Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Name Change Saga

The Name Change Saga continues. Either I'm not very bright or this is more complicated than it needs to be.

After what felt like years of agonizing over the decision of whether to change my name, keep my old one, make up a new one (thanks for the suggestion, Shawna!), have bunches of names, etc... I finally made up my mind.

When the social security card finally arrived (and I finally opened the envelope after letting it sit in the foyer for a couple of weeks) I lheaded over to the Department of Licensing. The line was so long during my first try that I decided to go back to work and try again another day. The second time I waited 30 minutes or so and then headed up to the desk where I found out that I had been told to bring the wrong documents. Apparently they don't want my social security card at all. They only want my marriage certificate, which made no sense because that only has my old name, not my new SS-approved name. On the third try I figured out why.

That day the lady at the desk took my certificate and my old license. Then she asked me a series of questions, made me look at the little letters and flashing lights, took my money, took my picture and printed out the temporary license. When I got home and showed Husband he asked why my name is wrong on it. Oh yes. It is. They just assume that Husband's name on the marriage certificate is the name I'm going to use so they put that on there. I didn't think to check because she'd asked me a bunch of questions and asked me to sign my new name. I didn't realize she wouldn't pay any attention to what I said/signed.

So, what's the deal with this? Why do they need the marriage certificate to do a change of name on my license rather than my social security card which proves what my new name is? What if I wasn't getting married but changed my name for other reasons? What would I have to bring for proof then? Ridiculous.

I've been trying to decide if I should leave it the way it is now on the license (First, Middle, Husband's last) or change it to what it is legally (First, Middle, My last, Husband's last). After checking around I was advised to go back in and change it since it's unlikely I would be able to get a new passport without everything matching up. Ugh.

All of which goes to show: I should still live in California where I could legally change my name by signing the marriage certificate on the wedding day.


  1. Three things:

    1. This would have been simpler if you both just took "Spurgison" like I suggested.

    2. I need to start labeling things "WTF"

    3. Yes, you SHOULD be in California. (And so should I for that matter!)

  2. As if the harrowing decision or whether or not to change your name isn't enough of a tale of woe, the bureaucrats have to add to it for you... Poor thing.

    The jury is still out on this one for me. I've got to renew my passport next year, and apparently all I need to do in this progressive country is take my marriage certificate when I go along to do that. (Clearly, it will never be so easy.) But I still don't know if I want to. I'm thinking the decision will be made for me on the day... somehow.