The trials and tribulations of changing from a Miss to a Mrs

The trials and tribulations of changing from a Miss to a Mrs

The paperwork is a lot trickier than the ceremony it turns out

I got married back in September. If you Google the process of how to change your name on important documents after you get married, you’ll be faced with an abundance of feminist-driven articles about why women shouldn’t feel in this day and age like they have to change their name when they get married.

That isn’t what this blog is about. So if you don’t agree with people changing their name when they get married, you may as well stop reading now.

If, like me, you recently got married, or are planning on getting married in the future and want to change your name in the process, then the below might help you – it’s a few hints and tips I picked up along the way and then a breakdown of the different areas where I changed my name.

  • My first tip would be – before you get married you’re asked by the registrar if you want to order more copies of your marriage certificate. Say ‘yes’. The one that you sign and are given to take away with you on the day will feel a little bit special, so make sure you have copies that you won’t mind putting in the post (and to avoid any upset if the worst happens and it gets lost or damaged).
  • My next tip before you get going would be to make sure you have your new signature watertight. You sign your old signature on the marriage certificate on the wedding day itself, but when you get going with your name-changing documents you’re going to have to have it pegged as though it’s been yours for years!
  • Anything new you sign up to will obviously be in your new name – this can get confusing as you may still be using your old name for other things that you haven’t switched over. You’ll need to keep your wits about you and remember what surname you’re supposed to be using.
  • Last, if you can’t find the information you need on the company’s website about how to change your name and both you and said company are on Twitter, then just fire off a quick tweet asking what you need to do. I did this a few times and the responses were generally pretty much instant.

The specifics on becoming a Mrs across the board

Banking. I bank with First Direct and when I Googled how to change my name with the bank, I couldn’t find anything helpful. Instead I tweeted them and within minutes I had the answer. They gave me the number to call to get a change of name document sent out to me. I filled it out and was told I needed to send it back with my marriage certificate. I wondered if I could avoid this step and just go into a branch (HSBC) with the marriage certificate. I phoned up and checked and sure enough I could go into the branch with the change of name form and my marriage certificate and they changed it all for me.

With this knowledge I then went into the branches of banks where I have my ISA and credit card and got them to change my name in the same way. New cards where needed were sent out pretty quickly. When you get them just cut up your old ones and you’re good to go.

Mortgage. This was high on my list of things to get sorted sooner rather than later. Again, this was really easy, I just went into a branch of the bank who my mortgage is with clutching my marriage certificate and they changed it for me there and then.

Driver’s Licence. You’ll need to go into your local Post Office and pick up the correct form for this, it’s the D1 ‘Application for a driving licence’ forms. This one has to be sent by post with your marriage certificate, there isn’t an option of doing it all online as I know you can with a change of address. This one will take a bit more time, but you get a booklet with it containing instructions on exactly how to fill it all out correctly, and there’s no charge for a new licence if you’ve changed your name due to marriage.

Note: They send you your proof of name change documents back separately but don’t tell you they’ll do this, so when you receive your licence back and not your marriage certificate, don’t worry, it’s a security measure apparently!

Passport. This is the only change of name that is actually going to cost you. I have all the forms to do this (also picked up from the Post Office, they’re handily next to the driver’s licence ones), but for some reason (maybe it’s the cost!) I haven’t quite got round to doing it. The process will be the same as for the driver’s licence though, so I know what I need to do.

If you’re a real keen bean, are going on honeymoon straight after your wedding and want everything to be in your shiny new married name, then you can change your name before you go. This can be done up to three months before the ceremony, it’s post-dated and at that stage your old passport will be cancelled. This means you can’t use either of the passports before the ceremony if you’re thinking of jetting off to Spain for a ‘pre-moon’ (don’t ask!) to top up your tan for the wedding.

Phone. I’m with O2 and I just Googled what I needed to do – there was a link to a form that needed to be sent off with my marriage certificate. Strangely enough, although most others needed to see the original form, O2 accepts just a copy scanned that can be sent over with the form, which is good.

Electoral Roll. Luckily for me, my husband and I got letters about Individual Electoral Registration not long after we got married, so I used this opportunity to use my new name on the forms. If this hasn’t happened to you, you’ll need to contact your local electoral registration office and get a change of name form (they’ll need your marriage certificate as proof of your name change).

Other things you might have to think of that I didn’t need to change…

  • HM Land Registry (if you own land or property)
  • Vets
  • Library clubs, societies and associations
  • Magazine subscriptions

Some things you’ll find easier to do as and when, such as the doctor and the dentist. You can pick up a change of name form when you next go in for an appointment and then all you need to do is fill it in and go in with your marriage certificate next time you’ve got an appointment or are passing and they can change your details for you. I still need to do this, along with others things such as changing the name on my life insurance and some of our utility bills.

The biggest debate for me throughout this process was whether I should keep my maiden name for work. In the end I decided if I didn’t change my name at work as well, then I would never truly feel like a Roberts. So I let the techno whizzes at MSE know that I wanted to change my name and that was that. However, by doing that a couple of other things cropped up that I hadn’t considered, such as changing my name with the insurer of our company pension and the healthcare cash plan that we have here – so they’ve now been added to the ever growing list of things still to do.

Apologies if I have left anything off, as you can see I still have a way to go. I think if you’re really enthusiastic then all of this could be achieved in a month or so, especially if you have multiple copies of your marriage certificate that you can send off. If you take the approach to change things as and when they crop up, it will obviously take a long longer.

Finally, good luck, changing your name is not as easy as it sounds at the time when you decide to do it, turns out you use your name for A LOT of things!!

Have you changed your name? How did you find going about doing it? Let me know your thoughts in the discussion below or on the forum.