Legally changing your name can be a challenging task because you have to contact the Social Security office, creditors, banks, the postal service and other organizations to notify them. However, notifying the United States Postal Service (USPS) of your name change is a relatively straightforward procedure and can easily be done online, in person or over the phone.
Applying for a Name Change
Although the USPS website doesn’t have an official form for changing your name, the official form for changing your address provides an option to change your name also. The simplest and fastest way to fill out this form is on the USPS website. Navigate to the official page for changing your address. Once you’ve filled out your moving information, the form allows you to make any necessary changes to both your name and address. Note that your credit or debit card is charged $1, (price at the time of publication) when you submit this form.
If you decide to fill out an online form to change your name, USPS provides the option of giving your credit card as proof of your identity. In order to present this proof, first you must change your name on your debit and credit cards. Generally, changing those names is easier once you have documentation in the form of billing and new Social Security cards. Once you’ve obtained these, call the company or write in with a name-change request, providing them with your account number, old and new names, and change of address, if you have one.
If you would prefer to change your name over the phone rather than online or in person, you can contact USPS at 1-800-ASK-USPS -- 1-800-275-8777 and ask to speak to a representative. Once you finish your consultation, USPS sends letters of confirmation, including a change-of-address form to your old address if you haven’t already moved, and a permanent change-of-address form to your new or current address. This method also requires a $1 charge to your credit or debit card.
If you want to fill out the online form but don’t want to pay the dollar fee or wish to turn in the form in person for some other reason, you may complete the form on your computer up to the point where it says to submit; instead of clicking "submit," print it out and turn it in to your local post office. If you don’t have a computer or Internet, you can pick up a copy of the form at the post office or call USPS to have a mail carrier bring the form to you.
- USPS: Official USPS Change of Address
- Imagination Library: Change-of-Address and/or Update Information Online with USPS
- Name Change after Marriage: USPS Marriage Name Change
- Credit Cards: The Just-Married Guide to Changing Your Name on Credit Cards
- Virtual Post Mail: How to File a Change of Address With USPS
- USPS: Frequently Asked Questions
Boze Herrington is a writer and blogger who lives in Kansas City, Mo. His work has been featured in Cracked and "The Atlantic."