Steggall-to-Schnettgoecke: Name Change 101

I am so excited to announce that my best friend, Lizze Rundle is finally engaged to her long-time sweetheart, Austin Matthias! I received a text from Austin late Saturday night. It was a picture of Lizzie’s hand with her new bling and it read, “She said Yes!” I cannot begin to describe how happy I am for the two of them and cannot wait to begin the planning process. I have already planned a trip to Iowa this next weekend. : )

In celebration of my best friend’s engagement. I thought this post was very fitting!
I am officially Karen Elizabeth Schnettgoecke!
I have had quite a time changing my name, so I thought I would outline the steps to help out all of my single friends, when the time comes to become a Mrs. 🙂

1.) I would suggest changing your address on all your mail, if at all possible, or atleast 2 pieces, to the address you will be living at after you are married. The reason for this, is when you go to have your new license issued, you will need at least 2 pieces of certified mail to change your address. Do this in enough time to have your mail arriving at your new address right around wedding time.

*In the mean time, if you are taking a honeymoon, enjoy it with your maiden name. You will need your license to match your traveling documents and you will just need a break from the hustle. You can begin the name change process when you return and have a chance to settle in.

2.) Obtain a certified copy of your marriage license from the County Clerk’s office in the county you were married in. Your marriage license may be in the courthouse as soon as the Monday after the wedding. At our county courthouse, we were charged a flat $28 fee for a certified copy of our marriage license. That covers the fee for having them pull it, you then have the option to get additional copies for $2 at that time. However, if you went in the next day, it would be $28 again, because you are charged each time they have to pull it. I got 3 copies, because I know myself. 1.) I tend to be a scatterbrain and 2.) I hate to spend extra, unecessary money.

3.) Go to the DMV to have a new license issued, with your new name and address. At this time I would also have your registration and title of your vehicle switched as well. To accomplish all of this, you will need…
            1) A certified copy of your marriage license
            2) Your current driver’s license
            3) 2 pieces of certified mail. (i.e. credit card statements,
                paycheck/stub, bank statement etc. Anything from a
                reputable source.)
           4) Your current registration (the piece of paper you keep in your
                car, that you peeled your license stickers off.)
           5) Your vehicle’s Title
           6) If you are registered to vote or listed as an organ donor, be 
               sure to get both of those switched as well.

4.) Now that you are officially a new person! You can now get your name changed on your bank accounts. You will need a certified copy of your marriage license and your license with your new name. Once they have taken copies of both of these, they will issue you a new signature card for their files, a debit/credit card and checks for you, with your new name. If you choose to share bank accounts with your husband, you can take care of that at the same time as well, although he will also need to be there to sign paperwork.

5.) Change your name on your social security card. Log on to
http://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/ss5.htm and print off the paper work and fill out. On the website you are able to search for the nearest Social Security office in your area. The social security office highly recommends you come into the office, as they require a certified marriage license, birth certificate and your driver’s license with your new name. Be safe by calling ahead to make sure you have all necessary documents and not waste a trip. (They have some odd hours and have yet to change my social security card.)

6.) Change your name on your passport. Visit http://travel.state.gov/passport/renew/renew_833.html and follow the directions from there. You will be required to send in your current passport with your maiden name, a new passport photo, along with the application from the website listed above.
The one bad thing about this is, if you’ve had your passport more than 12 months you have to pay for a  new one. My passport was only 4 years old and would have been good for another 6 years, but because my name changed, I had to pay full price for a new one. Bummer…

7.) Now begins the on-going process of changing your name on mail that continues  to come with your old name. This inculdes, credit card statements, magazines, bills, email, etc.

Hope this helps, I know I would have appreciated an outline like this while I was going thru the process. One one site they would say social security card then license and the next site would say the exact opposite.

Sometimes I forget I’m a Schnettgoecke and sign Steggall, but I am getting used to signing my new name. I’ve saved the first piece of mail I ever received with my new name. It was a wedding card and I tend to look at it now and again and it makes me smile.

So I can officially sign off from this post as Karen E. Schnettgoecke!

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