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how to change your name in texas

CLIENTS

Thursday Tips: How to Change Your Name in Texas

07.21.2011

So I finally did it. You know, I figured that it would be a good second anniversary gift. Yeah. That’s it.

I finally, officially changed my name.

What took me so long? Let’s say it was one part laziness and two parts resistance. Yes, resistance. I wish that changing your name was as easy as changing it on Facebook, because if that was the case, my name would have been changed long ago. I have some friends who were quite efficient and changed their names upon returning from their honeymoon. I like to…keep things interesting.

I wrote about changing my name a few months after we were married, and then last Spring when I became a Texan and was issued a Texas State Driver’s License, upon which I changed my name. However, I didn’t really ever complete the process. Again, the laziness and resistance. But two weeks ago I finally dragged myself to the Social Security Administration office and got it done.

It’s really not as painful as I thought.

Here are the 3 Easy Steps to Change Your Name in Texas:

Texas Marriage License Dallas County

You will need: Driver’s License with new name, Marriage Certificate, and current Social Security card.

1. Check in at the computer to receive a number and wait for your number to be called. It could be anywhere from five minutes to an hour plus. Luckily, it only took me about twenty minutes to wait. I arrived at 10AM on a Thursday.

2. Present all your documents to the Social Security representative. Since we were married in California, the marriage certificate is different from the one issued in Texas, so I had to point out where it showed our wedding date and the new name I was changing to. Apparently, in Texas, the section for the new name is typically left blank and you can choose (at least that’s what the SSA person told me). In my case, I wanted to make my maiden name part of my middle name, but because of the way it was typed on the marriage certificate, I now technically have two last names (no hyphen). Whatever, my name is changed.

3. Swear and sign a piece of paper that all your documents are true and correct. Keep the receipt they give you in case your new card doesn’t arrive.

It only took about eight days for the new card to come from the day I went to the office. All in all, the process was pretty easy, and not as daunting as I had expected. Now onto changing everything else. Yeah, that won’t happen right away.

*Marriage License photo found here.* I wasn’t going to post my own, duh.

I hope this was helpful.

Happy Thursday!

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Name Change Game

12.09.2009

So whenever I think about the name changing process, I always think of this episode of FRIENDS.

I was actually a late comer to watching this series, usually because I had a Ballet class or was coming home from one right at the same time every Thursday. So I started watching Friends in re-runs and got hooked. The final season of Friends was broadcast when I was studying abroad in France, and it was so funny to watch Friends dubbed over. The voices were so different. And of course the jokes weren’t quite the same. But when you’re an American in France, feeling a little homesick, you take what you can get.

A friend recently asked me about my take on changing my name. The simple answer? It’s a personal decision.

For me, I knew that when I got married, I couldn’t just drop my last name. It’s been a part of me and my identity forever, and something about just wiping my name slate clean and writing in a new one, just felt wrong. Mind you, this was long before I was ever engaged or even dating Cent.

When I worked in an office, I had three co-workers who were married in the span of a year and I watched them go through the process of changing their last names to their husband’s last name. I also had a co-worker who kept her maiden name, and she and her husband are married five years strong. To me, both of these options just seemed incomplete. I couldn’t wrap my head around “deleting” my last name – Ronquillo. (While people have trouble pronouncing it, it’s typically unique and get excited when I meet another person with my last name.) At the same time, I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable with just keeping my last name either.

So I’m doing what works for the both of us. I’m adding Cent’s last name. My maiden name gets upgraded to my middle name spot and add on his last name. No hyphen though. My last name barely fit on an SAT scantron, so imagine what it would be like for my name and his in one bitty box! While I kind of had to sell Cent on this idea, I gave him my reasoning, and it was all good. This is also what my mom did, so that’s probably where I got the idea. I’m thankful that she didn’t do the hyphen thing either. Otherwise, my maiden name would be 19 letters long! 20 characters if you include the hyphen!

Alright Internet, here’s another confession: I haven’t changed my name yet! (Although I did on Facebook, so that’s makes it real, right?)

I do have a legit reason for this. And a couple of other reasons. I won’t be changing my name until the new year because:

  • We have air travel plans for Christmas. Tickets are issued with my maiden name.
  • We were in process of buying a house and my maiden name was on the stack of paperwork.
  • I moved states and needed to figure out the requirements and process for Texas, and our marriage certificate was issued in CA.

But I will! Promise.

Here are some handy steps for changing your name in the state of Texas :

  1. Get two certified copies of your marriage certificate.
  2. Change Driver’s License at the DMV. Bring your previous license and marriage certificate.
  3. Change Social Security at the Social Security Administration office. Bring your new license and marriage certificate. (And bring a book.)
  4. After these, you can proceed to your passport (online here), bank accounts, credit cards, etc.

(Special thanks to my friend, Stephanie of Stephanie Michele Events for sharing this with me!)

Also, if you’re looking for a one-stop shop to get you through the name changing process, check out MissNowMrs.!

These days, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer. It’s totally a personal decision that you should make with your fiance/spouse. Come to a decision you can both be comfortable and live with happily.

What’s your opinion about changing or keeping your last name?

Happy Wednesday!

what next?

  1. Share this with brides you know!
  2. Subscribe to our new monthly e-zine: tips from the best in the industry on creating a stress-free wedding that honors your relationship and, most importantly, building a lasting wonderful marriage.  Leave a comment below or click here to sign up.
  3. See more inside scoop with other posts on wedding advice for brides & grooms here.

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