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How to Change Your Name on Your California Drivers License

Hundreds of California residents get married, divorced or change their names for other reasons every day. If you recently had such an experience, make updating your DMV documentation a top priority.

Change Your Name on Your California Driver’s License

Start with the most important one: Your California driver’s license.

  • First, change your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA).
  • Then, you can handle a change of name on your California drivers license.

Changing Your Name with the Social Security Administration

To begin the process of changing names on drivers licenses, California drivers must first apply for a name change with the SSA. There are two methods available to you:

  • By mail
  • In person

Submit the SSA name change form and other required documents to the SSA by mail or make an in-person visit at one of their offices. For a full list of the documents you need to provide, visit the official SSA website.

DMV.com Note: All drivers MUST change their name within 10 days of notifying the SSA. Failure to do so will result in a fine when renewing California drivers license.

Change your name on your car registration online today!

How to Change Your Name on Your California Drivers License

Wait 72 hours for the SSA system to update before going to the DMV. Visit the CA DMV location near you and follow the steps below:

  • Complete a Driver License or Identification Card Application form (DL 44). This form is only obtainable in person at your local California DMV office. It can also be mailed to you by calling 1-800-777-0133.
  • Present proof of legal name change, such as:
    • Marriage certificate
    • Divorce Decree
    • Court-ordered name change
  • Present acceptable proof of identity, such as:
    • Valid California driver’s license
    • US passport
  • Present acceptable proof of legal presence in the country (only required of non-US citizens), such as:
    • I-551 Form
    • I-551 stamp on passport
  • Provide your thumbprint
  • Have your photo taken
  • Provide payment for the $27 duplicate fee. Acceptable methods of payment include:
    • Cash
    • Check
    • Money order
    • Credit/debit card.

Once the legal name change process is finalized, you will receive an updated driving license with your new name printed on it within 60 days.

Remember: Changing the name on a drivers license does not update your information on your vehicle registration and title.

See the section below to learn how to change the name on your vehicle registration and car title.

Change Names on Your ID Card, Motorcycle License and CDL License

If you to change names on your motorcycle license or ID card, follow the same steps above for driver’s license.

If you are a truck driver or commercial driver, follow the same steps outlined above, however fill out these forms:

Click here to change your name on your car registration.

How to Change a Name on California Car Registration and Title Documents

Wondering how to get the legal name change process started? DMV.com provides you with all the details on how to change names on car registrations in California.

Changing Your Name with the Social Security Administration

The first step you need to take when changing names on vehicle registration is to petition a name change with the Social Security Administration. To complete an official name change with the SSA, you need to:

FIRST THINGS FIRST: To update your car documents, you first need to update your driver’s license. Follow the detailed steps above to complete the driver’s license name change process.

How to Change Your Name on a Vehicle Registration in California

Once the legal name change process on your drivers license is complete, you need to move on to updating your DMV vehicle records. Changing your name on your California registration card is relatively straightforward.

You can submit a CA name change request in person or by mail.

By mail

To request a name change on CA vehicle registration by mail, complete the Application for Replacement Plates, Stickers, Documents (REG 156) and submit your current California registration card to the following address:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Registration Operations
PO Box 942869
Sacramento, California 94269-0001
Include a money order or check for the applicable fee. 

In Person

If you opt for an in-person visit when legally changing your name, you are required to present:

Replacing Your Car Registration

Once your new name is updated with your car registration, it’s time to for a duplicate vehicle registration an online service.

DMV.com recommends registering your car registration from a secure and reliable source. Using a company that you trust is important, and one that makes keeping your information confidential a priority. DMV.com has partnered with eTags to give you the quickest and most efficient way of getting your registration.

Change Your Name on Your California Car Title

The California certificate of title is a document establishing a person or business as the legal owner of a vehicle. This is considered the important document as it proves ownership. The information presented on it, most importantly your name and address, must be valid and up to date at all times.

If your name is incorrect, or you have recently changed it by getting married, divorced or through a court-ordered name change, you are required to update your California pink slip.

Change your name on your car registration online today!

Changing Your name with the Social Security Administration

Changing your name with the SSA must be finalized before you can request a name change with the California DMV. To complete this process, submit an application form for a new Social Security card in person at one of SSA offices or by mail.

Wait 72 hours for the system to update, then you can move forward with the legal name change process by updating your information on your driver’s license, and then finally on your vehicle records. The DMV will verify your identity with the SSA database, so your new name must match your Social Security records.

How to Change Names on a Vehicle Title in California

Changing your name on a CA car title can be done in person or by mail. You have 10 days from submitting your official name change forms with the SSA to do so. Follow the steps below:

These documents can be handed in at any California DMV office throughout the state or mailed to the address provided below:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Registration Operations
PO Box 942869
Sacramento, CA 94269-0001

The CA DMV does not charge a fee to change names on car title records if you can present your original certificate of title. If the vehicle title is not available or you wish to obtain a car title copy featuring your new name, you must apply for a car title replacement.

Replacing a vehicle title calls for other requirements and procedures, as well as payment of $20 duplicate fee. Familiarize yourself with the process by visiting our How to Replace a Lost Vehicle Title in California page.

Click here to change your name on your car registration.

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