Newly enacted California law states that the marriage license will enable the bride and groom to change their name after marriage. For the bride or groom to change their name, the process must be completed at the time the marriage license is issued Information about the name change can also not be amended in the future.
If a name change has not been requested in the marriage license, the process must be completed through a petition at a later date. Each spouse can choose to adopt any of the following middle or last names:
- Surname of their spouse
- Surname of either spouse at birth
- Name that consists of a combination of the current or surname of either spouse given at birth
- A combination of each spouse’s surname separated with a hyphen
Having your name change information on your marriage license does not imply it has legally changed. You must take further steps by waiting to receive a copy of your marriage license and certificate. Take the copy to the Social Security Administration to initiate the legal process. You must download and complete Form SS-5 before going to the office.
After the SSA has cleared your name change, you must contact the DMV. You will be provided with a DL44 or DL44C form which you must complete. You will have your photo taken, provide a thumbprint, and receive a new identification or driver’s license card. You can expedite the process by bringing your birthdate and legal documents.