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JuleeM
Expert September 2015

Adding His Last Name to Mine (Two Last Names, No Hyphen)

JuleeM, on December 14, 2015 at 1:40 PM Posted in Married Life 11 44

Hi. We were married in September and I'm now getting around to changing my name. I can't decide what I want to do. We don't plan to have kids but he really wants me to change my name. However I don't want to lose my maiden name completely, but I don't really want to hyphenate either. So I'm thinking FirstName MiddleName MyLastName HisLastName.

If you have done this what has your experience been with having two last names? What are the downsides? Do you always use both last names? Can you use the two interchangeably? How do you have work email addresses that are traditionally first initial and last name? Do you have problems filling out online forms? Do you have to always sign everything with both last names? Anything else that is problematic?

44 Comments

Latest activity by Elizabeth, on June 18, 2024 at 2:38 PM
  • Emily W
    Dedicated May 2014
    Emily W ·
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    Personally, I did not want to give up my middle name or my maiden name, but it was important to my husband that I take his last name. I compromised and now have two last names without a hyphen. Social Security actually recommended that I do not use the hyphen because some computer systems are unable to comprehend the hyphen.

    Our house and my new car were purchased after getting married/ legally changing my name, and were purchased using both of my legal last names- I needed to sign all legal documents with both last names. Since my maiden name is 9 letters long, and my husband's last name is 10 letters long, it does not fit on some paper documents and all credit cards/ debit cards. The recommendation given to me by the bank was to use only my first name, the initial of my maiden name, and husband's last name on my cards. For example, if my name was Jane Elizabeth Doe Smith, the name appearing on the card would be Jane D Smith- this is how I need to sign for all purchases whether they are in person or electronically. Both last names were able to fit on my SS card and ID. I chose to continue using my maiden name professionally so my work email did not change. Otherwise, I use my husband's last name since it makes things easier – such as return address labels. I have never had any problems filling out forms online with both last names. I have not traveled on an airplane or been out of the country since changing my name, but I will finally be updating my passport in January.

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  • Staci
    Master September 2014
    Staci ·
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    My concern would be that people would default to calling you one name or the other, either because they read it too quickly, just go with the first, assume the first is a middle name, etc. Emily gave good advice though.

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  • Lori
    Master June 2015
    Lori ·
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    I did this. I've had zero problems so far, except for some reason our DMV's computer system couldn't comprehend the two last names so they had to put in a hyphen for my car registration. Whatever. Both last names are fairly long but they fit on all my credit cards--some just had to go to two lines.

    For work, I'm going primarily by my maiden name, so I didn't change my email address/business cards/nameplate or anything like that. Everything else I go by two but I will often get addressed as Mrs. H'sLastName. I'm fine with that. I'll only correct people if it's a setting where my official name would be needed. It can be a mouthful when trying to spell them over the phone for things like doctor's appointments but I knew that was going to happen.

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  • VMDIZZLE
    Master September 2015
    VMDIZZLE ·
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    I am going to be doing that. Socially, I am already being called by my 2 last names, but I haven't officially changed it yet. I am sure that most people will continue to call me my maiden name, I am okay with that. We got a card in the mail yesterday with just my DW's last name. No biggie.

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  • JadedRaven
    VIP September 2016
    JadedRaven ·
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    As of right now, I plan to do the same thing. But I could also change my mind between now and then lol.

    Glad to hear that it worked out, Emily W.

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  • NowASeptMrs
    Master September 2015
    NowASeptMrs ·
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    What did you put on your marriage license? I found out sadly when I went to the DMV that it had to be what was on your marriage license. I thought I would get to decide after when I went to change anything, but nope. So stuck with First Middle NewLast instead of First OldLast NewLast. I would have had to do a formal name change through a judge to get it to what I wanted.

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  • S + D
    Super August 2016
    S + D ·
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    A lot of people have two unhyphenated last names. It works out fine. I'm going to do this as well since in Brazil, everyone has two last names. I want my married name to make sense in both Brazil and the US and one last name just makes less sense there. I think for documents, etc. I'm going to do what Emily W. suggested and use First Name, Middle Initial, Initial of Maiden Name, New Last Name.

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  • Nancy Taussig
    Nancy Taussig ·
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    Not every state requires you to make the decision when you apply for the marriage license.

    I dropped my middle name and added his last name after mine (no hyphen) on legal documents.

    First Maiden HisLast

    But that was too long for some forms, so eventually it became:

    First Initial of Maiden HisLast

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  • VMDIZZLE
    Master September 2015
    VMDIZZLE ·
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    My marriage license doesn't ask for our new last name...I guess it goes by state.

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  • Jackie
    Dedicated November 2015
    Jackie ·
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    I'm doing the same thing, except I'm adding my maiden name as a middle name instead of having two last names. So most of the time, I'll be FirstName HisLastName, but on all legal documents and whatever else I'll be same as you, FirstName MiddleName MaidenName HisLastName. Although I introduced myself to someone at work the other day as FirstName MaidenName and realized it afterwards so it's going to take some getting used to!

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  • materantiqua
    VIP December 2016
    materantiqua ·
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    I love this idea! I didn't even think of it as an option. As a little girl, I was teased about my last name so I always imagined changing it, and now that the possibility is coming up, I feel a little hesitant. When FH and I had a son a couple of years ago, I also said then that I would want us all to match. I think it might be guilt that the name isn't being carried on (at least in our bloodline, it's not all that uncommon).

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  • Almost a Mrs.
    VIP December 2016
    Almost a Mrs. ·
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    I have a hyphenated last name now (mother's and father's last names) and the only thing that I've run into is that when people ask for your last name and you say two names most automatically assume you've made a mistake and have said your first name and will then look up your second last name. For example, if the pharmacist asks for your last name and you said FirstLastName SecondLastName, they will go to look under "S" for SecondLastName. This has been the only thing that I've run into that's been close to mildly annoying. Other than that everything is just longer; my school/work email is just both last names; name is on two lines for a lot. One positive is that its super easy to find my name on lists of names such attendance roosters because it is so long.

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  • tattooedbride
    Dedicated October 2019
    tattooedbride ·
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    Great post as to hear from others, I plan on doing the same thing - first, middle, maiden, married non-hyphenated. After 17 years establishing myself in my career, I am known professionally because of my last name and am not going to give it up. Also, will be 47 when I get married, so it seems silly to change what I've known all my life.

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  • Lizeth
    Just Said Yes November 2019
    Lizeth ·
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    I am Mexican living in Texas so I've always had two last names (dad's last name and mom's last name) but since I moved here I have always used only my first last name (dad's last name) and I have never had any problems on airports, buying plane tickets or anything like that. I took a profesional license and filled out the application online and even there I put only my first last name and they never asked me why I only use one even though my visa and Texas ID has two last names. So I don't think having two last names will cause any problems. Now that I'll get married I'll only remove my mom's last name and add his. I was planning on having my maiden name as my middle name since I don't have one, but I still want to keep my maiden name as my last name Smiley winking
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  • Taylor
    Just Said Yes February 2020
    Taylor ·
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    I'm getting married soon and truly want to keep my maiden name and take my husbands. However, my husband doesn't care for our children to take his last name. If I have two last names, could the children still receive my maiden name? I know it sounds complicated, and it is, but it's for good reason.

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  • A
    Just Said Yes January 2020
    Ashli ·
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    Hi Taylor! I just happened to be on this thread and saw your post was recent, unlike the rest of the thread! What my sister and her new husband did is my sister kept her maiden name and her husband hyphenated! So she is Name Maiden and he is Name HisLast-HerMaiden. So even though he hyphenated they both go by her maiden name!

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  • Taylor
    Just Said Yes February 2020
    Taylor ·
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    Thank you, Ashli.

    My fiancé is from Bolivia originally. It's traditional of him to have two last names. Although, it's not a common thing in the US. I'm stuck as to whether I either don't change my name at all (He doesn't want to change his name due to traditions) OR I either keep my maiden name and take his, which would result in my full name being: FirstName, MiddleName, MaidenName, MarriedName. It's a mouthful. Haha. My only concern is the complications it may cause when children come into the picture. My fiancé would like kids to take my maiden name. I can and likely will go by both last names, so people can keep calling me my name and down the line it doesn't make being married and 'not having the same name' difficult. BUT, what on does that mean for future kids? Haha.

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  • A
    Just Said Yes January 2020
    Ashli ·
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    I totally understand!! I'm pretty sure I'm going to do the same thing even though my fiance has a really long last name haha. I don't like the idea of a hyphen but also my maiden name means so much to me! So I'm gonna do just what you said! First Middle Maiden HisLast. That way I still have mine but people can call me either. And haha ikr! I don't know what that means for our kids but I guess we'll just figure out when we get there haha!!

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  • S
    Just Said Yes June 2020
    Sarah ·
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    Does anybody know, if you have 2 last names with no hyphen, when you HAVE to use both names or when can you drop one and use either just the maiden name or just the new last name? Because I'd rather use one or the other in most situations. I'm sure legal stuff like buying a house is two last names, but do you have to use both names on a credit card? Other examples?

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  • Laura
    Super September 2020
    Laura ·
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    This thread helped me out so much! I didn't know you could have 2 last names. I have works published under my name - but I still want to be Mrs. Him. I think this might solve that dilemma. And we'd be in good company. Other women who have done this are Ruth Bader Ginsburg born Joan Ruth Bader. I am so doing this! I love it!!!

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