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How to Change Your Name

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Written By: 
Stephanie Jo Chapa
Step-by-step instructions to go from Ms. to Mrs. in South Carolina

Before the Your Wedding

Make honeymoon arrangements (such as your plane and hotel reservations) in your maiden name, as identification with your new name can’t be processed until after your official ceremony. One month before your Big Day, visit your human resources office to change your work e-mail address, business cards, and the like. You might consider changing your personal e-mail address, then, too. Last, just before your wedding, use social networking tools like e-mail (personal and professional), Facebook, your wedding Web site, or old-fashioned snail mail to spread the word of your pending name change. This facilitates receipt of both future wedding gifts and communications.

 

After Your Honeymoon

 

1) First, apply for a new Social Security card immediately. You will be required to show it when you apply for a new driver’s license and update tax and Social Security documents at work. Download the SS-5 name-change form at the Social Security Administration’s page on Marriage, Divorce, and Name Changes. Bring it to Social Security Administration Office with your driver’s license, current Social Security card DL and marriage license. It can take 10 days for the Social Security office Administration to update tax forms via the Internal Revenue Service, and up to two weeks for your new card to arrive. For more information, please see Social Security Questions.

 

Charleston Social Security Administration Office:
1452 Tobias Gadson Blvd.
Charleston, SC 29407
(843) 573-3600
Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. 

For other areas in the Lowcountry, please see Social Security Administration Local Search or call (800) 722-1213.

 

2) Once you have your new social security card, it’s time to get a new driver’s license and vehicle registration. All records at the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles will reflect the name change. Bring your marriage license, your new Social Security card, and your current driver’s license in person to the DMV. South Carolina charges a $10 fee for a new driver’s license, and a $15 fee to change a vehicle title. You may pay with cash, check, or your credit or debit card. There is no fee to change your vehicle registration.

 

Ashley Oaks
1119-G Wappoo Rd.
Ashley Oaks Plaza
Charleston, SC 29407
(843) 769-5879
Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Charleston
180 Lockwood Blvd.
Charleston, SC 29403
(843)727-6477
Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. 

East Cooper
1189 Iron Bridge Rd., Suite 500
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466
(843) 884-9760
Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Charleston
3790 Leeds Avenue
North Charleston ,  SC 29405
(843) -740-6168
Monday-Friday, 8:30- a.m.-5 p.m. ; Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

 

For other locations in the Lowcountry, please see South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle's List of Locations or call (800) 442-1368. 

 

3) Next, revisit your human resources office. Bring your new Social Security card and driver’s license and ask that all tax documents regarding your itemized deductions (e.g. W-4) are correctly updated. IRS form # 8822 “Change of Address” should also be completed—note the ‘Prior Name’ line. It is available at the Internal Revenue Service and typically takes four to six weeks to process..  Bottom line? The name on your tax return should match the name on your Social Security card.

 

4) Contact the Department of State to update your passport. You must mail your current passport, the DS-5504 form (if your passport was issued less than a year previous) or /DS-82 form (if your passport was issued more than a year previous), marriage certificate, and recent passport-ready photos (if your passport was issued more than 90 days previous). You will be charged the going rate of renewing your passport ($75 as of October 2009) if it has been more than a year since your passport was issued. There is no charge if your passport was issued less than a year previous. Checks and money orders payable to the U.S. Department of State are accepted by mail. For more information, please see Change Your Name in Your U.S. Passport.

 

5) The United States Postal Service does not require you to file paperwork about your new name, but if you move to a new address with your husband, fill out the proper change of address forms. Be sure to list your old name with old address. You will need a valid credit or debit card and e-mail address to complete the online form. Your credit or debit card will be charged $1 for online identification verification. For more information, click here for local post office listings or call (800) 275-8777.

 

6) Update your voter registration card by using the forms available at South Carolina State Election Commission or by applying in person.

 

Charleston County Voter Registration Office:
4367 Headquarters Rd.
Charleston, SC 29405
(843) 744-8683 

 

For other areas in the Lowcountry please visit this list of South Carolina's Voter Registration Boards.

 

7) Write a concise form letter listing your name (former and updated) with new, correct address, respective account number, and Social Security number (if applicable). Attach a copy of your marriage license and mail to those listed below.

  •  Investment brokers

  • Creditors

  • Discount coupon registrations

  • Doctors, dentists, and any medical personnel

  • Financial advisor  

  • Insurance Policies

  • Lawyers concerning your will and Power of Attorney

  • Membership organizations
     

8) Order new checks and credit cards by contacting your bank and credit card companies and following their name change policies.