How to Change Your Name in Connecticut After Tying the Knot

Learn all about making the update in the Nutmeg State.
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 postwedding, you're probably excited—it can feel like a fun, fresh start to married life and an expression of unity. But before you get to the good part (signing off with your new moniker), you'll have to take some steps that are less than thrilling (bummer, we know). There's actually a lot that's involved in the process—so much so that there are entire services dedicated to helping you out.

Ready to learn all about name changes in CT? Check out the basics below. And if your ears perked up when we mentioned name change services, check out our tried-and-true favorite, HitchSwitch, too. The team devotes themselves to taking the research and the tedious form-filling out of the name change process (well, at least for you). All you'll have to do is complete one simple questionnaire on the HitchSwitch site. Then, the service will track down all the forms you need, auto-fill them for you and send you instructions for submitting them. Buh-bye, hours of Googling and phone calls.

Whether you enlist HitchSwitch to tackle most of the work or you want to embark on your surname switch solo, here's how to change your name in CT.

In this article:

How to Get a Marriage License in CT

In the state of CT, a postwedding name change typically starts with a marriage license. That's because you'll need proof of your union to take a new moniker because of marriage. This (or a court order, which we'll cover in a bit) is also required to use a service like HitchSwitch.

If you're marrying in-state, you and your fiance must visit the vital records office of the town where your ceremony will take place. (For out-of-state weddings, look up marriage license policies where you're tying the knot.)

What documents do you need?

You'll fill out a marriage license application and present photo ID—not too bad, right?

How much does it cost?

According to the Connecticut State Department of Health, it costs $50 to get a marriage license in CT. Once you get your marriage certificate (more on that in a sec) you'll also want to purchase certified copies to have on hand throughout the rest of the name change process. Each one will cost you around $20.

Important things to remember:

After applying for and receiving your marriage license, you have the go-ahead to wed. Post-ceremony, your officiant will file the document with the local vital records office. Once it's registered, voila—it becomes a marriage certificate. In many cases, you can show that certificate to the Social Security Administration to officially change your name.

Learn more about marriage licenses in CT at Portal.CT.Gov.

How to Get a Court-Ordered Name Change in CT

If you want to take your spouse's last name or hyphenate your two surnames postwedding, your marriage certificate should suffice. But if you're seeking a different sort of name change, like a new first name, you might need a court order to make the switch. You can always contact your probate court for clarification about your specific situation. (Pro tip: HitchSwitch can also help you decide if one's really necessary. Just send the team a photo of your marriage certificate!)

What documents do you need?

First, complete and submit a Petition for Change of Name form, plus an Affidavit Re Change of Name. Basically, these 1) explain your intended name change and 2) confirm that you're petitioning for one lawfully.

You'll also need to submit your birth certificate, two other forms of ID and your Social Security number—the application form details exactly how.

How much does it cost?

Unfortunately, petitioning for a name change in CT costs extra money—$225 to be exact. That's why it's super-important to ensure you actually need a court order before you petition for one.

Important things to remember:

Once your forms and fees are filed, the court will hold a hearing regarding your application. Granted your name change is approved, you'll receive a court order permitting your new moniker.

CTProbate.Gov provides a guide to the whole legal name change process, but you can also contact your local court for more information. Don't know where it is? Use this handy directory to locate it.

How to Get a Social Security Card Name Change

Your first stop post-ceremony (or post-court) is Social Security. That's because changing your name on your Social Security card makes your name change legit (your identity is inextricably tied to the SSA's records). You'll likely have the option to mail in your forms or to visit your local Social Security office to submit them. Get the full scoop by reading the SSA's instructions for getting a corrected card.

What documents do you need?

Use:

  • Form SS-5, a new application for a Social Security card
  • Your legal name change document (your marriage certificate or court order)
  • Proof of identity (your current driver's license, state ID or passport, for example)
  • Proof of citizenship if you haven't established it already (your birth certificate or passport)

How much does it cost?

Believe it or not, this important step is totally free.

Important things to remember:

The Social Security Administration won't accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents—hence why we told you to pick up some certified ones.

How to Get a US Passport Name Change

Since getting a new passport can sometimes take months, consider updating yours ASAP after notifying the SSA of your married moniker. Even if you aren't traveling soon, the form of ID could come in handy as extra proof of your new name.

A passport name change in CT follows the same procedure as the rest of the country. These are the instructions, which we've also outlined below.

What documents do you need?

You'll need one of three different documents to start.

1. Correcting a passport? You qualify if your current passport was issued less than a year ago and you changed your name within that time frame. If this is the case, mail in:

  • Form DS-5504
  • Your current passport
  • Your legal name change document
  • A color passport photo

2. Renewing a passport? You'll do this if your current passport was issued within the past 15 years (so long as you were at least 16 years old at the time) and it's still in good condition. If this sounds like you, mail in:

  • Form DS-82
  • Your current passport
  • Your legal name change document
  • A color passport photo

3. Applying for a new passport? You'll need to do this if your passport doesn't fall into either of the above groups. To do this, visit a Passport Acceptance Facility in person and submit:

  • Form DS-11
  • Proof of identity, including a photocopy
  • Proof of citizenship, including a photocopy
  • Your legal name change document
  • A color passport photo

For help choosing the right form for you, visit Travel.State.Gov.

How much does it cost?

1. Correcting a passport is free, you lucky duck!

2. Renewing a passport costs $110 for a passport book and/or $30 for a card.

3. Applying for a new passport costs $110 for a passport book and/or $30 for a card. Plus, you'll pay $35 in additional fees. (Sorry!)

Important things to remember:

It's important that your name on travel reservations and tickets matches your name on your passport at the time of your trip. If you need your corrected passport fast, you can expedite your service for an extra $60. On the flipside, if you booked your honeymoon with your prewedding name, wait until after you return to update your passport.

How to Get a DMV Name Change in CT

Next up is changing your name on your Connecticut driver's license. To do this, you can visit a DMV office, AAA location, one of the Milford or North Haven Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union offices, or one of the Stamford (The WorkPlace, Inc.) or West Haven City Hall DMV express offices.

Here are full instructions on getting a CT DMV name change.

What documents do you need?

You'll need:

  • Form E-78: the Change of Name or Name Correction Request form
  • Your current driver's license or state ID card
  • Your certified marriage license or name change court order

How much does it cost?

It costs $30 to get your name changed on your CT driver's license.

Important things to remember:

Your Social Security name change can take up to 48 hours to appear in the system, and the CT DMV or AAA office will need to check with the SSA before changing your name on your license. Make sure the change has time to go through before you try to update this ID.

You won't be issued your new license right away. Instead, you'll receive a temporary paper card to use as proof of your name change while you wait for the new license to be mailed to you. One cool feature? You can track its delivery online.

If you visit a DMV office to make the switch, you can also update your vehicle's registration. Visit Portal.CT.Gov to learn more.

How to Complete a Name Change in CT

Once you've changed your name on your Social Security card, passport and driver's license or state ID, then you'll be able to show official proof of your new name wherever it's required. Wahoo!

The next steps in your name change? Updating everyone else who needs to know, plus every document or account with your old name on it. That includes (but definitely isn't limited to):

  • Your employer
  • Your insurance providers
  • Your medical team
  • Your bank, investment and credit card accounts
  • Your mortgages and other loans
  • Your voter registration

Feeling panicked? We get it, it's a lot. That's why we love HitchSwitch so much. The service cuts out the most annoying steps for its customers. Plus, it provides them with checklists and advice for every step of the name change process. Think of the team as wedding planners, but for name changes. If this all sounds overwhelming, give them a try.

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