The first step to requesting a driver’s license name change in Washington DC is updating your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA), so that you have proof of a legal link between your old and new names. Furthermore, in order to change your name on a driving license, you must apply in person at a local office of the DC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). To do so, you must provide original copies of the mandatory paperwork.

In general, a DC DMV name change takes place after a significant life event, such as getting married or divorced. However, there are numerous other reasons for a motorist to apply for a change of name with the DMV. To learn more about requesting a name change in Washington D.C., including which documents are required and what the applicable service fees are, read the sections below.

Instances Where You Must Change Your Name on Your Washington D.C.  Drivers License

More often than not, you opt to change your name on a driving license due to a personal choice. On the other hand, this may be a legal requirement in certain instances. The most common reason for a driver’s license name change is marriage. Other situations that require a name change include adoption, divorce, career motives or simply an error in the DMV records.

Sometimes, changing your name on a driving license is part of a legal court order. In addition, certain couples may desire to change their names when filing for a domestic partnership rather than a marriage. This is particularly pertinent for couples who register as domestic partners for insurance benefits purposes.

Washington D.C.  Driver’s License Name Change Time Limits

A DMV name change in Washington D.C. should be done as promptly as possible, despite the fact that DC does not have a specific deadline for motorists to do so. Furthermore, it is important to note that process for changing your name on a driving license may be started before you are actually required to request this alteration. For instance, many brides seek information on how to change their names on DMV records before they actually get married. A change of name is also commonly sought out in advance when it comes to divorce proceedings.

In addition, a Washington D.C. name change on a driver’s license should be requested immediately if the license holder identifies an error in his or her credentials. These errors may pertain to the misspelling of your name or the use of your middle name as a surname. In any case, updating your name on your driver’s license will prevent you from dealing with issues in the future.

How to Change Your Name with the Social Security Administration

Before requesting a driver’s license name change, the Washington D.C. DMV requires you to change your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA). That is because the process to change a name on a driving license is much easier after a resident has updated his or her Social Security card. Despite the fact that this service is provided for free, it is not available online. Rather, before you change your name with the DMV, you must request a change of name in person at an SSA office or by mail.

Changing your name on a driving license through the DC DMV or the SSA requires you to provide a document that links your old name and your new name. This is accomplished by providing your pre- DMV name change driver’s license as proof of identity along with documents that associate you with your new name, such as a certificate of marriage, a decree of divorce or an adoption decree.

Moreover, you must complete a Social Security card application and submit it to the SSA with the appropriate supporting documents. Then, you will receive a new SS card that links your existing Social Security Number (SSN) with your newly modified name.

Online Driver’s License Name Changes

The DC DMV provides many services online, but it cannot process any requests to change your name on a driving license. That is because this procedure requires an in-person verification, which takes place at a local DMV office. Furthermore, after applying for a DC DMV name change, you must also surrender the driver’s license bearing your old name, which is an exchange that must take place in person.

How to Change Your Name on Your Driver’s License in Person

Regardless of whether you hold a state-issued REAL ID or a standard identification credential, you must request a driver’s license name change in person by visiting a DMV location. When you go to your DMV appointment, you must bring documents such as:

  • Your driver’s license, learner’s permit or non-driver ID
  • Your Social Security card or printed documentation from the SSA that reflects your requested name change
  • An original or certified certificate of marriage, decree of divorce, or official court document that mandates your name change

If you need to request a change of name on a driving license due to an error on the DMV database, you can ask for that correction in person. To request this change of name, you must bring the paperwork listed above alongside one of the following documents:

  • Original or certified certificate of birth
  • Valid passport or passport card
  • Certificate of citizenship or naturalization
  • Permanent resident card
  • Employment authorization card

Note: If you are requesting a driver’s license name change for a standard ID credential rather than a REAL ID document, the DC DMV may also accept a valid U.S. military ID card or a consular card in addition to the documents listed above.

Washington D.C.  DMV Name Change Fees

Upon requesting a Washington DC DMV name change, you are essentially applying for a driver’s license replacement. Therefore, you will need to provide an acceptable payment method for the $20 duplicate license fee.

Furthermore, you may incur additional DMV costs after your driver’s license name change request has been approved, such as updating your vehicle registration.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 3 2020.