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How to Perform a Driver License Name Change in Virginia

Completing a Virginia drivers license name change is required when your name legally changes for any reason. Changing your name on driving license credentials can be completed using the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A Virginia name change on drivers license cards should be completed as soon as possible after legally changing your name. Changing name on drivers license credentials is crucial because the DMV always needs to have your current information on file. Learn what you need in order to complete a DMV name change and find out how to change name on drivers license credentials.

Virginia Drivers License Name Change Steps

Before you can change name on driving license credentials, it is important that you update your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Virginia drivers license name changes may be verified with the SSA, and you could face delays or other issues if your name cannot be verified. To change your name at the SSA, you may mail a valid name change document and an application to the SSA or visit a local office in person. You will receive a new Social Security card showing your new name and your original Social Security Number. A change of name on driving license credentials can be submitted after you update your name at the SSA. Note that if you are unable to provide other required identity documents at the DMV, you may need to have your new Social Security card in order to update your name on your license. For that reason, it may be beneficial to wait until you receive your new Social Security card before visiting the DMV.

Be aware that changing your name on your drivers license in Virginia does not mean that your other driver records will be updated automatically. After submitting a drivers license name change, remember to update your name on your car registration documents and other driver records. When completing DMV name changes on your other records, you will need to show your new drivers license card. Make sure that you have received your new card before attempting to complete a name change on your other DMV records.

Documents Needed for Virginia DMV Name Changes

Completing a Virginia drivers license name change will require that you show documentation supporting your name change and verifying your identity. A change of name on your driving license must be accompanied with a document showing your legal name change. Acceptable documents include:

  • A marriage certificate showing your new name.
  • A divorce certificate, if your certificate includes your previous name.
  • An original or certified court order that validates your name change.

Note that Virginia DMV name changes cannot be completed using a civil union document, but you may use a marriage certificate if you are married. In addition to bringing in one of the documents above for a drivers license name change, you also need to bring in your current drivers license. Other identification documents, such as a birth certificate, passport, Certificate of Citizenship or other similar documentation will be required if you cannot present your current drivers license.

How to Start a Virginia Drivers License Name Change

You can only change the name on your drivers license by visiting a Virginia DMV office in person. However, you can begin the DMV name change process ahead of time using two different methods. First, you may print out a Drivers License and Identification Card Application and fill the form out ahead of time. The application is located on the DMV website. Simply fill out the application using your new name. Second, you may begin the Virginia drivers license name change application online. Note that you may not fully complete the process for a driving license name change online because the DMV will need to verify your identity in person.

Completing a Name Change on Your Drivers License in Virginia

Visit any Virginia DMV office with your drivers license name change application materials in order to complete the name change process. When changing your name on your drivers license, be aware that you must pay a fee and order a replacement drivers license that shows your new legal name. Your new drivers license card will be sent in the mail, usually within a set number of business days. Before you submit your Virginia name change on drivers license application, make sure that the DMV has your current address. Driver licenses will not be forwarded to a different address if the DMV does not have your current residential address on file.

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