How to Change the Name on Your Drivers License

There are many reasons why a senior may wish to complete a drivers license name change in later years. Whether due to marriage, divorce or other circumstances, all senior drivers license name changes can be made through the state DMV. Seniors who want to change name on drivers license credentials for any reason must go to a DMV office to do so. A DMV name change to your license cannot be made online or by mail. To make the name change on license process easier and less time consuming, seniors or their caregivers should make appointments at the DMV before arrival. The appointment process to change name on driving license credentials differs from state to state. Most DMVs will allow online appointments, but some require the requests by phone. Learn more about the change of name on driving license procedures in the sections outlined below.

How to Change Name on Drivers License Credentials for Seniors

In order to complete a change of name on driving license, a senior driver will need to complete a Driver’s License and Identification Card Application. In some states, this document required to have a name change on drivers license is available online and in others, the person must go into the DMV to receive one. The application will likely ask the person whether he or she is a citizen of the United States, and if not, for proof of lawful presence. The drivers license name change application will ask what kind of license the senior is applying for, and whether it will need extra classifications, such as motorcycle license designations. The senior will need to include the current license number, issue date, expiration date and more information. Then, he or she will be asked to fill out personal information, which may include, but is not limited to an address, a phone number and a gender. The application will also ask questions about the applicant’s vision, medical history, criminal record and more. Once the senior driver reaches the section regarding DMV name changes, first include the old name in the designated area, and then new name, along with any reasoning. The section at the bottom of the application is solely for DMV use, and should not be filled out.

Proof of Name Change for Seniors

To complete a DMV name change, seniors will need to provide proof that their names have legally been changed. Changing your name on driving license credentials can be done by bringing in a marriage certificate certifying the name change. Civil union documents do not fulfill this DMV name changing requirement. Applicants can also bring in a divorce document if the document lists the name change back to the person’s maiden name. Original or teste versions of the court document permitting the name change are also permitted. Read more about proof of name change documents by downloading our comprehensive guide.

Senior DMV Name Change Requirements

To change the name on a driving license, the senior will also need to bring in his or her current, valid drivers license. In some states, if the senior would like to hyphenate a last name in the DMV name change, he or she will need to bring in a certified copy of the marriage license that shows the hyphenated, new last name. In some states, the name change DMV applicant must also bring documents supporting each name change processed in order to change a name, again. The senior should refer to the state’s local DMV for more information about what is needed.

Senior Name Changes With the Social Security Administration

Before applying for a DMV name change, seniors should contact the Social Security Administration (SSA). Prior to changing name on drivers license credentials, the applicant must change his or her name with the Social Security Administration. The reason for this is that the DMV will check and verify the senior’s name, Social Security Number and birthdate against the SSA database. The senior will not be able to change the name on a driving license if the information does not match. Instead, he or she will be sent a Request for Verification of Information document, which will send notice that the information did not match.

To change the senior’s name with the SSA before a DMV name change request, the applicant must go into a Social Security office. This cannot be done online. There is no charge for name changes on Social Security cards. If the senior’s name changed due to marriage, divorce or anything else, he or she must notify the SSA. The applicant will need to show the aforementioned documents, as well as valid proof of identity and proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status. The senior can contact the SSA to be notified of which documents are needed. An Application for a Social Security card must also be completed and filed. Seniors can mail all of these documents off to the SSA office or bring them in person.

After Processing a Senior DMV Name Change

If everything matches, the senior will receive a temporary license with the senior DMV name change until a new license arrives in the mail. These licenses are usually valid for 90 days. Seniors should make sure the address that the DMV has on file is correct, as the license with the name change will be sent by mail. The new license with the DMV name change will be sent to the applicant within 60 days. In the case that the applicant does not receive the license within that time frame, he or she should call the DMV and check on the name change drivers license. Have the information from the temporary license handy when placing this call.

Note that changing name on drivers license credentials does not apply to a vehicle registration. That is an entirely different process, and must be handled separately.



What Driving Services Are Available for Seniors?

Several driving services are available for seniors across the country. Seniors are able to obtain or renew driver’s licenses and car registrations as long as they are able to meet the requirements established by each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Learn more about the guidelines that concern driving services for seniors by downloading our guide.


How Can Seniors Receive Driving Services?

Driving services are offered in various ways for seniors. Mature drivers can obtain these services in person, by mail or by going online. To learn more about which services you can receive online, download our guide now.