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Husband Taking Wife's Name

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Has anyone's husband taken their wife's name after they wed?

If so, was it a huge problem?

I live in Indiana and the BMV (bureau of motor vehicles aka license branch) has 'never done that before'. I'm convinced that it's going to turn into a huge ordeal when the time comes.

Has anyone's husband successfully done this? And if so, any suggestions when dealing with social security and the license branch?

I've heard that some states don't allow it and a court order (complete with newspaper announcements and a substantial amount of time/money) would be required...??
post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian_mom View Post
Has anyone's husband taken their wife's name after they wed?

If so, was it a huge problem?

I live in Indiana and the BMV (bureau of motor vehicles aka license branch) has 'never done that before'. I'm convinced that it's going to turn into a huge ordeal when the time comes.

Has anyone's husband successfully done this? And if so, any suggestions when dealing with social security and the license branch?

I've heard that some states don't allow it and a court order (complete with newspaper announcements and a substantial amount of time/money) would be required...??
It shouldn't be that hard -- surely that laws aren't THAT uneven! Or maybe they are..

I'm afraid I'm not much help, though, as we both kept our names. I do have a friend who took his wife's name, but I think he did it in the UK. (They later divorced, and his next wife took what had become his name, thereby naming herself after her husband's ex, but that's another story...)
post #3 of 13
My friend's husband took her name--they married in Michigan but almost immediately moved to Wisconsin, so the documents were changed there--and had no problem.

Some states are still uneven--women can change their name with the marriage license, men can't--but most allow either party, or both, to take a new name on marriage.

From the BMV Web site:

Indiana law requires a license or permit holder to notify the Bureau of Motor Vehicles of a change of name and apply for a duplicate license or permit within 30 days of the name change.

Those customers whose last names have changed due to marriage should take their United States Application of Marriage/Record or Marriage Certificate (Certified Copy - must contain the stamped seal and be signed by the Clerk) to any license branch in Indiana. This document must be in English, or be translated to English, before the branch will accept the document.

http://www.in.gov/bmv/3690.htm

Pretty straightforward to me. I would think that if there was gender specificity to the law, or if a court order was required, it would be spelled out.
post #4 of 13
We thought of doing this. In NYS, both the husband and wife can change their names. From what I remember, they can change it to either last name or any combination of those names (for example people with the last names Smithson and Stoneyfield could become Mr. and Mrs. Smithfield or Smithson-Stoneyfield, etc.).
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
My friend's husband took her name--they married in Michigan but almost immediately moved to Wisconsin, so the documents were changed there--and had no problem.

Some states are still uneven--women can change their name with the marriage license, men can't--but most allow either party, or both, to take a new name on marriage.

From the BMV Web site:

Indiana law requires a license or permit holder to notify the Bureau of Motor Vehicles of a change of name and apply for a duplicate license or permit within 30 days of the name change.

Those customers whose last names have changed due to marriage should take their United States Application of Marriage/Record or Marriage Certificate (Certified Copy - must contain the stamped seal and be signed by the Clerk) to any license branch in Indiana. This document must be in English, or be translated to English, before the branch will accept the document.

http://www.in.gov/bmv/3690.htm

Pretty straightforward to me. I would think that if there was gender specificity to the law, or if a court order was required, it would be spelled out.
Yes it SEEMS pretty straightforward to me too. But it just makes me nervous that they have 'never done it' before and they think it should be noted on the license somewhere.

I worry too much!
post #6 of 13
We are both changing our name to something mutually agreed upon when we wed in Sept. The marriage license not only allows us both to change our names, but also the surnames of any joint children (). It may vary in MN by county, but luckily the county we live in provides for this.

I'm not sure if DF's half of DSD's name will get changed (it just seems like something her mom would have a thing about just to be difficult), but the rest of us will be doing it.
post #7 of 13
Even if he can't change it using the marriage type of name change, he could just do a regular legal name change. I think it's more expensive but still not a big deal.
post #8 of 13
Hi,

My husband took my last name when we married 14 years ago. We live in Northern Virginia outside of Washington, DC--a fairly progressive area. He tried to go to the DMV but was told he had to file a change of name with the courts--an obvious double standard as I could have just walked into the DMV and said I was married and be done with it.

Other than that little glitch, it's been quite easy. And I think we were the first in our state to do this. So, there you g.
post #9 of 13
My husband and I took each other's last names (funny, I just wrote a bit about this on my blog today) and we had a hard time with social security. We went into our local office, and they said we could hyphenate, but they would be backwards to each other. It was ridiculous, and they were very rude.

We called the SS 800 number, and they said it's perfectly legal for us to have the same last name hyphenated the same way. So we sent in our info to the SF office. We had to send our passports with our original names on them. They switched it no problem.

After you have the ss card, you go to DMV, and they just write what's on your ss card, I think. They may have wanted to see the marriage license. That part was easy anyway.
post #10 of 13
Not going to help the OP, but I just wanted to point out it is done here quite often. Mostly because there are not enough last names here, so if the wife's name is more unusual, the husband will often take that name. Another popular option is for everyone to just keep their own names. In our case, DH took my name as middle name.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian_mom View Post

I've heard that some states don't allow it and a court order (complete with newspaper announcements and a substantial amount of time/money) would be required...??
This is what our state requires. A woman can change her name for free, but a man has to go the name change route like any other person changing their name just because. A friend of mine started the process, but several hundred dollars later they just gave up and he used her name for all non-legal purposes.

The ACLU was suing California for unequal protection. This article says that only 9 states allow a man to change his name as easily as a woman can:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=2778930&page=1
post #12 of 13
My fiance and I are both are entering our union with children from previous relationships. With that being said, we decided that we wanted to celebrate that we are a blended family and both hyphenate our last names.

To my dismay, I found that in the State of Maine, as well as in forty four other states, there is no statutory right for men to take their wives’ last name. It only costs a bride $50 to change her name, but for a groom, it costs $300, appearing in court, and announcing the change in the newspaper before it will be granted. Am I the only one who
believes this is wrong? This is not solely an issue of money, it is an issue of equality.

I believe that Maine should be encouraging the family values that this act represents instead of making couples jump through hoops.

I have created a petition online that I plan to send to Governor Baldacci about this matter. If you are a resident of Maine and interested in signing, you can do so at http://www.PetitionOnline.com/ub67gde1/petition.html
post #13 of 13
dont know anything...but I think its cool!
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