In a NutshellWhile each credit card issuer has its own procedure for processing name changes, you typically must provide a valid form of identification and evidence of your name change. But before you change your name on your credit cards, you probably need to change it with the Social Security Administration first.
Changing your name on your credit card accounts can be tedious, but it’s typically a straightforward process that requires you to fill out some paperwork, plus provide a photo ID and proof of your name change.
It’s not particularly difficult to change your name on your credit cards. But it can be time-consuming if you have multiple cards with different financial institutions.
Since every credit card company has its own process for handling name changes, you may save time by checking with each company to find out its requirements before you begin.
Let’s explore some of the reasons you may want to change your name on a credit card and how to do it.
Reasons to change your name on a credit card
Popular reasons for name changes include marriage and divorce. But you typically don’t need to get married or divorced to change your name. Depending on which state you live in, if you’re an adult, you may be able to petition a court to change your name for just about any reason. And if you do change your name, you’ll need to update it on your credit cards to match the legal documents that reflect your new name.
If you’re getting married or divorced, it’s a good idea to get multiple certified copies of your marriage license or divorce decree. If you changed your name for a different reason, you’ll probably need to provide a court order approving the name change.
How to change your name on a credit card
Before you can change your name on your credit cards, there are a couple of things you typically need to do. Keep in mind that requirements can vary based on your bank or credit union.
Change your name on your Social Security card
You can change your name on your Social Security card by mail or by visiting a Social Security office near you. You can’t submit your request online. To get your new card, you must do the following:
- Complete an application.
- Provide proof of your legal name change. Appropriate documents may include a marriage certificate, court order or divorce decree.
- Provide a current and valid government-issued ID, like a driver’s license or passport.
- You may also be required to provide proof of citizenship or additional documents to verify your identity, depending on your individual circumstances.
When your application is complete and your documents have been verified, the Social Security Administration will mail you a new Social Security card with your new name. In general, it takes about 10 to 14 business days from the time your application is processed to receive your new card.
Change your name on your government-issued ID
In addition to your Social Security card, you’ll likely also need to update your name on your driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID. Here’s how you might do that for your driver’s license. The process for changing your name on your driver’s license varies by state, so confirm the requirements in your state before showing up at the DMV.
In some states, you must submit your request for a new license in person. Typically, you’ll be required to provide the following information:
- A completed application
- Documents, like a marriage certificate, divorce decree or court order, that show your previous name and your new name
- Your current driver’s license
Your state transportation agency or DMV might confirm your name change with the Social Security Administration, so it’s important that you change your name with the Social Security Administration before you change it on your license.
Change your name on your credit cards
After you receive your new Social Security card and license or other government ID, you can begin contacting your credit card issuers. The process to change your name varies by company, but here’s what you’ll typically need to do.
1. Research the card issuer’s process for name changes. Many credit card companies provide this information on their websites.
2. Gather the information necessary to process your request. This varies by card issuer but typically includes a government-issued photo ID and legal documentation that reflects your name change. Some require you to have changed your name with the Social Security Administration first, which is why you’ll need your new Social Security card before beginning.
3. Contact your credit card company. Depending on the process the card issuer has established, you may be able to handle the name change online, over the phone or by mail. But some issuers require you to go to a branch office. Your credit card company may also have some paperwork for you to fill out.
4. Wait to receive your new credit card. Once your request is processed, the credit card company should send you a new card with your new name.
If you’ve legally changed your name, it’s a good idea to check your credit reports with the three major consumer credit bureaus to make sure your reports reflect the change. It can take some time for this to happen.
While you’re reviewing your reports, it’s a good idea to check what’s in them and see where you stand. If you see something you think is an error, you can report it to the bureaus.
And don’t forget to update your name with other organizations, including banks, insurance companies, other financial institutions, utility companies and any other companies you have a relationship with. You may be surprised by how many businesses you have to contact, so write a list to make sure you don’t forget any.