Estimate Time2 min

How to change your name after marriage

There’s no legal obligation for anyone to change their name after marriage. You can keep your last name, take your spouse’s last name, hyphenate the two last names, or create a new name. However, if you choose to there are some requirements to make your name change legal.

File the right paperwork with your state to make it official

Some states allow people getting married to indicate their new last name when filling out the marriage license. When you get your marriage certificate, the new name will be displayed.
If your state doesn’t have a space on the marriage license to indicate your new name, you may have to make the change by petitioning the court.1 If you’re both changing your names to something new, it may also require petitioning the court—check your local laws to find out the procedure.2

Get copies of your marriage certificate for your bank, the DMV, etc.

Sometime after the ceremony you’ll receive an original marriage certificate by mail, it should have a raised seal. You can also request additional certified copies of your marriage certificate. You’ll need this to get your name changed at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), your financial institution, and everywhere else.

Change your name with the Social Security Administration

You’ll need your marriage certificate to change the name attached to your Social Security number. You may also need to provide ID. You can find out more about changing your name, and find the form required, on the Social Security Administration website. Remember, if you plan to file taxes under a new married name, the name on your tax return must match the name associated with your Social Security number.3

Update your driver license or passport

To change your name on your official forms of identification, your driver license and passport, you’ll need to show either your original marriage certificate or a certified copy. You may be able to change your name on your passport by mail, but an in-person visit at the DMV is generally required for your driver license.

Change your name on your financial accounts

Contact your banks, brokerages, credit unions, and credit card issuers to change your name. They will likely have a form to fill out and will ask for documentation proving your identification and the name change. 
If you have a workplace savings plan, like a 401(k) or 403(b), you’ll need to change the name on that account too. Your plan provider will likely have their own form and require documentation, but your employer may also need to be involved. If you have an equity award or stock purchase plan, check the requirements for changing your name on the account. Consider checking with your plan administrator to find out what’s needed.

Get more Fidelity Smart Money℠

What the news means for your money, plus tips to help you spend, save, and invest.

More to explore

1. Siege Media, "The complete guide to legally changing your name,", May 11, 2023, 2. "Legal Marriage Requirements,", August 25, 2020, 3. “Name changes & Social Security number matching issues 1,”, September 6, 2022,

Fidelity does not provide legal or tax advice. The information herein is general in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific situation.

This information is general in nature and provided for educational purposes only.