You’re married and are determined to start a new life and maybe to change your name in California is a part of your plan. While sharing the same name with their beloved might mean the whole world to some, others might consider it a sentimental formality. If you want to change your name in California to feel even more bound to your significant other, then, this post is for you.
As soon as you’ve learned all the steps of how to change your name in California you might hold back. You’ll need to change your DMV and Social Security name. But that’s not all. Planning a trip abroad on honeymoon? Then, you’ll need to change your passport name as well. But don’t worry as long as you have a helpful list, nothing will stand between you and your names.
Obviously, it’s the first thing you’ll need in order to change your name in California after marriage. To apply for a marriage license, both of you should take your valid picture ID and go straight to your country clerk’s office. You will need to fill out an application and a sworn statement. Birth certificate might be required as well. So, to avoid an unpleasant surprise check it with your county clerk’s office at first. Now about the fees. Usually in California fees are between $50 to $80. Remember if you need a license copy, ask for it. The fee for a copy of your marriage license in California is $15. To have one you’ll need to visit California Department of Public Health’s website. Several copies will be better than one, as they will be necessary for changing your name elsewhere.
Social Security Name Change
Once your new name is on your marriage certificate, you’re ready for the next step, which is your Social Security name change. The good part here is that you won’t be required to pay for the new card. So, to get started you’ll need to fill out this application. Note that you should write down both your original and new name in the form. You’ll almost there. Don’t forget to include a copy of your marriage certificate, driver’s license, US passport and your state-issued non-driver identification card.
DMV Name Change
To change your name in California, you will also nee to undergo a California DMV name change. To do that you should visit DMV for which you can also schedule an appointment. You’ll need to pay $27 for changing your name on driver’s license. Sorry to disappoint but you can’t get the form for this one online in California. The reason has to do with barcodes, which are unique and need to be scanned at the DMV. You can either go to the nearest DMV spot, or ask for them to email you one.
Hold on, that’s not all. Provide a copy of your marriage certificate, a thumbprint, and let them take your picture. And now the last but important tip for this one. Make sure you are done name changing with Social Security first. Why? Because the DMV will verify your name electronically with SSA. Your card should be ready in 60 days.
Passport Name Change
This works the same way as in all other states, which means that you have to apply for a new passport. Remember about the honeymoon? If you’re about to travel soon you must have your new passport expedited. Just show up at the nearest location of Department of State Passport Agency after scheduling an appointment. Again, bring your marriage certificate, a color passport photo, and the passport renewal form. The whole process will cost you about $60.
What if you don’t need to expedite your passport? Then, renew it by mail. You’ll need to fill out a form and mail it with your current passport, marriage certificate copy a color passport photo. Keep in mind that you’ll need to undergo a different process depending on when your passport was issued. If it’s been less than a year, that is one thing, if it’ been more than that, that’s a totally different process. So, make sure to check that first.
Petition to Change Your Name
What if it is not the last name if you want to change? Maybe you want a fancy middle name, or want to get creative with your first name. Here is your ultimate petition then. Well, it costs several hundred bucks and can take pretty long. You’ll need to fill out a handful of forms. A consultation with your local court clerk will help.
When all the forms are already filled out make sure to photocopy them. Grab the originals and the copies and go to the clerk’s office. The clerk will stamp both, return the copies and keep the originals. On Order to Show Cause, you will have the information you need regarding your court date.
Once a week you’ll need to publish your Order to Show Cause in a newspaper of general circulation. Think of all the people who want to contact you for some reason. Don’t they deserve to know that you’ve changed your name? Your court can provide you a newspaper list approved for publication. It’s a good idea to clarify the fees for each as they can vary.
On your court hearing, you will need to show that you published your Order to Show Cause and let the judge approve and sign the Decree Changing Name, Form NC-130. Once done, you can get a copy from the court clerk. You will need this and your marriage certificate for changing your name on other legal documents.
Well, now you know that to change your name is California is a hell of a process. After all these steps you’re done…for the most part. Don’t panic, only minor things are left. Take a break and then take care of your post office, credit cards, insurances and social media accounts (you’ve probably done the last one even before your passport, right?) If you really want to share the same name with your sweetheart, go for and may the odds be ever in your favor!