Now that you are divorced, you may have developed an allergy to your married name. However, before you run to the deed poll office or passport office to discard your old tarnished-self and restore yourself back to your maiden name: think again.
It’s more involved than you can EVER imagine…
The problem with your new name is – IT’s NEW.
No one knows you.
And when I mean no one – I mean the world out there (credit agencies, banks, lenders, airports, driver’s license authorities, health services and passport services etc.) doesn’t know YOU exist under this new name.
I was about to trudge off to the passport office one Tuesday and had even declared all across my Facebook network that I was
changing my name until the passport clerk asked me if I had any flights booked under my married name any time in the future. Dammit. Turns out I did. When I called the airline, it turns out my tickets were non-changeable and non-refundable. The clerk then asked me if I had a mortgage in my married name. Dammit. I sat in the corner growling whilst I casually made an enquiry with my mortgage lender. Apparently gracing my mortgage with my shiny new name would incur a £2450 charge for the privilege. Changing my mortgage would not only incur an
admin fee but it would impact my interest rate as apparently some actuary calculated that divorced was riskier than married. I would love to meet this individual and give him a piece of my mind. LOL.
After 6 hours in the passport office, several tears and a hefty mobile bill later, the passport clerk Lolly Taylor came over to me. She was
going on a break and said “Come with me Mrs Muzik, let’s have a coffee”.
Mrs Muzik. Am I actually expected to have this name forever? I WANT TO BE BORN AGAIN.
She explained that she saw this problem all the time and that women just were not told how complicated it was to change one’s name. She
said she even had people come back trying to reverse what they had done because the costs incurred in changing their names were unknown. She saw it as her personal duty to inform all these women before they pushed to be BORN AGAIN under their new identities.
The thing is, you cannot half do it as this can cause issues. If your passport is in your maiden name but your driver’s license is not, it can cause problems for you in the future. Once you choose to change your name, you need to change it everywhere.
Telling the world that you are born again is a bit of a palava so allow me to assist in a small way with some memory joggers. These are some things to think about:
NOTE: Documents such as birth, marriage and educational certificates cannot be changed because these documents are “matters of fact”, which means that they were correct at the time they were issued.
Choose your new name carefully. Practice signing with it. Have a few people close to you call you by that name, and see how you like it. You can change your first name, middle name, last name, or all of the above. Just make sure your new name doesn’t imply “fraudulent intent” or is not in the public interest by:
Contact the appropriate local government office to determine the rules and paperwork you’ll need to change your name officially. Get the forms to fill out, which typically include:
Submit your paperwork to the appropriate office.
Wait for approval. If your name change is not immediately approved, you may need to go to court and defend your reasons.
Put an ad in the newspaper announcing your name change. This gives the public a chance to object to your name change if, say, you owe debt under your current name. Some states allow you to simply post in a public place such as a designated bulletin board at the courthouse.
Fill out the affidavit and return it to the court clerk.
Wait for your Order Granting Change of Name, which will be your new I.D.
Take this with you to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Social Security Administration, and the Bureau of Records or Vital Statistics in the state you were born so that you can get a new driver’s license, social security card, and birth certificate, respectively. You will have to go to the Social Security office before you go to the DMV. If your SSN doesn’t match your new name when you apply for a new driver’s license, they won’t issue it.
Some links which may help you:
After two cups of coffee with Lavern and copious notes later, we determined that it is worth it to be born again under one’s maiden name – HOWEVER you have to surrender to the process. It’s about timing and patience. It’s a journey, not a overnight success story.
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With you in service
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