A Black bride and groom on the dance floor. He is dipping her, and they are looking into each other's eyes and smiling.

Ask the DMV: Let the DMV Simplify Your Wedding Season

A Black bride and groom on the dance floor. He is dipping her, and they are looking into each other's eyes and smiling.

Are you or someone you know getting married soon? Here’s what the California Department of Motor Vehicles wants you to know. (Photo by Luwadlin Bosman on Unsplash)

Did you know that the most popular time for weddings is from May through October? Whether you’re headed to the altar, moving into a new home, or heading to a wedding out of state, learn how the DMV can help make wedding season more convenient and less stressful.

Q1: I just got married and want to change my last name. What are the steps to do so? Do I have to visit a DMV office to get my name updated on my ID?

A1: To change your name with the DMV, you’ll first have to change your name with the local Social Security Administration office. The DMV electronically verifies your name, birth date and social security number with the SSA. After you’ve changed your name with the SSA, you’ll need to complete a driver’s license or identification card application, a process you can start online. Next, you’ll need to visit a local DMV office to provide evidence of your name change and pay the application fee. At the time of this transaction, you’ll also be required to surrender your current driver’s license.

A name change is also an opportunity to apply for a REAL ID instead of a standard driver’s license. For more information, visit realid.dmv.ca.gov.

Q2: I’ll be moving into a new home after getting married. Do I need to visit a DMV office to change my address?

A2: You can change your residence or mailing address online in the DMV’s Change of Address System. However, you cannot use this online service if you:

  • Do not already have a California driver’s license or identification card.
  • Do not have a social security number.
  • Have an army post office or fleet post office address.
  • Have an address outside of the U.S.
  • Have applied for but not yet received your REAL ID. For those, you must complete a change of address form and mail it to the address listed on the form.

Learn more about online changes of address at dmv.ca.gov/portal/online-change-of-address.

Q3: My best friend is getting married out of state next summer and my passport has expired. Can I use a REAL ID instead of a passport to fly to the wedding?

A3: Yes! A REAL ID is a federally accepted form of identification and may be used to board domestic flights and to enter secure federal facilities, such as military bases and federal courthouses. One benefit of a REAL ID is that it allows you to carry a single piece of identification that serves a dual purpose, as opposed to having to keep up with both a driver’s license and a passport during travel, a time which is often already very busy and hectic. Starting May 2023, a standard driver’s license/ID will become federal non-compliant, meaning you will not be allowed to board an airplane or enter secure federal facilities using it.

Give yourself one less thing to worry about with a REAL ID! Explore more of what the DMV has to offer at dmv.ca.gov.

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