Sunday, June 2, 2013

Brides, Change Name To Husband's After Wedding

Changing Your Name After A New Orleans Wedding

(CAUTION: Do not cancel insurance policy, or take any action before your wedding or use any name but your official name before you take steps to legally change your name. Be sure to order copies of your marriage certificate from the state office when you apply for a marriage license. You need certified copies of your marriage certificate to change a brides name to husband. The name change is not automatic.)

  It is a tradition in western cultures that a bride takes the last name of the husband, it is not a requirement to do so and it is not automatic. You need to order several certified copies of your marriage certificate from the office you received your license. Usually this is done when you apply for your marriage license by prepaying for certified copies to be mailed to you. Sometimes certified copies takes weeks to arrive, so be patient. Contacting the state may help determine why there is a delay, see  the state page at  If you got a license from another office, like a Clerk of Court, you need to contact the office you obtained the license from. The marriage officiant does not issue a certified copy ,that comes from the license office. Contact the license office to get copies. All licenses are mailed to the proper office as soon as possible after the wedding.

If you failed to order a copy you can order one over the web by a private company that charges an additional fee besides the state copy fee.

1. A new drivers license should be obtained by going to your local motor vehicle office with a certified copy of the marriage certificate. That office will help you get a new license with the marriage name. They may charge a fee so you should call before going to get particulars. You may also need to change your auto title and auto insurance.
2. A new Social Security Card should be obtained by getting the necessary forms off the web at: You can mail the form in or go in person to your local office but you need a certified copy of your marriage license to present to them. You can telephone them for details.
3. A new Passport can be obtained by going in person to a local office or following the directions on the State Department page at
4. You will also need to change your name with banks, credit card companies, landlords, and any other agency that has your name on record. Generally by getting the first 3 done the rest are easier as some agencies will accept the new drivers license as proof of you new name.
5. Be sure the IRS, Voter Registration, your insurance agent, and CPA also knows of the name change so that they make the necessary charges to their records too.

 If all else fails  trying to get certified copies and the license office cannot find your marriage certificate there is a process to do a duplicate. Just ask the state about a duplicate of the license. Basically you obtain a copy of the blank one and mail it around to be signed. Some Clerk's of Court accept a notarized statement also that you were married on the date. So do not worry, you are married, just a glitch in paperwork happened.

You may use a major credit card to place internet, fax or telephone orders through VitalChek Network, an authorized service provider. There are additional fees when using this service provider or requesting expedited services.

To order using the VitalChek Network, click here or call 1-877-605-8562.
To check the status of a VitalChek Network order, click here.
To inquire about an order placed with VitalChek, please call 1-877-605-8562.

European Countries Apostille Requirements

Apostille Requirements: Some foreign countries require a certified copy also certified as Apostille to be registered in that country.

Louisiana issued documents destined for use in participating Hague Apostille countries may need to be authenticated with an Apostille issued by Secretary of State of Louisiana.

State Issued Apostille Requirements

State issued documents destined for use in Hague Apostille countries may be authenticated by the Competent Authority in the state where the document was executed. A list of these authorities can be found on the Hague website.  The local state requirements are as follows:
  • Officials (usually in the office of the state’s Secretary of State) must have been designated as a competent authority to issue Apostilles under the Convention. 
  • A document with an Apostille does not require additional certification by the U.S. Department of State or legalization by a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas to be recognized in a participating country. 

How one couple got the proper Apostille certified copy to return with them to Germany:

1. When requesting the marriage licence we told the marriage clerk that 
we will be in town for a few days after the marriage and we'd like to 
pick up the copy of the certificate of marriage in person. We asked if 
it is possible to shorten the 3-6 weeks processing time for registering 
the marriage and creating the copy of the marriage certificate. The 
marriage clerk was positive about this and told us to ask for her when 
we return.

2. After the wedding I went to the Parish Marriage Licence Office 
again, signed in and luckily the same marriage clerk was there. When it 
was my turn I asked her if it is possible that I wait for the 
registration and copy. The marriage clerk registered the marriage and 
provided me the copies of the marriage certificate. Documents required: 
marriage certificate, 72h-waiver, receipt for the prepaid copies of the 
marriage certificate (we requested and paid them together with the 
marriage licence).

3. With the copy of the marriage certificate I drove to the office of 
the Secretary of State in Baton Rouge. I walked in, signed in and 
requested an Apostille for Germany (it costs $20). 

An Apostille is not required by all German marriage registration 
offices. Couples should get in touch with their local office and ask if 
it is necessary or if the marriage certificate is sufficient.

This is a German site with information of the Consulate General 
Houston. Especially the pdf "Eheschlie├čung Louisiana" contains all the 
steps which are necessary for German couples to get married in Louisiana 
and to have the marriage accepted in Germany.