Your Ultimate Guide to Changing Your Name in Alaska

You might call switching your surname the "last frontier" of wedding planning. Here's how to do it in AK.
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Elena Donovan Mauer the knot
by
Elena Donovan Mauer
Elena Donovan Mauer the knot
Elena Donovan Mauer
Wedding Planning Expert
  • Elena creates content for a variety of print and digital publications, including The Knot, The Bump, Parents, Real Simple, and Good Housekeeping.
  • Elena is a former weddings editor, having held positions at Modern Bride and Bridal Guide and contributed to The Knot Ultimate Wedding Lookbook.
  • Elena is currently Senior Editor for Happify Health, an adjunct instructor for Pace University, a freelance writer, and content con...
Updated May 26, 2020
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If you've decided to change your name after marriage, we're sorry to say, you're going to have to add some things to your to-do list. That's because a name change in Alaska is a multi-step process, and there's quite a bit of paperwork involved. (It may not be a wedding-planning-caliber to-do list, but there's plenty to take care of.)

To make things a little more straightforward for you, we've created this guide on how to change your name in Alaska. It covers the state-specific basics (and then some), as well as important tips and details not to forget.

Of course, if you want help completing these state of Alaska name change steps, it's available! Check out the name change service, HitchSwitch, which will take care of the most annoying parts of making your married name official (like filling out each and every form and Googling instructions). First, know exactly what needs to be done by reading the below, and then decide if you'd like to take HitchSwitch up on their time- and stress-saving service.

How to Get a Marriage License

A state of Alaska name change starts with the marriage license. You'll get your marriage license in the state or country where you're tying the knot. So if your ceremony is taking place in Alaska or Alaska State waters, head to the Juneau or Anchorage Vital Records Office if you live in those areas, or an Alaska Courthouse (if you're outside Juneau or Anchorage). There, you and your future spouse will fill out a marriage application.

What forms do you need?

In addition to the Alaska marriage license application (which you can find here), Alaska name change requirements include showing a government-issued ID. Acceptable forms include a driver's license, state ID, passport, military ID or Tribal/BIA card.

What are the fees?

An Alaska marriage license costs $60.

Important things to remember:

You won't need to note your name change on your marriage license application. But, after the wedding, the information on it will be used to create your marriage certificate, an official document you'll be able to show the Social Security office as proof of your nuptials when you get your official name change. (The marriage certificate will cost $30 at a Vital Records office.)

How to Petition for a Name Change in Alaska

There are some cases in which a State of Alaska name change will require a court order. This could be necessary if you want to change your name in a way other than simply taking your spouse's last name or hyphenating your two surnames. For example, if you want to create a brand-new last name or if you also want to change your first name. If you're not sure whether or not you need a court order to change your name, HitchSwitch can help with that!

To get a court order, you'll have to file a petition. Find full instructions on how to change your name in Alaska, as well as the forms you'll need, at the Alaska Court System website. Note that the Alaska name change fee is $200 when filing a petition.

How to Change Your Name on Your Social Security Card

Once your marriage is official (congrats!) or your court order is granted, it's time to change your name with the Social Security Administration. This makes the name change official and provides you with an updated SS card, which you can show as proof of your new moniker.

What forms do you need?

Fill out Form SS-5, the application for a Social Security card.Then, mail or bring the form to a nearby SSA office, along with:

  • Your legal name change document (marriage certificate or court order)
  • Proof of identity (such as your current driver's license)
  • Proof of citizenship if you haven't already proved it to the SSA (such as your birth certificate)

Get more info by checking out the SSA's instructions for getting a corrected card.

What are the fees?

Thankfully, this step of the name change process is usually completely free.

Important things to remember:

The SSA won't accept photocopies of your name change and citizenship documents. So if you're concerned about mailing in originals, feel free to request certified copies from the offices that hold the records (and yes, they usually charge a fee).

How to Change Your Name on Your US Passport

If you have a passport, start this name change step next for two reasons: First, it can take four to six weeks to receive your corrected document. And secondly, you'll be able to show your updated passport as proof of your name change at the Alaska DMV.

What forms do you need?

The answer is: It's complicated! To change your name on your passport, you'll need one of three forms, depending on the state of your current passport:

1. Passport correction form: Form DS-5504
Use this form if your name change is happening within a year of receiving your current passport. You'll mail in the form, along with:

  • Your current passport
  • Your certified name change document
  • A color passport photo (HitchSwitch includes this with its $99 package—definitely a perk).

2. Passport renewal form: Form DS-82
Use this form if you have a current passport that was issued within the past 15 years, provided that you were at least 16 years old when you got it and it's still in good condition. Mail in the form with:

  • Your current passport
  • Your certified name change document
  • A color passport photo

3. Passport application form: Form DS-11
Do neither of the above sound like your passport? You'll have to apply for a brand-new passport. To do this, you'll have to go to a Passport Acceptance Facility in person. Bring along:

  • Proof of identity, as well as a photocopy
  • Proof of citizenship, as well as a photocopy
  • Your certified name change document
  • A color passport photo

If you're pressed for time, you can go to a Department of State Passport Agency for expedited service.

What are the fees?

The cost for updating your passport ranges from free to over $100.

  1. Passport correction: $0.
  2. Passport renewal: $110 for a passport book and $30 for a card
  3. New passport: $110 for a passport book, $30 for a card, plus $35 in extra fees.

Also note that if you need the passport quickly you can expedite your service for an extra $60.

Important things to remember:

Never make travel plans in the wrong name! Your name on your tickets and reservations should match the name on your passport on the date you travel. So if you've got any international trips coming up, you'll have to time the passport name change wisely to be sure there's no name discrepancy.

How to Change Your Name on Your Driver's License in Alaska

Next up is changing your name on your Alaska driver's license or state ID, which are important pieces of identification to get updated. To do this, visit a DMV office in person. (There's a list of locations here.)

What forms do you need?

Submit an Alaska Driver's License Application, along with proof of your name change (marriage certificate, court order, updated passport, or amended birth certificate should work).

What are the fees?

Updating a standard Alaska driver's license costs $20. A REAL ID costs $40, and a state ID costs $15. Remember that if you're planning on flying anytime soon, you'll need a REAL ID as of October 1, 2020.

Important things to remember:

Original or certified copies of your documents are essential for the DMV name change too. Also, if you've changed your name more than once, you may have to provide documentation linking each of your last names.

How to Complete Your Name Change in Alaska

The good news is, once you've done the above steps, you'll have your most crucial pieces of ID updated with your new name. The bad news is, there'll still be plenty to do. After all, you'll have to update your name on all your records and accounts. This will likely include notifying your employer, insurance companies, bank, loans, credit cards, vehicle title and so much more.

All the more reason to use HitchSwitch name change service. It offers its customers checklists and instructions for so many parts of the name change process. You'll be so glad to be able to skip some steps and get done with your state of Alaska name change more quickly and simply.

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