How To Legally Change Your Name After Marriage

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Beautiful bride and groom

Changing your last names after you get married is an old tradition that has been around for a long time. Whether the wife takes the husband’s names as tradition dictates, he takes hers, or both make the decision to hyphenate, follow the necessary steps to make it official.

There may be any number of reasons why a person would want to change their name. Besides the obvious reasons of marriage and adoption, which generally include a legal names change, people may change their name to disassociate from something negative or infamous, or may simply wish to give themselves names that is more useable. Whatever the reason, obtaining a legal name change varies depending on where you live, but is fairly easy to accomplish.

Steps On How To Change Your Name After Marriage

Step 1: Order extra certified copies of your marriage certificate for agencies that require originals before allowing you to change your names on documents, such as the FRSC.

Step 2: If you’re a man changing your name at marriage, check your marriage certificate to see if there is a space to indicate a name change. If not, you will need court papers to legally change your names. Contact a lawyer to find out the procedure for names changing in your state. (This is not necessary for women.)

Step 3: Request for new National ID cards that reflect your names change.

Step 4: Make an appointment to visit the FRSC for a new driver’s license. To be safe, ask in advance which documents you’ll need to bring in order to certify the validity of your change names.

Step 5: Obtain and complete a Passport Amendment/Validation Application. Send this along with appropriate fees, your current passport(s), and a certified documentation of your names change (such as a certified copy of a marriage certificate or court papers) to the nearest passport agency.

Step 6: Order replacements for cheques, business cards, debit cards and other documents that contain your old names.

Step 7: Call employers and schools (if you are a student) to let them know your new names, and ask them to change it in their records. For employers. visit your HR department with relevant documents.

Step 8: Change your names on your car registration, with your insurance and/or mortgage companies, and with your frequent-flier program (if a regular flyer).

Step 9: Contact the post office, utility companies (e.g. PHCN, Water Corporation), local government office and registrar of voters.

Step 10: Make the announcement to friends and family (ideally to your in-laws first), using stationery or thank-you cards with your new names printed on them. (You can order name-change cards designed for such an occasion from us by contacting us).

Tip: Because a woman traditionally takes her husband’s name when she is married, a certified copy of your marriage certificate is sufficient documentation for a woman’s name change, even if it doesn’t contain a space for your new name. A man may need court papers, not just a marriage certificate, to get new documents after marriage if he wants to change his name.


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