Drivers must apply for a drivers license name change in Delaware within a certain timeframe of changing their legal name due to marriage, divorce or court order. Residents must change name on driving license cards because they are proofs of identity. Depending on the reason for the name change, applicants will have to submit different documents as evidence of who they are and the legal name modification.

In addition to applying for a DMV name change, motorists must change their name with the Social Security Administration (SSA) as soon as possible after the name change occurs. In fact, drivers cannot apply for a change of name on driving license documents before submitting a change to the SSA first. To learn more about how to change name on drivers license materials and to learn how to change the name on a Social Security card, review the information below.

Instances Where You Must Change Your Name on Your Delaware Drivers License

Motorists must apply to change name on driving license documents due to marriage, divorce, civil union, legal separation, adoption or after court order. In addition to applying for a driving license name change in DE, motorists must change the name on their vehicle’s registration materials, title certificates, voter registrations and Social Security card. However, drivers cannot update the name on their driving license until they update their information with the SSA. To avoid possible complications, motorists must update their identification information whenever a legal name change occurs.

Delaware Drivers License Name Change Time Limits

The time limit for changing your name on driving license materials is 30 days in the state of Delaware. For instance, newly married applicants who need to apply for a name change on driving licenses or identification cards must update their driving record within 30 days of the marriage date. However, you must change your name with the SSA as soon as possible after the name change occurs, since you cannot update your drivers license until you do so.

After you apply for a DE change of name with the SSA, you must wait between 48 and 72 hours to update the name on your drivers license. This gives the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) ample time to verify that the name matches the information in the Social Security database.

Failure to change the name on your Delaware driving license may result in citations from law enforcement, penalty fees and potential discrepancies on your driving record. Additionally, not changing your name with the SSA makes it difficult for the administration to track your earnings and Social Security credits.

How to Change Your Name With the Social Security Administration

Before changing your name on driving license documents, you must update your name with the SSA. Before the DMV processes your drivers license name change, the division performs a Social Security Number Online Verification (SSOLV) to verify that the name matches the information on file with the SSA. If the SSOLV shows that the information does not match, then the DMV cannot process the name change.

To apply for a DE change of name through the SSA, you must complete the following steps:

  • Complete an application for a Social Security card
  • Visit a local Social Security office to submit the application in person or mail the form to your local branch of the SSA
  • With your change of name application, include the original or certified name change document (acceptable documents include a marriage certificate, divorce decree, certificate of naturalization or a court order)
  • Submit proof of your identity in the form of a current drivers license, identification card or U.S. passport

After changing your name with the SSA, wait 48 to 72 hours before updating the name on your drivers license.

How to Change Your Name on Your Drivers License in Person

When changing name on drivers license documents or identification cards, motorists must visit one of the four DMV branches in the state, including either of the two offices in New Castle or one of the offices in Dover and Georgetown.

Motorists may apply for a Delaware name change on drivers license cards between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday or between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday. Motorists cannot complete mail-in or online drivers license name changes since the state requires drivers to submit applications in person at a DMV office.

When applying to change the name on a DE driver license or identification card, motorists must submit the following:

  • The current driver license or identification card
  • An original or certified copy of the legal name change document, marriage certificate or divorce decree.
  • Proof of completing the name change with the SSA
  • Payment for the replacement drivers license with the new information

During the driving license change of name application process, drivers must take a new photo and provide the DMV facility with a new driver license signature.

Delaware DMV Name Change Fees

When changing your name on your DE driving license or identification card, there is a $1.15 fee, which includes a replacement drivers license that contains your up-to-date information. You may pay for the new drivers license by cash, money order, check or credit card. The division accepts Visa, Discover, American Express and MasterCard as payment. However, there is no fee to apply for a change of name through the SSA.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 5 2019.

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