Does a Marriage Certificate Qualify as a Name Change for Passport Requirements?

By Marcy Brinkley

If you formally change your name when you marry, you must notify all government agencies that have issued you documents, licenses and identification cards in your former name. These documents might include an updated Social Security card, driver's license and a passport, if you have one. Proof of marriage is required to change your name on a U.S. passport.

Marriage Certificate

If you changed your name at the time of your marriage, you may use either the original marriage certificate or a certified copy as proof of the change. A certified copy typically has a raised seal and indicates the copy has been certified by a government official, such as a court clerk. Documents such as photocopies of the certificate, a church record or a copy of the marriage license are not acceptable proof. If you used your husband's last name socially but did not change it legally at the time of marriage, you cannot later change the name on your passport without a copy of a court order showing the legal name change.

Obtaining a Certified Copy

If you do not have a certified copy of your marriage certificate, you may obtain one from the agency where you applied for your marriage license. If convenient, go to the licensing office to immediately obtain a copy. Otherwise, contact the licensing office for instructions on requesting a copy by mail. Typically, you will be asked to submit a completed request form, proof of identity and a money order or certified check for the applicable fee. Many states also provide copies of marriage certificates through a centralized vital statistics office.

Get help changing your legal name. Learn More

Change Within One Year of Issuance

If your passport was issued less than one year ago and before your name change, you may request the change on your passport by mailing your passport to the National Passport Processing Center along with the original or certified copy of your marriage certificate and a signed and dated, "Application for a U.S. Passport: Name Change, Data Correction, and Limited Passport Book Replacement." If your passport was issued more than 90 days before submitting the application for a name change, you must also submit one passport photograph with your application. There is no fee for routine service but there is an extra fee for expedited service.

Change After One Year of Issuance

If your passport was issued more than one year ago and before your name change, you must mail your current passport, a completed "Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail," an original or certified copy of the marriage certificate and the applicable renewal fee to the National Passport Processing Center. You may have expedited service for an extra fee. Current fees and processing times are listed on the U.S. Department of State's website.

Get help changing your legal name. Learn More
How to Change a Name After Marriage in Colorado


Related articles

What Materials Are Needed for Passport Name Change After Divorce?

Your U.S. passport must be in your current, legal name. If you changed your legal name after your divorce, you need to change your name on your passport to travel outside of the country. The application procedure and supporting materials required for a passport name change differ, depending on whether your passport was issued less than one year ago.

How to Patent a Drink

A drink may be patented in the U.S. if it meets the legal requirements for patentability. Drinks are typically patented using utility patents. In order to receive a patent, a drink must be novel, "nonobvious," and adequately and clearly described in the patent application. An experienced patent attorney can help you through the process, but you are not required to have an attorney in order to file a patent application.

How to Change a Name After a Marriage in Michigan

In Michigan, residents and non-residents can apply for a marriage license in a county clerk’s office if they fulfill the state's statutory requirements. If you want to change your name to your spouse’s name or hyphenate your name, you must wait until the county clerk issues a marriage license.

Doing the right thing has never been easier. Name Change

Related articles

How to Change Your Name on Your SS Card in Georgia After a Marriage

If you recently got married in Georgia and filled out your marriage license using your husband’s last name, the name ...

Returning to Your Maiden Name After a Divorce in Pennsylvania

If you're divorcing in Pennsylvania, you may go back to your maiden name without going through a formal court process ...

How to Change the Name on a Social Security Card in Minnesota

Whether you’ve married, divorced or you’ve legally changed your name for another reason, the change isn’t completely ...

How to Change a Name After Marriage in Maine

Changing your last name at marriage is a time-honored tradition for women in Maine and other U.S. states. Changing ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED