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 Dec 19, 2023
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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 the Silver 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 make an appointment to 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. And show your proper identification. The state needs one of the following: a valid driver's licenses from any US state, a passport or combination of birth certificate and some other form of photo ID.

    How much does it cost?

    The cost for a Nevada marriage license varies from county to county, ranging from $85 to $115. 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. In some counties, including Clark County, you can also designate a new middle name on your marriage license application. But come 2024, state clerks will no longer ask to list your married name when you get a license. Nevada will be leaving all the final name change work in the hands of the Social Security Administration, (Don't worry, we will explain all that soon.)

    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 unexpired driver's license or state or military ID will do)

    • Proof of citizenship if you haven't established it with the SSA already (think: your birth certificate or passport)

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

    How much does it cost?

    In most cases, this is 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 seven to ten 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 (or certified copy)

    • 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 (or certified copy)

    • A color passport photo

    3. If you don't have a passport, or yours 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 your less than a year-old passport is free, while renewing a passport costs $130 for a passport book (and/or $30 for a card). Applying for a new passport costs $130 (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 make an appointment at 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, ID card or state-issued birth certificate

    • Proof of your name change (yep, your marriage certificate or court order again!)

    • Your updated Social Security card or W2 with your new name

    • Proof of address, like a lease, bank statement or pay stub.

    How much does it cost?

    How much is it to change your name at a Nevada DMV? Unless you need to renew or upgrade, it's $9 for a non-commercial driver's license or $8 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.

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

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