How to Get a Name Change After Marriage in South Dakota

There are some important steps and tips Mount Rushmore Staters need to know to switch their surname postwedding.
couple at wedding recessional
Mackenzie Orth Photography
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
We have included third party products to help you navigate and enjoy life’s biggest moments. Purchases made through links on this page may earn us a commission.

If you want to get a name change after marriage in South Dakota, you came to the right place. We've rounded up the ins and outs of making a surname switch in the Mount Rushmore state. Here, we'll tell you how to get a marriage license, petition for a name change, update your passport and driver's license and more.

Sound like a lot of steps? Well, it kind of is, but help is available if you want it. The name change service HitchSwitch can take care of much of the process for you. Here's how it works: Just fill out one online form, and then HitchSwitch will fill in your legal paperwork for you. Then you'll just sign them, add your sensitive details (like Social Security number) and follow HitchSwitch's personalized instructions for sending it all in.

Now, for the full rundown, which we're sure you want, no matter how you're completing the surname switch. Here's how to change your name after marriage in South Dakota.

    How to Get Your Marriage License and Certificate

    For most people changing their name, the first step will be getting a marriage license before the wedding. Apply for a marriage license in the state or country where you're getting married, so that your union is legal and so the official name change is pretty straightforward.

    Marrying close to home and wondering how to get a marriage license in South Dakota? You and your future spouse should visit any Register of Deeds office in the state to apply.

    What forms do you need?

    You'll need to fill out a South Dakota marriage license application. Bring along a valid photo ID with your birth date on it, too. Your driver's license, military or state ID will do.

    How much does it cost?

    How much is a marriage license in South dakota? $40. Certified copies of your marriage certificate are an additional cost.

    Important things to remember:

    "South Dakota law encourages couples to explicitly indicate their choice of a new middle and/or last name while completing their marriage license application," says Jake Wolff, founder of HitchSwitch. "This new designated name will be officially documented on the marriage certificate, acting as the legal instrument for their name change."

    Your wedding officiant should turn in the completed marriage license to the Register of Deeds after the ceremony. Then, the marriage certificate will be issued.

    How to Petition for a Name Change in South Dakota

    There are some instances where a court order may be necessary for a name change. This would be the case if you didn't have a legal wedding ceremony. Wolff explains that anyone wanting a name change that isn't to their spouse's name or a hyphenation or combination of the two names may need a court order too.

    To get a court order, you'll have to petition for a name change. You can find full instructions on how to legally change your name in South Dakota at the Unified Judicial System website. It also has South Dakota name change forms for you to fill out to file your petition.

    How to Change Your Name on Your Social Security Card

    Quite possibly the most important step in a name change in South Dakota (and the rest of the country, really) is changing your name on your Social Security card. That's because this switch makes your new moniker official with the federal government, and it's a huge aid to changing the name on any of your other IDs.

    What forms do you need?

    You'll need to fill out Form SS-5. See the SSA's instructions for getting a corrected card for full details. Chances are, you'll be able to mail it to your local Social Security office, but some people may need to bring theirs in person. You'll also need to submit:

    • Your legal name change document (usually, the marriage certificate or court order)

    • Proof of identity (current driver's license, state ID or passport will work)

    • Proof of citizenship (your birth certificate or passport)—but this is only necessary if you haven't already proved this to the SSA

    Find the nearest office to you with the Social Security Administration office locator.

    How much does it cost?

    It's usually free to change your name with the Social Security Administration. Woo hoo!

    Important things to remember:

    You'll need to provide original or certified copies of your documents to the SSA. Photocopies aren't accepted! If you don't have them, you'll have to request certified copies from Vital Records or other record holding offices, which usually costs a small fee.

    How to Change Your Name on Your US Passport

    Next up? Update your US passport, recommends Wolff. This process can take eight to eleven weeks, so it's smart to start it early. If you do, not only will you have it in case you need to travel, you'll be able to use your passport as additional proof of your name change if necessary.

    You can find complete instructions for the passport name change at the US Department of State website. Below is a breakdown of what you'll need to do, depending on the state of your current passport (or lack thereof).

    What forms do you need?

    It'll be one of these three:

    1. Form DS-5504: This is the form you'll use if you received your passport less than a year before changing your name. It's used for a passport correction. Mail in:

    • The completed form

    • Your current passport

    • A certified name change document

    • A color passport photo

    2. Form DS-82: If your current passport was issued within the last 15 years, and you were at least 16 years old at the time it was issued—plus, it's still in good condition—then you'll need this form for a passport renewal. Mail in:

    • The completed form

    • Your current passport

    • A certified name change document

    • A color passport photo

    3. Form DS-11: If you don't have a passport, or if you have one, and it doesn't fall into either of the above categories, then you'll need to apply for a new passport using this form. Unfortunately, you'll have to visit a passport office in person to deliver your documents for this one. Bring along:

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

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

    • A certified name change document

    • A color passport photo

    Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to handle your passport updates before traveling—expediting the process is expensive and time-consuming.

    How much does it cost?

    Passport correction (DS-5504) is free. Passport renewal (DS-82) costs $130 for a passport book and/or $30 for a card. New passport (DS-11) costs $130 for a passport book and/or $30 for a card, plus $35 in additional fees.

    Important things to remember:

    For an extra charge, you can expedite your passport service. This might be necessary if you're traveling sometime soon, since your name on trip tickets and reservations must always match your name on your passport.

    How to Change Your Name on Your South Dakota Driver's License

    It's also important you change your name on your driver's license, since this is probably your most often used form of ID. A South Dakota driver's license name change requires a visit to a Driver's Licensing location.

    What forms do you need?

    Bring along your legal name change document (marriage certificate or court order), plus two documents that prove your South Dakota residency, like a utility bill or bank statement. Here's a list of accepted docs.

    How much does it cost?

    It costs $15 for a South Dakota driver's license name change.

    Important things to remember:

    The driver's licensing office won't accept photocopies either, so bring originals or certified copies here, too.

    How to Complete a Name Change in South Dakota

    Okay, so now you know how to change your last name in South Dakota. But you won't be totally done with the process once you've completed the above steps. That's because all important records and accounts should reflect your name. That includes your employer, your insurance policies, your bank and credit card accounts and more.

    Thankfully, you can call upon HitchSwitch for help with all of this too. It offers customers checklists and instructions for all aspects of a post-marriage name change, even the seemingly small ones you might forget!

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

    Up Next
    • Pink calculate on a green folder with receipts
      Here's How to Combine Finances After Marriage