Your Guide to Getting a Name Change in Indiana After the Wedding

Here's what Hoosiers need to do if they want to switch their surname postnuptials.
Elena Donovan Mauer the knot
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 Dec 19, 2023
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Even after you're married (congrats!), you might not be completely done checking off your wedding to-do list. If you've decided to change your name after getting hitched, that's one more thing you'll need to handle. Tackling a name change in Indiana is a multi-step process that requires some (okay, a lot of) attention to detail. But luckily, all your wedding planning has prepared you for this!

More good news? You don't have to complete all the steps to getting a legal name change in Indiana by yourself. Consider enlisting the help of our friends at HitchSwitch—it's a fantastic service that does almost all the name change paperwork for you. You'll fill out a simple questionnaire, then the team will get to work sourcing and autofilling the correct forms for you. Plus, they'll give you easy-to-follow instructions for sending it all in. (Sounds nice, right?)

Whether you want to hire HitchSwitch to help you with your name change or you'd rather handle it solo, you should still get a sense of what's involved. Here's our guide on how to change your last name in Indiana.

In this article:

    How to Get an Indiana Marriage License

    Applying for a marriage license is the first step toward changing your name. Why? Because the certified copy will act as your official name change document. To do this in Indiana, you and your future spouse should head to the circuit court clerk's office in the county where one of you lives. (If you're having a destination wedding, you'll apply for your license in that location instead.)

    What forms do you need?

    To save time at the county clerk's office, you can fill out an Indiana Marriage License E-File application form before you go. (Score!) If you don't, you'll fill out the application form in person.

    You should both bring along a current passport, driver's license or certified birth certificate as proof of your identity and age. Keep in mind, however, that policies may vary slightly from location to location. To ensure you have everything you need to apply on hand, call your office in advance and ask about additional required documents.

    You'll also need to know your Social Security numbers and the full names, addresses and birthplaces of your parents.

    How much does it cost?

    An Indiana marriage license costs $25 if either of you is a resident of the state. Some counties' offices also tack on a document fee of $4. Consider this your fair warning: You may be required to pay in cash, so hit the ATM just in case.

    Important things to remember:

    An Indiana marriage license is good for 60 days, so get it within that window before your wedding. For more information about the application process, visit Courts.IN.Gov.

    Once you're married, you'll receive an official marriage certificate, which you can then submit to the Social Security Administration to make your name change in Indiana legal.

    How to Petition for an Indiana Name Change

    If your name change isn't traditional—for example, if you want to change your first name or if you and your partner create a new last name to share—then you might have to petition the court for a legal name change in Indiana. To do this, you'll visit a Clerk of the Court to start the process. (We highly recommend calling ahead to make sure this step is actually necessary. You can also ask if you can use your marriage certificate to make your desired name change when you apply for your license.) Indiana Legal Services offers this fact sheet on petitioning for a name change in Indiana.

    Once you receive your court order, you can use it as your legal name change document (in lieu of your marriage certificate) when you update your Social Security card.

    How to Get a Social Security Name Change in Indiana

    Changing your name on your Social Security card is what constitutes a legal name change in Indiana. Once you've done the SS thing, you'll be able to use your corrected card as proof of a name change when you go to update your passport, driver's license and more.

    What forms do you need?

    The Social Security name change form for an Indiana resident (and actually, any US citizen) is Form SS-5. Fill it out and print it, then mail or hand-deliver your form to a nearby SSA office. (This locator will help you find one.) When you submit that form, you'll also need to apply for the new card with:

    • A certified or original copy of your legal name change document

    • Proof of identity (such as your current state ID)

    • Proof of citizenship (such as your birth certificate)—that is, if you haven't already established this with the SSA

    That all said, how to do it varies slightly for different people, so check these instructions for getting a corrected card out for the full details.

    How much does it cost?

    Nothing! The SSA doesn't charge for name changes.

    Important things to remember:

    You can't submit photocopies to the SSA—only originals or certified copies. You should also know that your Social Security number won't change—just the name on your card.

    How to Get an Indiana BMV Name Change

    To change your name on your Indiana driver's license, head to your local BMV branch. Here are full instructions on what you'll need to do, which we've also outlined below. A major heads up: You have just 30 days to notify the BMV about your legal name change from the time it's official. But don't act too quickly: You should wait at least one business day from the time your SSA name change was completed to make sure it shows up in the BMW system.

    What forms do you need?

    Bring your ID along with proof of your name change, such as your marriage certificate or court order showing your name change was approved.

    How much does it cost?

    According to Indiana's Bureau of Motor Vehicles, it costs $9 to amend a credential at the BMV.

    Important things to remember:

    Like the SSA, the Indiana BMV requires name change applicants to submit original or certified copies of their documents.

    How to Get a Passport Name Change in Indiana

    Got a passport (or need one)? Once you've obtained your updated Social Security card, you can also apply for a new US passport with your married name on it. Use the information below as a starting point, but consider the US Department of State's website your source of truth for this step. You'll have to read all the instructions there carefully, since they vary from situation to situation.

    What forms do you need?

    The correct passport name change form for you will depend on whether or not you currently have a passport and what kind of shape it's in. You'll need one of these three:

    1. Form DS-5504: Use this if you're requesting a name change within a year of receiving your current passport. You'll need to mail in:

    • The completed form

    • Your current passport

    • A certified name change document

    • A color passport photo (which is actually included in HitchSwitch's $99 package to make your life even easier)

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

    • The completed form

    • Your current passport

    • A certified name change document

    • A color passport photo

    3. Form DS-11: Use this new passport application form if you don't fall into either of the above categories. We hate to break it to you, but you'll also have to make an in-person visit to a Passport Acceptance Facility instead of mailing the form in. Bring along:

    • Proof of identity, like your driver's license, plus a photocopy

    • Proof of citizenship, like your birth certificate, plus a photocopy

    • A certified name change document

    • A color passport photo

    How much does it cost?

    It depends on which of the above forms you're submitting.

    1. The passport correction form: free.

    2. The passport renewal form: $130 for a passport book and/or $30 for a card (which has more limited travel options).

    3. The form for a new/first-time passport: $130 for a passport book and/or $30 for a card, plus $35 in additional fees.

    Need it quickly? For an extra $60, you can expedite your service. Here's a breakdown of all passport fees.

    Important things to remember:

    If you're traveling around the time you're updating your passport (like, let's say, for the honeymoon), make sure your name on your travel plans matches the one on your passport. Otherwise, you could find yourself stuck at the airport.

    How to Finish Changing Your Name in Indiana

    Once you've done all of the above, you can breath a huge sigh of relief that you'd made it through the major steps to legally changing your name in Indiana. However, you won't be totally done. Remember that your employee records, health insurance, bank accounts, credit card, vehicle registration and other records and IDs should all reflect the name change.

    Thankfully, the team at HitchSwitch can help with all those little changes too. Work with them to get access to checklists and instruction sheets that'll help you make sure you've made all the important updates you need to. They can even tell you how to change your name on your email and social media accounts—a few less important but fun to-dos.

    This article has been fact-checked and reviewed for accuracy in November 2023.

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