Tag Archives: bureacracy

Name Change After Marriage

One of the many questions I had while preparing to get married was how long it would take to get my name changed. My driver license was going to require renewal this year so I figured I would get my name changed when I did the renewal. Since my wedding would be two weeks before the renewal due date, I was not sure if I could meet the deadline. It turned out that things worked out great.

The usual way of mailing in the marriage license could take a few weeks. I went to the County Clerk-Recorder in San Jose on Monday morning after the wedding and got a certified copy of my marriage certificate for $14. I thought that I would get the original in addition to that but it turned out not to be the case. My celebrant had highly recommended getting two copies to deal with the name changing process so I requested an additional copy.

I then headed to the Social Security Administration where I showed the proof of marriage and desired name change. I was told that I did not need the new SS card to show to the DMV because they would check electronically. However, he recommended waiting a day so that the computers would have time to get updated.

That worked out well because a few weeks earlier I had scheduled an appointment for the DMV for one day after because I did not know how long it would take at the SSA and I wanted to have time to spend with family members who would still be around on Monday.

The next day I went to my early morning appointment to the DMV. They were so fast at calling my number that I did not even finish filling out my form. The longest part of the visit was waiting in line to take a new photo. I was out of the DMV in 30 minutes. My sister in law from NYC was impressed that I returned so quickly from the appointment because they can’t make appointments at the DMV there.

Each office took about half an hour and no more than an hour to get things done.  I recommend checking the web sites of the respective agencies for any applications to fill out ahead of time. The DMV was the only office that did not have that option.

I would like to emphasize that this was my experience in Santa Clara County in California. Your experience might vary based on your location and its laws. I wanted to share what I learned to help out anyone else in my situation because I had trouble getting an answer to the question of how long it would take to get my name changed after getting married.