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Changing Your Name on a Driver's License

Updated: March 2021

People change their legal names for a variety of reasons: getting married or divorced, choosing a name that better reflects their gender identity or even simply disliking their birth name. Whatever your reason for changing your name, it's important to remember that you'll need to update your name on several important documents – including your driver's license.

In order to change the name on your driver's license, you must first update your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA). You will need to provide the required documents, fill out an application for a Social Security card and then mail it to your local Social Security office. The SSA has a brochure on their site that offers specific instructions.

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Changing Your Driver's License

Once you've changed your name with the SSA, you can begin the process of updating your name on your driver's license. According to NoLo.com, the best place to start is by going to your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to find out what kind of documentation you'll need to make the change. Nolo explains that most states have similar requirements for name changes, with the following documents the most commonly requested documents:

  • A certified copy of your birth certificate.
  • Bank statements or other financial documents.
  • Your social security or green card.
  • A marriage certificate, judgment of divorce or other court documents.

In most states, MyMove.com notes that you will probably have to go to the DMV in person, and you may be issued a temporary license until you get a new one in the mail. Most states also charge a small fee for getting a new driver's license.

Updating Your Name on a Car Registration and Title

Updating your car registration and title with your new name is important for car insurance and vehicle ownership purposes. MyMove.com further explains that requirements for updating your car registration and title with your new name vary from state to state. They recommend visiting your state's website to find out how to make the change and the documentation you'll need.

Changing Your Name on Your Insurance Policies

For your home, auto and renters insurance policies, check the website of your insurance company for detailed instructions on making updates to your account regarding your name change. If your name change came about because you got married, this might be a good time to assess your insurance needs. For example, you might have received valuable jewelry or expensive wedding gifts that will need to be protected. You also might want to consider adding your spouse to your current auto insurance policy and finding out whether you may be eligible for a multi-vehicle discount, which varies from state to state.

For your health insurance, Blue Cross Blue Shield explains that most companies have member accounts you can access online to make changes to your personal information. You can also call the customer service number on the back of your insurance card.

Who Else Should I Inform of My Name Change?

The legal experts at NoLo also recommend that you notify the following people and institutions about your name change:

  • Passport agency.
  • Employer.
  • Bank.
  • Credit cards.
  • Mortgage company or landlord.
  • Retirement and investment funds.
  • Voter registration.
  • Medical records.
  • US Postal Service.
  • Utility companies.
  • Educational institutions.

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Our pages are filled with helpful tips and information about the topics that most of us face in our everyday lives. We focus on safety and maintenance issues with regard to your home, auto, apartment, motorcycle, boat, small business, finances and more. Please recognize that a particular tip may not be effective in every circumstance and that taking preventive measures cannot guarantee any outcome. We encourage you to use your own good judgment about what's appropriate for you and your property and always consider safety.
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