How Much Does It Cost to Change Your Name After Marriage? (Updated Prices)

Marriage is a significant milestone in life, symbolizing the union of two individuals in love and commitment. For many, it’s also an opportunity for a fresh start, including the possibility of changing one’s name. 

However, this seemingly simple decision can involve a series of bureaucratic steps and associated costs. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of changing your name after marriage, focusing on the often-overlooked aspect: the expenses involved.

Marriage Name Change 101

Changing your name after marriage is a personal choice. Some individuals choose to keep their birth names, while others opt for their spouse’s surname, or even hyphenate both names. 

It’s essential to understand the implications and costs associated with this decision before embarking on the name-changing journey.

Overview of the Process and Costs of Marriage Name-Change

The cost of changing your name after marriage can vary widely depending on several factors. These include your location, the extent of the name change, and whether you decide to handle the process independently or seek legal assistance. 

Here’s a breakdown of potential expenses:

Marriage License

The first step is obtaining a marriage license, which typically costs between $25 to $115, depending on your state.

Marriage Certificate Copies

You’ll need multiple copies of your marriage certificate for various agencies and organizations. Each copy may cost around $5 to $20.

Social Security Administration (SSA)

Changing your name with the SSA is free, but you may incur costs associated with obtaining supporting documents [1], such as a new driver’s license or passport.

Driver’s License/State ID

Updating your driver’s license or state ID can cost $10 to $30, not including any fees for updated photos or vision tests.


Renewing or updating your passport with your new name can cost between $30 to $165, depending on your specific circumstances and processing times.

Legal Fees

If you choose to use legal services to facilitate the name change, attorney fees can range from $150 to $500 or more.

Publication Fees

In some states, you may be required to publish your name change in a local newspaper, which can cost approximately $50 to $100.

Length of the Name Change Process

The time it takes to complete the name change process can also impact the overall cost. Expect the process to span several weeks to a few months, depending on the efficiency of government agencies and your chosen timeline.

Options When Converting Your Last Name After Marriage

As mentioned earlier, you have several options when it comes to changing your last name after marriage:

  • Take Your Spouse’s Surname: This is the most traditional and straightforward option.
  • Hyphenate: You can combine your last name with your spouse’s using a hyphen.
  • Combine Last Names: In some cases, couples choose to create a brand-new surname by blending elements of both last names.
  • Keep Your Birth Name: You also have the right to retain your birth name, which may involve fewer name-change costs.

How to Change Your Name After Marriage

The process of changing your name after marriage involves multiple steps, so let’s explore them in detail.

Documents Required When Changing Your Last Name After Marriage

Marriage Certificate: The most crucial document is your marriage certificate, which you’ll need to initiate the name-change process.

Social Security Card: Visit the Social Security Administration (SSA) with your marriage certificate, identification, and a completed application form. They will update your information at no cost.

Driver’s License or State ID: Visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office with your updated Social Security card, marriage certificate, and identification to effect the changes on the name on your driver’s license or state ID.

Passport: If you have a passport, you’ll need to update it with your new name. This requires submitting an application with supporting documents and fees.

After the Marriage Name Change

Once you’ve done with your name change with the SSA, DMV, and Passport agency, there are many other people, places, or groups you need to notify. Be prepared to incur additional costs as you update your name with the following.

Your Employer

Update your name with your employer’s HR department and, if applicable, with your retirement accounts and benefits providers.

State Tax Authority

Inform your state tax authority to ensure your tax records are up to date.

Financial Institutions 

Change your name on bank accounts, credit cards, and any other financial accounts. Request updated checks with your new name, which may incur a nominal fee.

Membership and Subscription Providers

Update your name with gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, streaming services, and any other memberships you hold.


Notify the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to avoid any issues with tax filings and refunds.

The Post Office

You may need to forward mail or change your address with the post office, which could have associated fees.

Voter Registration

Ensure your voter registration reflects your new name, which may require contacting your local election office.

Insurance Providers

Notify your health, auto, home, and any other insurance providers to update your policy information.

Utility Providers

Contact your utility companies to change your name on utility bills.

Homeowner’s Association

If you live in a community with a homeowner’s association, update your information with them.

Medical Professionals

Inform your doctors, dentists, and other healthcare providers of your name change during your next visit.

Professional Organizations and/or Unions

If you’re a member of any professional organizations or unions, update your name with them as well.


When should you change your name after getting married?

The timeframe for changing your name after marriage varies by location. In most states, you have no set time limit, but it’s advisable to initiate the process promptly to avoid potential complications.

Is changing my name on my bank account required after marriage?

While it’s not legally required for you to change your name on your bank account after marriage, it’s recommended to update your banking information for consistency and identification purposes.

Do I need to change my name on my social security card after marriage?

No, changing your name on your social security card is optional, but it’s a crucial step if you plan to update other identification documents and records. The Social Security Administration allows this change at no cost.


The total cost to change your name after marriage can range from a few hundred dollars to potentially over a thousand dollars, depending on your location and the specific services you choose. 

Therefore, it’s important to research the requirements and costs in your area, plan accordingly, and budget for the various fees associated with the name change process.


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