You’re married, but there is still one last step to seal the deal! We are going to break it down for you step by step. Take if from experience (and learning from our own personal mistakes) to follow these steps in order so that you aren’t wasting your time running in circles without the correct documentation at each appointment! It is a process so be patient and you’ll have that long awaited new last name before you know it.
First, you need to obtain a copy of your marriage certificate. When you processed your marriage license, you went to the San Francisco County Clerk’s office at City Hall. After singing this after your marriage ceremony, your officiant or priest should of sent this back to city hall to be processed. Now, in order to now obtain copies of your marriage certificate, you simply go to City Hall again, but this time to the Assessor-Recorder office. Which is a different location then where you originally processed your marriage license down the hall. Be prepared for a longer wait at the beginning or end of the day but if you come mid day or early afternoon the wait should be minimal. The processing fee is $15 and each copy of the certificate is $15. I recommend just getting two for safe keeping because why not so you don’t have to come back! They hand you the certificate on the spot.
Next, you need to update your social security card. The social security office in San Francisco is located in the San Francisco Federal Building at 90 7th Street. It’s basically the same exact experience as visiting the DMV which we have all done before and you’ll do after this step. Their operating hours are a bit inconvenient: 9:00am-4:00pm Monday thru Friday. When you arrive, you may be waiting in line outside for a while like I had to, so be prepared for that. They let people into the building single file. When you get in, you will grab the correct document off of the wall to fill out. Expert tip: be sure to bring a pen or pencil with you!! They do not provide any and there is nothing worse then waiting all that time and then getting up the the window and still having all the papers to fill out. I found a nice elderly man who let me borrow his pen but after reading this you will be more prepared! The only thing you need here is a form of identification and your new marriage certificate (they will hand it back to you after they review it). There is no fee for this process, and your name will be updated in the social security database within 48 hours. Your card will arrive in the mail about two weeks later. You do need to wait for this until you move to step 3!
Next, you need to update your driver’s license. Honestly, going to a DMV like place twice in week is enough to drive anyone crazy so it’s sort of a blessing in disguise that you have a little lag time while you wait for your social security card. Until recently, you didn’t need your social security card to do this step. But now that California is switching over to the “REAL ID” cards (which you will need by end of 2020 to travel so be sure to be prepared for this), you will now need your social security card to get a Real ID in addition to your old drivers license and your marriage certificate. As usual for SF, the appointment times can be a very long wait sometimes even 2-3 months +. I decided to brave the DMV with no appoinment but showed up an hour prior to opening (there was already a line forming) but I was probably the 10th person in line and honestly I think that was the best option. I got through faster then some that had appointments. You will have to take a new license photo, so come glam. The new license will cost $35. You will get a temporary license on the spot (which works for air travel if you have an upcoming flight). Expect your actual license to arrive in the mail in about one week.
Next, Passport. The process for changing your name on your passport is pretty easy. The website travel.state.gov tells you which form to use. I used Form DS-82. The steps required were: print and fill out the form, take a new passport photo (any Walgreens will take your photo, no appointment needed, for about $15 and you get it on the spot), and write a check for $110. Then mail in all the items as required.
Next, Bank. You’ll want to set up an appointment with a banking specialist; typically bank tellers can not process your name change. Each bank is different, but honestly we just recommend bringing all the documents you’ve worked hard on over the last month or so, so that you are fully prepared (passport, social security, marriage license and even drivers license as a second form of identification). Each one of my banks needed something different and one even needed both forms of identification. I won’t lie I went to a few banking appointments while still waiting for some of my documents to come in the mail to rush the process and it ended up being so much more stressful then it needed to be! So just be patient and wait until you’ve completed all of the steps above so that you don’t have any mishaps along the way.
Lastly, Global Entry & TSA. Again, similar to DMV the appointment times it can take months to get an appointment. You can show up early prior to opening but they only take a certain number of walk-ins per day so I would go extra early to ensure a spot!
Voila! Now that you have all of the major stuff done you can continue to update on allllllll of your platforms that you have at your leisure. I do recommend as a final step you update all of your frequent flyer mileage numbers with different airlines you are associated with because as you start booking travel with your new last name you don’t want to lose those points!
I’m still updating my name on so many different platforms even two years post marriage. There are sooo many small places you don’t think to change. Honestly, a name change no fun but as long as you follow this process, I hope I can make it easier for you! Don’t rush it and continue to pinch yourself every time you get to plug in that new shiny last name.