Changing your surname after Marriage

Please note this post reflects a civil ceremony performed in the UK. Procedures may vary for different circumstances and from country to country.

Changing name

Image by David Boynton Photography

Once you’re married and back from what was (hopefully) an amazing honeymoon there are a few things you may need to do.

Getting your wedding dress cleaned, opening presents and writing thank you cards, dealing with all that holiday washing and of course changing your name, if that’s the route you’re going.


I’ll be honest I felt a little overwhelmed when it came to this, maybe it was because of the attachment I had to my surname after having it for 30 years or maybe because I wasn’t sure about where to start so I thought I’d put all my findings together to make the process a bit easier.

I found it’s best to start with any photo ID i.e your passport and driving license as these often take the longest. Both a passport and driving licence name change require the original marriage certificate so kill two birds with one stone and purchase at least 2 marriage certificates when you have your final meeting with the registrar. They only cost a few pound each and that way you can send off two applications at the same time.

Obviously this leaves you without ID for a few weeks but if you unlucky enough to look over 25 (like me) you shouldn’t have any problems. Though I did almost hit a stumbling block with not having any ID when I had to collect a rather urgent parcel from the post office. Luckily I found out that they take bank cards as a form of ID

Passport

This can be done by filling in an online application here:

www.gov.uk

Just search for passport application and choose the relevant search result.

Once the online application is filled in and paid for you will be given a declaration that will need printing, signing and sending off along with 2 photos and your supporting documentation.

Unfortunately, it costs around £75 at the moment to change your name and or address on your passport. If you have patience you can wait until your passport expires to change your name. This will save you the money initially however keep in mind that any travel arrangements that require your passport will have to be booked in your maiden name to reflect your passport.

Don’t hang around getting the photos done and sending the declaration off as the application won’t be started until the documentation has been received and the application may expire if you take too long then you’ll be left out of pocket and without a new passport. Try to block in a couple of evenings or a weekend to get the application done and dusted, photos taken and everything posted.

It should take about 3 weeks to get your passport back with the changes done. I’d recommend paying the extra cost and get your passport and marriage certificate sent back by recorded delivery just for peace of mind.

Driving Licence

This application requires the form D1 if you drive a car or motorbike licence and form D2 if you drive a lorry or a bus licence. These forms can be acquired from a post office or alternately can be requested from the DVLA through the gov.uk website.

Fill in the form and send it back with your current license, an original marriage certificate and new photo(s) if required.

Again it should take about 3 weeks to get your licence back.

You will also have to update your vehicle log book if you are changing your name. This is the V5C form that you should have at home somewhere. Fill in section 6 and send the whole form to the DVLA. If you have mislaid your V5C you can fill in form V62 to request a replacement. This will cost £25 and you can get the V62 form from www.gov.uk. They will send you a new V5C back once the changes have been logged

See those extra marriage certificates are coming in handy now aren’t they.

HMRC

Once your photo ID is underway you can focus changing your details through HMRC if you are employed or self-employed.

This can be done online again through the gov.uk website.

https://www.gov.uk/tell-hmrc-change-of-details/change-name-or-address

Click the link of either “paid a salary or pension through PAYE” or “self-employed” and you will be taken to an application page. This doesn’t take too long to do but you will still want to do it in one sitting. You will need your National Insurance number, employers PAYE number and your husbands or wife’s date of birth and a few other simple details (which let’s face it I’d hope you’d know!) The PAYE number and NI number can be found on your p60 or sometimes on your pay slip so find that before you start to save yourself routing around for it and the online session timing out.

Remember that if you are self-employed as well as being employed by a company you will need to update both records.

I didn’t need to send off any extra documentation to get these changes done so your marriage certificates are safe for now.

Work – Speak to your HR department and they should be able to change your name on things such as your work email addresses and maybe even your pension. Also once your bank accounts are changed your employer can then change your name on the company’s payroll. You will have to inform HMRC yourself (see above).

Bank accounts, Credit cards and Building society accounts – These will have to be changed in branch and will require a genuine marriage certificate.

Check with your bank before you go as I thought I could do it over the counter but after queuing for 15 minutes I was told I needed an appointment to do it and had to come back the following week.

Mobile and Internet providers – Give your provider a call or look online and see if it can be changed that way alternatively pop into a high street shop and you should be able to change it without providing a marriage certificate.

House, Life, Car Insurance and Breakdown cover – Again phone your provider and inform them of the change. They should update the details and provide you with new certificates without the need for a marriage certificate.

Mortgage – This depends on your existing situation. There isn’t a legal obligation to change your name on an existing mortgage so you may want to wait until the mortgage needs renewing or you move house.

If you do decide to change your name and you already have a joint mortgage, then a marriage certificate should be enough to get it changed. However, if you are wanting to add your husband to your mortgage or add yourself to his then you will have to go through the application process for the individual as they will need credit checking etc.

I’m not on our mortgage as hubby brought the house a year before we moved in together and personally I will wait until we move and get a joint mortgage, just to keep things simple.

Email address – Getting a new email for your new name is a good way to clear out all that spam and those newsletters you’ve signed up for without realising. I set up my old Gmail account to forward emails to my new one. As emails came in I noted where they were from Facebook etc. and changed my log in details associated with that account. This is a good method if you are worried about overlooking something as it acts as a reminder to change details to accounts you may have forgotten about. You can also use it to unsubscribe from those that aren’t needed.

Don’t forget to send your new email to friends and family,  you also get to confuse them seeing your new name for the first time.

Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin etc – These can be changed easily and quickly through the relevant website and the emails can be dealt with by the above method.

Local Authority – for council tax if you own or rent a home and the register of electors so you can vote.

Police – if you have any criminal actions against you or are on the Sex Offenders’ Registry

Utility services –  such as gas, electricity and water providers

Premium Bonds Office – Just in case you win!

Doctor – My surgery has an online account that I changed it through

Dentist – Because they like to know whose teeth they are drilling

Vets – my husband insisted I change the name the cats were registered under once we were married!

TV license Office – So you can continue to watch The Great British Bake Off (don’t lie we know you do)

and Finally…

 

Wills – No one like to think about death especially when  you’ve only just started your new life together but this is an important step.

If either or both of you have a will already then this should be reviewed and updated.

If neither of you have a will, get one sorted now even if you don’t think you have any assets as such because once life becomes “normal” again the idea will get pushed to the bottom of the pile and then should anything happen to you or your other half the situation could become very tricky.

Once you have successfully made your way through this list go and have a glass of wine and watch The Great British Bake Off – you deserve it.

 

 

 

 

 

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