After a divorce, the thought of changing one’s name back to a maiden name can elicit a range of emotions. For some, it can evoke a feeling of independence and new beginnings; but for others, it is just another inconvenience caused by divorce.
Whether you look forward to the change or simply need to do it for legal purposes, in Pennsylvania, changing your name after a divorce is relatively simple.
Return to a Maiden Name
For those going back to their maiden name, the first step is to complete and file a Notice to Resume Prior Surname form. These forms can be found online or in the Office of Prothonotary of the Pennsylvania county the divorce occurred in. The procedure is the same in all counties, but the filing fee will vary.
Make sure to have the following information on hand, which will be required to complete the notice:
- Plaintiff and defendant name on the divorce case
- The case number
- Date of the divorce decree
Social Security Card
Once you have obtained official, stamped copies of the Notice to Resume Prior Surname, it is time to start thinking about changing other legal documents.
Changing a name on a Social Security card can be done in person or via mail. The application, form SS-5, is available on the Social Security Administration’s official website.
Other documents required for this change include:
- Birth certificate
- Official copies of your divorce decree
- Stamped copy of Notice to Resume Prior Surname
Those that want to save a trip to the Social Security Office can mail the application and required documentation to the Pennsylvania Social Security office of the county of residence. Any documents sent through the mail will be returned with the new card within 6 weeks
Changing your name on your license is a similar process to that of the Social Security card, but this must be done in person. Before heading to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, those with non-commercial licenses should complete form DL-80, which can be found online. Drivers with licenses expiring within 6 months should complete form DL-143.
If going back to a maiden name, there is no need to wait for a Social Security card to arrive to change a name on a license. But it is necessary to bring along an official birth certificate and the official copy of the divorce decree.
Once the license name is changed, it is possible to change the name on vehicle titles, trailers, and registration, by filling out the appropriate form and attaching a copy of the new license.
Delaware County Divorce Lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Assist Families Through Divorce Transitions
If you are considering divorce or need assistance with other family law matters, a compassionate, experienced Delaware County divorce lawyer at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello is ready to answer your questions. Our dedicated lawyers are experienced in all facets of family law, including child custody, support, and division of assets. For a free consultation, call us today at (610) 892-4940 or complete an online form.
We are centrally located in Media, Pennsylvania, and we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including those in West Chester, Pennsylvania and Delaware County.