Changing Your Name After Marriage - Should You Hyphenate? Historically, hyphenating your husband's name with your maiden name was done in exactly the same way as if you were just changing to your husband's name, that is, providing your marriage certificate as evidence of your marriage and new name. These days however, some organisations will not recognise a hyphenated name after marriage and the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in each state are now advising that if you want to hyphenate your name, you should go through an "official" name change process. Going through this process is very easy to do, is not expensive and can be done through your Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. You should note that this change of name may be noted on your birth record. How do you go about doing this? Fill out an application form to register your change of name and receive a Change of Name Certificate, and submit it with the relevant fee. (Names are no longer changed by Deed Poll). Application forms are available from your State's Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages, and are also available to download on their websites. If you are changing your name in this way you will obviously need to present your Change of Name Certificate as opposed to your Marriage Certificate when changing your registered name with organisations. The groom can also hyphenate his name or you can both make up a new surname by applying for a marriage name change. Considerations: • How will you sign this name (is it too long?) • If it is long, will it fit in pre-formatted forms that you will regularly be filling out in this name (ten to twelve letters is generally the maximum space allowed or boxes provided) Susan Chance-Rainwater writes about life with a hyphenated name atand comments on problems with the length of her newly hyphenated name, stating that "I think it was a prescription label where this problem first surfaced." • Will this name go with any children's names that you may have in mind? • Will both partners take on the hyphenated name? • Will your name be hyphenated or double barreled (no hyphen, just two names e.g. Smith-Jones vs Smith Jones) • Be aware that you will legally need to go by your new hyphenated name and can't revert back without going through the name change process again. • It may take others a while to cotton on to your new last name - they may just use one name or the other. People who don't know you may also become confused. "When corrected, they simply don't know what to do. At the dry cleaners, they have taken to calling me Mrs. Chancewater" says Susan Chance-Rainwater. • It may take extra time to spell out your name and identify yourself when completing phone transactions. • Other identifiers will also change and most likely become longer, such as your email address.