Name Change

Name Change Before or After Marriage

The marriage license now provides an opportunity for the bride or groom or both to change their name after marriage. This rule also applies to the same sex couples.

Changing your name through this process can only be done at the time your marriage license is issued – this information cannot be amended at a later date. If you do not change your name on your marriage license then you can only do it at a later date through a petition with the Superior Court which is lengthy and expensive process. Each spouse has a choice of adopting any of the following middle or last names after their marriage:
  • The current last name of the other spouse
  • The last name of either spouse given at birth
  • A name combining into a single last name all or a segment of the current last name or the last name of either spouse given at birth
  • A hyphenated combination of last names
You cannot change your first name on your Los Angeles marriage license.

It is important to remember that your name does not change simply by including your name change information on your marriage license. In order to legally change your name you need to complete the following steps:

Once you receive a certified copy of marriage certificate, which typically arrives within 6-8 weeks, you will have to go the Social Security Administration (SSA) to change your name.

After you change your name with the SSA you'll need to make an appointment in the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to apply for a new driver’s license or identification card which will reflect your new name. You must bring your new marriage certificate and a proof of legal residency in the United States (if you are not a US citizen).

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