How to change back to your maiden name after a divorce

Updated April 17, 2017

Divorce is a life event that brings many changes with legal implications and processes. For a woman going through a divorce, there is the decision of keeping an ex-husband's name or reverting to your maiden name after the divorce. Make sure you request the judge to include an order in your divorce decree about changing back to your maiden name before the divorce is finalised. According to, a name change order in your divorce decree will serve as legal proof of your intended name change when filing state and government forms.

Find out your state's requirements for making a name change. While state guidelines on name changes may vary, you will need to make a name change on your Social Security card, your passport and your driver's license. Make sure you adhere to any time lines required for making name changes after a divorce.

Fill in the required forms. The Social Security administration website states that you should file a Form SS-5 application at your local Social Security Administration office for a new Social Security card with your maiden name. For a U.S. passport, fill in form DS-5504 and send it to the address listed on the form, according to the website. Forms for making a name change on a driver's license can be found at your local Department of motor vehicle offices.

Submit the forms and additional documentation required for a maiden name change. According to the Social Security Administration website, you must also submit a recently issued divorce decree and legal photo ID for a name change due to divorce. Additional documents required for a passport name change are the current passport, divorce decree and passport photos as stated on the website.

Verify the accuracy of the altered name change. Once you receive your new ID documents, look them over to ensure all the information and the name change is accurate.

Notify banks and other institutions of your name change. After you receive your new Social Security card and driver's license, inform your banks, creditors, schools you may be attending and employer about your name change, so they can update their records to reflect your maiden name.

Things You'll Need

  • Divorce decree
  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security card
  • Driver's License
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About the Author

Irene Njongwa is a freelance writer who has been providing web content since 2008. She writes for Demand Studios, Associated Content and Suite 101. Njongwa mainly writes articles on healthy eating and travel. She holds an Associate Degree in business management.