How to Change Your Name in Idaho After Marriage

Swapping surnames in the Gem State? Here are some gems of advice.
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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Ready to undergo a name change in Idaho? Let's just say it's a process. But don't you worry—you've come to the right place. That's because switching a surname postwedding is slightly different in every state, so you're going to need Idaho-specific guidelines for making it happen.

To change your last name in Idaho, you'll have to get a marriage certificate, file forms with the Social Security Administration, follow specific DMV procedures and that's just the start. The steps aren't always super-straightforward and the tasks can feel tedious, which is why there are actually entire services dedicated to helping you out. HitchSwitch is our favorite option, with packages starting at $39. You fill out a simple online form, then they corral all the paperwork you need, autofill it for you and send you submission instructions. The package will be personalized to your specific state and needs, which takes a lot of Googling out of the process.

Whether you want help or not, we're sure you want to get a sense of what's involved in an Idaho name change. Here's the full scoop:

How to Get a Marriage License

The first step to getting a married name change is usually to, well, get legally married. A legal marriage makes things way easier postwedding. But you can't be officially married without a marriage license.

You'll need to get your marriage license in the state or country where your ceremony will take place. Instructions can vary from place to place. Below, we've outlined how to get a marriage license in Idaho.

What forms do you need?

To get an Idaho marriage license, you and your fiancé will need to visit a county recorder's office in the state together and fill out an application. You'll also need to provide proof of your identities and ages, which could be:

  • Your driver's license(s)
  • Your state ID card(s)
  • Your passport(s)
  • Your birth certificates (original or certified copies only)

According to the official website of Idaho, you'll both need to provide your Social Security numbers too.

How much does it cost?

The cost of a marriage license in Idaho is around $30 but can run a little higher or lower, depending on the county.

Important things to remember:

Your name won't automatically change after you get married. Instead, you'll receive a marriage certificate that you can show the Social Security office and DMV when you go through the formal name change process.

How to Petition for a Name Change in Idaho

In some cases, you need a court order to change your name in Idaho. This could be the case if you didn't have a legal marriage, your marriage license application asked you to "declare" your new name then and there and you didn't, or if you want a name change that isn't a simple take-your-spouse's-last-name kind of thing. Luckily, services like HitchSwitch can help you figure out if you need one.

To petition for a name change in Idaho (which is what you have to do to get a court order) you'll file paperwork with your district court. You can find full instructions on how to do it here. Know that this process requires additional paperwork, some extra fees and more of your time.

How to Change Your Name on Your Social Security Card

Once you've got your marriage certificate or court order in hand, it's time to get a legal name change through the Social Security Administration. This step is vital to the process, since the SSA's records are used to verify your identity almost everywhere else.

See the SSA website for full instructions for getting a corrected card. We've outlined the major steps below.

What forms do you need?

Fill out Form SS-5, the application for a Social Security card. You'll also need to show the SSA:

  • Your legal name change document (your marriage certificate or court order)
  • Proof of identity (a valid government photo ID)
  • Proof of citizenship (your birth certificate or passport)—but only if you haven't already proved this to the SSA

Mail or bring all those documents to a nearby SSA office. Find your nearest location here.

How much does it cost?

Luckily, updating the SSA with your new name is usually free.

Important things to remember:

The SSA requires original documents or certified copies of your papers. (Photocopies aren't accepted.) So, you may need to take some time to request those from their respective offices. (And sorry to say, but they'll usually charge you for them.)

How to Change Your Name on Your US Passport

Changing your name on your passport can take six to eight weeks, so starting this step as early as possible is a really good idea. How exactly you do this will depend on the condition and status of your current passport.

What forms do you need?

You'll need to fill out one of these three:

1. Form DS-5504: Use this form if you're changing your name within a year of receiving your current passport. Mail it in along with:

  • Your current passport
  • Your certified name change document
  • A recent color photo (FYI: this comes included in HitchSwitch's $99 package—these services really think of everything)

2. Form DS-82: This is the form you'll need if your current passport is in good condition, was issued within the last 15 years and you were at least 16 years old when you got it. Mail in:

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

3. Form DS-11: If you don't fall into either of the above two categories, you'll fill out this form. You'll also have to deliver your documents in person. Bring along:

  • Proof of identity and a photocopy of that proof
  • Proof of citizenship and a photocopy
  • Your certified name change document
  • A color passport photo

You can get full instructions on the Department of State website.

How much does it cost?

Passport correction (DS-5504) is free. A passport renewal (DS-82) costs $110 for a new passport book and/or $30 for a new passport card. A new passport (DS-11) costs $110 for the book, $30 for the card plus an extra $35 processing fee.

Important things to remember:

Time the passport name change with any travel plans you have or will make. Since your name on your tickets and reservations should always match the name on your passport, many people wait until after the honeymoon to start this process. Keep this in mind for upcoming trips too.

How to Get a Driver's License Name Change in Idaho

Next up is a visit to a DMV office to get your Idaho driver's license name change. This is an important next step, since your driver's license is likely your most often used form of ID and it should reflect your new name.

What forms do you need?

Bring along your current driver's license and proof of your name change—your certified marriage license or court order should do the trick.

How much does it cost?

It costs $15 for an Idaho driver's license name change.

Important things to remember:

The DMV doesn't accept photocopies either, so bring along those certified copies or originals. You'll also need confirmation from the SSA that they've updated your records before you take this step. Check out this Idaho department of transportation pamphlet for more information.

How to Wrap Up Your Name Change in Idaho

Phew, that was a lot of name change info! But, actually there's more to do when you change your last name in Idaho. You'll have to update all your records and accounts with your new name. Start with telling your employer and bank, then use this pro tip: Check your (e)mail to see who's still addressing you by your old name. Contact them one by one until you stop getting mail with your previous moniker on it.

Again, there's also the option of using a service. HitchSwitch offers personalized checklists so you can rest assured you haven't missed a thing.

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