Moments / Thoughts

On Changing One’s Name

Over the course of my journey from legally Smith to legally not Smith I learned a few things that I thought I would share with you, should you ever find yourself making a similar legal, marital, and emotional journey:

1. Fill out every form you can before you go and read the websites CAREFULLY. Very helpful in preventing surprises and pointless trips.  I saw the couple in front of me get very irritated because somebody forgot the title for their vehicle.  On that note, I think filing official paperwork at the DMV and social security is an experience best done solo.  If you are nervous, pretend its some sort of vision quest.  You get to the top of the mountain (read: line), have a moment of reckoning, and come back with a new name.  It’s better for everyone that way.  Better for you, better for your family, and better for number A316 standing behind you.

2. Carry things in a folder, people respond better to crisp , unfolded papers-don’t ask me why-just don’t try to get a new name (or a visa to India for that matter) without some-straight off your work’s laser printer-flashy clean white paper.

3. Carry a pen.  Or sit next to someone carrying a pen.

4. Always make polite small talk with the person helping you.  Smile.  That way, when you need to leave and come back because you accidently went to the DMV before Social Security, the nice lady will tell you to cut in line and just come straight to her when you come back.  Upon returning, be sure to  be nice and thankful-just not so nice and thankful that everyone else knows you were told to cut in line too.  A317, A318, and A319 will not be happy with you.

5. A passport is, in fact, a breeder document.  That’s helpful when one has an aversion to going to the Social Security office.  Interestingly enough though, social security is EXACTLY where you need to go if you want to get a new driver’s license, pay your taxes, change your name on work payroll, and not feel like you are living a legal identity lie, etc.  Which is to say that your passport is pretty much useless except for making social security feel like it missed out for not giving you your name change first.

6. Bring a book and covert snacks to both the DMV and Social Security, you are going in both places for awhile.

7.  Make up!  Showering!  Both are excellent things to consider before you head to the DMV.

8.  The Georgetown DMV is just a few blocks away from Georgetown Cupcake.  Jumping through bureaucratic hoops DEFINITELY entitles you to indulge in not just one, but several, over-priced but oh-so-delicious cupcake morsels.  I had the Lemon Blossom variety today, it was freakin’ fabu.

That’s all for now folks!  Chris is getting sleepy next to me and I’m a sleepy bear too.  Till tomorrow, sleep well!


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