How to Change Your Name in Michigan After Getting Married

By Published On: August 28, 2023

Congratulations! Whether you’re newly married or prepping for the big day, tackling the task of changing your last name can seem overwhelming. After the big day, there are a lot of steps and to-do’s to make your new name 100% official!   

If you’re a Michigan bride (or groom!) in the process of figuring out how to change your name, we’ve created the ultimate guide to help you through every step. 

Photo by Mikayla Jean Photography

How to Change Your Name in Michigan

Step 1: Marriage Certificate

These documents are the most important part; so important that you can’t move on to step two without them. When you’re applying for your marriage license, ask if you can purchase certified copies in advance. (We recommend buying three to start.) This way, instead of having to go back to get copies once you’ve received your marriage certificate after your wedding, you’ll get your certificate and your certified copies all at once. Stash the certificate somewhere safe, but keep the certified copies on hand. You’ll need them. 

Step 2: Social Security Card Update

Update Your Social Security Card Your next stop is the Social Security Administration (SSA). Head over to your local SSA office or visit their website to complete the application for a new Social Security card. This process typically involves filling out a form, providing identification documents, and submitting your marriage certificate. Your new Social Security card with your updated name will arrive in the mail within a few weeks. 

If you plan on going to the Social Security office in person, save yourself some time by filling out THIS APPLICATION for a Social Security card in advance. You will also need to bring the following documents: 

  • PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP: Your valid passport or a certified copy of your birth certificate. 
  • PROOF OF NAME CHANGE: A certified copy of your marriage license. (You will most likely get this back, so you can use it again.) 
  • PROOF OF IDENTITY: This must show your name, date of birth or age, and a recent photograph. That could be a valid driver’s license, passport, state-issued identification card, or U.S. Military identification card. 
  • YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY CARD: You will keep the same number when your card is replaced. 

Not a U.S. Citizen? THIS LINK will help you determine which documents you need based on your citizenship status. 

How to change your name in Michigan after etting married

Photo by Amber Marie Photography

Step 3: Driver’s License

Now that you have your new Social Security card, it’s time to update your driver’s license or state ID. Visit your local Secretary of State branch office with your updated Social Security card, marriage certificate, and any other required identification. Your driver’s license or state ID will be reissued with your new name. 

Step 4: Passports, Voter Registration, and More

Notify Other Government Agencies Changing your name on official documents is crucial, but don’t forget to inform other government agencies as well. Some key organizations to notify include the U.S. Passport Office (if applicable), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (for Medicaid and other benefits), and the Michigan Voter Registration Office. 

Changing your name on your passport is considered a correction. If your passport was issued less than a year ago, you’ll be able to have the correction made without paying a fee. However, if you’ve had your current passport for a year or more, the fee for a change and a new passport book is $110 (plus an expedited fee if you’re in a rush to get on your honeymoon). 

All passport changes must be applied for by mail. The U.S. Department of State has put together a convenient tool that will help you fill out the change form, which can be found HERE. Once you’ve filled it out, send the following to the National Passport Processing Center: 

  • COMPLETED FORM DS-82 (which you can fill out at the link above) 
  • A CERTIFIED COPY OF YOUR MARIAGE LICENSE 
  • YOUR CURRENT PASSPORT 
  • A CHECK FOR THE PASSPORT FEE: Made payable to “U.S. Department of State;” Your full name and date of birth must also be typed or printed on the front of your check. 
  • A RECENT COLOR PHOTOGRAPH: 2 x 2 inches in size, that meets passport photo requirements. 

The postal workers at your local post office are awesome at making sure you fill out everything correctly! And be sure to fill out the forms in BLACK INK! We learned this one the hard way! 

Photo by Samantha Leigh Studios

Step 5: Health Insurance

Whether you’re combining insurance policies or are simply updating the information on your own policy, this is a major change you need to make as soon as possible to ensure you’re covered in the event of a claim. You will need a copy of your marriage license to move this along. 

If you are insured through your employer, go through human resources or the insurance representative to find the appropriate forms and contact information. 

Planning to combine your coverage? Make these changes all at once. Marriage is considered a major life event, so you also have the opportunity to change your health care coverage, even if it isn’t an enrollment period. For auto and home insurance, adding an additional vehicle or a new home to your policy could result in some great savings if you combine multiple policies with the same company. 

You won’t need to call your doctor’s office or dentist about the change to your insurance. Instead, head to your next appointment a few minutes early (with your new insurance card and ID in hand) to make the changes in person. 

Step 6: Financial & Legal Documents

Contact your bank to update your accounts, credit cards, and checks. Update your insurance policies, including health, auto, and homeowners insurance. Additionally, inform your employer and update your name on tax documents, if necessary. 

As soon as your identification has been updated with your new name, head to your local bank branch to update the information on your bank accounts. Note that most banks require that these changes be made in person or will require you to mail in a certified copy of your marriage license if you don’t live near a physical location. If you’re going in person, bring the following documents with you: 

  • A CERTIFIED COPY OF YOUR MARIAGE LICENSE 
  • YOUR NEW SOCIAL SECURITY CARD 
  • YOUR NEW DRIVER’S LICENSE 

Photo by Reese Oliver Photography

Step 7: Bills, Subscriptions, Memberships, Etc.

Inform Other Institutions and Organizations Once you’ve tackled the governmental and financial aspects, it’s time to update your name with various institutions and organizations. This may include utility companies, professional associations, gyms, clubs, and subscriptions. Don’t forget to update your name on your email, social media profiles, and any other online platforms. 

Step 8: Pop Champagne and Celebrate!

Celebrate and Embrace Your New Name Changing your name is a symbolic step that marks the start of a new chapter in your life. Embrace your new identity and celebrate the journey you’re embarking on as a married couple. Update your signature, update your monogrammed items, and enjoy the feeling of your new name becoming an integral part of your identity. 

How Long Does it Take to Change Your Name in Michigan?

The entire name change process will probably take a few months to complete. Some of the items on this list are as easy as going into a dashboard and placing your new name, while others (such as a new passport) will take around 10-12 weeks to complete.  

Also, there are some important things to note when it comes to booking your honeymoon airline tickets. I know that you will most likely want to start using your new last name as soon as possible, but you should ALWAYS book your honeymoon tickets under your maiden name, especially if you take your honeymoon right after your wedding. It will make the flight process much easier, as your maiden name will still be on all your legal IDs and passport documents.  

Photo by Liz Lyszyk Photography

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