How to Change Last Name

This post is way overdue and I apologize in advance for that. As many of you know, I got married last July (our ONE year anni is around the corner – eek)! I am not kidding when I say that as soon as I got back from our honeymoon, I changed my last name. Seriously, the very next day. I dropped mine completely (bye-bye triple S initials) and took on his. Hello, SSH.

I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed after researching the steps on how to change a name on a driver’s license, social security card, and passport. You can bet the honeymoon high was over real quick, LOL! I was tempted to pay HitchSwitch (or another service company) to do the legwork, but in the end, it was actually not that bad!

Let me be very clear on a few things:

  • I live in Texas so I followed Texas requirements
  • My U.S. passport was issued more than one year ago and not expired
  • I got married out of the country, however, this did not impact the process in any way

If the above applies to you so far, the below information should guide you throughout this process too.

Driver’s License

You will need to visit the nearest Department of Public Safety within 30 days of the change. Did you know you are able to get in line online? That’s right, you don’t need to stand in ridiculous lines. You can click here to locate the office nearest you and book your appointment. Arrive at least 10 minutes prior to your appointment and be sure to take the required documents:

  • Marriage license (original or certified copy)
  • Fee of $11
    • Note: Offices now take credit cards as well as cash, checks, and money orders
  • Current driver’s license

Get dressed up and all cute because you will be able to take a new picture…you’re welcome!

Social Security Card

What’s lovely about changing your name on your social security card is that it is free! You will simply need to complete this form and either take it or mail it to the nearest Social Security office. You can click here to locate the office nearest you. If you decide to mail the application along with required documents (listed below) then be aware the process will take approximately two to three weeks! I decided to go in person for this one; the Social Security office near me had awesome reviews and I did not mind the wait. Whichever way you decide to complete this step, don’t forget the required documents:

  • Driver’s license or U.S. passport
    • To prove identity
  • Marriage license (original or certified copy)
    • To justify name change


The process is fairly simple to obtain a new passport. You will need to complete form DS-82 (the form) to request a new one. The only way to know if you qualify to complete and submit the form is if you answer “yes” to the questions located on the top section of page one. If you answer “no” to any of the questions then you must fill out form DS-11 and go in person.

The only real struggle I had with this process was having to take my new passport photo twice. I went to Walgreens to take it and the person taking the photo did not tell me to remove the scarf around my neck. When I got to the post office to mail everything to the National Passport Processing Center, the post office lady was kind enough to tell me my application would likely be rejected because I should have removed my scarf. Save yourself the time and energy and learn from my mistake – remove accessories for your new passport photo.

Once the form is filled out and passport photo is ready to go, don’t forget to include the following items:

  • Current U.S. passport
  • Marriage license (certified copy)
  • Fee of $110 (click here for more info.)
    • Note: Only personal checks or money orders are accepted (refer to pg. 2 of form DS-82 for additional info.)

According to my local post office, the only option to ship the items was priority mail. I paid exactly $6.70, not too shabby, eh?!? For more information, you can click here.

This process took about three weeks! I was very impressed since the normal processing time is 4-6 weeks (unless you expedite the service). I received my new passport first, and in a separate shipment, received my old passport and marriage license. All on time for my summer trips!

I hope this information helps. You may be dragging your feet right now, but the sooner you get these things done, the better you will feel!

Isn’t it a wonderful feeling crossing things off your to-do list? Ah-yes. Yes, it is. Now go kill it out there!


Mrs. Profresh



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