How to Change Your Name in Minnesota


Changing your name in Minnesota only involves a few steps, including a quick trip to your local license center, verification by a state judge, and making additional copies to verify the change with several government agencies. There are also certain circumstances which may complicate this process; make sure to be aware of these circumstances before considering a name change. Such circumstances include a previous criminal background, a previous name change, and citizenship status. The process is fairly simple if these circumstances do not apply to you, however. Here are some simple steps for legally transitioning to your new name after your wedding.

Things You'll Need

  • A marriage application
  • Driver's license (for additional verification)
  • Several copies of your marriage certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Apply for a marriage license. You may apply for one by filling out a marriage application at any Minnesota county courthouse. Additionally, you may also fill out an application online. The application will verify your new name; there will a box that will ask for your new name if you choose to change it. This is only for surnames that will be converted to your husband's name. Any other surname changes (such as combining surnames or changing to a completely new surname) may involve further verification by the courthouse. Call your county courthouse for more information.

  • Submit your marriage application at least five days before you plan to get married. Minnesota has a five-day waiting period before you can receive your marriage license. It is a good idea to submit the application a month or so before the ceremony. Visit your local license center (or courthouse, if applicable) and follow the instructions given at the service desk. You will be required to show identification. After all information is verified, pay the marriage license fee and sign the document. The marriage license is usually mailed one week after the application, but you may also pick it up at the license center if you request it.

  • Once you receive your marriage license, it should include the necessary information, including your new name change. To make the name change official, you will need to have a marriage ceremony ordained by a judge or ordained minister. This can be completed through the courthouse -- schedule an appointment with a judge beforehand -- or by scheduling a wedding ceremony and hiring a minister or judge.

  • After the ceremony, sign the marriage license. You will also need two witnesses to sign the document. Once completed, the judge will verify the document and mail it to the proper office to be officially verified. In Minnesota, the license is usually verified within three to four weeks. You will be sent a marriage certificate after this period. Make sure to make plenty of copies (20 on average) to prepare for making official name changes on other legal documents.

  • Change your name on your Social Security card. Visit your local Social Security office and bring your official marriage certificate and your old Social Security Card. Fill out the form provided. You will be mailed a new Social Security Card in two to three weeks.

  • Begin changing your name on all important documents, such as bills and loans. Your first stop should be at the license center to change your name on your driver's license. Bring your old driver's license and your official marriage certificate. After that, start changing your name on all official bills and subscriptions. Some companies may require verification, such as a copy of your marriage certificate.

  • Check with all major credit bureaus to make sure your name has been changed. This is to ensure your credit is being accurately reported.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have a criminal background, are not a US citizen, or have other issues which may prevent you from changing your name, there will be a slight delay.

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