Returning to Your Maiden Name After a Divorce in Pennsylvania

By Anna Assad

If you're divorcing in Pennsylvania, you may go back to your maiden name without going through a formal court process or getting a judge's signature. State law allows a divorcing spouse to take her maiden name back by filing a notice to resume use of a maiden surname. You may file the notice before or after the court issues a final divorce decree.


You must complete and file a Notice to Resume Prior Surname form in the Office of Prothonotary of the county you divorced in. The procedure is the same in all Pennsylvania counties, but the notice format and filing fee vary. If you divorced in a foreign country or another state, you must file an official copy -- a copy stamped by the issuing court -- of your decree in the office of the county you live in before filing the notice. The notice is available at the office itself and online on some official Pennsylvania county websites. You'll need the plaintiff and defendant's name on the divorce case, the case number and date of the divorce decree, if issued. You'll need official, stamped copies of the notice to change your name on your identification and other accounts, such as your bank account.

State Identification

You may change your name on your license, learner's permit or state identification card by filling out and filing an application to change your name with the Pennsylvania Driver and Vehicle Services department. A divorce is a valid reason for a correction to your license due to a name change. You'll need to attach an official copy of the Notice to Resume Prior Surname form to the application. There is no fee to change your name on a noncommercial license at the time of publication.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Social Security Card

You'll need to complete an application for a Social Security card to change your name on it; the application is available on the Social Security Administration's official website. Along with the usual documents needed for the application -- such as your birth certificate -- you'll also need official copies of your divorce decree and the filed Notice to Resume Prior Surname. You can mail the application and documents to the Pennsylvania Social Security office of your county of residence or visit the office in person to file.


If you're remarrying, you'll need to bring proof you resumed your maiden name and a copy of your divorce decree when applying for a new marriage license. A certified copy of the Notice to Resume Prior Surname you filed is acceptable proof. If you've divorced more than once, you'll need your most recent divorce decree.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Change a Name After a Marriage in Illinois



Related articles

California Child Name Change Laws

There may be a number of reasons for changing your child's name. Perhaps your youngster is adopted by a stepparent when you remarry. Or you decide to revert to your maiden name after a divorce and want your child's name to match. California law delineates the process for name changes, which is a fairly easy procedure. You begin by filing an application in the county where your child lives.

Do I Need a Final Divorce Decree to Remarry in New Hampshire?

It’s not legal to remarry before your divorce is final and New Hampshire won’t take your word that your previous marriage has ended. Marriage licenses are available from any town or city clerk in the state and you can’t marry without one. The clerk will require proof of your divorce before issuing you a license. You can’t bend the rules, at least not without risking criminal prosecution.

How to Change Your Last Name in Maryland

People seek to change their last names for a variety of reasons. You may have gotten married or divorced, or simply found a new name you like better than your old one. Although Maryland allows you to legally change your last name simply by using it, you will not be able to change your name on your identity documents without either a marriage certificate or a court order, depending on the reason you changed your name.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

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

If you formally change your name when you marry, you must notify all government agencies that have issued you ...

How to Change Your Name in California

Golden State residents looking to legally change a given name or surname have a simple procedure for a new moniker. ...

Family Law on Name Change in Illinois

To file for a change of name in Illinois, you must submit a petition to the circuit court in your county and make an ...

Name Change Requirements in the State of Illinois

In Illinois, you can change your name when getting married or divorced, but you can also change your name for other ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED