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Marriage Licenses and Blending Your Last Names in California


Ready to file for your marriage license in California?  Before you complete your application form be sure to consider what last name you intend to use after you are married.  If you plan to take your maiden name as a new middle name or if you plan to blend your last name with your spouse’s last name you MUST write them exactly how you want them on your marriage license.  For example, if you are Jennifer Anne Greenberg and want to blend your last name with your spouse Anthony John Bookman; you would need to write your name as Jennifer Anne Greenman on your California marriage license application.

If you simply write your maiden name on your marriage license, you will not have the option to use the married name change process to change your name.  Instead, you will need to petition the US court system for a legal name change order (which includes being fingerprinted and running an ad in your local newspaper among other un-fun things).  Bottom line, before you apply for your marriage license, think about your name change options and the name that most suits the soon-to-be-married you!

**Please note that California is currently the only state that allows couples to blend their last names on their marriage license applications.

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