1) You need proof that your name has changed. Brides should purchase several certified copies of the executed certificate of marriage and divorcees should purchase several certified copies of the final order. Buy more than you think you will need so you will not have to return later for more copies.
2) Start using your name immediately. Social media is usually the fastest and easiest way to notify all your friends and acquaintances at once (thus eliminating the necessity of formal announcements). This will also motivate you to complete the rest of the process!
3) Notify applicable government agencies.
- Start with getting an updated driver’s license so you can have formal identification with your new name. Just go to your local Department of Public Safety office with the proof of name change and complete their paperwork. Be sure to update your voter registration at the same time.
- Go to the Social Security Office with your updated driver’s license and proof of name change. Don’t worry about the IRS, they are notified by the Social Security Administration.
- Apply for an updated passport with the new social security card.
- If your profession is governed by a licensing agency, you will need to complete the forms that they require.
4) Now, notify everyone else. The most time consuming part is notifying all the other organizations in your life such as your employer, the post office, financial institutions, credit cards, doctors, etc. Some will require a simple phone call, others may require an in person visit or for you to complete a form and send it in directly.