Policies on a Name Change in a Marriage in Hawaii

by Jim Thomas

When you marry, it's easier to change your name than at any other time in your life. The Hawaii policy governing name changes in Hawaii allows plenty of flexibility in terms of the name you and your spouse want to use. However, you don't have to get married to change your name. Hawaii allows a person to change his name at any time by following the procedures set forth by state statute.

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The Law

Hawaii provides that upon marriage, each of the parties to a marriage shall declare the middle and last names each will use as a married person. You can choose to combine any last or middle names either you or your spouse legally used at any time, past or present. You can also include or leave out a hyphen.

Practical Steps

You need to obtain several certified copies of you marriage license containing your married name if you have changed it. Then go to a Social Security office or its website to obtain form SS-5, which enables you to receive a new Social Security card. Once you have your new Social Security card, you will want to visit the Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain a driver's license with you new name. Then it's a matter of notifying your employer so your payroll records are correct. Finish up the process by getting a new passport so you can travel without hassles from airline security, as well as notify your bank, utilities, voter registration office and others which with whom you do business.

Regular Name Changing Process

If you want to change your name at any other time during or after your marriage, you must submit a name change petition along with your marriage certificate or divorce decree, if applicable, to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii. You can fill out the appropriate petition on the Lieutenant Governor's website and then print it out. You have to publish the notice of the name change in a newspaper within 60 days after the Lieutenant Governor signs it.

Considerations

Hawaii passed a law allowing civil unions in 2011. If you are married in a civil union ceremony in Hawaii, you are entitled to the same flexibility in choosing a name as if you were married. The Social Security Administration issued a regulation stating that a civil union document from Hawaii is legal evidence of a name change beginning January 1, 2012, which will make it easier to obtain a new Social Security card.