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Name change after marriage?

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What are the legalities of name changes after marriage?

For example, let's assume:

U.S. citizen

Legal Name : Bob Smith

Fiancée (K1 visa from Thailand)

Current Legal name: Thanaporn Boonfak (no middle name)

Birth Name: Boonsri Boonfak

nickname: Golf

After they are married, can the wife choose the name:

Thanaporn Golf Smith? (Current given name + nickname + husbands surname)

Thanaporn Boonfak Smith? (Current given name + current surname + husbands surname)

Thanaporn Boonsri Boonfak (Current given name + birth given name + husbands surname)

The marriage will occur in Colorado.

From what I have read, the name change starts with the wife's signature on the wedding certificate:


The couple then signs the Groom Signature and Bride Signature blanks. If the bride will be changing her name, here she may sign with her new signature.

It takes two to three weeks to record the license and certificate, after which it is mailed back to the couple. If the bride wishes to change her last name, she should wait until the recorded document is returned. Then she can take the marriage certificate (or a certified copy) to the Social Security office first and then to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

After that the Social Security Card is changed:




4/14/2015 Sent I-129F via UPS

4/16/2015 Received NOA1

6/1/2015 Received NOA2


6/8/2015 NVC Received Petition

6/10/2015 NVC sent to US Embassy Bangkok (NVC Confirmed)

US Embassy Bangkok

6/13/2015 US Embassy Bangkok Received (tracked with DHL)

6/15/2015 "Case Creation Date"

6/26/2015 Status "Ready" CEAC case tracker

7/2/2015 Received Packet 3

7/7/2015 Received Thai Police Certificate via mail

7/10/2015 Mailed Packet 3 documents to US Embassy

7/13/2015 Received Packet 4 email/Interview Scheduled for 8/4/2015

8/4//2015 Interview (Approved!)


8/19/2015 I (USC) flew to Thailand

8/26/2017 We flew back together to Colorado, USA (LA California port of entry)

Marriage SSN

8/28/2015 Applied for SSN

8/28/2015 Obtained Marriage License

9/4/2015 Received social security card (SSN) with unmarried name via US mail

9/7/2015 Married in Colorado


9/9/2015 Recorded Marriage License, Changed name SSN, Applied for AOS, AP, EAD

9/14/2015 Received social security card (SSN) with married name

9/16/2015 Received text and email NOA1s for AOS, AP, EAD

9/21/2015 Received paper NOA1s for AOS, AP, EAD via US mail

9/25​/2015 Received letter vis US mail scheduling biometrics for 10/5/2015

10/2/2015 Received RFE for not submitting 2014 tax documents

10/5/2015 Biometrics in Denver

10/9/2015 Responded to RFE by sending 2014 tax copies

11/18/2015 Received RFE stating EAD form was not an original signature?

11/19/2015 Signed the form in BLUE ink and returned via 2nd day UPS

12/10/2015 AP and EAD Approved

12/17/2015 Received Combo AP and EAD Card via US mail

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*** Thread moved from K-1 Process forum to the Moving to the US forum -- topic involves that phase. ***

06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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I think every state may be a little different but here in Minnesota they allow you to change your middle name when you are married. Before we were married Pui did not have a middle name and when we got married she took her maiden name as middle name and took my last name. She did not have a drivers license at the time so we did not have to deal with that. After we were married and had a copy of the marriage license then had to make another trip to the SSN office to get her name changed.


AOS Journey

11-04-2011 sent AOS to Chicago lockbox

11-07-2011 delivered

11-08-2011 Date on text messages but did not receive until 11-22-2011

11-23-2011 Check cashed.

11-25-2011 Hard copies of NOA1s

12-06-2012 Pui's Brother unexpectly passes away and we make an info pass appointment and receive an emergancy AP so she can return home. Pui leaves for Thailand for 2 weeks.

12-06-2012 Get a text message and email that she received an RFE

12-12-2012 RFE for original birth certificate. I swear we sent it along with a certificate translation of it.

12-20-2012 Pui returns from Thailand.

12-21-2012 We send the RFE back for with original birth certificate along with a new certificate of translation(I had to wait for her to return for her to sign)

12-26-2012 text and email they have received the RFE.

12-29-2012 Appointment for biometrics is 01-23-2012

01-13-2012 AP is approved.

01-23-2012 Biometrics appointment. Later during the evening the text and email saying the EAD is approved.

01-31-2012 EAD/AP combo card arrives.

05-22-2012 Email and text card is in production!

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