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Your wedding day has come and gone, and everything went off without a hitch, thanks to all the hard work you put in. Once you’re back from your honeymoon and you’ve gotten those thank you notes in the mail, it’s time for one last task: changing your last name (if you’ve opted to do so). Wondering how to get a name change in Illinois? Good news! It’s a pretty straightforward process, though it does take a bit of time.

If you’re finding yourself short on time and ready to return to real life after months of planning and prepping, consider using a name change service like HitchSwitch. This innovative service can handle the whole changing your last name in Illinois process for you. HitchSwitch does all the work involved with filling out forms and going to various agencies so you don’t have to. Three different levels of service at three different price points give you the choice of how much help you’d like, from a bit of assistance to completely hands off. Whether you’re the ultimate DIY-er or you’re ready to let someone else handle the task, here’s our guide to how to change your name after marriage in Illinois. 

These are the steps you’ll take when figuring out how to legally get a name change in Illinois.

1. Choose your new name.

There are lots of different options you can consider when it comes time to change your name, and none of them are off limits in Illinois. The state places no restrictions on what you change your name to, or why, as long as it’s not for criminal purposes. So once you decide on your new moniker, it’s time to make things legal! 

2. Obtain your marriage license in Illinois.

If you’re wondering how to make a name change after marriage in Illinois—as in any state—your marriage license is the first step. If your wedding will be held in Illinois, you’ll need to head to one of the state’s six county clerk’s offices to apply for your marriage license. The process can be done entirely in person (both of you must be present though!) or you can start the application online. Once you pay the $60 fee, you’ll have your marriage license in hand. After the 24-hour waiting period is over, you can hold your wedding ceremony. 

After the ceremony is over, your marriage certificate will be the ticket for the rest of the name-change process. In Illinois, it’s $5 to obtain a certified copy, which can be done using this form. When you request your certified copy, it’s wise to get several, since it will serve as proof of your marriage whenever and wherever you change your name. 

3. Get married!

After you obtain your marriage license, it’s time to get married! Your Illinois marriage license is valid for sixty days. After you’re hitched, your officiant will sign your marriage certificate and return it to the County Clerk (the same one who issued the certificate). And that’s it! Next, you can expect to receive your official marriage certificate and the certified copies you’ve requested by mail.

4. Head to the Social Security office to make a legal name change in Illinois.

Next it’s time to update your Social Security card. You can head to your local Social Security office to do that, with form SS-5 in hand. Be sure to include both your birth name and your married name when you fill out the form. Once it’s complete, you’ll need to bring it, a certified copy of your marriage license and your photo identification (driver’s license, state identification card, or passport) to your local Social Security Office. 

If you’re the type who likes to skip in-person tasks, know that this process can be done by mail. Simply send the form to the address listed on the top along with your certified marriage license and original ID. The process takes a few weeks.

5. Head to the Driver Services Department to change your last name in Illinois. 

Up next as you make a name change in Illinois? A trip to the Illinois Driver Services Department to get an Illinois driver’s license name change. 

When figuring out how to change your name in Illinois, you’ll need to present your current driver’s license along with your marriage license, which will serve as proof of your new last name. You should bring your new social security card. 

Note: Illinois is a REAL ID-compliant state. That means that when you’re changing your name on your driver’s license in Illinois, your new ID should meet the requirements for this federal program that goes into effect on October 1, 2020. Now is the perfect time to get compliant.

6. Update your passport to change your name after marriage in Illinois. 

Taking an exotic honeymoon? Don’t forget to think about how to change your name after marriage on your passport. You can tackle this step through the mail; there’s no need to do it in person unless upcoming travel plans require you to use your passport. 

When it comes to changing your name on your passport, the process you’ll follow depends on how long you’ve had it. If it’s been a year or less, you can use the Department of State’s website to download and fill out all applicable forms, and send them to the National Passport Processing Center. They’ll need your current passport, a certified copy of your marriage certificate, and passport photo (which is included in HitchSwitch’s $99 package) in order to process your request, but there isn’t a fee. However, if you’ve had your passport for more than a year, you’ll have to pay a replacement fee for your new document.

If your travel plans have you heading out of the country in less than two weeks, you’ll need an expedited passport. Fortunately, the state of Illinois has several offices you can visit, especially in Chicago. You’ll pay a steeper fee for this speedier process, of course, and you’ll have to show proof of identification, name change, and your travel plans.

7. Change your name with providers and other important documents.

When it comes to how to change your name after marriage in Illinois, your Social Security card, driver’s license, and passport are definitely the most important documents. Once these are complete, you can breathe a sigh of relief—the rest is pretty simple! If you’re interested in how to change your name after marriage in Illinois and make a complete switch, we’ve included a list below of some of the places you may want to change your name. It seems like a lot, but don’t worry—these tasks are much less pressing (and yes, HitchSwitch is here to help!). Here’s a list of things you’ll need to change your name on:

  • Bank and credit card companies
  • Immigration documents
  • Lease agreement
  • Loans
  • Car title and registration
  • Insurance
  • Mortgage
  • Deeds
  • Utility companies
  • Library card
  • Doctors’ offices
  • Voter registration
  • Social media accounts

When it comes to how to change your name after marriage in Illinois, there’s certainly a lot of work involved. But it doesn’t have to be stressful. Check out HitchSwitch to start your name change in Illinois if you’d like some help. They’ll take the guesswork out of the entire process! 

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