How to Change Your Name in Ohio After You Say "I Do"

These are the things any Ohioan should know before modifying their moniker postwedding.
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 May 21, 2020
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If you've decided to change your name after the wedding, there are some things you should know to make the switch a little easier. A name change in Ohio is slightly different than in other states, so Buckeye staters, take note!

If you're already dreading the legal name change process, there is a way to save yourself a few steps: HitchSwitch. Here's how it works: Choose a name change package based on how much help you need (the cost ranges from $39 to $99), then fill out a single form with your information. From there, HitchSwitch will find and autofill all the United States and Ohio name change forms you need (you'll just have to add in sensitive info, like your Social Security number, yourself for your privacy). Then, you'll simply have to mail in or hand deliver your paperwork and documents to the proper offices—the service will give you clear instructions on how to do that too.

Otherwise, a name change in OH requires some research and patience. We've outlined all the major steps below for your convenience, as well as what the whole process costs—because sadly, it's never free.

How to Get a Marriage License in Ohio

Tying the knot in your state? Getting a marriage license in Ohio is the first step to changing your name. Yep—the name change process actually starts before you get married. To obtain one, head to the probate court of the county where either you or your fiance live. This list of Ohio courts can help you find the right one.

Getting married somewhere else? Look up that state's requirements instead—the following information only applies to Ohio marriage licenses. (You get your license wherever your wedding is taking place.)

What forms do you need?

According to Ohio law, you must bring proof of your age, which can include a birth certificate, baptismal record, passport, driver's license or government-issued ID card. You'll also have to provide personal information such as your address, place of birth, parents' names, occupation, Social Security number and the name of your officiant, if you know it. If either of you were married previously, you'll need to bring a certified copy of your divorce or annulment decree as well.

How much is a marriage license in Ohio?

The cost of a marriage license in Ohio varies from county to county, says Jake Wolff, our go-to name change expert and the founder of HitchSwitch. Expect your cost to fall somewhere between $42 and $73.

Important things to remember:

Get your Ohio marriage license within 60 days of your wedding, since it expires after that time period. After your nuptials, you'll submit paperwork signed by your officiant to obtain a marriage certificate. Your marriage certificate will become your legal name change document postwedding.

How to Petition for a Name Change in Ohio

You may need to petition for a name change if you have a less straightforward switch than simply changing your name to your spouse's or hyphenating your two last names. For example, you might want to also change your first name or create an entirely new shared surname. We strongly advise calling your local court to find out which types of Ohio name changes are permitted using a marriage certificate.

To petition for a legal name change in Ohio, contact your county's probate court to find out what's required. In short, you'll have to fill out a Change of Name form explaining the reason for the name change, then get a judge to sign off on it and also take out an ad in your local paper announcing the intended change. (Yes, really!)

How to Change Your Name with the Social Security Administration

Once you've gotten married and received your marriage certificate (or a certified court order), the next step toward getting a legal name change in Ohio is to notify the Social Security Administration. "Once you get your new Social Security card, you can change your name on your passport, driver's license and other ID cards," Wolff says.

Changing your name with the SSA requires you to mail or bring your documents to your local SSA office. (You can search office locations using your zip code here.)

What forms do you need?

You'll need Form SS-5, the Application for a Social Security Card. You'll also have to provide:

  • 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 (your birth certificate or passport)—but only if you haven't already established your citizenship the SSA

How much does updating your Social Security card cost?

Nothing! This name change step is totally free.

Important things to remember:

Deliver original or certified copies of your docs to the Social Security Administration. They don't accept photocopies. For more information about obtaining a corrected Social Security card, visit the SSA's website.

How to Change Your Name on Your Passport

Wolff suggests getting your name changed on your passport next, since you can use it as a form of ID at the Ohio BMV when you get your name changed on your driver's license.

The US passport name change rules are the same throughout the country: How you need to proceed will depend on the status of your current passport.

What forms do you need?

The form you need to file will depend on several things. You'll use one of these three:

1. The passport correction form: Form DS-5504

This is your course of action if you're requesting a name change within a year of receiving your current passport. Mail in:

2. The passport renewal form: Form DS-82

Fill this one out if your current passport is in good condition, was issued when you were at least 16 years old, and was issued within the last 15 years. Mail in:

  • The form
  • Your current passport
  • Your certified name change document
  • A color passport photo

3. The standard passport application: Form DS-11

If neither of the above applies to you, then you'll have to apply with a standard passport application and visit a Passport Acceptance Facility to deliver your documents.

Bring along:

  • Proof of identity, plus a photocopy
  • Proof of citizenship, plus a photocopy
  • Your certified name change document
  • A color passport photo

Learn more about your options on the US Department of State website.

Are there fees to update your US passport?

Passport name changes cost something different depending on which form you're filing:

  1. Passport renewal: $0.
  2. Passport correction: $110 for a passport book and/or $30 for a card.
  3. Brand new passport: $110 for a passport book, $30 for a card and $35 in extra fees.

Important things to remember:

When traveling, your name on your passport should always match the name on your plane or train ticket. That's why you might want to wait to change your name on your passport until after the honeymoon. Need your passport fast? For an extra $60, you can expedite your service.

How to Get an Ohio BMV Name Change

To request a name change on your Ohio driver's license, head to a BMV office with your existing license and proof of your name change (yep, your marriage certificate or court order again). Here's a list of BMV locations.

What forms do you need?

Bring proof of your name change with you. This could be your marriage certificate or certified copy of your court ordered name change. If you've been married in the past, you may need to bring along a certified copy of the divorce decree or annulment too.

How much does it cost to update your Ohio driver's license?

An Ohio driver's license costs $22 to $25, depending on your age, says Wolff.

Important things to remember:

There are two different types of Ohio driver's licenses: A Standard card and a Compliant card. The Compliant card meets national travel security requirements. If you want a compliant card, you may need to provide additional proof of identity, residency and legal presence. This is where having a corrected passport can come in handy. See the BMV's list of acceptable documents for more information. And always call your local office to clarify any questions you have.

How to Finish Changing Your Name in Ohio

Once you've gotten your Social Security card, passport and driver's license out of the way, you're done with getting a legal name change in Ohio. But unfortunately, you're not done with the work of changing your name on other documents and records. You'll have to update your company's HR department, your health insurance provider, your bank, your loan providers, your vehicle title and more.

Unfortunately, this isn't the most fun (or simple) process, which is why a service like HitchSwitch might be worth the additional cost—especially since the company provides clients with comprehensive checklists and instruction sheets for even the smallest of name change tasks (like updating your social media accounts).

Whatever the case, before you know it, you'll have all your paperwork done and this whole process will be a distant memory—you'll even get used to writing your new signature. (It honestly takes a little while!)

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