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Name Change Checklist
The name of the game is the "Name Change Challenge."
Will you be changing your name once you are married? This is not just a question for the bride-to-be. Modern couples
are hyphenating, adjoining their surnames together (keeping the maiden name as a middle name) and even creating entirely new last names. No matter what your choice, here
is a reminder list of businesses, government agencies and financial institutions who may want to know about your new name.
Changing the Brides last name after marriage is considered the socially acceptable thing to do and most Brides do however this is always your choice.
Often couples in many Spanish speaking countries give their children both their father's last name and their mother's maiden name to
preserve the heritage of both families. When marrying, a woman has the option of keeping all her names and adding her husband's last name
or dropping her mother's maiden name.
Many brides are curious about what happens to their credit when they change their name. Do they lose their credit history and start over
with a new name? Do they need to notify the main credit bureaus of their name-change? No. When you change your name you do not need to notify
the three U.S. credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experion.
When you update your name with all of your creditors (see list below) the bureaus will add your new name to your account and
keep your maiden name as well. This way you keep your established credit and build credit with your married name.
NOTE; Some places (including state and U.S. government offices) may require you to show a certified copy
($38.50 extra at the time of your marriage license purchase) of your marriage license
before they will legally change your name. You usually get this from the Clerk of the Court where the marriage license was recorded.
Certified marriage certificates will have a raised state and/or county seal on them. The seal ensures that the certificate is a legitimate
copy of the original marriage certificate. If your document does not have a seal, it will not be accepted as a certified copy.
If you are changing your name you may be concerned that your maiden name is printed on your certified marriage certificate or that you
signed the certificate with your maiden signature. Not to worry! As long as your name and your husband's name are listed on the certificate
you can use it as legal proof of marriage for name change purposes. The name you are changing to does not need to be listed on the certified marriage certificate.
Larry James always makes a color copy (for his file) of the part of the license that he sends to the Court Clerk just before he places in in the
envelope and it is usually sent on the first business day after the wedding. Arizona law requires that it be sent by the Officiant/Minister who
performed the wedding ceremony within 10 days.
Shortcut LINK to a Sample "Notice of Name Change Letter."
If you live in Arizona, click
for a summary of additional questions you may have about changing your name.
A search on Google will bring up numerous Websites where you can purchase "Name Change Kits," however most Brides find that the information and the links
listed on this page can accomplish the same thing.