Now that you know how to get your marriage license application completed and get your marriage license (Seattle Wedding Officiants Does All the Paperwork), it’s time to talk about getting your name changed (see form below). To get your name changed with the Social Security Administration, DMV, passport office, work insurance, etc. you must obtain a certified copy of your marriage license.
The first thing you need to know is that not all brides decide to change their last name. I would estimate that approximately 90% of my brides change their names to their husband’s last name. The choice to change your last name or keep it is entirely up to you and there is no law that says you have to change it. I had a bride lovingly share with me that she was the last one in her family with her father’s name and wanted to continue his legacy, and therefore decided to keep her maiden name. You also have the option of hyphenating your last name with your husband’s name. But again, you can keep your birth name if you wish.
Filling out the certified copy request is fairly straight forward, and we will complete it together on your wedding day. You can send it in 10 days after your wedding day, but there is no rush. For example, you can take care of this after you return from your honeymoon. In addition, it is important to know that the courthouse gets especially busy in the summer months and they need to receive your marriage license before they can process your certified copy request. It’s your officiant’s responsibility to forward the marriage license to the courthouse after the wedding. I take care of this either the same day or the very next business day after the wedding. If you are in a hurry to get a certified copy of your marriage license you can go to the courthouse with your completed marriage license and pick up your certified copies in person. Both parties do not need to be present to pick up a certified copy of your license.
You will receive your certified copies in approximately two weeks; longer if it’s the middle of summer as the marriage licensing office gets swamped with paperwork this time of year. Once you receive your certified copies of your marriage license, it’s time get started changing your name. In my consultation I will provide a list of the places you will need to contact to change your name.