Submitting a name change request is a procedure that must be completed by residents who have recently changed their name due to marriage, divorce, court order or another action. Drivers are generally required to request an official name change with their state motor vehicle department, so as to update their records and DMV documents, including their driving license, title certificate and vehicle registration.

Prior to initiating the driver’s license name change procedure with their state DMV, motorists will need to submit a request to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for the purposes of updating the name on the agency’s records. Both the SSA and state DMV usually impose specific requirements to change name, including documents proving their identity and citizenship among others. In addition to this, applicants may be offered various name changing methods, such as in person or via mail, depending on their state of residence. Learn more about how to change your name on your drivers license by reading the sections below.

Instances Where You Must Change Your Name on Your Drivers License

Motorists are required to change their names on a driving license whenever they undergo a legal name change procedure. Common reasons for this change include marriage, divorce, court order, legal separation or adoption. In any case, state residents must first submit this request to the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Only after having successfully updated their names with the SSA can motorists visit their local DMV offices and request to update their names on their driving credentials.

Drivers License Name Change Time Limits

There are typically time limits for motorists to change their names on a drivers license. However, these deadlines vary from state to state, and sometimes even from county to county. Thus, it is important for applicants to identify the appropriate timeframes for these procedures, and to make sure that they request a drivers license name change in a timely manner.

How to Change Your Name With the Social Security Administration

Before changing your name on your drivers license, it is your responsibility to update it with the Social Security Administration. Note that when you petition for a name change with the SSA, you will be mandated to provide specific paperwork. The name changing procedure generally requires you to submit proof of identity in the form of a valid driving license, U.S. passport or a photo ID card.

Note that the SSA may also require you to prove your legal presence in the country by submitting a U.S. birth certificate or passport. In addition to this, you must enclose proof of your legal name change by providing one of the following documents:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce decree
  • Certificate of naturalization showing your new name
  • Court order authorizing the name change

Part of the process to change name information on legal documents is completing an application for a Social Security card. Once you have gathered all the required documents for an official name change, you may then mail or present the paperwork to a nearby SSA location. An updated Social Security card will be mailed to you as soon as the SSA has verified your documentation.

How to Change Your Name on Your Drivers License

Drivers whose name change requests have been authorized by the Social Security Administration may proceed with their driver’s license name change process with the state DMV. Motorists are generally required to notify their state DMV of the change in a timely manner, unless they want to face serious penalties. When completing their legal name change process, applicants must provide documents proving that a change has been made.

Name change procedures typically require applicants to submit a request form along with a marriage certificate, divorce decree or court paperwork approving the change of name. Moreover, applicants may be mandated to provide a certificate of citizenship or naturalization, which is required in states such as Arizona.

Despite the fact that residents are generally asked to change their names on a drivers license in person at a local DMV branch, they may be able to complete the process via mail, depending on their state of residence. Furthermore, in order to obtain a driving credential displaying the name change, motorists usually need to apply for a driving license replacement.

Note: Certain states, such as New York, require motorists changing their name on their driving license to arrange payment for a set fee, in addition to submitting the necessary documents.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 3 2020.