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 obliged 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 legal name change process 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 their 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 by reading the below sections:
- The Social Security Administration name changing procedure.
- How to change your name on your driver's license.
- How to change your name on your car title and registration.
The Social Security Administration Name Changing Procedure
Before applying for a name change on your DMV documentation, it is your responsibility to correct your name with the Social Security Administration. Note that when you petition for name change in such instances, you will be obliged 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 an 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 Driver's License
Drivers whose name change request has been authorized by the Social Security Administration, may then proceed with their name changing 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 forms usually include a marriage certificate, divorce documents or court paperwork approving the change of name, as well as a certificate of citizenship/naturalization (required in certain states, such as Arizona). Though drivers are generally asked to submit these forms in person at a local DMV branch, they may also be able to complete the process via mail, depending on their state of residence. 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.
How to Change Your Name on Your Car Title and Registration
Performing a name change on your vehicle registration and title certificate is usually similar to updating your name on your credential. Prior to initiating the procedure, however, it is best to contact a nearby DMV location and ask whether or not updating your car registration and title is a mandatory step, as well as inquire about the necessary documentation. Drivers who request a name change will generally need to complete the following steps:
- Apply for a name change with the SSA.
- Visit a local DMV branch to submit the required paperwork.
- Bring their current vehicle title/registration, as well as documentation proving their identity (current driving license, permit, ID card), if required.
- Present proof of their name change.
- Arrange payment for the applicable fees (if necessary).