We won’t pretend changing your name is fun, but we promise to make it as painless as possible. We have done our research to find the right forms, the fastest DMV offices in Dallas, and completed the process the wrong way so you don’t have to make our same mistakes. Complete this process in order to make your name change process seamless.
1. Obtain Marriage Certificate
Before wedding day, you and your future spouse will visit the downtown Dallas County Clerk to apply for a marriage license (We recommend doing this within one month of your wedding date.) During wedding day, you, your spouse, your officiant, and a witness sign and validate the marriage license. The marriage license will then be mailed, usually by your wedding officiant, back to the Dallas County Clerk. Once the clerk’s office receives the validated marriage license, they issue you and your spouse a marriage certificate recognizing your legal marriage. Your marriage certificate is the most important documentation needed throughout the name change process.
Expert tip: When applying for a license, ask for certified copies in advance. When the clerk’s office mails your marriage certificate, they will also mail two certified copies for your records.
2. Change Your Social Security Card
You cannot apply for a new social security card online—you must apply in person or through the mail. Your first step will be completing this application. Next, head to the Dallas Social Security Office with the completed application and the following items:
- Proof of Citizenship: a valid passport or original or certified birth certificate
- Proof of Identity: Must show name, date of birth, age, and photograph. Typically, this will be a valid driver’s license or passport.
- Proof of Name Change: Your marriage certificate or a certified copy.
- Your current social security card: You will have the same social security number with the new name.
About mailing in your application—don’t do it unless absolutely necessary. We’d hate for identity theft Tim to accidentally receive your perfectly packaged identity on his doorstep, but to each his own.
Expert tip: Visit this website if you need a certified copy of your birth certificate or marriage license mailed to your doorstep.
3. Apply for a New Drivers License
For a new drivers license, you need your new social security card and original or certified proof of a name change, like your marriage certificate. You must complete this step in person and while you can visit any of these DMV locations, we have a couple insider secrets to share.
The Garland DMV allows you to “get in line, online.” You can sign in to the wait list from the office or at home, and be notified via text message when your name will be called within one hour. The timing is not exact, but this minimizes your time sitting at the DMV. A fair warning: if you miss your name call, you move to the bottom of the list, so don’t be late.
Our ultimate DMV secret resides in Waxahachie. If you’re willing to drive a little out of town, this DMV wait list is always shorter and a couple of our editors even described their DMV Waxachacie experience as “pleasant.” Trust us: This is rare.
4. Update Bank Accounts with New Name
With updated identification, you must ensure your financial records match. Visit your local branch with your new driver’s license and marriage certificate and the bank will update your statements, order new credit cards, as well as checkbooks.
5. Everything Else
Even if you are not a jet-setter, we recommend now updating your passport while you’re movin’ and groovin.’ This step depends on when you were issued your current passport, but we found this page very helpful. Other categories to update: payroll, insurance, voter registration, and utilities. We know it’s overwhelming, but we hope we provided some strategic organization to this long process.