Wedding follow up reminders…..
Following your wedding go to the Court House that issued your license and pick up the certified and registered license that I returned back to the Court. You will be asked “how many copies?” Tell them 5 certified copies. If you are in the U.S. military or doing immigration processing, you will need a minimum of 10 certified copies. I tell everyone to make about 20 copies of the certified license on your home printer or at FEDEX. Give the Xeroxed copy if you can as opposed to giving out the certified paid copy when you can. ( Virginia certified copy: $2.50 each, D.C. Court: $10.00 per copy and Maryland: $7.50 per copy). Please note, all Federal, State and County government agencies will ONLY accept a certified copy. They will NOT accept a photostatic copy of the marriage license.
- You must go first to the Social Security Administration in your home area . You will need to register the fact you are married and show them your certified marriage license. They will change your name for you in the event you wish to do so. They will usually hand it back to you. Good time to request a duplicate card if you lost or have a mutilated card. It arrives in a week. The SSA informs the IRS you are married and also the state governments.
- Next go to the DMV to change your name if you did this with the SSA. They will ask and KEEP a copy of your certified license.
- If you need a passport or need to update passport, the US Passport Agency may request it. If a passport was issued to you in less than one year, the Passport Agency will issue a new one at no additional cost.
- Human Resource folks at your place of employment will request a copy for 401 K’s, TSP, life insurance, health insurance, company benefits, payroll, etc. Reminder to change beneficiaries if you need to at this time. Do not give HR a certified copy unless they request it. If they take a fax or a Xeroxed copy, give that copy first.
- Change your name with Credit cards, Mortgage, Investment companies, Banks, Memberships (gyms), Doctors, IRS,
- Auto insurance very often give discounts for newlyweds due to marriage and children, They will not know unless you tell them so make sure you make your agent aware of your life changing events: marriage and children.
- Airline Frequent Flyer Programs.
- The Alexandria Court House advises couples to bring a copy of their marriage license with them if they are traveling overseas in the early years of marriage to avoid the issue of identity confusion with foreign and U.S. Customs and Immigration officials. The confusion can occur with the change of name that takes place following a marriage through Social Security, etc.
- Voter Registration - Notify your local Registrar's Office of your name change. This can often be done at the DMV in your state.
- Personal Property in Virginia - Notify your local Commissioner of the Revenue's Office of your name change within 30 days.
- Address Changes - If you will also be changing your address, don't forget to notify the Registrar's Office, Commissioner of the Revenue's Office, the U. S. Postal Service with the USPS Change of Address Form and the Internal Revenue Service with IRS Form 8822.
- Immigration Processing: If you or spouse are adjusting status with the USCIS to that of lawful permanent resident, you may wish to contact the Catholic Immigration Service, 1720 I Street, NW, Washington,DC (202) 466-6611. They are a non profit organization that helps ALL who come to them, irregardless of faith tradition. They charge low cost fees. They are open Monday through Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. They are bilingual and can translate important vital documents such as birth certificates and other papers. Catholic Immigration Services is Board Certified by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
One reminder to all newly married couples is to get a Power of Attorney and a Health Power of Attorney. Consult an attorney about future life and estate planning. However, it is recommended that a Power of Attorney for each other in the event that you become incapacitated or hospitalized and the other spouse needs to act on your behalf. Financial institutions such as banks and hospitals request it all the time and it may be difficult to proceed with out one. If you own property or equities, consult an attorney for a will.