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Wednesday
Feb102010

Save Yourself the Thirty Bucks.

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You know,  if I had researched this particular aspect of getting married as I did say, my wedding shoes or our centerpieces, I could have saved myself some time, energy and thirty bucks.

While I never really thought that I would ever get married, there was one thing for sure that I always imagined and that was changing my last name. I have never been a big fan of it. I'm sure this might shock my family members who share that same last name, but I've never really liked it. I don't like the letter it starts with. Never really have. I dont' like words that start with that letter, in general. Yes, I'm an alphabet bigot.  My maiden name rhymes with words that as a kid were tortuous at times, and as a teenager - even worse. Combine the rhyming thing with the fact that I go by my middle name (it is such a Southern thing) combined with the fact that my Dad was a Marine and we moved ALL THE DAMN TIME, explaining exactly who I was, was a total pain in the ass.

All that being said, I wasn't about to hyphenate, so knew I had to change it. If I knew now what I didn't know then, I'd kinda re-think changing my name at all. WHAT A TOTAL PAIN IN THE ASS. It might be easier if I was a 20-nothing with only a credit card and a driver's license to worry about. But no. I own a  home. I have investments. I have multiple insurances. I have banks, doctors, garbage men, Home Owners Associations, voter registration...the list goes on and on and I am constantly tripping over yet another thing coming to me under my maiden name. What a bitch it is. Some things I don't even know HOW to change - like my work voice-mail log-in name. Someone set it up for me and now I have no idea how to change it. Apparently the person who set it up no longer works for the company and I can't find a damn soul who knows how to do it. The whole thing is a total time-sucker.

A lot of the "bigger" wedding blogs are all about the website in question. You can't miss this website  now that you're a missus.  These "bigger" web sites talk about how easy it is to use, how all you have to do is fill out the forms, click your mouse and PREST-O-CHANGE-O you are now Mrs. Candyman! Bullshit.

The forms are helpful, but the work you have to do to fill them in is ridunkulous. Stupid, in fact. I was working my way through the forms and they wanted the addresses to all my credit card companies. Ever try to find that? I called the phone number on the back of my card to get the address, the helpful guy gave it to me and asked why I needed it. I told him and he said, "Oh, I can do that for you now over the phone." Done. No need to fill out a form, which drops the stuff into a pre-formatted letter, which you then have to SNAIL MAIL to the credit card company. That's when I stopped filling out the forms and started calling. Why? Because some places you can do over the phone, easy-peasy. Others require a copy of your Social Security card, driver's license, marriage license and first born child. Every entity is different and thinking that a catch-all form will handle it is just dumb. 

Here's what you need to do:

All things start with your Social Security Card and Driver's License. Do those first.

Go here to get the SS-5 form for your Social Security Card.

You'll need to go to your particular state's DMV website to get your form. 99.9% of the time you will need your marriage license when you submit. In person. At the DMV. Suckage.

The other biggies?

The U.S. Postal Service- but really only if you're moving in with you're honey and changing addresses. 

Passport (You will need to mail in a physical marriage license, but you get it back. I highly recommend getting one or two extra notarized copies. In Tennessee you can request them in writing with a handy dandy on-line form and they are $5 each. It takes less than a week to get them back.)

Credit Cards

Banks

Health Care Providers

Frequent Flier Cards/Membership Cards (this one has quite honestly been the most difficult group)

Mortgages

Student Loans

Car Loans

Your place of employment (they'll need a copy of your new SS card)

Investment Houses (401K, IRA, etc)

Legal documents (wills, trusts, power of attorney, etc.)

Voter Registration

There are also some web sites out there that offer all these forms for FREE.

http://newlastname.org

http://namethatbride.com

Now, the webiste that I wasted my money on does have a handy checklist that lets you know when you're done filling stuff out. But please, any moron can do this. eHow has a free check list that you can use - that again, is free.

I'd say save your $30 for a spring t-shirt or two at Old Navy and DIY this one, ladies. It's just not worth it.

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Reader Comments (12)

Thanks for this, L! I've started getting really nervous about this process and thought "hmm, maybe I DO need this service to help me." But if you say it's so, then it's so. I don't need it :)

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNatosha

TSB - we are in a fight. Why? Because I joined the aforementioned site about a week ago, and this post is coming about seven days too late. I sat here and nodded my head so hard my chin hit my chest. I was a total sucker, and now I'm out $30 and a whole lot of wasted time. FAIL by the Bride in Boots.

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLillian

Thanks for this post, I had been planning on using the site that shall not be named but now I think I may go about it a different way.

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

Thank you so much for this info...I was wondering how to do all this stuff!

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterruthyg

Oh lady. This is giving me some vital information. I still haven't decided whether or not to change my name -- the name change thing is a highly charged debate that's been raging in my head for the last few months now. But if I do, I'm coming back here and rereading this thing. First thing.

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlyn

Wow. I was just checking out the website last night while I mull over whether or not to change my name. I'm so glad I happened upon your post today. It's great to hear an honest account of what's involved with changing your name and to know that I can save myself some time and money by just making some calls myself. Thanks for sharing your experience for our benefit! I would have signed up, and now I'm glad that I didn't!

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAimee

And I thought I was one of the only ones who would have a hard time with the whole name change thing ;) thanks for enlightening us all! :)

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Thanks so much! I'd bookmarked that site to use for after the wedding and now I've got THIS post bookmarked for when I need it.

February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHappy Nappy Bride

Ugh, I have so many name change forms to fill out, it's not cool.

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChic 'n Cheap Living

This was very helpful! Thank you!

Discovered your blog via Snippet & Ink...love it!

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Sale Rack

wait, there's a site for this? and it doesn't work? well, that's good news, i guess. but the thing is, i've filled out the "name change" portion of my credit card bill FOUR times in a row now (FOUR TIMES) and my stupid credit card company STILL hasn't sent me a new card. i do need to do the passport thing though..thanks for the reminder.

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiz

this list is genius. i actually "won!" one of those $30 packages to get my name changed for me via a blog contest. When I signed onto the site to start uploading my info I was immediately turned off....tooooooo much paperwork. I agree with you - the phone calls will be much easier - and I sorta hate putting all my "info" out there on the web.

GREAT post.

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJes

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