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Name Change After Marriage Arizona – Options, Process, and Costs

How To Change Your Name In Arizona After Marriage

What are the possibilities?

Name Change after Marriage Arizona is available in 3 basic ways. Each way has it’s own process and costs. Your situation probably fits one of these choices: Marriage License, Court Order, Divorce Judgment.

Name Change After Marriage is a big deal. It’s an emotional part of your marriage event. You can get your chosen married name printed on your ID.  It’s part of stepping into your new identity.

Do you need 1 piece of Identification changed? Several? Everything? If you want this done right, with the least amount of time and wasted energy, study up and plan a little first. 3-5 pieces of your ID are really key, and you can do them all in a few days. Everything else may take a couple of months, but not very much of your actual time. It’s worth it.

Process To Change Last Name After Marriage

Name Change After Marriage Arizona Using the Marriage License

After you are married ,  use a Certified Copy of your Superior Court Marriage Certificate to update ID. Take it first to Social Security, since that’s an anchor ID for many other Official Records. Once your Social Security Accout is updated and you have a new Card (same number, married name), you can go to MVD to update your Driver’s License/Real ID.

Updating your Passport, Main Bank and Job/Professional Licensing should be next.  You can update all your other records when it’s convenient, during regular activities like making payments or visiting places where you have accounts. In time, many places will change your records without formal requests on your part.

If you keep 1 Certified Copy of your Marriage License with your other important papers, you will have 1 available when you might be asked for it sometime, even many years later.

Name Change After Marriage Arizona Using the Order Changing Name (Superior Court Order)

You can always use the Court Order process to legally Change Your Name After Marriage.  An Order Changing Name of an Adult can be used to update all ID and Official Records to your New Name. The Court Process can make legal changes to your first, middle or last names, regardless of when or where you were married.

You must use the Court Order process to legally Change a Child’s Name after your marriage.  Children’s Names cannot ever be legally changed by a marriage document, only by Court Order. A divorce judgment must exactly specify a child name change or Legal Name Change for a Child, after divorce, must be done by the Name Change Application process in Superior Court.

If you live in Arizona now, you can Apply for Legal Name Change through the Superior Court in your county. Court Order Name Change is unlimited, unlike using a Marriage Certificate or Divorce Judgment which won’t allow first or most middle name changes.

Name Change can help you to retake your maiden name without divorce, or if you are divorced but didn’t get your maiden name back during the divorce or were divorced somewhere else. You can use the Court Order for a Child(ren)’s Name Change after Marriage or Remarriage. 

Documents Needed to Change Name After Marriage in Arizona

Make a little list. The documents you need will depend on the process you used. Whichever one you used, you will need a Certified Copy of the Name Change Documents: 

  1. Marriage Certifcate
  2. Order Changing Name of Adult (and/or Minor, for a child)
  3. Divorce Judgment

If you don’t have one of these Name Change Documents, or another acceptable Official Record establishing a new legal name, you won’t be able to update core ID. To see more about documents needed, visit: How to Change Your Name in Arizona. For personalized Assistance to get your Court Order, upon approval, visit: Full Service Arizona Name Change 

Once you have a Certified Copy of your Name Change Document in hand, you can start to update your ID and Official Records. In addition to your Certified Name Change Document, each different ID agency (i.e., Social Security, MVD, etc) will have their own Checklist for other documents they will ask you to submit:

  • Birth Certificate and/or Citizenship Status Document (i.e., Citizenship Certificate, Green Card, Visa, etc. 
  • Social Security Card
  • Driver’s License or State ID/Real ID
  • Passport
  • Proof of Residency (e.g., Utility Bill, Rental/Mortgage document, etc.)

HINTS and NOTES: Start with Social Security, then do MVD  2nd (Driver’s License/Real ID/State ID), and then the others in any order you prefer.  Not many places require proof of residency.

Every core ID (Social Security, ILSOS, Passport, etc.) will require your Certified Name Change Document, Proof of your Identity, their completed application and then they each may have other particular documents they require. Most places will have a Website with an online Checklist for Updating for Name Change. 

Marriage Certificate

If properly done, a Certified Copy of Arizona’s Marriage Certificate is a real Name Change Document for Updating ID in Arizona. Other states may not accept an Arizona Marriage Certificate to change ID if it doesn’t  show both your complete legal name before AND after your Marriage, right on it. Many states won’t consider a Marriage Certificate a proper name change document if your full married name isn’t printed on the Certificate. 

If your Marriage Certificate is from another State, it may or may not be accepted by Arizona ID Agencies. Find out by taking a Certified Copy of it to a Social Security Office and ask them to Update your Social Security Card to your Married Name. If that works, proceed on to MVD, etc.

If your Marriage License is from another State (not Arizona), it may not be usable as a name change document depending on the state where you were married. In some states, the marriage license process isn’t credited with properly assuring a person’s identity.

Other Certificate

There are other kinds of Certificates or Court Orders that can be used as a Name Change Document. If you have a Certified Copy of one of these may allow you to Update ID and Official Records:

  • Citizenship/Naturalization Certificate
  • Adoption Order
  • Family Law/Custody Order

To be universally accepted by government ID agencies, a Name Change Document must be a Certified Copy of an Original document maintained by an authorized government agency, show your full current legal name and your new legal name, and be signed by an authorized person from that agency after having undergone a review and approval process sufficient to confirm the identity and entitlement of the person’s name change. 

A Citizenship or Naturalization Certificate with a Name Change must be signed by a Judge, and be supported by a Name Change Petition, or else it may or may not be universally recognized as a Legal Name Change.

Court Certificate

If you don’t have the right Marriage or Citizenship Certificate, you need a Superior Court Order. In Arizona, marriage certificates are issued by the Superior Court so they might be called a Court Certificate. All other Name Change Documents will be some type of Court Order. All types of Superior Court Orders for Legal Name Change are valid. 

An Order Changing Name of an Adult and Order Changing Name of Minor are both Court Orders that will allow you to Update ID. Other Court Orders are often called a Judgment. That type of Court Order will also allow you to Update ID providing they make it precise and clear that one particular person’s name has been legally changed to a new legal name, with both complete names printed out entirely. 

Costs Of Changing Last Name After Marriage Arizona

The Certified Copy cost is $31 and you will need that to Update your ID with any of the Name Change Documents you would get from Superior Court:

  1. Marriage Certificate
  2. Divorce Judgment
  3. Order Changing Name

To get the Order Changing Name, for Yourself and/or a Child(ren), after Marriage or Divorce, you will need to pay various costs:

  • Application Preparation
  • Court Filing
  • Notary, Notice, Consent, Publication 
  • Certified Copy(s)

You can do everything yourself,  or have it done professionally for a small fee. EZ Name Change is a Legal Name Change Specialist and has Full Service.

Everyone will need to pay Court Filing or file a completed Application for Deferral or Waiver of Court Fees, plus Notary and other potential costs depending on your situation. For a more specific itemization of costs and situations, take a look at this page: Arizona Name Change Costs 

Marriage Name Change Arizona Options

There are a number of options available.

  • Wife last name change after marriage
  • Husband surname change after marriage
  • Same-sex couple name change after
  • marriage
  • Hyphenating last names after marriage
  • Changing child last name after marriage
  • Retaking Maiden Name WITHOUT divorce
  • Changing First Name (or Middle) AND taking Married Last Name

Wife Last Name Change After Marriage

Traditional Choices:

  • Take husband’s last name as your new last name
  • Take husband’s last name and take your Maiden last name as your new middle name
  • Hyphenate your last name and your husband’s last name as your new last name

Recent Trends: 

  • Combine (mashup) part of your Maiden last name with part of your husband’s last name 
  • Add your husband’s last name to your last name (no hyphen)
  • Add your Maiden last name to your current middle name (no hyphen)
  • No Change – Your married name remains your Maiden Name

Popular New Options:

  • Both newlyweds choose a brand new last name
  • Change your First and/or middle name AND take your husband’s last name
  • Add a middle name to connect with a family member or to honor someone

Husband Surname Change After Marriage

21st Century Options:

  • Husband takes wife’s family name as his new last name
  • Both newlyweds choose a brand new last name
  • Husband changes legal first and/or middle name 

Same-Sex Couple Name Change After Marriage or Domestic Partnership

Same-Sex Couples enjoy all the same name change choices after marriage. A Certified Copy of an Arizona Marriage Certificate can be used to Update ID.

The Marriage Certificate will work to update your Your Spouses Last Name, or a combined last name with or without a hyphen. To take a brand new family name and/or to make changes to your existing first name, you’ll want to use the Court Order process to get that done. 

Hyphenating Last Names After Marriage

Hyphenating your last name after marriage has become a common choice for newlyweds, particularly for wives. Consider the pros and cons for this choice when deciding.


  1. Keeping your last name lets you take your name identity into your married identity
  2. Adding your spouses last name to yours is a visual recognition of the joining of marriage
  3. Hyphenating your last name and your spouse’s, will make your married last name uniformly treated by ID agencies, reservation systems, etc., and avoid chances for confusion


  1. Unless both spouses hyphenate, your last name will not be the same as your spouse
  2. Choosing children’s last names will be another consideration
  3. The longer name may become tedious to use as time goes on and using shortened versions may create confusion in some situations

Changing Child Last Name After Marriage

Changing your kid(s) last name after marriage, can only be accomplished through a court order process. You can use the Application to Change Name of Minor process to change your child’s last name, but also to change a first or middle name if that’s something that should get done at the same time. 

The Court Application process is semi-complicated, but can definitely be done. And, you can have inexpensive professional help. This is an important family consideration and is most helpful for the child and family when you can get it going as soon as possible.

To get more specific information about Child Name Change in Arizona: Changing A Child’s Last Name in Arizona 

To see what Professional Name Change help provides and what it costs, see: Full Service Arizona Name Change 

Marriage Certificate Name Change

Your Arizona Marriage License is the best choice to get a Legal Name Change Document, if you want to take your spouses last name. With a Certified Copy, you can just go into a convenient Social Security Office and get your Name Change Account and Card Updated to show your Married Name (same number). 

If you do not want to take a new married name after marriage, you don’t have to. If you do want a new married name, we recommend you decide on the exact married name you want before filling out your Marriage License. It’s possible for your Marriage License simplify or complicate the process of Updating your ID, so studying the possibilities may save time and frustration later.  

New Official Records and ID After Marriage

To keep the enjoyment of being newlywed going, we recommend Updating your ID and Official Records as soon after marriage as is convenient and comfortable, and doing all the important ones at reasonably the same time. These won’t take long.  It will be fun to see your Married Name in print:) Before you start, do a little planning and save yourself time and irritation. 

Core ID:

  • Social Security
  • Real ID -Driver’s License/State ID
  • Passport
  • Professional Licensing
  • Job
  • Main Bank
  • Current School 

Look up each of these places online. Each ID and Official Records organization will all have a policy about Name Change. Make a list of what they want and prefill their Application if possible. 

All the other ID and Official Records can be updated when you next interact with them. If you have any particular agency, company or institution where your name change is particularly important, then prioritize that Update accordingly. 

New Social Security Number After Marriage

Updating your Social Security Account and Card After Marriage WILL NOT also change your existing Social Security Number. You Number will remain the same, after marriage. 

After a Legal Name Change, Update your Social Security Account to your New Name as soon as possible. MVD will check your Social Security Number computer account records before allowing a name change on your license. You will not be able to Update your Drivier’s License until Social Security has your new name in their computer system. 

It is possible to get a new Social Security Number, but that is a more complicated process and has nothing to do with getting married or name change. To see about how to change a Social Security Number, go onto the Social Security website and search for that process so you get correct information from the source.

New Drivers License After Marriage

Driver’s License or State ID Card – Arizona law requires you to update the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of a Legal Name Change.  Get your License Name Change AFTER Updating your Social Security Account. That’s because your MVD will check with Social Security before agreeing to Update your ID with them.

To get your new MVD ID to be REAL ID COMPLIANT, take a look at their Checklist online before going in. Their website will give you a list of the documents required and the costs. When you do go in, be sure and bring a Certified Copy of your Name Change document with you:

  • Marriage Certificate
  • Divorce Judgment
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Order Change Name or other Name Change Court Order

New Passport After Marriage

U.S. Passport 

You will be able to get your New Name on your Passport as soon as you can provide all the documentation and fees for your situation.   If you have travel scheduled soon, they have an expedite service to help you quickly. If you are Updating for Name Change within one year of renewing, they will do the Update without charge.

Documents you’ll need:

  • Your Current or most recent Passport (Renewal only)
  • Completed Passport Application (DS 82 for Renewal; DS 11 for New)
  • Certified Copy of your Name Change Document
  • 1 Color Photo
  • Applicable Fees ($130 +35 for New only)
  • Identity Document (New only; birth certificate/naturalization certificate, foreign passport, etc)

You can begin your Passport process before Updating your Social Security and Driver’s License ID.  You can also travel with your pre-marriage name by carrying a copy of your Court Order with you. Then you can Update your Passport, and other ID, after returning. That may be particularly useful for a honeymoon situation:)

Amended Birth Certificate for Name Change After Marriage

Your Birth Certificate, together with your Marriage Certificate, will be all you need to prove your legal name, marital status and identity for every legal purpose. That’s why most adults never bother getting anended Birth Certificate after Legal Name Change.

The exception is for infants. New parents usually do get an updated Birth Certificate for their Child, after 1 (or both) parent’s Change Names After Marriage. In that way, the child’s updated birth certificate will be used to establish the child’s new name the way your family has decided it will be for every legal purpose thereafter. 

Changing Everything Else – Credit Cards, Tax Returns, Memberships ... and All The Rest

Your Name is a Big Deal. It may be your single biggest public identifyer and it’s on a lot of things. However, once your Core ID is Updated, the bulk of all the rest may take about 2 months. There will be stragglers for a while, before you know it, it will be like you never had your former name. 

Proceed at your own comfort level. You can set up 2 groups:

  1. Active Accounts (e.g.,  401K, credit cards, gym membership, clubs, etc.);
  2. Inactive or Payment Accounts (e.g., property titles, auto club membership, subscriptions, etc). Go to the main 3 or 4 of these and let all the others come to you. They all have periodic mail or email to you. So you can reply or follow their links to advise them of your legal name change.

There are just a handful of these that are important in your daily life. Take care of those first. Keep advising and responding so they know the change you want in each communication. Each place you contact will have its own process for accommodating your name change after marriage. They’re used to it. Some places may ask to see your Certified Copy, most will just do as you ask. You will be surprised at how quickly they will all be using your new married name exclusively. 

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