Name Change On An California Drivers License

Have you recently gotten married, divorced, or had to change your legal name? The state DMV recommends that you change the name on your California drivers license as soon as possible. Select from the options below to get started.

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2: By mail

Some drivers prefer to handle the renewal process by mail, rather than taking advantage of assistance services, visiting the DMV in person, or via available online services. Service by mail is available with limitations. Read below for additional details or visit your local DMV.

3: Via a DMV office

If your specific needs require an in-person visit, most, if not all, driver license services can be handled at your local DMV office. Varying DMV offices sometimes supply different types of services so you will need to check before your visit to make sure the DMV closest to you provides the service you require. In addition, you can call to see if your DMV allows you to make a personal appointment.

To execute a change of name on California drivers license, a driver must first present suitable documentation to prove a legal name change. Before scheduling an appointment with a local  DMV office, you must first change your name with the Social Security Office

Social Security Name Change

Visit your local Social Security office to legally change your name. The following documents can be used:

Required Documents

A driver will also have to provide a document showing full personal details, including a photo, to prove his or her identity. One of the following will be needed for a California change of name:  

  • U.S. Drivers License
  • U.S. Passport
  • State ID card

For a complete checklist of the required and acceptable documentation click here. Drivers should give the Department of Social Services 48 hours to process their name change claim before making an appointment with the California DMV.

DMV Procedures

Once drivers have changed their name with the SSA, they can make an appointment to visit their local DMV office. Once the documents are presented, the driver must pay a fee and have his or her photo and thumb print taken. The DMV representative will issue an interim license, which is valid for 90 days, to use until the driver receives their license reflecting their change of name.

A name change on a California drivers license will also require drivers to perform a name change on their car registration and car title. You can find more information on rules and regulations for performing a change of name on California drivers license on the official California Change of Name Drivers License Division DMV website.  They can also stop by the local California Change of Name Drivers License Division DMV Office. 

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