Should You Change Your Name Before You Travel

Changing Your Name While Traveling

You are in the middle of planning your #BESTDayEver and you start thinking, wait, how am I going to be able to travel with a new name? You don’t want to get stuck at the airport with one name on your driver’s license and another on your plane ticket! Don’t worry; we’ll help you through it!

(And ladies, for those of you who haven’t even thought about the name change yet, this step always gets pushed to the bottom of the list and can be easily forgotten. So, let’s avoid some future headache and get moving on that paperwork!)

I know how excited you are about turning from Miss to Mrs. , but I am not going to lie, this process can be confusing. Let’s take it one step at a time.

My first word of advice: Just wait until you get home from your destination wedding and honeymoon before trying to make the switch.

It will be a lot easier and you will thank me later. That means enjoy your maiden name for one more week or two, especially because the headache will set in after visiting the social security office and filling out all the paperwork.

Changing your name isn’t that hard. It’s just really time consuming. Your marriage certificate takes a while and the last thing you want to do is drive your travel advisor crazy going back and forth between names as they can always just book under your maiden name — I suggest this almost always.

If you are planning a future trip, start the process as soon as you land. You will need to visit your local Social Security office, the DMV and then ultimately send in the correct passport info to get your name changed on your important travel document. This step will probably take the longest…give them 4-6 weeks as you won’t get your new passport back on the same day unless you take it into a passport center and pay extra for expedited same-day service.

 Tip: Worst comes to worst you can use your passport with your old name as long as you carry your marriage certificate with — but, don’t try to do this for too long. Some airlines are pickier than others. Plus, TSA doesn’t accept a marriage certificate as form as identification; so bring your driver’s license with you when you fly.

About those airlines, some of them are truly sticklers so they could hit you or your travel advisor with major fees for any name changes.

For the passport you have 12 months from your wedding date to file for a free passport in your new name. The form is DSS-5504. Check out the passport site here. 

The second bit of advice: Try to find a service that will complete a lot of the hard stuff for you.

To be honest, I used HitchSwitch. They made everything easy. They even told me where to sign! I think the longest part I ended up having to do myself was wait in the long line in the Social Security office…

Another great company like HitchSwitch is — they are another online name-change service for brides that we love.

So, let’s recap:

1.     Just book your honeymoon in your maiden name. It takes a while to get your marriage license back, and if you are getting married abroad, it could take even longer. 

2.     Airlines are sticklers and unfortunately, they will not update your name on your ticket — that means either opt for travel insurance or get hit with major fees if changes need to be made.

3.     File for a new passport within the first 12 months (1 year) from your wedding date.

4.     If you are on the go soon, bring proof of flight booked in your new name to a passport center to expedite if you can’t wait weeks.

5.     Relax, you are a newlywed! Don’t stress, you are now a MRS! Enjoy the process.

Need help, just shoot me a message and I will help you pick up the pieces.

Eat, Drink and Change Your Name Soon but Not Too Soon!