After your wedding day, you don’t want delays in depositing gifted checks if the check has your married name on it while your bank account is still under your maiden name. A honeymoon, work, and life all mean you have too much to do to sit on uncashed checks. But the name on a bank account must match the payee’s name on the check for a check to be cashed. Beyond that, you could have difficulty accessing the account for any financial transactions without the name on the account reflecting your current name.
With the name-change checklist below, you should be able to easily get through the name-changing process after marriage. Here’s how to change the name on a bank account after marriage.
Why do you need to change your name on your bank account after marriage?
Are you wondering which accounts you need to inform to change your last name after marriage? If you don’t change your name, you don’t need to do anything. But if either spouse changes their name after marriage, you’ll need to make sure your bank account, investment accounts, and government institutions all have the correct information on file.
Even if you previously shared a bank account with your new spouse, without updating the name on the account you could have difficulty cashing checks or making other transactions.
9 steps to change your name on your bank account after marriage
While it’s a simple process, you’ll need to come prepared to change your last name after marriage. Here’s how to change your name on a bank account after marriage:
1. Contact your bank
The first step is to contact your bank to let it know about the name change. It will be able to confirm the name-change checklist of documentation and whether it’s possible to complete the process online.
2. Inquire about the name-changing process
Each bank may have different protocols for changing the name on your account. Many banks will require you to do the name change in person, although others allow you to request a name change online or over the phone. It may also be able to provide a married name-change checklist to ensure you come prepared with all necessary documentation.
3. Gather your necessary documents
Changing a name on a bank account after marriage is a straightforward process if the appropriate documentation is ready. The first step is to gather the necessary documentation. This includes a valid marriage certificate, a valid driver’s license or other government-issued ID, a Social Security card, and a current utility bill or other proof of address. The marriage certificate must be an original document or certified copy of the original. You may also need your birth certificate for certain banks.
4. Fill out and submit your bank’s name-change forms
Banks will usually have a specific name-change form for you to fill out. Once the forms are completed and the documents are verified, you’ll need to sign the forms and submit them to the bank. Some banks may require you to do this in person for increased security.
5. Provide proof of your name change
Banks cannot initiate name changes on accounts without documentation. You must provide the bank with proof of the name change. The original marriage certificate is usually sufficient, but you could also provide a court order if the name was changed by the court.
Acceptable proof of name change at most banks:
- Your driver’s license with the new name
- A marriage certificate or divorce decree
- A Social Security card with the new name
- Any other legal name-change document
6. Wait for the bank to update your account
Your bank will review your documents and process the name change. In most cases, this is a relatively fast process but could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the bank’s policies and the volume of requests it is handling.
7. Verify your bank changed the name on your account
It’s important to ensure everything is updated correctly. Check your online account information and bank statements to ensure they reflect your new name. If the name change hasn’t been processed correctly, contact the bank and request a correction.
If the name has not yet changed, you can confirm with the bank that it is still processing the request and get an estimated completion time. If the name is incorrect because of a bank error, it should be able to quickly correct it. If the name is incorrect because of a mistake on the forms, you’ll have to go through the name-change process again.
8. Change the information on accounts linked to your bank
It’s important to change your name on other accounts that were linked to the original account. This includes any online payments, direct deposits, or automatic payments you may have set up with other banks, credit card issuers, investment accounts, and retirement accounts. You also may need to update any credit or debit cards linked to your bank account. You will need to contact each of these companies to update your account information to your new name.
9. Notify other institutions of your name change
You’ll also need to notify all other institutions of your name change. Even before changing your name on a bank account, you may want to change your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and on your driver’s license and passport.
Name change checklist of documents and accounts to update:
- Social Security card
- Driver’s license
- Bank accounts
- Investment accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Credit card issuers
- Employer records
- Insurance policies
- Your will
For each of these, you’ll need to contact the institution and follow steps similar to the nine steps above. You’ll need a new driver’s license, passport, and Social Security card, and many of the other accounts and policies may send updated information with your new name.
Simplifying the name-changing process after marriage
After getting married you don’t want to spend hours on the phone or waiting at the bank to get your change of name on accounts. To simplify the name-changing process after marriage, you can make a name-change checklist with all the accounts and documents you’ll need to change. For most institutions, you’ll need the same documents and can make an envelope with all the documentation you’ll need. You can contact the institution before getting married and gather most documents so it’s faster to change your last name after marriage.
Is there a deadline for a name change after marriage?
There’s no deadline for a name change after getting married, but delaying it too long can lead to difficulties with banking, travel, insurance, or your will.
Can I change my first name on my marriage certificate?
No, you can’t change your first name only on your marriage certificate. On the marriage certificate, you’re limited to changing your last name after marriage. You will need a court order to change your first name.
Where do I need to change my name after marriage?
After marriage, you need to change your name on all bank accounts, loans, investment accounts, and government documents including your passport, driver’s license, and Social Security card. See our guide above for how to change the name on bank accounts after marriage.