maiden name

What To Expect From Changing Your Name

If you or your partner plan on changing your name after walking down the aisle, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the process early on.

Marriage tends to change the lives of the two people involved. While some changes can be exciting, like moving in together for the first time, there are other adjustments that can take a bit of time to get used to. This is especially true when it comes to changing your name. Though the traditions surrounding post-marital name changes have shifted over the years, there is still a great deal to remember when the time comes to take on the surname of your spouse.

If you or your partner plan on changing your name after walking down the aisle, now is a great time to familiarize yourself with the process. Here is what you can expect once you’ve decided to make the change.

Starting Out with the Name Change

Changing your name is something of a process. Of course, this process cannot begin without the right paperwork. The most important piece of paper you will receive in relation to changing your name is your marriage license. Most couples get their license before the wedding and have it signed by the officiant and witnesses after the ceremony has ended. While this document does not change your name outright, it is a vital piece of the puzzle and will prove invaluable with the next steps involved in the process.

Once you have your license, you need to start the ball rolling. First, you want to reach out to the government offices in your province. In many cases, you can either decide to fill out the appropriate paperwork in the office while you are there, or download and print the correct forms in the comfort of your own home. If you decide to mail in the application, remember you will need to submit original copies of your marriage certificate and proof of identity. Filling the application out in-office can expedite the process a bit.

Next Steps

Once you have submitted the appropriate paperwork, your journey has begun. Unfortunately, it is far from over. Next, begin the processes of changing your name on your driver’s license and your passport, if applicable. You won’t be able to complete these steps until you have submitted for your official surname change, but it can be helpful to start planning out your next moves as soon as possible. After it has been changed officially, you want to head back to your province’s government offices to start changing it on your license.

In order to change your name, you need to bring along your marriage license, proof of your current residence, your current driver’s license, and a certified copy of your birth certificate. A basic copy of your birth certificate is not valid, so be sure to get an embossed copy if need be in order to have all the necessary paperwork handy. When this step is completed, you can submit your paperwork for your passport name change. Of all the processes, passports tend to take a bit longer, usually a few weeks.

Everything Else

Changing your name can become a messy process if you don’t change it everywhere. Be prepared to fill out paperwork for everyone from the companies that provide your home utilities to the HR representative at work. Changing your name on official documents, credit cards, and bank accounts can become somewhat complex. As long as you have your newly issued social security card as proof, you shouldn’t run into many complications along the way.

Changing your name can be a wonderful way to make your marriage feel a bit more real in a public sense. In order to get through this process without many headaches, be sure to take your time and look over every document you’ll require to make your new name official.