I went through the ringer trying to get my name changed after our wedding, and in turn, the process of getting my new passport was way more complicated than it needed to be. Here's the no-bullshit, easy way to get a passport, or to update your existing passport before your honeymoon!
In the hierarchy of tasks needed to legally change your name after marriage, your passport can be the first as long as you have your certified marriage certificate!
Once you have a passport with your new name, you can use it to change your driver's license, social security card, switch bank accounts and most importantly, take that romantic, international honeymoon with your new last name.
If you've never had a passport before and are planning to take an international honeymoon:
There is an average 4-6 week waiting period when you apply for your first passport. To be safe, apply for a passport in your maiden name with enough time to get it delivered before your wedding. Use this tool to get the materials together that you'll need to apply for a passport (this will include the $135 initial fee). Take the application and materials to your local post office or Passport Agency.
- Apply for your passport no more than one year in advance of your planned honeymoon. If your honeymoon is within the 2 months following your wedding, use the passport in your maiden name.
- If your honeymoon is beyond 2 months after your wedding, you will have time to do a name change. The good news is that if you submit a name change within the first year of having your passport, you can do it at no charge (unless you need it expedited, in which case you will pay an extra $60). Submit a name change application immediately after your wedding; in person with this form, or online with this form (which you will still have to print and mail out when you're finished). You should have an updated passport before your trip.
- Call your airline to inform them of passenger name changes on your ticket.
If you already have a passport and your international honeymoon is scheduled within the two months following your wedding:
DO NOTHING. Use the passport in your maiden name. Do the name change when you return! Trust me, it's not worth the stress of wondering whether it will come in time, and it's also not worth spending the money to get it expedited!
If you already have a passport and your international honeymoon is scheduled beyond the two months after your wedding:
Use this tool to get the materials together that you'll need to renew your passport (this will include the $110 fee).
- Fill out the name change application (form DS-82) by printing it and filling it in by hand or fill it out online.
- Collect your current passport, and your marriage certificate (make sure it is NOT a copy, but an original or certified copy of your marriage certificate or the government-issued document demonstrating your legal name change under federal or state law).
- Get a new passport photo. You must staple your new photo to your new passport application.
- Write a check or money order for the $110 and make the check out to "U.S. Department of State".
- Send all of the materials to:
- National Passport Processing Center
- Post Office Box 90155
- Philadelphia, PA 19190-0155
You'll get your current passport and marriage license back in a separate mailing. Your new passport will arrive in 4-6 weeks! You can then apply for visas and finalize travel plans. And also make sure to call your airline to ensure all of your ticketing is accurate before you get to the airport!
We are honeymooning in Thailand, because #beauty <----Click it, I swear it's good.