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Tuesday Tidbits | How to Change Your Last Name in Hampton Roads

I have to admit. It's been 4 years, and I still have yet to change Forbus to LaVere on some of my personal accounts. It hasn't really been out of laziness, but moreso not being able to find the resources to know what and when to change. At the time, I hadn't had many friends who got married in Hampton Roads, and after the shenanigans I had to get a marriage license, some things fell onto the low priority list.

(Lil Personal Wedding Planning Tip aka Tangent: If you want a dear friend who is an out-of-state pastor to officiate your wedding, some counties won't issue you a license, so always double check their restrictions well in advance!)

So you've decided you want to change your last name? Whether you are going traditional name change or hyphenating, look no further if you're looking for some steps to take to change your last name here in the 757!

1. Get an official copy of your marriage license. Depending on the city and license requirements, your officiant-signed marriage license was sent immediately to the Courts after your wedding ceremony. You now have to order a copy of that marriage license-- it will arrive with a signature and a raised city seal approving that it's been through the local circuit court clerk's office. It is recommended to order no less than 3 copies of your marriage license (as you may need to send one away!).

Local Circuit Court Clerk's Offices: 

2. Go to your local Social Security Office. Most other agencies require your name changing with the Social Security Administration first. As there are many different local offices, be sure to go to the SSA's Office Locator to find one closest to you.

3. Visit your local DMV. Remember to bring your old driver's license along with the certified marriage license and new Social Security card. You can find out more about name and address changes on the Virginia DMV website.

4. Check in with your bank accounts. Each bank will have its own requirements so be sure to call ahead before heading into your favorite branch. You will likely need that new driver's license, Social Security card, and the certified marriage license. Your new spouse will also need to be present if you wish to either create a new joint bank account or add him/her onto your personal bank account.

5. Do all of the miscellaneous changes. Now that you have the big tasks done, it's up to you what you want to change over to your new last name now. Most companies are really helpful in letting you know their company-specific requirements for their name changes. The following suggestions are just where you might need to update your personal information:
  • Passport
  • Payroll
  • Utilities (Phone, Electric, Water)
  • Credit Cards
  • Virginia Voter Registration
  • Insurance (Health, Car, Home, Life)
  • Legal Documents
  • Leases/Mortgages
  • Schools/Alumni Associations
  • Medical Records (Doctors' Offices)
  • Business-Related Accounts (City and State, licenses, policies, IDs)

Do you have any name changing stories to tell? Any smooth or rough bumps along the road? Post a comment!

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