If you get married, divorced, or legally change your name for any other reason in Illinois, you must change your name on your identification. You cannot use your drivers license legally if it still portrays your old name, which makes this an important change to make as soon as your name is legally changed. To get the process started, it’s helpful to know what to do and where to go. It’s not the Department of Motor Vehicles, and your license isn’t the first place you change your name.
Social Security Administration
The most important aspect of a name change is notifying the SSA. You cannot legally change your name on your license with Illinois’ Secretary of State until you change it with the SSA. The SOS office checks with the SSA to ensure that you’ve legally changed your name and then provides you with the approval you need.
Visit your local SSA office or download the name change form from the SSA website. You’ll need a certified copy of your legal name change document, a certified copy of your birth certificate or naturalization certificate, and a certified copy of your photo identification to provide with your application to change your name. You can mail it to the address listed on the form or visit the office in person. Once you receive your new card in the mail, you’re able to change your name on your license.
License Name Change
You have 10 days from the date you change your name with the SSA to obtain a new driver’s license in Illinois. You can do this by visiting the SOS office with the following items.
- Your current license
- Your official document stating you’ve changed your name
- Payment of $5 to change your name on your license
It’s not possible to update your name on your license online, through the mail, or over the phone. You must be present to present the SOS with your new documentation. Whether that’s a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or a court order stating you were adopted or decided to change your name for another reason, you must be there in person with this documentation. You’re also legally required to turn over your current license to trade it in for a new one.
Other Change of Name Documents
While you’re at the SOS office, you can change the name on the title and registration of your vehicle, too. It’s easier to do this while you’re there in person and already have all the documentation you need. You won’t get a new copy of your registration when you change your name. You will see your new name on it when you renew the registration, however. If you have your original title in hand, you will only pay $15 to update your name on both that and your registration.
Do not wait to change your name once you’ve notified the SSA. You’re now legally known as someone else and could be accused of using false identification if you fail to change the name on your ID. Your name changes on your tax information, your credit report, and much more once you file with the SSA. Take the 10 days, head to the SOS, and get this done. It takes minutes to complete, and you can even have a new photo taken if you prefer not to use your old one on your license.
Finally, do not forget to bring certified copies of your documentation. If you bring uncertified copies, your request is denied and you spend more time changing your name. Call the SOS to make an appointment and to double-check everything you must bring to this appointment.