How To Change Your Name on Financial Accounts

Just married? Here are the steps you need to take

Newlywed couple walking down the aisle together after getting married
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Delmaine Donson / Getty Images

You just got married and feel excited to start a new chapter with your spouse. Not only that, but now you have a new last name with a nice ring to it. 

Your stroll on cloud nine is briefly brought down to earth, however, when the diligent bank teller stalls your efforts for a pre-honeymoon deposit of your wedding checks into the account you and your spouse—and your maiden name—shared prior to your betrothal. The rules state that payee names must match the account names, so until you have time to make an official change, any check deposits made out to your new last name may need to wait.

To avoid inconveniences like this after your big day, change your name on all of your financial accounts as soon as possible. Learn how the process works at many of the biggest U.S. banks and what you can expect.

Key Takeaways

  • If you delay updating your name on your financial accounts after getting married, you could face account access issues.
  • To change your name, you typically need to contact your financial institution, request the change, fill out some paperwork, and provide proof through various documents.
  • In the case of a name change after marriage, you generally need to show your marriage certificate and a valid government-issued ID.
  • Along with your financial accounts, it’s important to update your name with the Social Security Administration, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and on your passport.

Why You Need To Change Your Name on Your Accounts

If your name changes, it’s important to update all of your accounts to keep them secure and avoid problems when trying to access them

In a world where data breaches are rampant, your identity is frequently verified using your name and government-issued identification, among other personal information. Mismatches can lead to problems that make it very inconvenient when trying to go about your normal business.

How To Change Your Name on Financial Accounts

Many banking institutions require you to reach out in person with supporting documentation to request a name change after getting married. Others may let you make the request via mail, phone, or fax. However, you’ll typically need to provide a valid government-issued ID along with your marriage certificate. (Be sure to check whether you need the original or a notarized copy).

Here are a few examples:

Institution How To Change Your Name
Ally Call customer service at 877-247-2559 to verify your identity and make the change. 
Bank of America Make an appointment at a Bank of America financial center. Bring a valid government-issued ID and your marriage certificate. You may also call 800-432-1000.
Capital One Send a completed W-9 form with your new name and a copy of your marriage certificate with the updated name (or a valid driver's license or new Social Security card) to Capital One via fax or mail.
Citizens Bank Visit a local branch with supporting documentation, such as a marriage license.
T.D. Bank Visit a local branch with supporting documentation, such as a marriage license.
U.S. Bank Call U.S. Bank at 800-872-2657, or visit a local branch. You'll need a valid government-issued ID and your marriage certificate.
USAA Once your name is changed, contact USAA at 210-531-USAA by phone to update your account.
Wells Fargo Visit a Wells Fargo branch. Bring an updated photo ID and your marriage certificate (a certified copy or the original).

While waiting for your name change to go through, you may want to carry a copy of your birth certificate and marriage certificate on you to prove your identity when necessary.

Other Places To Change Your Name

Aside from your bank, where do you need to change your name once you’re married? Here’s a quick list:

  • Social Security Administration (SSA): The first place you should change your name is with the Social Security Administration. You’ll need to apply with original or certified copies of supporting documents. You can do so at your local Social Security office or by mail.
  • Department of Motor Vehicles: Next, head to the authority on motor vehicles in your state to update your name on your driver’s license, vehicle title, vehicle registration, and voter card. Typically, they’ll verify your information with the Social Security Administration, requiring you to submit an application and several supporting documents.
  • Passport: You will also want to update your passport if you have one. You can typically do so via mail by completing the DS-5504 form if you’ve had the passport for less than one year or the DS-82 if it’s been longer. For both, you’ll need to send in the required documents (your most recent passport, marriage certificate, passport photo, etc.). Depending on when your passport was originally issued, there may be a fee.
  • Other financial accounts: Ensure all of your financial accounts are updated, including investment accounts, loans, leases, mortgages, credit cards, insurance policies, loyalty accounts, and your will. The processes for these will likely be similar to the process with your bank.
  • Personal accounts: Lastly, you may want to update your email address and social media profiles. You can typically do this online without the need to show proof.

If you are busy and would like someone else to handle the process of updating your name, name-change services like HitchSwitch and MissNowMrs exist just for this reason.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I deposit a check with my maiden name on it?

If you deposit a check with your maiden name on it and your bank account has already been updated to your new married name, your bank may delay the deposit pending verification. In this case, you may need to show proof of your maiden name and name change. Once your identity is verified, the bank should deposit the check.

What information do I need to change my name at the bank?

The documents you need to change your name at the bank vary from one institution to the next. However, in many cases, you will need to show a government-issued photo ID and a document that shows why your name has changed. For example, if you got married, you would show your marriage certificate. If you were divorced, you would need a divorce decree that indicates the name change.

Article Sources

  1. Social Security Administration. “How Do I Change or Correct My Name on My Social Security Number Card?

  2. U.S. Department of State. “Change or Correct a Passport.”