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The Bump Editors

How to Change Your Last Name Before Baby Arrives

Been meaning to switch to your married name but haven’t found the time? Here’s an easy way to check it off your to-do list.

So you have a baby on the way–hooray! Picking out a baby name is a big to-do, but don’t forget to consider what baby’s last name will be. Will they be taking your name? Your partner’s? A combo of the two? And if you’ve been meaning to switch your own name from your maiden to your married, now may be the time. Because remember—just because you have a marriage license with your married last name doesn't mean you've officially changed your name.

Wondering exactly how to change your last name? You could stand in line at the social security office and DMV—but let’s face it, your swollen feet and aching back aren’t going to thank you. Good news: There's a shortcut. Make it easy on yourself and fast-track your paperwork with the brilliant and easy Hitchswitch Name Change kit.

If you’d rather do it the old-school way, here are the steps you’ll need to take to change your last name:

Step 1: Get Your Marriage License

Before you can change your name, you'll need the original (or certified) marriage license with the raised seal. Call the clerk's office where your license was filed to get copies if one wasn't automatically sent to you.

Step 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, or just go through the process while you're there. You should get your new card within 10 business days.

Step 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 your local DMV instructs you to—including your current license, your certified marriage certificate and, most importantly, your new Social Security card.

Step 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, bringing your new driver's license and your marriage certificate. 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.

Step 5: 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:

  • Employers/payroll
  • Post office (if your address has changed too)
  • 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
  • Airlines (to transfer over your miles)

Feeling overwhelmed? Ignore steps two through five and let us help. Trust us, there's a much easier way to officially change your name—and when you’re pregnant, easy is definitely better. Go to Hitchswitch Name Change, choose the package you want, and with a few simple steps, all of the paperwork you need is sent to you filled out with your information (that only takes filling out one form). This service is seriously worth it, since it cuts down on all the time it'd take to track down every single form you need and fills it out for you. It doesn't get simpler than that!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, some of which may be sponsored by paying vendors.

Published November 2018

Plus, more from The Bump:

Your No-Stress Guide to Choosing a Baby Name

The Craziest Baby Naming Laws by State

Tinder-Like App Helps Parents ‘Match’ on Baby Name Ideas

PHOTO: Nancy L.