Our Guide to Changing Your Name in Nevada After the Ceremony

Hey, Nevadan! Follow these steps to make your new married moniker official.
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 21, 2020
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Getting married comes with some big changes—including, for many, a new name! Adopting a different moniker takes time and effort, but we're here to help you do it in the most efficient way possible. That's why we've put together this comprehensive guide to getting your name changed in Nevada.

We've also found a shortcut that's seriously worth considering: HitchSwitch. Yep, you can hire name change gurus to do most of the research and paperwork for you. They'll even provide state-specific instructions for submitting the forms (and all this for starting at just $39). It's the stress-saving service you never knew you needed (we can personally attest that it does, in fact, save stress).

Whether you go with HitchSwitch or decide to DIY your surname switch, here's what's involved in your state. If it has you feeling overwhelmed, definitely consider outsourcing the work.

In this article:

How to Apply for a Nevada Marriage License

How to change your last name in Nevada? The first step is applying for your marriage license before the wedding. This sets you up to have a legal ceremony complete with an official marriage certificate. In most cases, that certificate will then serve as your ticket to a name change (aka your legal name change document) once the nuptials are complete.

Apply wherever your wedding is set to take place. If that's NV, keep reading for more information!

What documents do you need?

To get a Nevada marriage license, you and your future spouse should go together to any city or county clerk's office in the state. You'll complete a marriage license application while you're there. Want to save time? Check your location's website before your visit—some have their applications posted, so you can fill one out in advance. (Here's Carson City's form, for example.) You'll still need to appear in person to sign and submit the document, though. Do yourself a favor and call your location to find out what else you need to bring along and what information you'll have to have on hand to apply. It can vary by office, so it's best to clarify ahead of your visit for as seamless a process as possible.

How much does it cost?

The cost for a Nevada marriage license varies from county to county, but we've found that counties in your state tend to charge between $60 to $80. You'll also be charged a small fee for certified copies, which you'll want to have available for the name change process.

Important things to remember:

A Nevada marriage license only facilitates certain types of name changes. If you're taking your partner's last name after marriage or hyphenating your surnames, you should be in the clear. But make your decision before you apply, because you may be asked to list your desired married name on your form. In some counties, including Clark County, you can also designate a new middle name on your marriage license application.

Even if you write your intent to change your name on your marriage license, it won't automatically change after the wedding. It just makes it so that when you tie the knot, you'll receive a marriage certificate that gives you the option to take that new name. Your married moniker won't be fully legal until it's shared with the Social Security Administration. (Don't worry, we've explained that more below.)

How to Petition for a Name Change in Nevada

If you want a moniker swap that, by Nevada marriage name change laws, can't be done with just a marriage license (for example, if you're not taking your spouse's surname or combining your two surnames, and instead creating a totally new last name to share), you'll have to petition the court.

See these instructions for all the details on how to get a court-ordered name change in Nevada. Essentially, you'll file a petition for a judge to approve (with the possibility of some other requirements, like a court hearing, along the way). The judge's signed order (or a certified copy) will serve as your legal name change document for the next few steps in this article.

How to Change Your Name on Your Social Security Card

Once you have your marriage certificate or court order, it's time to change your name with the Social Security Administration. Why? 1) This is your official record with the government and 2) it's required before you update other forms of ID.

For all the details, see the SSA's instructions for getting a corrected card. We've outlined them below.

What documents do you need?

You'll need Form SS-5, an application for a Social Security card, as well as:

  • Your legal name change document (your marriage certificate or court order)
  • Proof of identity (your current driver's license or state ID should count)
  • Proof of citizenship if you haven't established it with the SSA already (think: your birth certificate or passport)

Mail or bring your documents to your local SSA office. (Find a Nevada location near you here.)

How much does it cost?

In most cases, this the only name change step that's absolutely free. We'll take it!

Important things to remember:

You'll need original or certified copies of your documents, not photocopies, so start gathering them!

How to Change Your Name on Your US Passport

Getting a new passport can take six to eight weeks, so get the ball rolling ASAP after updating the SSA.

What documents do you need?

It depends on which of these categories you fall into:

1. If you're correcting a passport that was issued less than a year ago with a name change that happened within the past year, mail in:

  • Form DS-5504
  • Your current passport
  • Your legal name change document
  • A color passport photo (which, by the way, is just one of the many perks included in a HitchSwitch package—who knew?)

2. If you're renewing a passport that's in good condition, was issued when you were at least 16 years old, and was issued within the last 15 years, mail in:

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

3. If your passport doesn't fall into either of the above groups, you'll apply for a new passport. Visit a Passport Acceptance Facility in person to to turn in:

  • 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 more information about the different types of passport forms, visit Travel.State.Gov.

How much does it cost?

Correcting a passport is free, while renewing a passport costs $110 for a passport book (and/or $30 for a card). Applying for a new passport costs $110 (and/or $30) plus $35 in additional fees.

Important things to remember:

Your name on travel reservations should match your name on your passport at the time of your trip. If you need your passport fast, you can expedite your service. Otherwise, wait until after your trip (like your honeymoon) to make the swap.

How to Change Your Name at the Nevada DMV

Once you've waited at least 48 hours for the Social Security Administration to update your name in their system, you can head to your local DMV for a name change on your Nevada driver's license or state ID.

What documents do you need?

A DMV name change in Nevada requires filling out the Application for Driving Privileges or ID Card.

You'll also need:

  • Your existing license or ID card (don't worry—you'll get to keep it as a memento)
  • Proof of your name change (yep, your marriage certificate or court order again!)
  • Your updated Social Security card

You may also be able to upgrade to a REAL ID while you're at the DMV. If you want to do that, bring along two documents that are proof of your Nevada address too.

How much does it cost?

How much is it to change your name at a Nevada DMV? $10 for a non-commercial driver's license or $9 for an ID card. (Here's the fee chart.)

Important things to remember:

The Nevada DMV website provides a detailed guide to getting a driver's license or state ID name change, as well as updating your vehicle title and registration while you're there. Read it in full to avoid any mistakes that result in an even longer DMV wait.

How to Finish Changing Your Name in Nevada

Once you get all the above steps done, you'll have legally changed your name and your most important IDs. (Woohoo!) But you won't be completely finished with the name change process. You'll need to tell a whole bunch of other folks, from your employer and doctor to your insurers and credit card companies. Don't forget your social media followers either!

You can create your own personal checklist to make sure you leave no name change stone unturned (start by flipping through your mail to see all the entities that still have your old name on file), or you can choose to hire a service like HitchSwitch. It helps with the big stuff and the little stuff too.

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