Newlyweds are typically in a joyful and carefree state of mind as they focus solely on their new life together. While it’s a very happy time, there are also a few responsibilities that need to be taken care of. Getting married requires a lot of document changes and life considerations, but it’s fun to see how marriage changes many aspects of your life!
Addressing your car concerns is a very important part of post-marriage responsibilities, so here’s a checklist of what you need to do.
Changing your License
If you’re a newlywed and you’ve recently changed your last name, you’ll need to change the name on your license — one of the most basic and common identifiers you possess. The license is important because like having an updated social security card, it’ll make it a lot easier to update your other records to reflect your new name.
To change the name on your license, make an appointment at the DMV, and make sure you do the following:
- Change social security records to reflect your new name
- Bring your marriage license to the DMV to prove your new name
- Remember to change the name on your registration later
It’s important to make sure that all of your documents match, or else you can end up in trouble in the future. Having consistent identification makes everything run smoother, and while the social security card is the first thing that needs to be done, your license should probably be second.
Changing your Registration
You’ll need to change your name on your car’s registration, but the required documents differ from state to state. The best thing to do would be to look online and check your individual state’s requirements. Just to give you an idea, though, here are some items you might need to bring when updating a registration:
- Current title of the vehicle (required)
- Copy of the court order that authorizes your new name change
- Certified or notarized vehicle owner name update affidavit
- Marriage license
If you’re looking to add your spouse to the registration, some states require that you have an insurance identification card that reflects your new name (which might require a license). In other words, you may have to go back to the DMV to add him or her to the registration after you’ve acquired other documents.
Again, the best thing to do is to check your state’s requirements. In addition to the list of things possibly necessary to change the name on your registration, you might need documentation like your current insurance identification card.
Updating your Insurance
Many couples decide to combine their car insurance policies, and the rumors are true — this can actually lead to savings. It happens in one of two ways: either the car insurance companies offer a marriage discount (because married couples are typically safer drivers than unmarried couples) or they offer a multiple-car discount.
If you and your spouse have two different car insurance policies, research both and find out what kind of discounts they offer for married couples or multiple-car owners. Then switch to whichever company offers the best savings.
In some instances, you might not want to switch insurance policies. If your spouse has multiple tickets, bad credit, or has been in multiple car accidents, his or her driving history can negatively impact your joint insurance policy. In that case, opt to keep them separate so that there isn’t an overall increase in cost.
An important thing to keep in mind is that many of these changes will require a fee, which also varies by state. Each state has its own regulations, so checking online or calling the different companies will really help you break down what order in which you need to approach everything. Make sure to get these changes done soon after your marriage so you won’t have to worry about it later on!