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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Marriage Name Change Hassle

    My question involves marriage law for the State of: Nevada/California

    My husband and I recently got married in the state of California. We live in Nevada. We both changed our middle names (to my maiden name) and I changed my last name to his name on the marriage certificate. We went to the social security office with our marriage certificate and they accepted the name changes. However, when I went to the DMV in Nevada, they refused to change our middle names, saying that a marriage certificate is not proof of a changed middle name. We were told that we have to go through the courts to amend our birth certificates in order for our names to be changed on our licenses (a lengthy process that will cost us $200 each). If a name change is accepted by Social Security (which is part of the federal government), shouldn't it be recognized by all states? I was also told that my license has to match my Social Security card...how can I do that if the DMV doesn't accept the social security card and marriage certificate as proof of a name change?

    I am SO confused and really wish that this process was not so complicated. I feel like my husband and I have a right to choose our names when we get married, and the state is denying us that right by refusing to accept our marriage certificate. I have been unable to find documentation of any laws regarding name changes and marriage in Nevada.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    424

    Default Re: Marriage Name Change Hassle

    Just don't put your middle names on your driver's license.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,534

    Default Re: Marriage Name Change Hassle

    I presume by "recently" you mean less than a couple years. If so, then this applies to you:

    306.5. (a) Parties to a marriage shall not be required to have the
    same name. Neither party shall be required to change his or her name.
    A person's name shall not change upon marriage unless that person
    elects to change his or her name pursuant to subdivision (b).
    (b) (1) One party or both parties to a marriage may elect to
    change the middle or last names by which that party wishes to be
    known after solemnization of the marriage by entering the new name in
    the spaces provided on the marriage license application without
    intent to defraud.
    (2) A person may adopt any of the following middle or last names
    pursuant to paragraph (1):
    (A) The current last name of the other spouse.
    (B) The last name of either spouse given at birth.
    (C) A name combining into a single last name all or a segment of
    the current last name or the last name of either spouse given at
    birth.
    (D) A hyphenated combination of last names.
    (3) (A) An election by a person to change his or her name pursuant
    to paragraph (1) shall serve as a record of the name change. A
    certified copy of a marriage certificate containing the new name, or
    retaining the former name, shall constitute proof that the use of the
    new name or retention of the former name is lawful.
    (B) A certified copy of a marriage certificate shall be accepted
    as identification establishing a true, full name for purposes of
    Section 12800.7 of the Vehicle Code.
    (C) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the
    Department of Motor Vehicles from accepting as identification other
    documents establishing a true, full name for purposes of Section
    12800.7 of the Vehicle Code. Those documents may include, without
    limitation, a certified copy of a marriage certificate recording a
    marriage outside of this state.
    (D) This section shall be applied in a manner consistent with the
    requirements of Sections 1653.5 and 12801 of the Vehicle Code.
    (4) The adoption of a new name, or the choice not to adopt a new
    name, by means of a marriage license application pursuant to
    paragraph (1) shall only be made at the time the marriage license is
    issued. After a marriage certificate is registered by the local
    registrar, the certificate may not be amended to add a new name or
    change the name adopted pursuant to paragraph (1). This requirement
    shall not abrogate the right of either party to adopt a different
    name through usage at a future date, or to petition the superior
    court for a change of name pursuant to Title 8 (commencing with
    Section 1275) of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
    (c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to abrogate the
    common law right of any person to change his or her name, or the
    right of any person to petition the superior court for a change of
    name pursuant to Title 8 (commencing with Section 1275) of Part 3 of
    the Code of Civil Procedure.
    (d) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2009.
    more specifically that is California Family code 306.5

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=fam&group=00001-01000&file=300-310

    P
    rint it out and give it to the clerk at the DMV in Nevada.

    btw: prior to the law I posted, you could not do what you did with your names.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,312

    Default Re: Marriage Name Change Hassle

    I'm not so sure that a clerk at the NV DMV will care a fig about a California Family Code section. The OP will likely have to work through the NV DMV bureaucracy to address this.

    Here's some info:

    http://www.dmvnv.com/namechange.htm
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,534

    Default Re: Marriage Name Change Hassle

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
    View Post
    I'm not so sure that a clerk at the NV DMV will care a fig about a California Family Code section. The OP will likely have to work through the NV DMV bureaucracy to address this.

    Here's some info:

    http://www.dmvnv.com/namechange.htm
    since they were married in California, they were allowed to change their names under California law in the manner they did. Since we have that old full faith and credit thing going, the folks in Nevada need to care about the family law section I quoted for California.

    as well, the folks in Nevada require a copy of the marriage certificate (from California, whose laws apply to it) which shows the current names.

    Without looking, I suspect this stems from the fact that Nevada does not allow a middle name change when getting married. As such, per their laws, the OP could not have done what they did. Since the OP was married in California, the California laws apply to the name change and due to the full faith and credit clause, Nevada must honor the name change, which is legal under the germane law which is California law.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,312

    Default Re: Marriage Name Change Hassle

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    since they were married in California, they were allowed to change their names under California law in the manner they did. Since we have that old full faith and credit thing going, the folks in Nevada need to care about the family law section I quoted for California.
    The point is that the CLERK ain't gonna care. He or she is going to push that issue onto someone else as that is almost certainly a decision to be made beyond his or her pay grade. The OP can flash anything in front of the counter clerk, but if it is not something in their knowledge base or clearly defined in their procedure manual (or requires some other form, document, or secret password) they are not going to just do it because the OP hands them a printout of some CA statute that may or may not have any direct meaning there.

    as well, the folks in Nevada require a copy of the marriage certificate (from California, whose laws apply to it) which shows the current names.
    Yep.

    Without looking, I suspect this stems from the fact that Nevada does not allow a middle name change when getting married. As such, per their laws, the OP could not have done what they did. Since the OP was married in California, the California laws apply to the name change and due to the full faith and credit clause, Nevada must honor the name change, which is legal under the germane law which is California law.
    I understand that. But, if the NV DMV system is not set up to readily make these changes, it may take a supervisor's approval or may have to be addressed through some super-secret special process well beyond the clerk's knowledge or authority.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Marriage Name Change Hassle

    Thanks for the help! I'll definitely print out this info and bring it with me. (And by "recently" got married, I mean a few weeks ago...just trying to get everything taken care of in regards to the name change.)

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