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 Your Name on Your SS Card in Georgia After a Marriage



Related articles

Name Changes After Divorce & Remarriage in Georgia

Changing your status to “single” on Facebook is a snap. But in real life, you can’t simply click “divorced.” In Georgia, those who want to restore their name upon divorce must take additional action. A child’s name, however, cannot be changed through divorce. Don’t worry. If you forget to change your name during your divorce, you can do it anytime in Georgia.

How to Change My Last Name in My Citizenship Papers

You need to change your last name on your U.S. citizenship certificate if you have a new last name due to marriage, divorce or a court order. Your certificate is necessary for both legal and identification purposes. If the name on your certificate doesn't match the name on your other legal papers, it will create confusion each time you present your certificate. You may correct your name by contacting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and applying for a replacement certificate.

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

How to Change a Name After a Marriage in Illinois

Illinois state laws allow a person who has recently married to change his name without formally petitioning the courts; ...

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 ...

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. ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED