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ThisIsTheDay

Federal ID -- should I get a legal name change?

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When I was in high school,  I changed the spelling of my first name--pretend example: born Mary, changed spelling to Merri.

My birth certificate says Mary, and because I got my Social Security card when I was 16, it says Merri. (They weren't very picky back then. )

I got married, and everything now has my name as Merri. Only my birth cert says Mary.

I'm wondering what hassle this will create in getting a Federal ID, especially since I'll have to send away for a certified marriage certificate. Would it be easier to go to Court and have my name changed to Merri Marriedname, or will that instead be an additional layer of paperwork for the ID? Would a Court order satisfy the Federal ID requirements?

Thanks for any thoughts!

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I was going to say maybe.

But then I remembered my struggle with getting my license in my new state (which I still haven't done because of the hassle).  ANY deviation of my name from my BC requires the documentation of that change.  I have to order my marriage certificate to demonstrate the name change from my marriage almost 2 decades ago.  And I suspect if I tried to get my ID with the name I use for EVERYTHING.....including filing my taxes....it wouldn't work because my BC shows my full 8 letter formal name instead of the short 3 letter version I use.  So yeah, I think if it's only your BC that has that original spelling, then it's probably a good idea to get a court order to change the spelling.   

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If you are going to get an enhanced license at any point (which I believe is going to be required for air travel in a year), then you need to have documentation of any name change. 

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Get the name change. It will make things easier in the long run.  My daughter had 3 names last year.  Each time she had two variants there were complications. When she had the name change to match, everything was super smooth. DD's husband is Air Force.  She has military spouse ID and is in the DEERS system. We had to make sure that she was only using one name at a time in regards to her military documents, insurance and IDs.  Privately it didn't matter as much, but with the military, it was a bigger deal. 

She went from 

birth first name, birth middle name, birth maiden name

birth first name, birth middle name, married name

Birth middle name (her new first name), brand new middle name, married name. 

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I had to get my name changed for the second time because of federal ID rules.  I had one name, used by military, SS, me, etc, etc,. etc,  and another used by my passport and BC.  What I was doing was using my first name initial and then my middle name.  Now I have initial middle name last name and it looks the same everywhere.

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I don't know exactly what a Federal ID is but I'd recommend getting your name changed legally. My mother was born Carolyn and changed the spelling to Caroline when she was a teenager. It's been a problem all her life. Passports, driver's license, airline tickets, social security, health insurance, etc. She was initially denied boarding a return flight from Paris about 15 years ago because something didn't match up. Lapses in health insurance coverage because documents don't match up. So yes, get your name changed legally.

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Lanny was my nickname, but  I signed checks that way, etc.  I had my name legally changed by Court Order to Lanny.   Anyone using a name that is not on their Birth Certificate is (I think this is correct) using an Alias.  It was worth whatever I paid the Attorney. I had to get a new Passport and a new Drivers License and a new Social Security card and I think there was a modification to my birth certificate too. Not a good thing to be known with multiple names.

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I'm going through a name change right now. It's my understanding that you want everything to match up. The process is a hassle, but you don't want it to become a much larger hassle in the future.

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Thanks for reminding me that DS23 needs to legally drop his last name. He was born [first] [middle][father's last name] and, after our divorce (21yrs ago) I had it changed to [first][middle][my last][father's last]. If I had known that ex-DH wouldn't even open the certified letter telling him of the name change, never mind contest the change, I would have dropped his name completely.

DS23 has always used just my last name, and that's what's on his license. His SS card, bank accounts, and expired passport have both last names. It's time to change that!

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To get the "Real ID" required for any Federal access (not just airlines, but also military bases and some National Parks that are adjacent to military bases), you will need to have proof for all name changes, and any variance between official documents (birth certificate, social security card, drivers license, etc).  So, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, name changes of all kinds, must be documented.

Having a passport may bypass some of the red tape, so if you have current one, you might want to drop into your DMV and ask them if you also need to change your legal name spelling.

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On 4/10/2019 at 4:24 PM, Suzanne in ABQ said:

 

Having a passport may bypass some of the red tape, so if you have current one, you might want to drop into your DMV and ask them if you also need to change your legal name spelling.

Suzanne, where do you live that you can "just drop in" to the DMV? :biggrin:

Actually, that reminds me that dd needs to get her named fixed too. When getting her passport, they added a space into her name. Then the DMV had to change how they had it, even though they knew it was wrong. It makes voting a pain, and it also didn't match when she filed her taxes.  Crazy.

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1 minute ago, ThisIsTheDay said:

Suzanne, where do you live that you can "just drop in" to the DMV? :biggrin:

Actually, that reminds me that dd needs to get her named fixed too. When getting her passport, they added a space into her name. Then the DMV had to change how they had it, even though they knew it was wrong. It makes voting a pain, and it also didn't match when she filed her taxes.  Crazy.

 

Our DMV has a sort-of Triage window first, where you go for them to check to make sure you have all your papers in order before they send you to the other windows (where the real waiting happens).  OR, you can drive to the next town, or go on base (if you have access), to get stuff done in a more timely fashion than the in-city offices.  

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4 hours ago, Suzanne in ABQ said:

 

Our DMV has a sort-of Triage window first, where you go for them to check to make sure you have all your papers in order before they send you to the other windows (where the real waiting happens).  OR, you can drive to the next town, or go on base (if you have access), to get stuff done in a more timely fashion than the in-city offices.  

That is what they do here except here you have to wait a long time before you are ever called up to check if you have all documents. And a lot of times, like June, you can't even get in the door to get stuff done- at least not a learner's permit or driving test. I don't even know how many times in the last nine years one or another of our family has had to come another day or find another driver's license office.

 

 

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The Fed ID rule is only for travel and if you have a military ID or a passport, you can take those instead.  We do not and don't plan to spend the time and hassle time get a real ID from the state. We do have driver's licenses with same names as our SS cards, military I'd, and passports.

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7 hours ago, TravelingChris said:

That is what they do here except here you have to wait a long time before you are ever called up to check if you have all documents. And a lot of times, like June, you can't even get in the door to get stuff done- at least not a learner's permit or driving test. I don't even know how many times in the last nine years one or another of our family has had to come another day or find another driver's license office.

 

 

Are you a member of AAA? When I got my letter telling me that I can renew my license, they said that I could do it through the AAA office instead of waiting at the RMV. I believe that you can also renew your registration, etc through the the AAA office.

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9 hours ago, TravelingChris said:

That is what they do here except here you have to wait a long time before you are ever called up to check if you have all documents. And a lot of times, like June, you can't even get in the door to get stuff done- at least not a learner's permit or driving test. I don't even know how many times in the last nine years one or another of our family has had to come another day or find another driver's license office.

 

 

 

Our DMV now has the ability to go online and see what the waiting period is.  You can even sign in online and then go right in when you get there and be called next up.

 

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11 hours ago, TravelingChris said:

The Fed ID rule is only for travel and if you have a military ID or a passport, you can take those instead.  We do not and don't plan to spend the time and hassle time get a real ID from the state. We do have driver's licenses with same names as our SS cards, military I'd, and passports.

I have a real ID. But it was issued based on the driver license I already had (IOW, I didn't bring in any other documentation). "Ellie" is a diminutive of my middle name, by which I have been called my entire life, and which is, of course, different from the name on my birth certificate and marriage license and ss card and home deeds. There was never any formal name change, because my name wasn't changed; it's an alias. I've used it on driver licenses since, oh, 1975; I was told by a high official at the DMV where I lived that as long as I wasn't trying to do anything illegal I could have any name I wanted on my driver license, and so there you have it.

I have not even tried to get a passport, because I anticipate some sort of aggravating issues. o_0

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