I’ve recently started the looong, drawn-out process of changing my surname to my husband’s. It’s probably a simple matter for married women living in the Philippines, but I’m not a resident. I haven’t found a definitive “how to” guide on the internet/blogosphere on this process either.
I want to share with you what I’ve done so far so you don’t feel as lost as I was. My experience will be more useful to: (a) women who got/plan to get married in the Philippines, and (b) non-residents, i.e. married Filipina women who live abroad.
Before I begin, remember that changing your surname to your husband’s is your choice. There is no law in the Philippines that requires women to change their surname after marriage. Once you opt to use one or the other however, you must do so consistently. A useful blog post on Philippine law regulations covering married women’s surnames can be found here.
My ordeal is far from over, but so far I’ve completed the process for the following documents:
1. Philippine driver’s license
How long does it take? Less than 1 day (LTO Makati Branch)
What do I need? Marriage certificate (original & photocopy), document revision fee of Php 100 (as of December 2013)
Other notes: I highly recommend for you to change your driver’s license first. It’s fast and other processes are easier once you have at least one government ID with your married name to show (e.g. change of name in bank records). I didn’t need the yellow NSO marriage certificate either (I know that takes aaages to arrive). The white marriage certificate which you, your husband, the priest, and your ninongs/ninangs signed on your wedding day would suffice.
2. Bank records
How long does it take? Less than 1 day (at your bank branch)
What do I need? Marriage certificate (original – the bank officer can make photocopies), one ID with married name (see Philippine driver’s license post above)
Other notes: This needs to be done in person. You’ll be asked to fill in signature cards and various forms. In case you were wondering, postdated cheques issued under your maiden name would still be honored by the bank, so you don’t need to order new chequebooks straight away. You will be given the option to change your ATM/debit cards immediately, or wait until a later date to do so. Again, the marriage certificate you present doesn’t have to be the yellow NSO version.
How long does it take? Estimated 8 weeks, not guaranteed (Philippine Embassy in Singapore)
What do I need? DFA-authorized marriage certificate; Photocopy of both your and your husband’s passport data pages; Photocopy of your IC; Printout of the email confirmation from the Philippine embassy; Completed application form (download here); Passport fee of S$102 in cash (the Philippine embassy doesn’t accept NETS or credit/debit cards)
(i) Book your passport appointment online early (link here). Dates get filled up as much as 1-2 months in advance, so don’t leave it to the last minute. I applied for my passport appointment online even before I received my marriage certificate from the NSO.
(ii) The embassy requires the yellow NSO marriage certificate, which you can order and pay for online at e-Census. Ask for the certificate to be delivered to a relative/good friend back home, because…
(iii) Passport renewal applications from abroad require the applicant to present a DFA-authorized marriage certificate. The authentication procedure can be found on this link on the DFA website. I asked my mom to take care of this step for me, and just provided her with an authorization letter and photocopy of my ID with signature.
Now, if you want to skip this process altogether, I would agree with the embassy’s suggestion that you apply for a passport renewal when you’re on a sufficiently long holiday back in the Philippines.
(iv) Show up on time on the day of your appointment with the required documents. I found the process to be smooth at the embassy here in Singapore. Processing of the passport takes an estimated 8 weeks with no option to expedite, since all passports are processed in the Philippines. The full passport renewal process and FAQs can be found here and here.
Other notes: You will be allowed to travel with your old passport while the new one is being processed. I described the process for brown passports only; if your passport is the older green version, see instructions here.
4. EP (Singapore)
I’ll update this post once I have my passport ready, as I’ll most likely start on EP/Pag-ibig amendments process only after receiving it.
*** UPDATE: Not complicated at all; anyway it will be highly likely that it’s your employer—not you–who will handle EP amendments. Note that the seven-day processing for online EP applications will take longer if you’re combining a name change with an EP renewal (as I did). Something to keep in mind if you’re planning to travel!
I still don’t know how to go about changing my surname for the following:
*** UPDATE (Thanks, RM and Marite!):
RM: For SSS, you just need to fill out a form and a copy of your marriage certificate. If I’m right and it’s still the same, it should be Form E4 (Member Data Change Request). The sad part is it can take anywhere from 3-6 months to get the ID but the name change usually takes less than half a day.
Marite: For SSS, fill out the SSS E4 and attached a Certified True Copy/NSO copy of marriage certificate. You can submit this to any SSS Branch.
*** UPDATE: For Philippine residents, this seems to be a matter of filling out the PhilHealth Member Registration Form or PMRF and ticking the ‘For Updating’ box at the upper right hand corner, and submitting this at your nearest PhilHealth office. (Download the form here.)
How about you? Have you gone through the process of changing your surname after your wedding? Do you have any tips for me? Do let me know if I missed anything out by leaving a comment below!