How to Change Your Name on Your Drivers License in Washington
Applying for a DMV name change in Washington is an easy task after you learn about the procedure’s requirements. However, before requesting a driver’s license name change with the WA Department of Licensing (DOL), you will have to undergo the process of changing your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA), then wait for your updated Social Security card to arrive.
In general, motorists apply for a name change on a license for a variety of reasons, such as after getting married or divorced or having gone through certain life circumstances. Continue reading the sections below in order to find out all of the details regarding a change of name on a driving license.
Instances Where You Must Change Your Name on Your Washington Driver’s License
Many residents choose to request a driver’s license name change after getting married or divorced. However, this procedure is also important for motorists under different circumstances. For example, many transgender people opt for a change of name on a driving license in order to more accurately reflect their identity.
Moreover, certain individuals simply do not feel comfortable with the name that they were given at birth, and thus decide to apply for a name change with the DOL after having their legal name altered.
Other motives that encourage motorists to pursue a Washington DMV name change include career advancement, religious conversions, ethnic affiliations and adoption. In the subsequent sections, you will find more information regarding what you will need to prepare when applying for a name change with the DMV.
Washington Driver’s License Name Change Time Limits
In order to change a name on a driving license, the Washington DOL will consult whether you have already undergone a name change with the Social Security Administration (SSA). For that reason, motorists must submit a name change request with the SSA before requesting it from the DOL.
Overall, the WA Department of Licensing does not impose official time limits for obtaining a DMV name change. However, the DOL encourages motorists to wait to apply for a name change with the department until they receive their updated Social Security cards displaying their new names. On the other hand, it is important for applicants to avoid taking too long to request a driver’s license name change, as problems may arise if you have filed a request with the SSA but not with the DOL.
How to Change Your Name with the Social Security Administration
You may only request a DMV name change after you file for an official legal name change through the Social Security Administration. In general, the agency allows you to apply for a name change via mail or in person at an SSA office. To do so, you must provide a photo ID and documents that prove your identity, as well as your reason for wishing to modify your name.
In general, the same types of documents required by the SSA are required by the Washington DOL in order to process a driver’s license name change. This paperwork may include original or certified copies of a marriage license, a decree of divorce, a court order for a change of name or adoption papers. Once you submit the appropriate documents based on your specific circumstances, you may move on to apply for a name change.
Online Driver’s License Name Changes
You cannot request an online name change for a driver’s license in Washington. Moreover, this procedure is also not available to be conducted by mail. In order to apply for a driver’s license name change in WA, you must visit a DOL branch in person.
How to Change Your Name on Your Driver’s License in Person
All requests for a Washington driver’s license name change must be fulfilled in person. While visiting a WA Department of Licensing branch, you must submit one of the following acceptable documents:
- A court order that displays your change of name
- A filed decree of divorce, certified by the court
- A marriage certificate that has been filed with the county and has a control or file number
If you are changing your name on a driving license after having gotten married, but do not have a copy of your marriage certificate, you may get one through the following methods:
- If you were married within the last four months, you can retrieve a certified copy of your marriage certificate from the county auditor where the marriage license was filed.
- If you were married between Jan 1, 1968 and four months ago, you may order a copy from the state’s agency for vital records.
- If you were married before January 1, 1968, you must contact the county auditor where you filed the marriage license.
Washington DMV Name Change Fees
The fee for a DMV name change in Washington is the same cost of obtaining a driver’s license replacement. That is because, in both cases, a license is being replaced with another. If you request this change online, you will be required to pay $20. Conversely, if you undergo this procedure in person, you will be charged $10.
Furthermore, the WA Department of Licensing charges the same fees to issue driver’s license or ID cards. On the other hand, there are different costs associated with driver’s license renewals.