Why the Most Newlyweds Change Their Names In October, and Tips for Getting It Done
According to the peeps at MissNowMrs.com—the super smart and helpful website that will make changing your post-nuptial name not a nightmare, no matter what state you live in—October is the month in which most newlyweds finally get around to changing their last names to whatever new version they’re going with, whether you’re a recent bride planning to take your new husband’s last name, or a same-sex couple looking to combine and hyphenate, or what have you.
The reasons why the oh-crap-I-still-haven’t-changed-my-name moment comes crashing down on so many this month are pretty interesting—and will actually serve as a pretty great kick in the butt if you have been meaning to complete this task, yourself:
- October seems to be when the general passage of time becomes apparent, in large part due to the looming holiday season. If you got married in the spring or summer, you’ve had time to honeymoon, decompress and settle—and now you’re realizing you should probably just go ahead and get that done before holiday craziness inevitably makes you crazy.
- If you want to file your taxes under your new name in the coming tax season, you’ve got to have that new name by December 31st of this year. MissNowMrs points to the SS-5 form with Social Security, and the IRS 8822 form with the IRS in order to be all squared away before April, ensuring no confusion—and quick returns!—with your tax filings.
- If you just recently got a passport for the first time for your honeymoon, the State Department will let you change the name on that within 12 months for free (with the DS-5504 form)—but if you wait any longer, you’ve got to pay $110 (via the DS-82 form, FYI).
- Depending on how your bank feels about you depositing checks made out to you in your married name while you’ve still got your maiden one, well, let’s just say, you might want to get on that.
- The longer you wait, the more painful the process will be (even more forms accumulate—new houses, vehicle titles, join bank accounts, etc.)—and actually, the less likely that you’ll even get around to doing it. The website says that 40 percent of newlyweds legally change their name within the first three months of marriage, if they’re planning to do it at all, because really, with this type of thing, the procrastinating nature of human nature will undoubtedly take over, and they know deep down they’ll never get around to doing it if they just don’t get it done.
That all said, we thought we’d gather for you below PW’s best advice, tips and strategies on checking this task off your post-wedding to-do list so you can end this year with your new identity cleared—and literally—stated in black and white.
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