How to Change Your Last Name in Tennessee

Engagement Ring Photo

This blog post is for all of my Tennessee brides that will be needing to change that last name soon! (Woohoo! Congrats!) I’m writing this post because I would have LOVED a step by step guide on how to change my last name in Tennessee after I got married. I had no idea where to start…my license? SS card? My excitement of my new last name quickly dwindled when I was sent going around in circles trying to achieve my goal. Before you start calling offices and asking questions….read this post!

1. Obtain Your Marriage Certificate

In order to get married at all, you need to apply for a marriage license at your County Clerk’s office. In order to do so, just go down to the county clerk’s office with your fiance and fill out an application for a marriage license (you may be able to find this form online ahead of time). You’ll need a photo ID and there is a fee for your application. The license to wed is good for 30 days! After your marriage, you may pick up your marriage certificate from the same office. You’ll want to go ahead a pay for a certified copy too. Trust me, you’ll want this!

2. Change Your Name With the Social Security Administration

In order to change your name with the SSA, you need to fill out an application for a social security card. You can find this application on the Social Security Administration’s website here. You can either do this by mail or in person. When you return the form, you will need to include your marriage certificate and a photo ID (driver’s license or passport). You will have to provide original or certified copies. There is no fee for this one! Shortly, you will receive your new Social Security card in the mail.

3. Change Your Name on Your Driver’s License

Take your new social security card and your marriage certificate to the DMV and change your name on your driver’s license. There will be a small fee to apply for a duplicate license. If you haven’t updated to the Real ID yet, I would advise going ahead and doing that at this time! Doing this will require some additional documentation. You can find a complete list of requirements here.

4. Change Your Name on Your Passport

This can take quite some time. If you’re going on a honeymoon out of the country directly after your wedding, make sure to book everything under you maiden name so that it will match your existing passport! You will not have your new passport soon enough for your adventures. There are a couple of different forms for you to apply for a new passport. You can either apply for a name change if you just received your passport in the past year. This one is free to do also! You can find the form to do so here. If you’ve had your passport for more than a year and your passport is not expired, you can apply for a renewal using this form. Unfortunately, there is a fee for a passport renewal. Each method requires you to mail in the correct form, your current passport, your certified marriage certificate, and a photo. If your passport is expired, you will need to apply for a brand new one.

Now that you have the big stuff changed, don’t forget about the small stuff!

You will need to update your name with your employer, bank accounts, credit cards, mortgage, utilities, vehicle title and registration, doctor’s offices, voter registration, and social media. This will all take time. Just relax, and do most of these as they come up in your day to day life. Prioritize the ones that are linked to you financially. Update your name with your employer and bank at the same time so that there are no issues with payroll. It can take months for you to update everything…and that’s okay!

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