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If you recently changed your name due to a marriage, divorce or other circumstance, you are legally required to update your drivers license. Typically, you cannot complete a drivers license name change online. Most states require you to visit a DMV office in person with a marriage certificate, divorce certificate or court order. Nevertheless, it is important to know exactly what documents you need to bring and what fees you need to pay during the transaction. To help you be fully prepared for the process, our informative guide contains all the details you need to know to update your driving license with your new name. You will also get information on drivers license renewal, replacement and other important procedures.

2. By Mail

Certain states allow drivers to update their names on their drivers licenses via mail. If your state offers this method, you will need to send your completed application, payment (via check or money order), proof of ID and proof of name change to your local DMV. Some states may have additional rules regarding what documents you can and cannot send via mail, such as whether documents can be copies or originals, and whether such copies must be notarized. Mail-in name change requests typically take the longest to process, and delays are common if the DMV discovers mistakes on the application.

3. In Person at a DMV Office

Most states require you to visit a DMV office in person in order to change your name on your drivers license. Before you do this, you will have to update your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA). It can take a few days for the SSA to process your request. When visiting the DMV to change your name, you must make sure to have all the proper identifying documents, including proof of your name change. This can include court orders, marriage certificates and divorce decrees. Note that not having all of the required documents, forms and payment will result in a rejected application.


Any time Wisconsin residents legally change their names, they must request a driver’s license name change, which will update their information on their identification credentials. Overall, a WI DMV name change may come as the result of marriage, divorce or gender reassignment, as well as other lawful reasons.

Wisconsin is one of the few states that offers an online method for you to change your name on a driving license, which allows for a faster and easier process. However, be mindful that you can only undergo this procedure after you officially change your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Learn more about how to change your name of a driver’s license by reading the following sections.

Instances Where You Must Change Your Name on Your Wisconsin Driver’s License

A Wisconsin DMV name change procedure is most commonly requested after circumstances such as a marriage, divorce or gender reassignment. However, there are numerous personal reasons for a change of name on a driving license, which sometimes stem simply from a personal preference. Many individuals have experienced the feeling that the names they were given at birth fail to represent who they are. These reasons may also pertain to a resident’s religious beliefs, ethnicity or career.

Furthermore, certain motorists seek to name change on a driver’s license as the result of a legally-ordered name change. Whatever an applicant’s reason may be, it is important for this procedure to be requested in a timely manner.

Wisconsin Driver’s License Name Change Time Limits

WI residents should apply for a driver’s license name change as soon as they change their legal names, because state traffic laws require all motorists to carry licenses that display their correct legal names. Moreover, having identification discrepancies across multiple institutions, such as between the DMV and the SSA, can create potential problems for you in the future.

The official requirements for a change of name on a driving license in Wisconsin have no clear completion time period connected to the procedure. However, keep in mind that a WI DMV name change is still expected to be completed promptly. This will prevent having your driving privileges potentially revoked if you are accused of misrepresenting your identity on your driver’s license.

How to Change Your Name with the Social Security Administration

Prior to approving a change of name on a driving license, the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will require you to change your name with the Social Security Administration. In general, the SSA requires some of the same documentation used to apply for a driver’s license name change. For instance, applicants will be asked to provide a certificate of marriage, a decree of divorce, a court-ordered name change or a certificate or naturalization. The SSA provides this service for free, and applicants may apply by mail or in person at your local Social Security office.

In order to accelerate the process that pertains to a change of name on a driving license, the WI DMV utilizes the official online system established by the SSA. This process allows for the electronic verification of your name change at no extra cost. Before approving a Wisconsin DMV name change request, the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles will compare the information it received with the information shared by the Social Security Administration. This information includes your name, date of birth, gender and Social Security Number (SSN).

The DMV will change your name on your driving license and issue your updated credential only after your information matches with the SSA. Moreover, before visiting a WI DMV branch, you should allow for 48 hours to pass after submitting your SSA name change. This will allow time for the Social Security Administration’s system to update its records.

Online Driver’s License Name Changes

You cannot change your name on a driving license in Wisconsin through an online method. However, you may expedite your processing time by starting the name change procedure through a state-approved online system. This system allows you to fill out and submit a WI DMV application form. In certain cases, you may also be offered the option to make a driver’s license name change in-person appointment following your online submission. Furthermore, you may print a copy of this filled-out form to bring with you to the DMV service center whenever you go, whether or not you made an appointment online. Following these steps can speed up your name change procedure significantly.

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

A driver’s license name change can be requested in person at one of the various WI DMV locations. However, because certain locations offer different services, make sure that these procedures are offered at the specific location you intend to visit.

In order to apply for a change of name on a driver’s license, you must bring documents that prove your identity and name change, as well as a certified or original certificate of birth. Moreover, you will be asked to submit proof of your residency in Wisconsin and proof of your legal status in the United States. Furthermore, remember to bring an original or certified copy of all of these required documents for a name change on a driver’s license, because photocopies will not be accepted, even if they are notarized. In addition, applicants must complete the appropriate application form and submit it along with payment for the service fees.

Note: During your driver’s license name change appointment, you will be asked to surrender your current driver’s license card, which identifies you by your former name.

Wisconsin DMV Name Change Fees

The fees associated with a Wisconsin DMV name change are the same as the ones for other types of driver’s license replacement procedures. That is because, upon requesting a driver’s license name change in WI, you will be issued a new credential.

Last updated on Wednesday, February 13 2019.

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