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Just Said Yes August 2024

Confusing Name Change Situation

Brian, on June 16, 2024 at 2:30 PM Posted in Married Life 0 3


My fiancee and I are going to be dealing with a relatively confusing name change situation after our wedding. We'll say her name is Madeline Rose Smith-Johnson and my name is Brian Jones. Fake last names but it will work for this. We are getting married in PA. She is a resident of PA, but I've recently moved to TX and have changed all my IDs to be from TX. She's going to be moving to TX as well right after we get married.

Her desired name is Madeline Rose Smith Jones(Rose and Smith both being middle names). This is already complicated because from what I'm seeing PA requires you to go through a whole name change process to change your middle name instead of just accepting a marriage certificate for this. Also notice the omission of the second last name and her original middle name still being there. So it's not quite just making her maiden name into her middle name either.

This is potentially complicated by her leaving PA right after the wedding. I cannot find anything that tells me if TX will accept an out of state wedding certificate as an official name change. But the problem I expect to run into here is that she doesn't currently have a TX ID that can be changed. I doubt they would issue her a new driver's license with a brand new name. Unlike PA, TX does seem to allow you to change your middle name to your maiden name after marriage without a court order however, I'm not sure that the change she wants will be considered simply changing her middle name to her maiden name.

Does anyone have any advice for this situation? My two ideas about how to handle this are:

1. Have her move to TX. Change her IDs from PA to TX with her maiden name still on everything. Once we get those changed go back and have the IDs changed again using the PA marriage certificate as proof for the name change.

2. Go through the complete name change process in PA which probably means going through a whole court process. Get new IDs in PA with the new name and then move to Texas and use the new PA IDs to get TX IDs with the new name.


Latest activity by Hannah, on June 17, 2024 at 4:25 PM
  • Michael
    Rockstar October 2023
    Michael ·
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    Call the clerks office that handles the name changes. Also, it seems easier just to do the name change in Texas since that should be convenient, especially if it involves a court visit. She still has to propagate the name change through the social security office before doing a change with the DMV. Also, maybe set an appointment with the DMV to see if they can do the name change and issuing of IDs at the same time.

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  • Andrea
    Rockstar January 2024
    Andrea ·
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    Definitely call the county clerk where you’ll be living. They should accept another state’s marriage license with no trouble, and Texas only requires that to change names. But the wrinkle is her changing her maiden name instead of straight putting it as a middle name, so for that you need to ask the clerk who would be doing it. Try to get the answer in writing, because the person you talk to today won’t necessarily be the one you deal with on the name change day.
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  • H
    Master July 2019
    Hannah ·
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    I agree with calling the clerk in Texas to get clarification. However, the name change process starts at the federal level, with changing your name with Social Security. Once she does that, she can present her marriage certificate and new social security card as proof of her name to get the Texas ID. She can just bypass PA all together as you don’t need to change your name right after you get married (plenty of people wait a couple of months, especially since they may be going on a honeymoon shortly after the wedding).
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