address of the Honolulu State ID office:
465 S. King Street, Rm. 102
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813 (Map)
Phone: (808) 587-3111
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. HST Monday through Friday, Except State holidays
Step 6. New Drivers License. Now that you’ve done this process a few times you should have all your “new name” paperwork organized and ready to go. Head down to the nearest DMV with all of your documents and fill out the proper paperwork to have your license name officially changed. HINT: Get there early to avoid lines. Most offices open at 7:30am. I know the newest Hawaii licenses look a little different, but I couldn’t resist the McLovin License.
Step 7. Go to the Bank. Now that all the official ID paperwork has been completed, head down to your local bank with all your documents. If you have more than one bank, you may have repeat the process a few times. Make sure to let them know you will also need new debit cards. Unfortunately this may cost you $15-$25 per card… but that is the price of being in marital bliss – trust me, it’s worth it! Your new card should be mailed to you within 15 days. HINT: Ask your bank teller about being able to cash checks with your old name. If you ask ahead of time, they will put a note on your account to make sure you are able to cash checks with your old name for a period of a year or so. This will save you tons of headaches down the line.
Step 8. Call your Credit Card companies. To make things simpler, just make a pile of all of your credit cards (hopefully there aren’t too many) and call each of them one by one. Let the representative know that you have recently gotten married and you need a name change form. You cannot obtain these forms online, but they are always happy to mail them to you. It usually takes up to 15 days to get the form, which you should immediately fill out and mail back with a copy of your marriage license. HINT: If you have more than one American Express Card – or Visa Card, let the representative know to send you a form for each acccount. This will save you time and make the process much easier.
Step 9. Mortgage Companies & Insurance Companies. Give your mortgage company and insurance companies (auto and health) a call and let them know your name has been changed. They will send you a form of name change and you will have to complete the same process that you did with the credit card companies. HINT: Make a bunch of copies of your marriage certificate and new ID so that you don’t have to make multiple trips to the copy machine. It is very likely that you will need to send copies of both the marriage license and your new ID card to multiple people. Keep the process simple by having everything together and organized.
Step 10. Online Accounts. E-Bay, Amazon, Macy’s, Costco, Sams Club, E-Mail, Facebook, MySpace (hey some of are still on myspace:), Groupon, PlayHawaii, Barnes and Nobles, Nordstroms, Roth IRAs, Simple IRAs, and the list goes on. Start changing your name on all of the accounts you have. It may take awhile, but if you try to devote a week to getting it done, you will be happy you took care of it all at once. HINT: Make a list. Take 10 minutes or so to make a list of all the accounts you can think of that you currently have or use frequently. Go through the list one by one and check them off as you make your name changes. By making a list and taking care of everything all at once the name changing process will be smooth and easy.
Step 11. Passport Name Change. Changing the name on your passport is fairly simple if you follow these steps:
1. Fill out form DS-82 which is: this PDF form.
2. Print out the form, sign & date.
3. Mail the Form DS-82 in a padded envelope to the address listed on the form, along with:
- Your most recent U.S. Passport (book or card)
- One Passport Photo that is stapled to the application within the space provided using four vertical staples, one in each corner
- Current Passport Fees
- A marriage certificate or court order
If You Wish to Expedite Your Passport Application:
- Include a check or money order for $60.00 made payable to the U.S. Department of State. Do not send cash in the mail (See Passport Fees)
- Clearly mark ‘EXPEDITE’ on the outside of the padded envelope
- We recommend using an overnight delivery service for delivery to andfrom the Passport Agency
HINT: Use a padded envelope and a secure form of mailing (get the envelope insured so that you can track it). There are really important stuff in this envelope so it’s important you can find out where it is just incase something happens.
More details on Passport Name Change – please check out this website. And for helpful hints on the process – this website shows an illustrated version of what to send in. I love seeing it visually, hope it helps you too.
THAT’S IT!- You should be all set!!! You’re name should be officially changed! Horray!! Now that wasn’t so bad was it?
Heres just a few more commonly asked questions:
Q. Do I need to notify anybody else for my taxes?
A. No, when you changed your social security card, the dept. of taxation should have been notified as well – I would however, make sure you notified your tax preparer. You may need to fax or email him/her a copy of your NEW social security card and marriage certificate as well.
Q. Is it better to file jointly or separately?
A. It depends. If your taxes are complicated, and you own/rent property, have IRA’s, have a business, it may be more beneficial to file separately, BUT if you have children, it may be more beneficial to file jointly, it really depends on your situation. Check with your tax preparer to find out what will save you the most money.
Q. What if I have my own business and a GE Tax license, does that info. need to change too?
A. Yes! You must notify the state and get a new GE Tax license by filling out this form. Simply fill it out, print it out, and then mail it to the address below:
HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION
P.O. BOX 1425
HONOLULU, HI 96806-1425
Q. What’s the difference between a marriage license and a marriage certificate, are the same thing?
A. No, a marriage license and marriage certificate are different documents. The marriage license permits a marriage to take place. The marriage certificate indicates that a legal marriage has been performed.
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xoxo, Your Hawaii Wedding Planner, Best Day Ever Hawaii