February 6, 2011

Identity Crisis

Going through the name change process can feel like a bit of an identity crisis. After years of living with one name, suddenly you become Mrs. Soandso, and then the next day, you go to check in at your hotel for your honeymoon and have to give them your maiden name. When you use your debit card and sign your name, you're still signing your maiden name since that's the name on your card. For a few weeks, I had my name half changed and felt like half one person and half another.

I thought I had it all taken care of within the first month of being married, but there were a couple places I overlooked. One example of this popped up a week ago. After weighing the pros and cons, Nathan and I decided to renew our lease for another year. We went to the apartment office all ready to sign the paperwork only to find out that they had prepared our new lease with my maiden name on it. And of course, they had to see a copy of my driver's license to be able to change it. Does it ever end?

My name change went something like this:
  • Drive to the City County building downtown to request copies of my marriage certificate
  • Wait in line to pay for my copies along with a bunch of men there to pay child support
  • Walk several blocks to the social security office to apply for a new social security card and wonder why there's a security guard there until he has to throw someone out
  • Wait in line with my paperwork from the social security at BMV to get a new driver's license
  • While at the BMV, confirm that I am not currently in prison in order to change my voter registration
  • When my new driver's license and social security card come in the mail, take those to my HR department at work and then fill out new paperwork for taxes, life insurance, health insurance, and all that fun stuff
  • Go to my bank to get my name changed on my checking account, debit card, and credit card
I did not change my name on my passport since I didn't want to pay the fee when I currently have no plans to leave the country. I didn't change my name on the title for my car either since the BMV told me I didn't need to. I also realized recently that although I have my health insurance in my married name, I still need to change my name on my health savings account. There's probably still something I've forgotten.

Learning to sign your new name is another story. I had tremendous difficulty applying for my library card, scribbling things out and rewriting them, probably confusing the librarian...

And, after all that work, my own husband has me listed in his phone under my maiden name because that's still who he thinks of me as.

1 comment:

  1. Good thing you didn't have to deal with the Navy on top of all that! That took over 4 months if I remember right, maybe closer to six. It would have been easier not to bother--and I found out later some women don't, since it's so much of a hassle--they're one name in the Navy and another for civilian life.


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