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Changing Your Last Name

Wedding planning isn't just about cakes and flowers–don't forget the paperwork.

You have several options for changing your name after marriage, including creating a new name. Charles Andermack from Minneapolis changed his name from Charles Anderson when he married Heidi Olmack. The two merged their names to form “Andermack,” in part because they wanted to have a new family name to share. “Changing your name is a great way to start a new chapter in your life,” he says.

Minneapolis residents Emily Lein and Dylan Bijnagte added each other’s last names as middle names when they got married in May 2004, becoming Emily Jeanne Elliott Bijnagte Lein and Dylan Adrian Lein Bijnagte. “Neither of us wanted to give anything up, but we were happy to add things in, which is kind of true about our union as well,” Lein says. “We feel that we add to each other, not diminish the other’s individuality.” 


  • The DMV: After you’ve changed your name, remember to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles. Bring a certified copy of your marriage certificate as verification to switch your name on your driver’s license. Changes can be made at county courthouse as well. 
  • Social Security: You’ll also need to make the change with your nearest Social Security Administration office. To get a name-change application, call 1.800.772.1213 or visit Certified copies of the marriage certificate, along with the completed form, must be submitted to the Social Security office.
  • Everyone else: If you were previously registered to vote in Minnesota and changed your name or address, you’ll need to re-register at your county courthouse or at Other organizations that need to be informed include banks, credit card companies, lenders, employers, doctor and dentist offices, pharmacies, schools, insurance companies, state and federal tax authorities, utility companies and health clubs. 

It’s a good idea to wait to change your name officially until after the honeymoon. Many couples don’t get their marriage licenses until a few months before they get married, which doesn’t allow enough time to change a name on a passport and other travel identification. Changing the name on a plane ticket could incur charges, and without matching documents, you could be detained.

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