Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

When to Change Last Name

This may be a stupid question, but when should you change your last name? I always assumed you started that process after the wedding but here is the thing--I'm a teacher and I am getting married in August. School starts up in September.

Other teachers have told me just to change my name before the wedding leagally so that when I am filling out all of next years (2013-2014 academic year) information I can just use my soon-to-be married name. Is that crazy? Do people do that? But then once the honeymoon is over and I am back in school come September all my information will need to get changed anyways so should I just take care of that sooner?


Re: When to Change Last Name

  • You will need your marriage license in order to change your name without petitioning a court and paying legal fees.  Ask your HR office, but I think you'll have to fill out your employment foms with your current name and then make changes after your name is legally changed.
  • I would just explain to your HR that you are getting married and will be changing your name, and let them decide when/how you fill out paperwork.  
  • Yeah, you need a marriage certificate for SS and the DMV to easily do a name change (what I am doing right now). It seems like a PITA to try to do it before the wedding.
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  • libby2483libby2483 member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper First Comment
    edited April 2013
    I would just wait and do it as soon as possible after the wedding.

    I am also a teacher, and we got married in August of last year.  I got our marriage license and took care of changing my name with the social security office and DMV right after we returned from the honeymoon.  Before the school year started, I asked our tech. department to change my name on my e-mail, login, etc. so that my new name would appear on student schedules and other information at the start of the school year.  I also went to the district office and had my name officially changed for the purposes of payroll, records, etc.  This process was very quick (it was literally less than 20 minutes for the tech. guys to change my name in the computer system), so everything was changed by the start of the school year.
  • If you want to change before, you'll need to go through the legal name change process.  It varies by state, but typically you petition the Court, publish in the county legal organ, and then appear for a hearing.  Assuming no one objects (which is rare) it takes a couple of months and costs a few hundred dollars.  If you really want to, you'll probably need to get the process started now, but it seems like a waste just to avoid having to fill out new papers with work.

    Check with your principal about your students.  You may be able to informally have your student call you by your married name even before the wedding.  (Although this would strike me as really bad luck.)  
  • I am only just now starting to change mine.  I want to take advantage of no fees for the passport name change if I do it within a year so I'm starting the process now (I have about three weeks more before I'll have to pay the fee).  Otherwise, I would have waited until this November and changed it when my drivers license expired.

    Yea, you'll need your marriage certificate (not license) to change your name without paying fees.  In Alaska, where I live, it can take as little as 48 hours to process the request and get the certificate if you request it at the vital statistics office in a major city.  It takes up to 4 weeks if that city does not actually have the certificate on file.  It usually takes less time than that though.

    Honestly, if I were you, I would wait until the break between semesters or just wait until next summer.  There's no real rush.
  • I would just wait until after the wedding. People get married and need to change their name with their employer all the time, the HR at a school isn't going to be much different from HR anywhere else. :) I'm a teacher getting married this summer (June) and I contacted my HR about when they want my new name/paperwork, etc and they just said "no rush, just before your first paycheck." If your legal name is still your maiden name by your first paycheck, that's what the check will be issued to. If you get your name changed by your second paycheck (or whenever) then just fill out the necessary paperwork with HR and they will take it from there. I think the other teachers at your school are overthinking it. :)

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