NEW YORK – You may change your name when you get married, divorced or even when you just feel like it. But a new name means you need new identification — to get a job, get paid, drive and do any number of things.
To change the name on your Social Security card, visit the Social Security Administration (search) at www.ssa.gov and download the application, or call 1-800-772-1213. You can also visit your local Social Security office. You will need to supply documentation for your old name and your new one.
To change the name on your driver's license, bring your new Social Security card — and other forms of ID for your old and new name — to your local Department of Motor Vehicles.
Be sure to also notify:
Your employer. Talk to your immediate supervisors, human-resources office and the payroll department.
The post office.
Anyone you pay bills to — including the phone company, utilities and your landlord.
Banks and other financial institutions with which you do business. Be sure to change the name on any outstanding mortgages, loans or leases.
Your lawyer. Your name will need to be changed on important legal documents such as your will.
Schools and alumni associations.
The clerk of the county or district in which you are registered to vote.
Family and friends.
Organizations you must notify about your name change may ask for your Social Security (search) card or your driver's license, so change those first. If you're getting married or divorced, you may also need to supply a certified copy of the marriage certificate or divorce decree.
Minors wishing to change their names — such as children taking their mother's maiden name after a divorce — may need to supply proof of their parents' permission to do so.
The sooner you notify important people and organizations, the better. Otherwise, you may have difficulties getting your paycheck, paying bills or writing a check.
But if you're getting married, The Knot.com reports, you should wait until after your honeymoon to change the name on your passport and other identification necessary for travel, such as your driver's license. Security checkpoints and customs may require that the name on your identification match that on your tickets.