Jenny
Savvy August 2020

Name Change & Out of State Move

Jenny, on August 24, 2020 at 3:30 PM Posted in Married Life 0 13
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We finally got married on August 15th in Chicago, and went in person to get our Marriage License & 3 certified copies. I then found out that the Social Security offices are closed, but I could mail it in with my ID (which I'm not comfortable doing). We're also moving from Chicago, IL to Charlotte, NC on the 31st, so I was told to wait until I get down there. Will it be a headache changing my IL driver's licence and vehicle registration not only for the new address, also a new name? Or will that actually work out better since I'll need to go in person anyways? I tried a google search but found different information on every site as far as what I'll need in NC. I want to change my middle name to my current last name, then take my husband's last name.

13 Comments

Latest activity by Jenny, on September 16, 2020 at 12:06 PM
  • R
    Super September 2018
    Rachel ·
    • Flag
    I would just wait until you get to N.C. Why pay to change your name on your IL DL and then pay again to get a new N.C. DL? I dont know that you could even put an N.C. address on an IL DL and vehicle registrations; you register your vehicle where you will be living and becoming a resident.


    As for your specific name change... when I went to the SS office in N.C. they were fine with me adding my maiden name to my middle name while taking my husbands last name as my last name. I think that’s what you’re trying to do?
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  • Sherri
    Devoted August 2020
    Sherri ·
    • Flag
    If you can, wait to do the name change and address move at the same time.
    • Reply
  • VIP August 2020
    ·
    • Flag

    This is a super long, kind of disorganized answer. I hope it helps, but if you don't have time to read it right now, the short answer is: you don't have time to get any of this done in a week, wait until after you move.

    I checked yesterday, and the SSA offices (at least in Boston) have not updated their COVID closure statement since mid-March, which means you're definitely not getting an in-person appointment this week. Your only option with them is to wait. When you do move, you'll probably want to get started on this process ASAP, because you'll need to have it done before your car registration expires to avoid having to replace everything sooner than you need to. Do you have a passport? If so, you should probably just mail that with your marriage license to the SSA office near your new home (I'm assuming you don't have any international trips planned in the immediate future). That will be the least complicated way to handle this in a reasonable time frame.

    For the middle name/last name thing, every state is different. In MA, you have to fill out the marriage license with the surname you plan to use after marriage, and the version you described is not something you can do with a marriage certificate. Some states do have the middle name > maiden change option, and some don't make you declare your future name preference on your marriage license. Fortunately, the social security administration seems more flexible with regards to name changes than most states, so as long as your marriage certificate does not conflict with what you want your new name to be, you should be fine doing what you want to. It would still be good to check the name change rules in IL vs NC, because if they're similar, you may be able to change your name with the DMV first, and then go through the SSA, even though you're really supposed to go in the opposite order. If you can do that, then as long as your IL license hasn't expired (and NC's DMV doesn't punch a hole in it like CA's would), you would theoretically be able to mail in your IL license with your marriage certificate as proof of your identity without having to drive around without a license while you wait for SSA to send it back.

    In my experience, it's better to deal with the DMV as few times as possible, especially if you own a car. It's always a hassle and every time you need a copy of something, you have to pay for it. If you've had a good experience with your car insurance company, I would actually ask them about the best way to deal with the DMV related part of this. My husband has had some less than stellar interactions with his car insurance company, but mine was super helpful when I moved to MA from CA and when I was transferring my car into my dad's name and his car into mine, and I'm sure they'd know what to tell me if I had to do something similar while also changing my name.

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  • M
    Savvy June 2020
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    Just a tip for SSA, I actually called them because they rejected the copy of my DL I sent with the application because I was NOT sending in my actual license. I asked how the heck is someone supposed to send the actual license and then just drive around without one?? They told me I could also mail my passport in. I ended up doing that. But for people with our passports, your SOL in trying to get a name changed unless you want to drive around illegally for a while! Hope that helps with the SSA front.
    • Reply
  • Meghan
    Master October 2019
    Meghan ·
    • Flag

    I would wait until you move to change your name. Luckily, our SS offices are open here in NC (at least in my city it is and I am not far from Charlotte). As long as you have your marriage license, and current ID, you can change your name to whatever you wish. I just went through the name change process a few months ago and it was super simple!

    The hardest part is going to be the DMV. You currently have to make an appointment, which are booked up a couple of months out at this point. So if you know when you want to go, you may want to go ahead and schedule that. It can be done online!

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  • Jenny
    Savvy August 2020
    Jenny ·
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    This does help--I do have a passport that I won't be needing any time soon (I've only used it once since I got it 5 years ago anyhow lol).

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  • Jenny
    Savvy August 2020
    Jenny ·
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    Oh excellent! I'll definitely get my DMV appointment scheduled now then. Thank you!!

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  • Meghan
    Master October 2019
    Meghan ·
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    You’re welcome!
    Also, keep in mind you will need your new SS card when going to the DMV. It took me about a week to get my new card, but they say 2 weeks, just to be safe. Good luck with your move!
    • Reply
  • Jenny
    Savvy August 2020
    Jenny ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    I just booked it for mid-October to give myself a little over a month to get it situated. Thanks again!

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  • R
    Super September 2018
    Rachel ·
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    Actually, I believe you only need to be “in the system”. The instructions I received with my NC marriage certificate said you can head to the DMV as early as something like 48 hours after you’ve been to the social security administration office. If you change your social via mail then I think you’ll need the card as you wouldn’t know when your name change was initiated by SSA.
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  • Nicole
    Super August 2020
    Nicole ·
    • Flag
    Just wondering did you mean you were trying to get your marriage certificate? We also just got married in the Chicago burbs on 8/1 and I know USPS is backed up so the clerk said to come back a month after our wedding to get our certificate. Just seeing if anyone in our area was successful in getting their certificate and how long did it take.
    • Reply
  • Breann
    Devoted June 2020
    Breann ·
    • Flag

    Gosh, I have been married for 2 months and they STILL haven't processed my marriage cert.

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  • Jenny
    Savvy August 2020
    Jenny ·
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    We took our signed licence to the County Clerk office downtown for our official certificate & certified copies 2 days after our wedding, and got them on the spot. Both you and your partner will need to be there in person with ID's.

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