"How do you change your name after you get married in the state of Connecticut?"
"I just got married. How do I change my name in Connecticut?"
"What does it cost to change my last name when I get married in Connecticut?"
In Connecticut changing your name through marriage is easy: You just begin using your new last name.
If you are from Connecticut there is no cost to change your last name after you get married.
If you live in another state, please check with your local Town Clerk or an attorney authorized to practice law in your home state.
You may be asked for proof that you are legally married. The certified copy of your marriage license is the best proof that you can get.
Each certified copy costs $20.00, and certified copies are available only from the Registrar of Vital Statistics (usually the Town Clerk) of the town in which your ceremony was held.
Important places for changing your name:
- Social Security Administration
- This is the single most important place to change your name after you are married.
- You will not be issued a different Social Security Number.
- Driver's License / State-Issued Identification
- Remember to change your vehicle registration and title as well.
- You will need photo identification in your married name for many things, including having your signature notarized.
Connecticut Notaries Public cannot accept your old photo identification plus your marriage license as proof of your new name!
- Because passports are required for all international travel, even just to Mexico or Canada, having your name correct is very important. Be prepared for your name change to take some time.
- To get your new passport you will need a certified copy of your marriage certificate with your old passport.
Please visit WWW.Travel.State.Gov and go to the Passports area.
Beware of other, commercial Sites that want to "help" you with a name change package. Changing your own name is not difficult.
- "Does the signature name on the passport have to match the name on the ticket?"
- If you are going to be traveling outside the United States immediately following your wedding, book your travel under your existing name, not your newly-married name.
The name on your plane tickets, cruise line reservations, et cetera, must match the name on your passport or you will not be allowed to fly, cruise, etc.
This is a good reason to delay a name change after marriage.
- Special note about honeymoon cruises: Some honeymoon packages require proof that you are married.
If you will be leaving before you could get a certified copy of your marriage license, get your wedding officiant to provide a sworn statement that you are legally married.
- Business Cards
- You may also want to change your emergency contact information
- Is your healthcare through your employer? Changing your name with your employer may not automatically change your name for your healthcare!
- Health Insurance
- Homeowners / Renters Insurance
- Car / Vehicle Insurance
- Life Insurance (you may want to change your beneficiary as well)
- Banks / Credit Unions / Brokerage / Investments / Financial Planners
- CDs (Certificates of Deposit)
- IRA / 401k / Retirement Plan
- Mutual Funds
- Trust Funds
- Remember safe deposit boxes, too!
- Credit Cards / Debit Cards
- Signing with a name that does not match the card will trigger a fraud alert
- Retailers may want to see identification that matches the name on your card
- Landlord / Property Management Company
- All leases and rental agreements
- Electricity, Gas, Oil, Water, Telephone, Cell Phone, Cable, Internet Service Provider, Satellite TV
- Mortgage / Other Loans
- Professional Licenses / Credentials
- Post Office (United States Postal Service)
- Will you be filing a change of address, too?
- Student ID, if currently enrolled
- Children's School Records / Emergency Contact Names
- Alumnae Organizations and Sororities / Fraternities
- Alarm / Security Company
- You may want to change your passwords, too
- Professional and Social Organizations
- Tax Records
- Town records for real estate, vehicles, and other property (also known as changing your name on land records)
- State taxes
- Voter Registration
- Your Attorney and Your Spouse's Attorney
- Religious Institutions and Charities
- Red Cross / Blood Banks
- Doctors' / Dentists' / Medical Professionals' Offices / Hospitals
- Being on the record as married to you will give your spouse some special privileges that unmarried partners do not have.
(Just say "HIPPA" to medical professionals to see their reactions.)
- Library Card / Membership Cards
- Royalties / Patents (patent holders' name changes may need special legal advice)
- Wills and Powers of Attorney
- You and your new spouse will probably want to update your Wills and Living Wills after you are married. Only an attorney should help you with your Wills!
- If you have granted Power of Attorney to anyone, or anyone has granted Power of Attorney to you, it would be a very good idea to check with an attorney to see what you need to do.
- Any person or company with whom you have an existing contract.
- If you are a business owner or partner, please remember company contacts, too.
Your situation may be different, and you may need to change to your married name in additional places.
"When should I change my name in Connecticut?"
"When do I start using my married name in Connecticut?"
You should begin using your new name as soon as practical after you are legally married. You need to set the precedent immediately.
A friend got married, her husband moved into the house she had owned (and on which she had a mortgage) for years, and she did not tell her mortgage holder that she had married and changed her name.
A couple of years later she had an opportunity to refinance at a lower interest rate. She had a lot of trouble because she hadn't changed her marital status and her name with her lender.
Because of the delay, she lost a couple of percentage points in her new interest rate.
"Can you get in trouble for not changing your name to the name on the marriage license?"
This question needs clarification. When you apply for your marriage license you will present photo identification to the Town Clerk (or her assistant).
The most common forms of identification are a driver's license or a passport. It is the name on your identification that the Town Clerk will put on your marriage license.
The use of forged identification is a crime by itself, and part of applying for a marriage license is swearing to the truthfulness of the data you supply to the Town Clerk.
If you were to swear that you name is anything other than your real name you would be guilty of perjury.
When you meet with your wedding officiant to discuss your wedding ceremony, please tell your Justice of the Peace what you would like to be called during the ceremony.
For example, if your name were Cynthia and you wanted to be called "Cindy" during your vows, that would be fine.
People named Robert are variously known as "Bob", "Bobby", "Rob", and "Skip", among others.
Some people like the formality of their full first names; other people prefer to be called by the nicknames their families call them.
Connecticut law does not require you to change your name when you get married!
If Kim Lee married Chris Johnson, they could be known as
- Kim Lee & Chris Johnson
- Kim L. Johnson & Chris Johnson
- Kim Lee Johnson & Chris Johnson
- Kim Lee & Chris Johnson Lee
- Kim Lee-Johnson & Chris Johnson-Lee
- Any combination of Mr. & Mrs. (or Ms and Mr.)
- And many more....
If you have questions about the legality of a name change or combination of names, please consult an attorney licensed to practice law in your home state.
Disclaimer: None of the above is to be considered legal advice. Please consult an attorney authorized to practice law in your state.
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