Changing my last name has been the #1 battle conversation in our relationship since we started planning our wedding. I come from a background where the custom is the female has the choice of changing her last name or not and he comes from a background where everyone he knows did change their last name.
So, I put out a poll to figure out how many women keep their last name and why? and how many change their last name and why. These were my findings:
These were some reasons behind their choices:
Why did I change my last name?
"I was becoming my husband's wife, so I'd rather be known as that over my father's daughter. Either way it's a man's name." - Maria
"Turned my middle name into my maiden name" - Katie
Why did I choose to keep my last name?
"I already had a last name, so I didn't see the need for another one" - Jessica
"I kept my name for many reasons. Changing names was to signify a change of property. It's a European tradition that somehow the rest of the world started adopting. None of the aunts on my dad's side or even my mom for that matter changed their name. But whatever each couple decided to do is best for them! No judgement <3" - Nighat
"My last name is who I identify with, how I grew up, and why wouldn't I want to carry my lineage. I'm proud to be a Mirza and being an only child I'm the last person who will have my dads name tied to me. Additionally not that I'm super religious, but Islamically speaking women were taught and meant to have independence. Even the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) wives carried their fathers name." - Heraa
"I kept mine for practical reasons" - Ambreen
"My wife kept hers because if she took my name it would be the same as my mom's and that wasn't going to happen." - Hussain
In the end, it is up to you whether or not you would like to change your last name. Below, comment if you will be keeping your last name or not and the reason behind it. We would love to know!
I am still up in the air whether I would like to change it or not. The paperwork and the process looks daunting to me. Take a look for yourself.
Steps to Change Your Name
1. Get your marriage license - this is the most important step. Before you can change your name, you will need the original (certified) marriage license with the raised seal. Before leaving the court house make sure you pick up at least 3 copies. Trust me you will need it!
2. Update your social security card - Visit the Social Security Administration website and fill out the application for a new Social Security card. You will keep the same number just your name will change. Mail in the application. Too make this an easy process make sure you have your proof of citizenship (valid passport, certified copy of your birth certificate), proof of name change (marriage certificate), proof of identity (valid drivers license), and your current Social Security card. After you turn your application in make sure to print out a receipt. This process should take 10 business days.
3. New drivers license - Take a trip to the DMV office to get a new license with your new last name. You have to bring form of identification that your local DMV instructs you to - including your current license, your marriage certificate, and your new social security card. Bonus: if you live in MD by October 2020 everyone must carry a REAL ID. Make sure you go online and register an appointment with the DMV and you will have bring proof of citizenship with you. Knock it all out at once!
4. Get a new passport! This one is going to cost you $110.00
5. Change your bank accounts - This one is HUGE, especially if you're setting up a joint bank account. The fastest way to change your name at your bank is to go into the branch location. You need to bring your new driver's license and your marriage certificate. Make sure to request new checks, debit, and credit cards. You may hit some fees during this process.
8. Post office (if your address has changed too)
12. Business licences
13. doctors offices
and so on... the list goes on forever for some of us! Don't worry if you forget something. Somewhere down the line, it will pop up and you can quickly change it!
Hope this helps those of us pondering the idea of changing our last name and congratulations to all the newly weds!