Your Guide to a Just-Married Name Change in Oregon

We've got the know-how you need to swap your surname in the Beaver 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 21, 2020
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If getting hitched inspires you to change your last name, you're not alone. Making the switch is a popular choice for newlyweds. But embarking on a name change in Oregon takes a few steps that might seem daunting. So daunting, in fact, that there are entire services dedicated to helping newlyweds swap surnames. More on that in a sec.

Stumped on where to get started? We've outlined how to legally change your name in Oregon below. Read up to learn all about making things official, then decide if you'd like to pay for a shortcut—yes, shortcut. Our friends at HitchSwitch (seriously, they're awesome) can simplify the process by compiling and auto-filling most of the paperwork for you. They'll even provide personalized instructions for submitting all the forms so you don't have to stress (or so you don't accidentally mess up). It's a service you've probably never even thought of, but one that could honestly pay for itself in time saved—especially since packages start at just $39.

How to Get a Marriage License in Oregon

First things first: You actually apply for your marriage license wherever your wedding is taking place. If that's Oregon, great! Keep reading the rest of this section. If you're having a destination celebration, look up that location's requirements instead. Why? Because the format of your marriage license (and resulting postwedding certificate) can impact your name change options.

Correctly filing for a marriage license in Oregon is an important step to changing your name. That's because Oregon asks that name changes be noted on marriage license applications. Yep, the name change process begins even before you get hitched! So if possible, decide before you go whether you're changing your name and exactly how you want to do it. (For example, if you want to hyphenate your two surnames, know the plan of which order you'd like them to appear in.)

Jake Wolff, our go-to name change expert and the founder of HitchSwitch, emphasizes the importance of making this note if you want to change your name or even think you might want to. "This gives you the option to change your name when you get the marriage certificate back from the county where you live," explains Wolff. "If you can't use your marriage certificate as proof of your name change, then you'll have to go into the court system to get your name changed that way."

Take note though that Oregon marriage license name change options are limited. This document is kind of strict and really only allows people to change their name to their future spouse's last name or a combination of their two last names, such as a hyphenation or just both last names (in either order). Ask your county clerk for more information, so you can ensure you're filling it out properly.

What documents do you need?

You and your fiance should head to your county clerk's office to obtain the license—you'll both need to be present. Bring along proof of age, such as your driver's license. Make sure you have your Social Security number handy too, as well as other personal information (like your place of birth and your parents' places of birth). Many counties let you fill out your application online in advance to then submit in person.

How much does it cost?

It costs around $55 to $60, depending on the county. You'll also be charged for certified copies.

Important things to remember:

You should get your marriage license in Oregon at least three days before your wedding ceremony—if it's less than three days, you'll need to file for a waiver. Once you have it, you'll have 60 days to tie the knot.

How to Get a Court-Ordered Name Change in Oregon

Sometimes a legal name change in Oregon is a bit more complicated—like if you didn't write the name change on your marriage license application or you want a name change your marriage license doesn't permit. For example, you may want to create a brand-new last name for you and your spouse. In those cases, you'll have to file for a name change in the circuit court of the county where you live. Here's a guide for how to legally change your name in Oregon this way.

How to Change Your Name with the Social Security Administration

Next stop? The Social Security Administration for an updated Social Security card. This makes your legal name change official, and a corrected SS card will be required to change your name on other forms of ID, says Wolff.

To change your name with the SSA, mail or bring your documents to your local SSA office. (Find a location near you here.)

What forms do you need?

Fill out Form SS-5, the Application for a Social Security Card. You'll also need:

  • 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?

It's free. Woo-hoo! (This is pretty rare in the name change world.)

Important things to remember:

You'll need original or certified copies of your docs for the Social Security office, not photocopies. And no, your SS number won't change—just the name on your card. For more information, see the SSA's instructions for getting a corrected card.

How to Change Your Name on Your Passport

Next up? Getting your name changed on your passport, if you have one. Wolff says this is the best next step, since the passport can be used as a form of ID at the Oregon DMV for your driver's license name change.

What forms do you need?

The form you need to file will depend on the status of your existing passport. It will be one of these three:

1. Passport correction: Form DS-5504

Requesting a name change within a year of receiving your current passport? This is the form for you. To complete it, you'll mail in:

  • The form
  • Your current passport
  • Your original or certified name change document
  • A color passport photo (included in HitchSwitch's $99 package)

2. Passport renewal: Form DS-82

Does your current passport meet all these requirements: is in good condition, was issued when you were at least 16 years old, and was issued within the last 15 years? You'll need:

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

Mail everything in.

3. Passport application: Form DS-11

Don't have a passport that fits either of the above descriptions? You'll need to do this one in person. Apply with a standard passport application and visit to a Passport Acceptance Facility to deliver these documents:

  • Proof of identity, including a photocopy
  • Proof of citizenship, including a photocopy
  • Your original or certified 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?

The cost of your passport name change depends on which of the above categories you fit into.

  1. A passport renewal costs $0—score.
  2. If you get a passport correction, you'll pay $110 for a passport book and $30 for a card.
  3. If you get a brand-new passport, it's $110 for a passport book and $30 for a card. Plus, you'll pay $35 in additional fees. Bummer, we know.

Here's a breakdown of passport fees.

Important things to remember:

Don't forget about upcoming travel plans. Your travel tickets should always match your passport, so plan accordingly. If you need your corrected passport fast, you can expedite your service for an extra $60.

How to Change Your Name at the Oregon DMV

An Oregon DMV name change is the last step in making sure your major forms of ID are switched over to your married name. You'll have to head to a DMV location and do this in person. This guide offers all the info you'll need to change your name on your license or state ID card. Here's a list of Oregon DMV locations.

What documents do you need?

You'll need to fill out an Application for Driving Privileges or ID Card. Also bring along:

  • Proof of your name change
  • Proof of your identity and address

See this list of documents the Oregon DMV accepts for more info.

How much does it cost?

It costs $26 to replace a non-commercial Oregon driver's license and $40 for a new state ID card.

Important things to remember:

Changing your name on your driver's license doesn't automatically change your name on your vehicle title. You'll have to also fill out the Application for Title and Registration for that. This will also cost an extra fee.

How to Finish Changing Your Name in Oregon

Once you've gotten through those steps, you'll have done the majority of the work to change your name in Oregon. But you're not totally done! Your bank account, employee records, health insurance, loans, credit cards and more will need to be updated with your new name too. Think: everything you have a card for in your wallet and everything that arrives in your snail mailbox (or email inbox, if you get e-bills). And if you haven't already rushed to change your status on social media, we have a guide for that too.

Confused? HitchSwitch offers checklists for getting all these little details taken care of in addition to getting a legal name change in Oregon. To us, that's one more feature that makes this name change service invaluable!

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