Although it is legal to keep your married name after a divorce, many women find that returning to their maiden name is a step toward a fresh start. It is important that you let your attorney know you would like to change your last name prior to the entry of the final divorce decree, as your attorney will need to include that information in the divorce decree. While you can change your last name after the entry of the divorce decree, it involves extra paperwork and a court filing fee.
If your divorce decree has been entered and you are ready to change last your name, follow these three easy steps:
Get a certified copy of your divorce decree
You will need a certified copy of the Final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage signed by the judge. As discussed above, you should be sure to tell your attorney that you would like to return to your maiden name, prior to the entry of the decree.
Before visiting the MVD, first change your name with the Social Security Administration
To change your name on your social security card, you will need to bring a certified copy of your divorce decree, proof of identity and proof of your U.S. citizenship. To get a complete list of the documents the Social Security Administration (SSA) will accept, visit their website at https://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/ss5doc.htm.
The New Mexico MVD often verifies your information with SSA so it is best to change your name with SSA first. You should wait to receive your new social security card before attempting to change your name on your driver’s license. You should receive your new card in approximately two to six weeks.
Change your name on your Driver’s License
To change your name on your New Mexico driver’s license you will need to visit your local NM MVD (http://www.mvd.newmexico.gov/maps-locations.aspx) and bring a certified copy of your divorce decree, your new social security card, proof of identity and age, and proof of New Mexico residency. For a complete list of the documents you need to change your name on your driver’s license visit http://www.mvd.newmexico.gov/resources-frequently-asked-questions.aspx?1f7fcb5548ee4e17a47ff4e27e571a01blogPostId=e2f7bf9262214ff6858912b34b00ff1d.
By: Lauren E. Riley