How to Change the Name on Your Car Registration

To perform a name change on car registration documents, you need to follow multiple procedures. If you are interested in changing name on car registration, your name must first be updated on other items, such as your Social Security card. The exact process to change name on car registration varies by state, but no matter where you live you will likely need to prove you have legally changed your name, through marriage or otherwise. To reflect a name change car registration documents must be eventually updated with your local DMV. In the sections below, you will learn how to change your name on your vehicle’s registration.

What are the first steps to changing your name on your car registration?

Before you change name on registration with the DMV, you will need to legally change your name in other areas. A name change on vehicle registration does not start with a DMV visit. Instead, you should visit the DMV only after you have successfully changed your name through other avenues. To begin with, you may want to change your name on your senior car registration for the following reasons:

  • If you have been divorced or are getting divorced and are changing your name back to a previous name
  • If you are getting married and wish to take your spouse’s last name
  • If you wish to legally change your gender and your name along with it
  • If you wish to change your name for any other reason

Most commonly, a changing name on car registration is first changed by filing a petition with your state’s court system. A name change on car registration documents requires a previous legal name change, and a court order is sufficient to begin the fulfillment of this process. When it is time to perform your name change on vehicle registration materials, a documented court order may be used to present proof of the name change to the DMV later on. You may also present a marriage certificate or divorce papers. However, in some cases, when you change name on car registration, DMV may request a court order in addition to these certificates and papers. Your name change on car registration may also be delayed. If you file for a name change with the court, it may take several months to get the court order that can be used to change the name on your car registration. In many states, you legally have the right to begin using your new name whenever you want. However, many government actions, such as performing a name change car registration documents, cannot be completed unless you can officially prove your name change through documentation such as a court order.

How to Change Your Name With the Social Security Administration

There is another step before you change name on car registration and after you change your name with the court or through marriage, etc. Even with a court order, you should not change name on registration name without first updating your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA requires you to notify it if you change your name for any reason. It is not possible to apply for a new card online, however, obtaining an updated social security card is free. To change your name with the SSA before performing a DMV car registration name change, follow these steps:

  • Have all required documents on hand for the application, including proof of your identity and possibly your citizenship status in the U.S.
  • Obtain and complete an application for a Social Security card.
  • Bring your documents and application to a local Social Security office or mail them to that same office.

How to Change Your Name With the DMV

“How do I change my name on my car registration once I’ve changed it with the SSA?” many drivers ask.

Performing a name change on car registration is done through different methods, depending on how your state’s DMV or DMV equivalent conducts the change. For example, changing name on car registration can sometimes be done by completing a title transfer form, which automatically updates your name on both your car title and registration. In other places, changing your name on vehicle registration documents will not automatically update your title or other vehicle information. In other words, sometimes you can update your car registration name with your DMV’s entire database, and other times you must update each vehicle’s registration individually. Regardless of how you update your name, you may need to provide the following documents:

  • Your existing car title (or some other proof that you own your vehicle)
  • An application for a vehicle registration or vehicle registration name change
  • Your driver’s license or ID (or other valid form of identification)
  • Documents proving your legal name change (such as a marriage license, divorce decree or court ordered name change)

In some states, performing a name change on car registration documents is free. In others, a DMV name change requires payment of a fee. You can also learn how to renew your vehicle’s registration and change the address on your car registration by searching our site.