I got married exactly one week after I graduate from college in Aug. 1997. After I got married, I changed my last name with all the excitement that builds from knowing you are married and you will not have to spend your years alone.
The first thing I did was change my name on my TX driver’s license, but I was glad to do it because my old picture was horrible. My new license with my married name was beautiful—I had a tan, my hair looked great, and I looked 5 lbs. lighter than my old photo. Married life was good.
When we moved to Columbus, GA for our first duty station, I went to the Social Security office and changed my name on my card. It was one of the easiest things I ever did—I showed them my driver’s license and my marriage certificate and they changed my name with a few clicks of the keyboard—not a problem.
I went back and forth over the name change, but during the summer I decided I wanted to go back to my maiden name. I figured I would just show my divorce papers to the DMV and they would give me a new driver’s license. That’s what I did the first time around. I was wrong.
In Georgia, the judge has to give you permission to change your name. I didn’t expect this because I had no problem changing my name when I got married. I could just show anyone the marriage certificate and then “bam!”--instant name change.
No one needed a judge’s word to show that I got married, but I had to have one to get unmarried. I don’t understand this rule. But that doesn’t matter, rules are rules and I can’t make the rules go away.
Wednesday I finally got the signed judge's order to legally change my name back to my maiden name. I didn’t realize how much I needed to make this change. I feel like a weight has been lifted.
So, do I ever think I will change my name again if I get married? At this point, I would say no. I have zero intentions of ever changing my name again. Now that I know how important it is for me to maintain that sense of my personal identity, I don’t think I will ever undo what took so long to make right.