A large decision that people often have to make after getting married is what to do with their last name and whether they decide to hyphenate, keep separate last names, or have one person give up their last name entirely.
Delanie Kristek, a 27-year-old newlywed, took to TikTok to go through how time consuming and mentally tasking it is to change her last name on everything she possibly can after getting married. “Don’t even get me started on our digital footprint and all the places our names are online,” she captioned her video.
“Men in heterosexual marriages will never understand the mental load and time investment of changing your last name,” she began the TikTok, referring to how it’s usually the women in heterosexual relationships that change their last name and not the men.
“I’m in the process of changing my last name right now,” Kristek continued. “All I’ve changed is my [social security], and now I’m on to the point where I’m changing my driver’s license. So, I’m in the very beginning stages. I even have one of those NewlyNamed boxes.”
A NewlyNamed box is a box shipped to your door with the purpose of giving explicit instructions on how to switch over your last name if you choose to do so after getting married, according to the company’s website.
“But even with the exact instructions, this is just incredibly time consuming,” Kristek explained in her TikTok.
In an interview with BuzzFeed, she revealed everywhere that she needed her name changed and that list included: driver’s licence, passport, global entry, bank accounts, investment accounts, medical insurance, dental insurance, renter’s insurance, business filing/ownership, credit and debit cards (and anywhere they appear such as an Amazon account or Apple Wallet), PayPal, Venmo, three different doctor’s offices, prescriptions, car insurance, vehicle registration, online subscriptions, gym membership, voter registration, and USPS.
She explained that her current situation was that she needed to schedule an appointment with the DMV because hers no longer allows walk-ins. Out of all of the DMVs that are close to her, there are no appointment openings until January 2024. “I have a flight in December 2023...the name on my ticket is my new last name,” Kristek said.
To fix the problem, she explained that she’ll be driving 40 minutes to a DMV that had an opening in November. “And then, at that point, I’ve only changed my social and my driver’s licence. I’ve still gotta change my insurance cards, I’ve gotta change my bank accounts, I’ve gotta change my passport...Global Entry, which means I’m gonna have to go to the airport,” she said.
Kristek continued: “You’ve gotta change your name in all the systems you’re in. Most of us have multiple doctors. I have a primary care physician, I have a gynaecologist, I have a therapist. There’s so many places where my name appears, and now I’m gonna have to go change it. The mental load that it is taking on me...every time I see my name, I’m like: ‘Oh my god, that’s ANOTHER place I’m going to have to change my name.’”
Since first being posted, Kristek’s video has received over one million views, with many viewers sympathising with how labour intensive the name-changing process is. “Been five years. I’m still in the process,” one comment read.
Another commenter agreed, writing: “Been trying to start for two years now.”
“I’ve been married 14 years and still have some things in my maiden name, and honestly, I can’t be bothered to chase anything else down,” a third commenter pointed out.