If you change your name when you get married (or for any other reason), you are going to need to change the name that appears on your passport. It can be easy to forget to do this, especially if you are waiting a little while to take your honeymoon, but it is essential. You don't want to get stuck at the airport because the name on your ticket and the name on your passport don't match.
Luckily, changing your name on your passport is not too tricky and requires only three steps.
1. Fill out the appropriate form.
Depending on how long ago your last passport was issued, you will need to file either a DS-5504 (passport issued LESS than a year ago), a DS-82 (passport issued MORE than a year ago), or a DS-11 (if you have no legal document to prove your name change). These forms can be completed online or mailed in.
2. Gather the required supporting documents.
Again, the documents that you will be required to send in can vary. If issued LESS than a year ago, you will need to send in your passport, a passport photo, and evidence of your name change. If issued MORE than a year ago, you will also need to send in your passport, a passport photo, and evidence of your name change. If you have no legal document to prove your name change, then you will need to send in your passport, a passport photo, and 3 public records with your date and place of birth that prove use of your new name for at least 5 years.
3. Mail it all in
After you get the paperwork filled out and your documents gathered, all you have to do is package it and send it in to the address on the applications. However, if you are filing a DS-11, you will need to appear in person at an application acceptance facility.
REMEMBER -- passports can take 6-8 weeks to process, so leave plenty of time for your name change to be completed and your new passport to be received.
It's also important to note that, while this information is correct as of this writing, regulations can change. Always check the US Department of State website for the most up-to-date information.