How to Change Your Name in Illinois

Taking a new last name? Don't forget to make it official in your state.
by The Knot

Changing your name in Illinois? Naturally, you're wondering what the process looks like, from what documents you'll have to update to how much that costs in your state. If the whole thing already seems like a headache, you've come to the right place. We've compiled a handy guide to taking a new last name after marriage in the Prairie State. 

Yes, there'll be paperwork to complete, money to spend and some miles to log on the road, but with the right tools, things can still go smoothly. The easiest way to tackle a name change in Illinois? (Or anywhere in the US for that matter?) Signing up for HitchSwitch, a name change service that does the research—and a ton of the other work—for you. Submit some basic information (it takes less than three minutes) and you'll get a customized package including everything you need to make the swap based on your specific situation. Seriously—they'll determine what forms you need, auto-fill them for you and provide instructions for submitting them. The cost (starting at just $39) may be well worth it for the time and stress you'll save.

Of course, whatever road you wander down in the journey of changing your last name, it's beneficial to be equipped with knowledge of how the process works where you live. So, here's an in-depth look at what it takes to legally change your name in Illinois after you say "I do."

Social Security Name Change in Illinois

Your first step in the name changing process is to report the change to the Social Security Administration (SSA), says HitchSwitch founder Jake Wolff. This step isn't actually Illinois specific, but it is crucial before changing your name on anything else. You can do this either by mail or in person, but there's no way to complete the process online. Visit SSA.gov to find your local office.

What documents do I need?

The first thing you need to do is complete the application for a Social Security card, also known as Form 22-5, which you can find here. You can fill it out from your computer then print it to be delivered.

The SSA is also going to want to see a certified legal name change document. Often, this means your marriage certificate, but sometimes you'll need a court order depending on the type of name change. You'll also need to submit proof of your identity. You'll have to bring with you (or send in a copy if you're mailing in your application) one of the following accepted documents:

  • Valid US driver's license
  • US passport
  • State-issued non-driver's ID card

Other documents that might be accepted:

  • School ID card
  • Employee ID card
  • Health insurance card
  • US military ID card

In addition, bring along citizenship verification (like a US birth certificate) if you haven't verified it with the SSA already. 

How much does it cost?

There's no fee for a Social Security name change—woot.

What else do I need to know?

If you decide to send in a copy of each of your documents, it has to be a certified copy. That means you can't just photocopy your marriage certificate and send it in. You can obtain certified copies from whatever institutions originally certified the document, like the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) for your certified driver's license copy. These copies come with specific endorsements on them and typically cost a small fee to acquire.

Once the Social Security Administration finishes processing your name change, they simply send all your documents back to you. And don't worry, your Social Security number won't change, so you won't have to memorize a new one.

Passport Name Change in Illinois

Wolff recommends tackling your passport next, as it can make obtaining an Illinois driver's license with your name changed easier. (That means it's smart to get one even if you aren't traveling abroad soon.) This process (which isn't actually state-specific either) is a little more complicated, because certain factors determine what paperwork is needed. We've outlined them below—visit the State Department's website for more information. (Don't want to sort it out yourself? Again, there's always HitchSwitch.) 

If your passport was issued less than one year prior to your name change:

There's no fee for getting a passport name change if your original passport was issued less than a year before you need a new one. However, if you request Expedited Service there's a $60 fee.

If you fall into this category, you need to submit Form DS-5504 along with your current passport, the original or a certified copy (notarized copies don't qualify) of your name change document and a new color passport photo. (FYI: The $99 HitchSwitch Platinum package includes a printed passport photo.) 

Visit Travel.State.gov to find an online guide that helps you fill out the form and then allows you to print it. You can also print the DS-5504 and complete the form by hand if you'd prefer.

When you're done completing the paperwork, send it and your other required documents following the instructions listed on the form.

If your passport was issued more than one year prior to your name change and you're eligible to use Form DS-82:

If your current passport is more than one year old, you need to fill out a Form DS-82, AKA the passport Renewal Application. (Find out below if you're eligible for that form.) You can also visit Travel.State.gov to find Form DS-82. Either use the online guide to help you fill out the form before you print it or print it directly and complete by hand.

Be sure to include your current passport, an original or certified copy of your name change document and a color passport photo when you submit it.

You'll be charged a fee if you use  Form DS-82:

  • $140 for a passport book and card
  • $110 for a passport book
  • $30 for a passport card

Once your application is complete, choose between expedited or non-expedited service and mail it to the appropriate address. 

If your passport was issued more than one year prior to your name change and you are NOT eligible to use Form DS-82:

If your passport is more than a year old and you don't qualify for a Form DS-82, you need to submit a Form DS-11, which has to be done in person. You can do this at an Acceptance Facility.

As with the other two forms, you can find the DS-11 at Travel.State.gov. Fill it out online or print it first to complete by hand.

Along with a completed DS-11, you'll also need:

  • Proof of US citizenship (original or certified, plus a photocopy)
  • Original or certified copy of your name change document
  • Valid ID as well as a photocopy of that ID
  • Color passport photo
  • Payment

The fees for this application are:

  • $140 + $35 execution fee for a passport book and card
  • $110 + $35 execution fee for a passport book
  • $30 + $35 execution fee for a passport card
  • Optional service fees, like an expedited fee of $60

How to know if you're eligible to use Form DS-82:

You're eligible to use Form DS-82 if the following criteria applies to you:

  • You possess and can submit your most recent passport
  • Your passport isn't damaged (aside from typical "wear and tear")
  • You were 16 years of age or older when your last passport was issued
  • Your last passport was issued no more than 15 years ago
  • You have the same name on your last passport or you can document a name change

Driver's License Name Change in Illinois

When you're done filing your new name with the SSA and State Department, it's time to head over to your local Illinois SOS office. Visit ILSOS.gov to search for one near you—you have to go in person.

Note: Illinois legally requires citizens to notify the SOS of a name change within 10 days of the swap. This applies to holders of both regular and commercial driver's licenses.

What documents do I need?

You'll have to apply for a corrected driver's license or state ID. This simply requires turning in your old ID and presenting a document from Group A (accepted documents can be found here) as well as your name change document as proof of the legal switch. 

How much does it cost?

Luckily, an Illinois driver's license name change is pretty affordable.

  • Standard driver's license or CDL correction: $5
  • Corrected non-driver ID card for someone 18 years of age or older: $10

What else do I need to know?

The state of Illinois requires that if you change your name on your driver's license, you also have to change your name on your vehicle's title and registration.

Vehicle Title and Registration Name Change in Illinois

For this step, you have to either visit your local Illinois SOS office or mail the required paperwork to get your name changed on your vehicle's title and registration. Visit ILSOS.gov and use its handy office locator to find a location near you.

What documents do I need?

The first thing you're going to need is a completed Application for Vehicle Transaction, also known as a VSD 190, which you can access online.

On your VSD 190 form, select that your application is for a "Corrected Title" and be sure to use your new last name on the form. You also need to include your odometer reading, original Illinois vehicle title and signature. 

Just like with all the other Illinois name change processes, you need to submit a legal name change document (like your marriage certificate) too. Doing so qualifies you for a lower fee.

How much does it cost?

The price of changing your name on your Illinois vehicle title depends on whether or not you have a name change document:

  • With name change document: $15
  • Without name change document: $95

The cost of an accompanying corrected registration card is only $3. 

What else do I need to know?

If you have a lien on your vehicle title, your lien holder actually receives the new certification of title after it's processed.

Other Name Change Tasks in Illinois

That, in a somewhat large nutshell, is the process of a married name change in Illinois—well, kind of. While these updates are the major players, you'll still need to share your new last name with other parties. Once you're done with the above, Wolff advises completing the below in order. They're steps anyone, Illinois resident or not, should take postwedding. (Let it be known that HitchSwitch can help with miscellaneous tasks like these, too.) 

  • Update your credit card and bank accounts
  • Update your insurance
  • Share your new name with your employer
  • Update the deed and title on your home
  • Update your voter registration
  • Update your information with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) if you participate in a Trusted Traveler Program
  • Update airline loyalty program information (so your hard-earned rewards transfer)
  • Update your email, social media accounts and everything else

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, some of which may be sponsored by paying vendors.

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