A New and Easier Way to Change Your Last Name

After getting married, one of the first things a bride looks forward to is changing her last name. What she may not know is how overwhelming it can be.  To change your last name, you need a DMV name change, a Social Security name change, and a passport name change for travel purposes. On the surface, it sounds easy, but there are a myriad of forms scattered in different physical locations and online, they are on separate internet sites. Let’s face it—as busy, working women, navigating the process, trying to hunt down every single form you will ever need on different websites, filling out the forms correctly, and knowing which forms to send in first can be frustrating.  There’s really no time to get all this done easily.

Luckily, there are several sites that make this a lot easier and straightforward.  One such site is HitchSwitch. Simply put, the site provides an organized package of all the forms you will need along with a step-by-step guide on how to fill out the forms and in what order you should send them; everything is downloadable or sent to you.  The step-by-step guides even help you out with things that don’t require forms such as getting new bank cards. They even get detailed in giving you your specific bank’s number and the bank-specific process to get your new card.

There are three different packages with HitchSwitch. The cheapest one priced at $29 gives you online access to all the forms you’ll need, and all you have to do is print them out, follow the step-by-step instructions to fill in and sign the forms, and send them in.  The second most expensive package priced at $69 sends your forms completely filled out for you with preaddressed envelopes, and all you have to do is sign and send the forms! For the most expensive name-changing package, you receive all your forms filled out for you, and you get a ready-to-ship passport photo.

Other similar sites include LegalZoom and MissNowMrs. Be sure to check out all the sites and the packages they offer to see what best suits your needs! 

Read reviews on the name-changing sites, talk with your significant other, and decide what is best for you both! 


Are These Sites Secure?


You’re probably thinking, “This is too easy, and too good to be true! Is this legal or secure?” Sites like HitchSwitch leave the sensitive information (such as social security or driver’s license) for you and you alone to fill out.  Only basic information is required such as your name, address, email, phone number, and so on.


Is There Anything I Have to do Aside from Signing and Sending These Forms?


Unfortunately, while filling out the forms will be made easier tenfold, you can’t escape the in-person visit required by the DMV.  For the Social Security office, it’s not recommended that you go in, but it is recommended.  It still takes about ten business days for your information to be processed at the Social Security office, so going in person speeds up the process.


In addition to the visits to the DMV and Social Security office, you cannot avoid the costs of changing your name. For example, to get a new driver’s license, it costs $27. You’ll also still have to pay to get forms notarized. For the most part, however, sites like HitchSwitch will make everything else form-wise an easy checklist for you.


Do They Provide Services to Same-Sex Couples?


Simply put, yes!


Is This For Me? What about the Traditional Way?


You can still go the traditional route and save a little money, or you can choose to pay at the very least $30 and make the process go smoother and quicker. To get an idea of what changing your name would be like, you would have to: (1) Get your marriage license if you didn’t already receive it after the ceremony; (2) change your social security card; (3) get a new license at the DMV; (4) change your passport; (5) change your bank cards and checks; and (6) notify other places of your name change (employers, IRS, post office, electric and utility companies, doctors, voter registration, etc.) You’ll also have to figure out what you need to submit along with your forms and where to get the forms all on your own.


With sites like HitchSwitch, it will help you take care of at least 3/5 of the above. Even then, they provide you with guides for other things above like notifying the IRS, voter registration, how to get your marriage license, and much more.  In the end, using this new name-changing process is completely a personal choice! 




Christine Ong