how to change your surname after marriage

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the Big Day

I get quite a few emails and blog visits from brides-to-be interested in wedding details and suppliers. I hope you all find my responses and posts helpful!

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.

3. Passport

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)

Steps:

(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!

5. Pag-ibig

See EP.

I still don’t know how to go about changing my surname for the following:

6. SSS

*** 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.

7. Philhealth

*** 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!

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The Author

I am 100% Filipina. I've lived in Manila, Jakarta, and London. Right now, I'm firmly planted in the tiny island of Singapore! I caught the travel bug early on. I also love reading, dark chocolate, spur-of-the-moment food trips, Fridays, dachshunds, and lazy weekends with my family or the Hubby.

66 Comments

  1. 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. http://www.philsssuk.com/FORMS/E4/e4.pdf

    • Cool, thanks RM! To be honest, I’m not even 100% sure it’s worth going through the hassle, but the O.C. in me wants to see this through :P

  2. anj says

    how about sa nso? kasi I just got married and we need our nso cert to get passport. do we need po ba to change our status on our nso?

  3. Marite says

    Wait. does this mean that change of name is actually done per entity: LTO, SSS, Pagibig, Banks, DFA, Etc… I was under the impression that NSO will release a new Birth certificate or something, that will reflect the change of name. I got married March 2014 and thanks to God that I already have the NSO Marriage certificate – but there is nothing there that says that I agreed to change my surname. Can someone please clarify this?

    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.

    Thank you so much! =)

    • Hey there, Marite! I missed this one — sorry. Your birth certificate will not be re-released; the name you were born with hasn’t changed! ;)

      You will, however, be issued a Marriage Certificate by the NSO (yellow color). You’ll notice that the document is the same as the ‘Certificate of Marriage’ (white color) which you signed 4x on your wedding day. You’re correct that the name reflected in that certificate would’ve been the name you were using right before you got married — because that was your name at that time. With me so far? :)

      Now, whether or not you choose to change your surname to your husband’s surname, continue to use your original name, or choose to hyphenate (e.g. Jane Doe-Cruz) is entirely up to you. There is no Philippine law that tells you to do it a certain way. Once you decide, you may/may not need to file appropriate documents with appropriate authorities.

      Now, what Philippine law does tell you is that once you make your choice, you cannot change it (e.g. you took your husband’s surname and now you want to go back to using your maiden name). You can only change it in case of annulment, divorce, etc.

      Hope that helps!

  4. hi

    i just want to ask where to get the marriage certificate in the philippines? can we get it as soon as one month after the wedding? we just got married last jan 03, 2015.

    pls help. thanks :)

    – iris

    • Hi there Iris! :)

      Are you talking about the yellow NSO marriage certificate? Generally, this would depend on how soon the church filed the white marriage certificates you signed after the ceremony (assuming you had a church wedding, of course!). The time for the church to submit this is within 15 days (according to NSO: http://nso.citizenservices.com.ph/registration-of-marriage).

      You should be able to request the yellow NSO version sometime after that.

    • Donna says

      You can get certified true copy from the city municipal of the church where you had your wedding.

      3mos after your wedding you can get copy from NSO

  5. Shiela Sunga says

    Hi, thank you for sharing this information with everyone! Very useful especially now that i’m fixing documents for my change of name. Just got married last December 2014. Thanks again! :)

  6. hi, my niece will be attending college this school year, so she got her nso birthcertificate copy, but it came out that her surname was still in her mothers surname, since her parents are not married, but then again, on the local civil registry an affidavit has been made already that the father is acknowledging my niece already but it didnt appear on the nso copy, what should we do with this? kindly help thanks

    • Donna says

      Proceed to NSO. Submit your papers including the affidavit.
      It would take about 3months before you get a copy of her NSO with a notation below of the correct name.

    • Chickz says

      Hi Ann.. I got the same problem when I was in college cause I need to apply for passport and there was a conflict with my name.. You need to go to your local Registrar office and registered there that the father acknowledge it and that local registry will forward that information to NSO. I’m originally from Bacolod and my nanay went back to Bacolod City just for that issue :)

      • When you get the copy of the corrected birth certificate, it doesnt really changes the name written on the original form. But there is an annotation on the right side of the certificate stating the corrections made. :)

  7. Belle says

    hello there! Your blog is very useful for women like us who are are just married and who are planning to use our hubby’s surname. One question though, in filling out the forms, are we allowed to change our signatures? I am planning to change mine to reflect my new surname. Do you have any idea how that works? Thanks!

    • Thanks Belle! :) I replied to your other message — basically I took each government ID one at a time, starting with my driver’s license.

  8. Belle says

    Hello! Thanks for all the info.

    Do you have any idea if we can change our signature as well after marriage? I’m about to update my government records and I was just wondering if I can update my signature at the same time when i update my marital record. I was just worried that if i do so, i would have a problem especially in renewing my e-passport because of the digital signature which is already in their system. Hope you can help or anyone who knows. 😊

    • Hi Belle – When I applied for my driver’s license under my married surname I used a new signature. I used that same signature when I applied for a passport under my new surname. I didn’t encounter any problems. :) Hope that helps!

  9. Khaleen says

    hi..im actually having difficulties filling out the form..not sure if I need to register a new MID # in Pag-Ibig?

    • Hi there, I’m afraid this is beyond me and my little blog’s knowledge. :) You may want to check with your local Pag-ibig office.

  10. Hi! Such an informative entry :) i was wondering since you’re also based abroad if you could possibly share infor regarding changing names on oversease documents. Assuming they dont follow the same naming format as we do in the philippines (which will make them inconsistent with our passport), did you just change yours to follow their naming convention although it would mean your phil. and sg docs wont harmonize? TIA!

    • Hi there, sorry for the delay in response! So far, I haven’t actually lived in a country where the naming format differs radically from the one in my passport. Sorry I couldn’t help!

  11. Oh thank God you had this topic blogged. Anyway, just got married last May and I am now starting to go through all the process of changing my middle (x last name) and last name (will use the husband’s). This includes all valid IDs and my passport.

    My question is, since I’ll take your advice and start with my driver’s license this Saturday, did you also change your name other than your civil status in your driver’s license? If yes, I am browsing through LTO’s requirement for ‘Change of Name’ and one of the reuirements is a ‘Court Order authorizing change of name’. How did you go about procuring this?

    • Hi there Ay! I understand it’s been a while since you posted so I may be a little too late. In any case:
      1. Yes – I changed my name in my driver’s license. All I needed to present was a copy of my marriage certificate.
      2. The court order applies, I think, if you are changing your name legally other than by way of marriage. So you won’t need this.

      Cheers!

  12. Hi Neri, since I just got married last month, i only have the white marriage contract from the church. And unfortunately, we only have ONE certified true copy. Anyway, i am thinking of renewing my driver’s license tomorrow. Only thing i need to know is if they’ll keep the original copy of the marriage contract OR if they just need to check it and will just keep the photocopy of the contract for their file coz obviously i need the original copy for my other transactions:/

    • Hi there Ay! Sorry for the delayed response… been quite busy with a few other things lately :)

      No — from my personal experience the LTO doesn’t keep originals of marriage certificates.

  13. hannie says

    hello ask lng po ako..ipapaupdate ko sna passport ko from single to married and use my husband’s surname.. anu mga requirements at anung id ipresent ko to proof my identity.. need po b id nkaindicate n ung name ng surname ng husband ko? as of now wla p ko puro mga single pa..and sa appointment anu po b ilalagay ko single details p rin ba o ung married na?

    • Hello! This is what you need based on the DFA website (http://www.passport.com.ph/requirements). Good luck! :)

      For Married Women:

      – Marriage Contract (MC) in Security Paper (SECPA) issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) or original and photocopy of the Certified True Copy (CTC) of MC issued by the Local Civil Registrar (LCR) and duly authenticated by NSO. Transcribed Marriage Contract from the LCR is required when entries in NSO Marriage Contract are blurred or unreadable.
      – Report of Marriage duly authenticated by NSO if married abroad

  14. kaesalin says

    Hi.. can I ask you, do you know how is the process of changing to married name in NSO? If you got married abroad? thanks a lot

  15. Hello! Thanks for this super helpful blog! Some questions please — will I have a problem if my passport still uses my old name? What name and status do I have to use when booking airline tickets? Thanks so much in advance! :)

    • Hi Debbie! I don’t think you’ll have a problem if you continue to use your maiden surname — as I said changing your surname isn’t even mandatory. :)

      That said, for booking airline tickets the name you use for your booking must match the name in the passport you’ll be using at the time of the trip. So, if you’re booking under your maiden name and you’ll be using your old passport, there shouldn’t be a problem. If you get a new passport (under your new surname) after you’ve made the booking, you can contact the airline for a name change (charges may/may not apply).

  16. I filled my sss in Makati thru our office, but they did not accept my application because their looking for my ID with my husband’s surname.

  17. Zzzzzzz says

    Hi, your post is very helpful.

    I just got married too. How about changing my signature? Is it okay when you update your documents and use your new signature?

    I remember using my old signature in the marriage certificate. Would that still be okay?

    • Hi there! Yes, when I updated my documents I used my new signature. I also used my old one in my marriage certificate (I hadn’t thought of a new one yet that time!) and so far encountered haven’t encountered any issues with that.

  18. Pls help….

    i got married last august 15, 2015.

    Im employed as regular employee under the local government unit. I applied for a position in a national agency and luckily i was appointed for the psition.i haven’t change my status and surname yet. Im having a problem where to start.

    • Hi there Xybelle! I started with my driver’s license :) It’s fast (at least, at Makati LTO) and you now have a government ID to show!

  19. Hey Neri,

    May I ask how you went about getting an NSO marriage cert? We are getting married in Denmark. Do I have to bring the Danish marriage cert here and do some weird process?

    • Hi there Sade! I’m not too familiar with the process if the marriage was done outside the Philippines. Maybe a good first step would be to check with the Philippine embassy in Denmark.
      Sorry couldn’t be of more help!

  20. Jonelyn Redding says

    Hi, pwede na po kaya akong magchange surname in passport kahit hindi ko pa renewal? 2018 pa kasi renewal ko and my husband want me to change my surname immediately. And pwede po kayang iprocess dito sa philippines, no need to go out of country. I hope i can get a reply from you. Thanks

    • hi there jonelyn! yes, you should be able to change your passport surname in advance of renewal. and of course you should be able to process in the philippines. :) good luck.

  21. hi thank you for the blog
    im planing to go to UAE to be with my husband and just got marriage last may 2015.my question is if its ok to use my old passport.hindi ba magkakaproblem sa emegration kahit hindi pa nachange status yung passport ko.

    thank you

    • from what i understand, there shouldn’t be a problem as long as the name you booked your tickets under and the name on the passport you’ll be using for the trip are the same. i was able to travel under my old passport (with my maiden name) while waiting for my new passport to be issued.

      you can have your passport renewed early in the UAE when you arrive. good luck!

  22. Daisy says

    gud day! I’m a government employee and I would like to ask some help for I got married last October 2015 and I am conscious on what to do about in changing my marital status and at the same time my surname..after the day of our marriage can I use already the surname of my husband? can I use the authenticated copy of our marriage contract from the local civil registrar in submitting for change of marital status? Can I use the surname of my husband even there’s no order yet from our office to use it? certificate of marriage from NSO can be issued six months-one year after marriage as per inquiry at NSO..

    • Hi Daisy! As far as I know there’s no “order” you have to wait for to start using your husband’s surname, should you wish to do so. You can go ahead and do it, albeit it needs to be done consistently (i.e. you cannot use your husband’s surname one day, and revert to using your maiden surname the next). Start working on your new IDs soonest. As I mentioned in my post, you can use the white marriage certificate (i.e. not the one from NSO) to process certain IDs, including your driver’s license.

      Relevant sections in the Civil Code on married surnames are Articles 370 to 380 (link to the Civil Code here: http://www.chanrobles.com/civilcodeofthephilippinesbook1.htm)

  23. Jacqueline says

    Hi Neri! Thanks for your informative post. :) Just to confirm, for the update of marital status and surname in SSS, I just need to submit Form E4 (Member Data Change Request) and they will deliver the updated ID to me? I don’t need to personally go to any SSS branch to request for new ID and have my picture taken? Thanks!

    • Hi Jacqueline! Might be best to check the SSS website directly. Seems like you may still need to pay your nearest SSS office a visit:

      QUOTE
      2. What should I do if there are changes in my personal record?

      Changes in your record should be reported immediately to the nearest SSS office through the submission of Member’s Data Change Request (SS Form E-4) and the required supporting documents:
      – Change of civil status from Single to Married – Marriage contract
      – Change of civil status from Married to Single – Death certificate (if due to death of previously reported spouse); Certificate of Finality of Annulment or Decree of Divorce
      – New/additional/change of dependents/beneficiaries – Birth or Baptismal Certificate(s) of children or marriage contract for spouses
      – Correction of name/date of birth – Birth or Baptismal Certificate or unexpired Passport
      UNQUOTE

      Source: https://www.sss.gov.ph/sss/appmanager/pages.jsp?page=faqsmembership

  24. Yukim Reyes says

    Hello po i am single .. i want to ask po about if i change my nso surname to my dad surname how long po bgo mkuha nso ko? Then how about po sa mga I.D ko po na ginagamit ngaun i also need to take new I.D or i still can use ? Please answer me po..thanks po

    • Hi Yukim, this is a very NSO-specific question which is unfortunately outside my Google-ing knowledge. :) It might be best to check the NSO website directly. Thanks for dropping by!

  25. Good day po paano po mag change ng status from married to single kasi po kasal ako sa lalaking kasal na pala bago nya ako pinakasalan 2009 papo kami naghiwalay kc po isa akong ofw gsto ko sana palitan bago ako mag aplay uli kc po naka nso po pariho ang marriage contact namin pati Yong sa una nyang asawa.

    Diovy Salazar :

  26. Hi po.. May I ask if nagchange status sa sss kinukuha po b nila yung original certified true copy ng marriage contract or xerox lng kailangan nila??thank you in advance.

    • veveth Salazar says

      Hi po ask po me kng ano prosiso ang maibalik ang family name ko kasi po kasal ako sa lalaking may asawa sa madaling salita 2nd Wife lang ako kasal din ako nka NSO din ang marriage certificate namin po sana ma sa nyo mg tanong ko. Thanks

    • Brandt says

      Hello mam,bgo q lng poh ngawa yan na proces and im saying na fotocopy lng poh ng mga docs nyo ang need ng sss so dnt wory with ur original.

  27. mia says

    hello! got a prob.. married for 5 years. this is the scenario. all my docs are changed from single stat to married stat. however, tin number is in my maiden name but i changed my stat to married. but my philhealth and sss is on my husbands surname. got a trouble in my renewal of passport.. want to use my maiden name just like the old one. should i checked the married stat or single stat? please help. thank u

  28. Anne says

    hi there! thank you for this very useful blog of yours! by the way, if I don’t have a driver’s license to use(I assume the fastest way to get a new ID card with the new surname), as the first step in changing my surname, what else can you suggest in replacement of this? I am working overseas so I might have a very limited time to fix mine when I go home for my vacation (approx. 4 weeks – later part of Dec.)TIA!

    • Your passport would be a good start! However, you might wish to check processing times given your 4-week timeframe. Otherwise, you can process the passport renewal abroad where you live.
      Thanks for reading my blog :)

  29. Princess says

    Hi! Magrerenew ako ng passport ko. I want to change my surname na sana sa passport. Ask ko lang Renewal ba or New application na dapat? And also dun sa appointment form na sasagutan online, should I used the details dun sa old passport ko, or fill out ko siya using may married name na? Thanks!

  30. i’ve been married last tuesday( july 19) my husband was busy in his work, so he ask me to change his status in sss. and the requirements is need a valid id, is it okay to use my maiden name in valid i.d? or maybe i need to get a new one?

  31. ippoy says

    hi there! ask ko lng po kung okay lng po ba na hindi muna ako mg change status sa aking passport since nov. 2017 pa nman po magexpire. kakakasal ko lng po sa wife ko last year na isang us citizen na ngayon at my ongoing petition po kasi ako. .okay lng po ba na gamitin ko muna yung passport ko nung single pa ako? gagamitin ko po sana yung passport ko as supporting document. thank sa reply.

  32. genalyn sereno says

    mam ano pong pwede kong gawin hindi po kc ako mkpg apply ng passport kc may record ako dati active p daw po ung single passport ko pero kumuha din pio ako ng bago ung married na po kaso hundi po nirealease

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