It’s official! I’m legally Meghann Anderson-Russell!
Now I just have to wait two weeks for my new SS card to come in the mail and finish changing my name on everything else.
Everyone I spoke with who recently went through the name changing process told me to start at the social security office and go from there. One friend even said 9:00am on a Friday was the best time to go. Unfortunately last night I realized that no one told me where the social security office was or if I needed to have any paperwork filled out before hand. Googling “name change social security Tampa, FL” wasn’t much help, so I found an address for a local social security administration building and hoped for the best.
I wasn’t sure what I needed, so I showed up at the SS building this morning with my marriage license, driver’s license, passport, social security card, and birth certificate. Better to be over prepared than under, right?
Even though I was there a little before 9:00am, there was already a line out the door of people waiting to go in. I realized later that you can make an appointment before online, so that’s good to know for the future. After checking in on the computer, I was given a number, and told to take a seat. With all the people around me, I thought I would be there for hours, but there were plenty of windows and it only took 30 minutes to call my number.
I started getting butterflies while I waited. I was really nervous that something was going to go wrong and my name was going to be messed up in the process. I was afraid I was going to be misunderstood and the hyphen would be left out or that I missed a form and would have to be forced to wait again until the correct form was filled out. For some reason I was more antsy changing my name than I was getting married.
Luckily after my number was called, the process went really smoothly. The lady who called my number was super sweet and put my nerves at ease. All she needed was my original marriage license and my SS number, that’s it. She didn’t even need to see my original SS card or any of the other forms of identification I brought. It was the same anti-climatic feeling when we applied for our marriage license and all they needed to see were our IDs.
I told her that I wanted the hyphen and she said no problem. She typed away on the computer, asked for an address to send the new card, and then printed an information form so I could confirm that everything looked the way it should. I was sitting at her window for less than 10 minutes and walked away with the biggest smile on my face.
I asked if I had to wait for my new SS card to change my driver’s license, but she didn’t have an answer. Does anyone know?
Now the real fun begins… time to call all the banks, credit card companies, insurance, frequent flyer mile programs, and everything else I’m forgetting to let them know of my new last name.
On a semi-related note, did you know it’s not as easy for a new husband to take his wife’s last name? I recently read an article about a Florida man who was accused of fraud for taking wife’s name. Women are granted somewhat of a loophole so they can change their last name after marriage and not go through the usual name change process that requires a judge and legal fees. Not every state gives a new husband access to the same loophole (I know there’s more to that statement legally, but that’s the gist of it). The man in the article went thought the same steps his wife would have taken if she’d chosen to change her name, but received notice a few weeks later from the DMV that his license was suspended for fraud since he didn’t take the correct legal steps in changing his name.
There are currently only 9 states that allow a husband to change his last name to his wife’s and Florida is not one them. How messed up is that? You can read the rest of the article HERE.