Let’s Talk About Changing Your Last Name

Congratulations, newlyweds! You’re off to start your life together by building wonderful memories, a family, and a home, to name a few. But before all that, one of the things that you should immediately address is the paperwork, the most obvious one being whether you should change your last name or not. Is it mandatory? The answer is: nope! It’s a common decision to change your last name, but it’s ultimately your choice whether you do so or not. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of making this change? Read on to find out!

[Photo: Toto Villaruel]

Taking your husband’s last name is generally seen as default and traditional in the Philippines. It also fulfills your younger self’s dreams when you doodled Mrs. [insert your crush’s name here] on your diary or notebook during class. This isn’t just for the romance though, there are practical benefits to it.

Legalities are easier. There are some instances when it is necessary to prove your marriage with your husband. Having the same last name will definitely make everything faster since most will assume that it makes sense for you to do that.

It establishes a sense of familial identity. You and your would-be family are one unit now, and for some, it’s appealing that you all have the same last name.

Admittedly, this is not a popular option, but just in case this thought has passed through your head, don’t think that you’re weird! It also raises awareness that women don’t have to be pressured to do this if they really don’t want to–changing your last name isn’t the foundation of your marriage.

It’s your brand. Sometimes, ladies don’t want to change their names because it’s business or profession-related. Your name is strongly tied to your brand, and you don’t want to lose that. That’s okay!

Your hubby’s last name sounds a bit awkward paired with your name. Kinda funny, but you totally have grounds not to change your name if you’re not comfy with how it sounds like! Remember, it’s not required–it’s your choice. And this shouldn’t make your hubby love you less!

Your maiden name is unique. Conversely, you have a lot of love and history with your current name. For you, it establishes a sense of identity, has a great story behind it, or you’re just attached to this part of you. Don’t let go of it if you don’t want to.

Hyphenating or appending his last name after yours can also be good idea. You get to keep your name and add his–it’s a win-win! You then can decide if the kids can take his or also hyphenate. The only downside would be having a very long name, but if you can live with that, then go for it.

Maybe he can change his last name! All the pros and cons stated above can also apply to the groom too, so if you guys both prefer one surname over the other and he wants to change it, then why not? It’s not a common practice here in the Philippines, but if you think about it, it’s the same banana, really.

 

Maybe it’s a lot to think about, or maybe you already know your choice to begin with, but it’s nice to be aware that you do have options, brides! Cheers to being a Mrs.!

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  1. What will be my middle name if I hyphenate my husband’s surname?
    Example, if my name is Rina Espiritu Fernandez when I wasnt married yet and I want to hyphenate with my husband’s surname which is Lopez, so that’ll be Rina Fernandez – Lopez, right?

    Will I still be using my middle name as Espiritu?

  2. Finally! Your blog is really helpful. I and my husband decided that I should hyphenate his last name after mine so that I could still keep using my middle name. But I am worried because my name would be too long. If I would change my name in all my IDs would my last name be in the hyphenated form even though it would be too long?

    1. Hi Joyce, there might be a maximum number of characters depending on the type of ID. It will be best if you inquired directly with the agencies concerned to be sure. Thanks!

  3. What if my spouse is based abroad (meaning, he is currently working abroad), so i need to indicate his employer and the company’s address?

    1. Hi Camille, there might be additional requirements that you’ll need to submit. It’s best if you inquire directly with the agency involved. Happy planning!

  4. I changed name and using my husband’s surname and already have sss and driver’s license updated. What if I decided to change it to hyphenated instead and use it to renew my passport? what will happen?

    1. Hi Kim, I’m assuming that when you change your name in your driver’s license and other identifications, your passport will follow that format once you have it renewed. But it will still be best if you inquire directly with the agency involved to be sure. Thanks!

      1. Hello! I would like to know what are the steps in changing my last name? Do I just change all my IDs to my husband’s last name and that’s it? Or does the marriage certificate have to reflect my new name? Sorry totally new to all of these and also, my in laws were the ones who filed our marriage certificate abroad ☺️ thank you very much!

  5. Hi. I changed my name to a hyphenated one after I got married. I updated my passport, driver’s license, Philhealth ID, etd. But now, I just want to drop the hyphen and adopt my husband’s surname. Is it possible and how do I go about this?

    1. Hi Frances, you’d have to go through the same process again in order to change your surname. But just to be sure, you can inquire directly with the PSA office on what you should do. Thanks!

    2. I just renewed my passport, I used hyphenated, they warned me that I could not go back to adopting my husband’s surname if ever I want to.

  6. Hi! I really want to use a hyphenated name in all my IDs and documents. What happens to my middle name?
    MAIDEN NAME – FIRSTNAME/MIDDLE/LASTNAME
    MARRIED NAME – FIRSTNAME/MIDDLE/LASTNAME-MARRIEDNAME

    Is this correct? Thank you for your feedback!

    1. Hi Dana, this is correct, but it will be best to double check with the government agency concerned. Ex: LTO for your drivers license, DFA for your passport, etc. This is to make sure that they allow such format.

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