How to Change Name After Marriage in Georgia
Getting married is an exciting milestone in life, and for many people, it also means taking on a new last name. If you are a resident of Georgia and considering changing your name after marriage, this article will guide you through the process and answer some frequently asked questions.
1. Decide on a new name:
Before you begin the legal process of changing your name, it is important to decide on the new name you would like to adopt. You can choose to take your spouse’s last name, hyphenate your last name with your spouse’s, or create a completely new last name. Make sure to discuss your decision with your spouse and ensure that both parties are comfortable with the name change.
2. Obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate:
To change your name after marriage in Georgia, you will need to provide proof of your marriage. Contact the county clerk’s office where your marriage license was issued and request a certified copy of your marriage certificate. This certified copy will be required when updating your identification documents.
3. Update your Social Security card:
The next step is to update your Social Security card with your new name. Fill out an application for a new Social Security card, which can be found on the Social Security Administration’s website or obtained from your local Social Security office. Along with the application, you will need to submit your certified marriage certificate and proof of identity. Once your application is processed, you will receive a new Social Security card with your updated name.
4. Update your driver’s license or identification card:
After updating your Social Security card, you will need to update your driver’s license or identification card. Visit your local Georgia Department of Driver Services office and bring your current driver’s license or identification card, certified marriage certificate, and Social Security card. You may also need to provide proof of residency, such as a utility bill or lease agreement. Pay the required fee, have your photo taken, and your new driver’s license or identification card with your updated name will be issued.
5. Update other identification documents:
Now that you have updated your Social Security card and driver’s license, you can proceed to update your other identification documents. This includes your passport, bank accounts, credit cards, insurance policies, and any other documents that bear your previous name. Contact each institution or agency individually and inquire about their name change process. They may require additional documentation, such as a copy of your updated driver’s license or marriage certificate.
Q: How long does it take to change my name after marriage in Georgia?
A: The process of changing your name after marriage in Georgia can take several weeks. It is important to start the process as soon as possible to avoid any delays in updating your identification documents.
Q: Can I change my first name as well?
A: Yes, you can change your first name along with your last name after marriage. However, the process for changing your first name is more complex and may require additional legal steps. It is recommended to consult an attorney for guidance.
Q: Can same-sex couples change their names after marriage?
A: Yes, same-sex couples have the same rights as opposite-sex couples when it comes to changing their names after marriage in Georgia. The process is the same regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
Q: Do I need a lawyer to change my name after marriage?
A: In most cases, hiring a lawyer is not necessary to change your name after marriage in Georgia. The process can be done by following the steps outlined in this article. However, if you encounter any legal complications or have specific concerns, it is advisable to seek legal advice.
Changing your name after marriage is a personal decision, and the process may seem overwhelming at first. By following the steps outlined in this article and being organized with your documentation, you can successfully change your name and start the next chapter of your life with your new identity.