You're married.. you are taking a new name.. now what!?

The low down on changing your name, and things to think about!

If you are like me and decided to take your husbands (or wife’s!) surname as your own, it can be a little confusing trying to figure out how to change everything over! Despite knowing my name would change for over a year, a couple months down the road after our wedding I still haven’t changed my name in a number of places, and I am still getting accustomed to calling myself Mrs B!

Because of this, I figured I am not the only one so wanted to put together some notes on what I have learned around getting that name change happening!

For me the name change wasn’t the only thing to tackle quickly (and saying the right name when you introduce yourself!) - it was the signature. My original was pretty ugly, but I have to be honest, the new one isn’t much better. I feel like a 13 year old who wants to have a signature and is making something up, but it still seems to look different every time I try it! I’m sure this will improve. Or perhaps, I am hopeful this will improve…

I didn’t even know where to start in terms of changing my name, where to change it, what was needed and all the rest! In the end, I’ve found taking my time and changing my name as I see the old one appear seems to be a much better approach than trying to go hard core and get it done everywhere

First things first

You need your marriage certificate to change your name in a number of places - the bank, your drivers licence, your doctors, the council, your phone bill. The list goes on! I even had to prove my new surname to Facebook, as it tried to tell me that my surname was inappropriate (lol - it is pretty different!)

After your wedding, your marriage celebrant will file your marriage licence and Particulars of Marriage - the pieces of paper you signed in your wedding ceremony - with the government. Once this is done, you can apply for your marriage certificate. I did the marriage certificate application when I applied for the marriage licence so our one turned up automatically about two-three weeks after our wedding. If you didn’t apply for it early on, here’s the link where you can apply for it.

Once your marriage licence arrives, you are pretty much good to go!

To change your name at the bank, you have to book in a face-to-face meeting so call their 0800 number, book a meeting and remember to take your marriage licence and identification with you

Travel & your new name

Personally, I have 6 years left on my passport before it expires, and I am really not sure I want to get a new one because of that! On the flip side, I have heard some horror stories about not changing your name

A friend had been married for a while, and was well used to her married name being what she called herself. She booked a holiday for herself and her husband, automatically booking it in with her married name

In her case, she had not updated her passport, and arrived at the airport, ready for a relaxing holiday where she found they wouldn’t even let her check in to their flight because her ticket name and passport name did not match!

This would obviously be the most un-ideal situation, so if you are booking a honeymoon or any travel, please bare this in mind and remember to use names for flying and hotel bookings that match your ID otherwise you many encounter some trouble! No one wants this to be their own honeymoon experience

In case you are wondering, she luckily ordered an express delivery passport, and still got to go on her holiday, but she did lose a day or two in doing this!

Useful links for forms needed to change your name

Drivers licence - https://www.govt.nz/browse/passports-citizenship-and-identity/changing-your-name/changing-your-name-on-your-driver-licence/

Passport - https://www.passports.govt.nz/what-you-need-to-renew-or-apply-for-a-passport/name-change/