Name Change

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It didn't hit me on my wedding day. Not even at the Social Security office did it quite sink in. It was the DMV that did it, right in the middle of taking the photo for my new license. In that moment, I could only hope the expression on my face didn't register the dawning of my identity changing. That from that moment on, I would no longer be known as Astleigh Hobbs, but instead Astleigh Hill. And all I did was swap out 4 letters for 3 new ones. 

Quite frankly, it snuck up on me out of nowhere. I hadn't given much thought to changing my name and how that would feel, besides wondering from the time I was little what new name I would eventually take on. After all the excitement of switching my last name as a married woman, the reality of it finally made its presence known. 

As I signed my new signature for the DMV lady, all the emotions of what I was doing flooded me and I couldn't decide if I wanted to cry or not. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't be happier to take on my husband's last name, to now identify the two of us as our own family. It's a joyful thing, shedding light on our beautiful union, and the family it will represent as we begin to have children. For me, this entire identity change has been very sentimental. I am beginning this new chapter in my life, known by a different name than I have been known for the last 23 years. And as weird a concept as it is to digest, I will be a Hill, much longer than I was a Hobbs. 

So as I adjust to people saying my first and new last name, I feel a new sense of pride. An excitement of being connected to Pete in this way and a desire to make my mark in this world as the Hill that I am. With every new piece of mail that arrives, the new social security card, and license, it is my reality that my identity may have changed, but the person I am hasn't. Opting to change my last name, after marrying my best friend, was a privilege. It solidifies to the world that I'm his and he's mine. And that feels incredible. 

For all you newly married ladies out there in the name change process, here was the path I took to to becoming a Hill. It was easier than I thought, and I hope this helps you as you go about the steps:
  • First go to the Social Security office nearest you. 
    • Have your marriage license and driver's license. (I brought my passport just in case they needed an additional form of I.D., but they didn't ask for it. It wouldn't hurt to have your current social security card with you either, just in case).
  • Once your new SS card has arrived in the mail, the DMV is your next stop. Now that you are registered with the government under your new last name, it makes everything else so much easier.
    • Again, make sure you have your marriage license, current driver's license, and new SS card with you when you go to the DMV.
    • And of course you will have your picture taken, so do whatever it is you do to feel/look your best.
  • After your new driver's license has come in the mail, you can go about changing everything else, such as credit cards, bank accounts, etc. 
It's as easy as the above steps. I was quite shocked and thought I would have to jump through fiery hoops to change my last name. But, in fact, it was just a couple of trips and waiting on the mail. I've been married for a month today and I am officially a Hill, in my own eyes and in the eyes of the government. I feel more secure than ever in my decision to change my maiden name and I find nothing quite so satisfying as using my married last name. Signing stuff has never been so much fun! 

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