You did it! After months of planning, you finally said, “I do!!” to the love of your life and are soaking up all the newly wed bliss, including being called Mr. & Mrs. Your marriage is official, but there’s one last step you’d like to do: Change Your Last Name! (If you’d like to simplify the process, we recommend using a kit from NewlyNamed!) Here’s our step by step guide for changing your last name in San Diego, California.
Before You Start, Gather Everything Together
In order to officially change your name, you’ll need to fill out quite a bit of paperwork and can get overwhelming fast. We recommend getting a pack of manilla envelopes and labeling them with each step of the process so that you can put all the documents for each office you’ll need to visit in one place. Make sure you do not fold any of the paperwork and fill it out in pen.
You’ll need at least three envelopes labeled as follows:
- Social Security
Your First Stop: The Social Security Office
To officially start the process, you’ll need to prepare things for the social security office. Print out this PDF and fill out all the highlighted sections. Once complete, put it in your “Social Security” envelope along with your marriage certificate and a form of ID (birth certificate, driver’s license, passport, etc).
Click here to locate the closest social security office and check their hours before you go!
Your Second Stop: The DMV
After you’ve received your new social security card with your new last name, make an appointment with your closest DMV. There’s no form to fill out to change your name on your license, but you will need to bring your marriage license and current driver’s license. You can locate your nearest DMV here! Hopefully you get a great new picture too!
Your Third Stop: The San Diego Passport Acceptance Facility or Passport Agency
If you’re planning on traveling outside the U.S., you’ll need a new passport, and since this process can take a while, we recommend doing it long before it’s time for your trip. If you’re like us, you may not have known the difference between a Passport Acceptance Facility and a Passport Agency, so here is a diagram from travel.state.gov:
If you’ve had a passport before, you can simply renew it by mail (you cannot renew it online because of the name change)! Here are the mailing instructions: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/have-passport/renew.html. If you’re renewing, but are more comfortable going in person, follow the rest of the instructions below. If you’re getting a passport for the first time, you’ll have to go in person and will need to follow the instructions below as well.
San Diego Passport Acceptance Facility:
Make your appointment HERE!
Address: DQ Access, 1600 Pacific Hwy, San Diego, CA 92101
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00am-3:00pm
What you’ll need before you go:
- Your completed (black ink), but not signed, First Time Application Form OR Renewal Application Form
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship (birth certificate, certificate of citizenship, or certificate of naturalization)
- Proof of Identity (driver’s license, previous U.S. passport, government or military ID, or FFA Pilot’s license)
- Passport photo that meets these requirements OR have one taken at the office for $11
- Cash, Money Order, or Check (amounts below). They do not take card!
Accounts to tackle after legally changing your last name:
Once those first three steps are complete, your last name is officially changed! Woohoo! But it’s important to change your name on all your other accounts. We recommend making a list of everything you need to change, then tackle two a week to get them done without overwhelming yourself. Here’s a list of some things you may have that will need changed:
- Your Bank Account(s)
- Your Credit Cards
- Lease & Rental Agreements
- Mortgage & Deeds
- Utility accounts
- Car title and registration
- Insurance (medical, dental & optical, car, business, rental, etc)
- Doctor’s Offices
- Voter registration
Changing your last name legally can feel overwhelming, but we hope this post helped you narrow things down so you can tackle them step by step. It’s a long list, but once it’s done, you’re all done! Your new last name is official everywhere, and that should feel good! Good luck and congratulations on your marriage!