Thursday, July 22, 2010

2 months, 2 last names (300 posts!)

It's been two months since the wedding? Really? June flew by, probably on account of honeymooning and getting back into the swing of things, and July has seemed to just plod stubbornly along. (Sort of like our often stubborn puppy...) And yet here we are, two months into wedded bliss , or something like it. We're kicking off month three tomorrow with a weeklong beach vacation with my extended family -- hooray!

Aside from getting our photo DVDs in the mail, the big news of the week is on the name-change front. Things are slowly but surely becoming official. I went on Wednesday morning to the social security office on my way to work. I've heard from many folks that this is the really nightmarish part, and I prepared for a wait by bringing the latest New Yorker along, but I was in and out of there in about 35 minutes. All I needed was the form, our marriage certificate, my passport and my old social security card. Done.

This efficiency gave me such momentum that I thought I'd try my luck at the DMV in the afternoon. I should have known better! After nearly an hour of waiting (and reading the New Yorker), they called my number. I approached the counter, handed over my paperwork and my old driver's license and waited as the woman pulled up my file in her computer. She scanned the form I had filled out and suddenly stopped typing. "You can't do this," she told me, holding up my form and pointing to the "last name" blank, where I had written [lastname] [hisname]. Kathleen [lastname] [hisname] she could do, based on the information I had, she said, but not Kathleen Virginia [lastname] [hisname]. I explained that that was how I had filled out the form when we went to get our marriage license, and the lady asked me for a copy of our marriage license application as proof. Exsqueeze me? A baking powder? Who the hell gets a copy of their license application?

Our marriage certificate lists our names as they were before we got hitched (as one imagines most marriage certificates do), and I gather that, if you want to drop your given middle name, shift your maiden name to the middle and take your husband's family name as your last, this is generally sufficient information. Doing anything different with your name apparently requires supplementary documentation. Don't get me wrong, it makes total sense that they need proof, but couldn't they have told me that at the probate court when I was hemming and hawing over what to do with my name? Oof.

Anyway, after some circular discussion with this lady, it was decided that I would go back to the probate court seeking a certified copy of our marriage license application and return to the DMV once I had that in hand. Fortunately, my office is literally a block away from the probate court. I walked over and was relieved to learn that a) they had the applications on file, and b) I had $10 cash to pay for the certified copy. (Sidenote: Certified copies! Such a racket!)

I returned this morning to the DMV shorty after it opened at 7:30 a.m. The lady who had helped me yesterday at the counter was now giving out numbers behind the info desk. She made me produce all the necessary documents before she would give me the form to fill out, and when she saw them she remembered me from the day before. "That's what I was talking about!" she exclaimed, pointing to the photocopied application, and then rattled on a bit. Yes. I know. Just had to go get it from the court... sigh.

The moral of this story is, if you want to do something unconventional with your names, be sure to procure some evidence of what you're planning before you hit the DMV.

Long story somewhat less long, I breezed through the DMV this time around and emerged victorious, with a new, temporary, four-named license in hand, around 8:20 a.m. Next up? A new passport. But I think I've finished all the obnoxious in-person waiting, so that's awesome. Once I get my new license and SS card, my two last names will be officially official!

P.S. -- this is my 300th post! Yowza! So prolific...

1 comment:

  1. Just went to the DMV yesterday...I didn't do anything unconventional so didn't have any problems, sorry :( I still have to figure out where the heck to send my forms for the name change on the title and registration, ugh. Banks/cards and passport are the next thing after that...It really is a pain in the butt.