How To Change Your Name After Divorce? Navigating the Name Change Process After Divorce: A DIY Guide by HitchSwitch [Updated For 2024] 

[2024] How To Change Your Name After Divorce? Navigating the Name Change Process After Divorce: A DIY Guide by HitchSwitch 

Why does a name matter so much? Why does a name carry such weight?  It’s not just a string of letters; it’s a testament to who we are, a marker of our journey, and an essential part of our story.  Changing your name after a divorce signifies a fresh chapter, a renewed beginning.  

 Feeling daunted by the idea of navigating the name change process solo? Fear not – HitchSwitch is here to be your guiding light through every twist and turn. With our detailed roadmap and expert tips, you’ll breeze through the name change journey.  

Our guide is tailor-made to provide you with expert insights and a foolproof checklist, covering everything from kickstarting the divorce filing process to updating all your accounts. 

 Why waste time and effort muddling through the process when HitchSwitch can make it a breeze for you? With HitchSwitch by your side, you’ll tackle the name-change process like a pro. 

Remember these steps are general, and the exact process might differ by state and/or county.  

HitchSwitch Pro Tip: Before diving into the name change steps, let’s tackle your travel arrangements. If you’ve got international travel plans lined up under your former married name, it’s wise to hold off on submitting passport or license applications until after your trip. Your existing valid passport with your former name will be your ticket to smooth boarding. And for domestic flights booked under your old name, consider postponing updates to your driver’s license or passport until after your journey for hassle-free boarding. Meanwhile, you can start the process of updating your social security card without delay. 

HitchSwitch’s Divorce Checklist 

Obtain a divorce decree

Your journey kicks off with snagging your Divorce Decree – that golden ticket often secured through a family court motion, either pre- or post-judgment. Typically, this involves enlisting the help of a divorce attorney to navigate the bureaucratic maze. 

 Your Divorce Decree or judgment should ideally include a clause allowing you to reclaim your maiden or birth name. Usually, no extra paperwork is needed besides your Divorce Decree affirming your name change. However, if the decree skips the name change memo, contact your attorney, or brace yourself for a court date to make it official. 

 Look for the part in your Divorce Decree that spells out your name restoration, or something to the effect of, “The petitioner is granted a restoration of the prior name Jane Doe Smith.”  

 The courtroom hustle might seem daunting, and having a legal eagle by your side could be a game-changer if you can swing it. If wallet woes stand in the way, tapping into your state’s bar association resources is a smart move. Take New Jersey, for instance – their NJSBA is a treasure trove of help for just such occasions. 

 Prior to starting the process, you will need a certified or your original divorce decree hand.  If you lost your decree, or your dog ate it, The National Center for Health Statistics has your back with a handy state-by-state guide on snagging that certified copy of your divorce decree.  

Updating Your Social Media Presence: [Quick & Simple] 

Kickstart your new name by changing your social media profiles. It’s a breeze and takes a few clicks on each platform.  

 Here are the direct links: 

For a hassle-free experience, consider opting for HitchSwitch Full Service or Platinum package. Our user-friendly instructions are thoughtfully crafted for your convenience. Our simple instructions are super easy.  

Updating Your Social Security Card: The Vital Link 

 One of the big moves in your name change journey is getting your Social Security Card updated, forging a crucial link with various state and government entities. To dive into this task, start by filling out the SS-5 Form 

 Grab these essentials:  

  • Your Divorce Decree, showing your connection to your maiden or birth name.  
  • Valid ID with your former name (like your passport and license).  
  • The completed application. Remember, originals only! 

And here’s the kicker – this update won’t cost you a dime. You can choose to do it in person or by mail at your local Social Security Administration office 

HitchSwitch Pro Tip: To make things even smoother, if you opt to update your name in person use the online Social Security Form to guide you through the card replacement process. Click here.  Here is the cherry on top: once your SS card is updated, the IRS gets an automatic heads-up.   

Next stop: updating your name on your passport (step 4) or license (step 5). If you popped into the SSA office in person, hold onto that receipt – it means your SS card is in the pipeline, and you’ll need to wait 48 business hours before hitting up the DMV for your new license.  

 You will receive your new SS card within 2 weeks.  

 For a hassle-free experience, use HitchSwitch 

Updating Your Passport: Amp Up Your International Adventures  

 When it comes to traveling internationally, updating your passport is key. 

 Here are the three forms to consider for your passport update (costs vary):  

  • Ds-82 Form: For passports issued over 1 year.  
  • Ds-5504 Form: For passports issued within 1 year.  
  • Ds-11 Form: For first-time passport applicants.  

For comprehensive details, head over to the State Department’s website here.  Or use HitchSwitch.   

 To proceed, gather your essentials:  

  • Your Divorce Decree.  
  • A passport photo.  
  • Your current passport,  
  • Completed application, and 
  • Fee—check payable to the US Department of State.  

HitchSwitch Pro Tip:  opt for tracked mail when sending your application. Anticipate receiving your new passport alongside other documents (possibly in separate envelopes). Your old passport will return with a hole punch to mark it as invalid. 

Updating Your Driver’s License (or state ID) and Vehicle Title/Registration: Navigating the Wheels of Change          

Ensuring your driver’s license or state ID card is up to date is essential for various identification purposes.  

It is recommended that you upgrade to a REAL ID or enhanced ID. Starting from May 2025, a REAL-ID or enhanced ID-compliant license will be mandatory for air travel. You can easily update your name and address (if needed) while upgrading to a REAL ID.

It should be noted that each state has its own set of rules, documentation requirements, and processes. Hence, it is essential to check your local DMV website for details. The update must be completed in person, and you’ll typically need:  

  • Your updated social security card.  
  • Valid passport either new or former name.  
  • Current license or state ID.  
  • OG or certified Divorce Decree.   
  • Two proofs of address (in your new or former name).  
  • Costs vary by state.   

HitchSwitch Pro Tip: Bring along your original documents, complete the necessary forms beforehand, and schedule an appointment to breeze through your DMV visit.  


  • Procedures vary by state. Some states let you update your license and title/registration simultaneously, while others require separate steps.  
  • Generally, you’ll need your original title, proof of insurance, a completed form (found on your state’s DMV website), an applicable fee, an updated license, and a Divorce Decree.  
  • If your vehicle is leased or financed, reach out to the lienholder (lender) for specific guidance. Costs vary by state. 
  • Costs vary by state.  

Updating licenses and registrations can feel like navigating a maze, but with HitchSwitch’s guidance, you’ll conquer the roadblocks with ease 

Updating Your Voter Registration: Exercising Your Civic Duty  

Ensuring your voter registration reflects your new name is essential for participating in elections.  

 Here’s the lowdown: 

  • DMV update: In most states, you can update your voter registration information when you change your driver’s license or ID card at the DMV.   
  • Local Voter Registration Office: If your state doesn’t offer this at the DMV, head to your local voter registration office for assistance. It’s a freebie.  
  • Online Name Change: Many states allow you to smoothly transition online through their voter registration website. No cost involved. 

Skip the hassle of hunting down forms and instructions. HitchSwitch simplifies the voter registration name change process so you can focus on exercising your right to vote without the headache. 

Updating your Address: Official Change of Address with USPS 

 To update your address with the United States Postal Service (USPS), click here 

 Note that USPS doesn’t have a specific form for name changes, but if your address is changing, make sure to update it using the provided link. It’s a free service ensuring your mail stays on track during your name change journey! 

Updating Your Professional License: Elevate Your Professional Identity 

 If you hold a professional license, this step is key. Reach out to your state board to kickstart the process. You’ll need an updated license and your Divorce Decree. The update is typically free and done online.  

 For an even smoother ride, HitchSwitch offers full-service or higher-tier packages. We’re here to ensure your professional identity reflects your new name accurately. Your success is our priority. 

Updating Your Financial Accounts & Insurance 

Take charge of your identity by reaching out to each issuer to update your name on credit cards, bank accounts, life insurance, insurance, investment accounts, and more. The majority of updates can be completed online or in person.  

Updating Your Personal Accounts: Elevate Your Personal Identity 

 Ensure your name change is consistent across all aspects of your life, including streaming services, online shopping platforms, rewards programs, and ride-sharing apps. These updates are typically free and can be completed online. 

HitchSwitch offers comprehensive guidance for everything you need to.  

HitchSwitch is Your Trusted Partner: We trust this guide empowers you to confidently navigate the name change process. For a streamlined journey, explore HitchSwitchs personalized packages. With step-by-step instructions, we make the process efficient and hassle-free. Congratulations on your marriage, and best of luck on your name change journey!  

By HitchSwitch

About US

HitchSwitch was born of an entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to make life easier. HitchSwitch founder Jake Wolff was in his first year at Fordham Law School, where he toyed with the idea of starting a business and hoped to experience his “Eureka!” moment.
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Parsippany, NJ 07054
(844) 639-6263