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Legalease, Lawyer
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Hi. I am getting married in Europe but am from Atlanta, Georgia.

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Hi. I am getting married in Europe but am from Atlanta, Georgia. In Georgia I know it is possible to change my name in such a way that I move my maiden name to become a middle name, then take my husband's name as my sirname/family name. The government here requires that I can give written proof that it is legal in my home country/state in order that I may change my name that way here.
I have spoken to people at two probate courts who confirmed that this is possible, but did not know where to find it in writing, and suggested I contact social security. Social security also couldn't help me, and suggested I contact a lawyer or look it up in a legal library.
For my problem to be solved I would need to find this in writing.

Thank you!

Hello there


The problem with your request is that there are no formal written laws regarding a procedure to change your name after marriage in any state and with the social security office. When you are getting married or divorced in all states in the US, the marriage certificate or the divorce decree acts as the legal notice of name change. If you were to simply want to legally change your name without getting married, then there are court forms and a procedure that you must follow with the courts and have a judge approve your name change. When you get married, the marriage certificate generally asks what your name will be after marriage and you tell the clerk at the marriage license office how you would like to be known after marriage. After the wedding, you then take the marriage certificate and a picture identification to the social security office and the DMV to change both the social security records and your driver's license to the new name. After that, you can start using your new name on everything from work documents to credit cards -- because you are pretty much known and found by your social security number in the US so long as the social security number matches your name, then no further questions are raised. Interestingly enough, in a divorce action, there is a question on the divorce form which asks the wife if she would like to resume her maiden name after the divorce. Here is a link to the SS website to show that they accept the marriage and divorce documents as official name change documents: Here is another link to a wedding site which confirms the process to change your name after marriage: Here is a link to a website regarding Georgia name change laws (they offer a document service) and if you scroll down you will see that they also state that a legal court procedure is not the way to change a name after marriage.


I wish I could point you to a specific law, chapter and verse, but there is nothing. So long as you change your name on your marriage certificate (where you are getting married) to what you want your name to be after the marriage, then the social security administration and the Georgia DMV will accept the marriage certificate as legal notice of the name change and you can use the name on your marriage certificate. If there is nowhere on the marriage form or certificate in the country you are getting married in that lets you write in what you name after marriage will be, then you might have difficulties with the SS office and DMV in Georgia to change your name to what you would like without actually pursuing a court order to do so. (By the way, this is the exact way that I changed my own name after marriage and I wrote my new name on the marriage certificate and then presented the certificate to the social security office and DMV to change the name).




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