Thursday, November 17, 2011

Changing my last name: some updates

After all the hickups I've already encountered last month with  changing my last name, I decided just to take some time and really try and tackle my name changing list. Its a month later so its time to check up on my progress:

Social Security Administration- You can read about it here: It's Official: I have a new last name

DMV- I took off work after I got my SS Card and nailed it out in no time. I even got my new drivers licence in the mail and my new title to my car already (Two thumbs up DMV). You can read about it here: Adventures at the DMV

Work- This one was also pretty simple. I gave the gal in HR my original marriage certificate. She made a copy of it and I filled out a new benefit form and signed it. A few weeks later I turned in my new SS Card to payroll and they were able to change my name on my checks and then the I.T. department had a field day changing all my user accounts and everything at work. It was quite an ordeal but I jokingly told them they would only have to do it once for me. I also changed my beneficiary forms so my "brother" doesn't inherit everything if I croak. SCB gets it and if we both die, it does to one of his brother's kids since they are the young ins and I just can't imagine my sister or my mom getting my financials.

Sallie Mae (Online savings account with multiple CD's)- I have to give props to the people there. I called and they just told me to scan and email them a copy of my marriage cert and just list my main account number and they would handle the rest. They even called me a few times to remind me when I kept forgetting to send it in.

ING Direct: When the guy pulled up my account and saw all my accounts with them he actually said WOW. I got to bash Bofa on the phone with the guy while he put in the name change request. He also told me that ING would do the name change work for me. I don't have to send in a single piece of paper. They will cross check with the social security department and public records FOR me... I got my new debit card in 5-10 days. :) I swear, if they were down the street, every transaction I did would be with them.

Southern California Edison- Literally a 5 minuet phone call. I called there 1-800 number I found on the web and after not finding an option that worked for me I just hit 0 and indicated that I was a residential home. I didn't even get put on hold. They guy came on the phone, I verified who I was and I even added the hubby to the bill in case we need proof or residency for him for anything in the future. I was off the phone in 4 minuets and 20 seconds. That's pretty great in my opinion. Memo to the word, call at 6:30pm on a Friday night.

Cox Communications- So easy, I forgot I did it. I guess I changed my last name back when I had to call about our internet going out.

Sprint- I had to hit zero three times repeatedly to get transferred to a person, but calling on a Friday night at 7:00pm is great. I was off the phone in 5 minuets.

Kohls Credit Card: I kept this one and just changed my last name on the account since for now we use it when we shop there because they mail us 15-30% off our purchases and I buy my work gym pants there and some of my clothes because they have a petite department. They already sent me the new card too!

Bofa Credit Card: I changed this one in person with my banking specialist because its so much easier to get things done when they do it for you. I got the new card in the mail 2 weeks later. I never use it but its the card i've had the longest so I keep it since I can monitor the balance on it every time I check my BOFA checking account.

Doctors/Kaiser: After my work submitted the paperwork I had to call their 1-800 number to tell them of the change so I could get a new card... then I had to call another number to set up my annual doctors visit, and keep my physician (she was trying to move some patients to other doctors to lighten her load but I didn't want to leave cause shes's nice so I get to keep her).

Sharebuilder: Even though my account is basically inactive, its still attached to my ING accounts so I need to get it updated. It looks like its going to take a paper trail were I mail them my marriage certificate and a form... and get those things signed by a notary... which will cost money... so I chose to wait until ING Direct finished their changes to hope they would change it there... but they didn't. So a few phone calls and I had the account closed and de-activated from my ING sign in homepage. It was easier to close the account and avoid the Notary changes for all the paperwork.

David's Bridal Credit Card: It had a $2,000.00 credit limit. I haven't used it in ages so I closed the account since I don't have it set up to monitor online and accounts you don't check online can lead to no where fun in the land if Identity thieves. When I was given the option to close my account, they asked if it was because of A) mortgage, B) loan consolidation, or C) lack of use D) Other. I cancelled the card under lack of use. I know closing accounts will ding my credit score, but this one wasn't opened that long ago and I only used it for my dress.

Home Depot Credit Card: It had a $5,001.00 credit limit.  Again, I closed it. I only got the card for the zero percent interest rate when I remodeled my kitchen and I haven't used it since so I figured I should just close the account now before someone steals the information and goes on a Home Improvement Spree.

Finished Trouble Makers I finally sorted out:

Bank of America: Despite changing my last name at BOFA some time ago, I still have yet to receive my debit card and I got 2 conflicting letters in the mail regarding changing my last name on my mortgage statement. The letter I got in the mail said I needed to submit three things:
  1. My Marriage Cert- which they marked off as received. 
  2. Submit a W9- That was a new requirement to me. No one mentioned this when I phoned the mortgage company and wrote down everything I had to mail in... or when I went in person down to my branch to just have them fax everything over and handle it there. . 
  3. Provide insurance for my property in my new name- Which I already had my local banker do for me.  (which I already did), and it noted that they received my marriage certificate.
So I decided to be smart about this. Instead of calling the number on the letter and spending at least 20 minuets on hold and then taking the time to explain everything to them, etc, I decided to drive down to my bank. It's literally a 3-5 minuet drive away from my house so it seemed like a better use of my time. I found the same guy who was helping me out the first time. I made him call the mortgage department with his special number (not the number on my letter) and after using his pretty reference codes and access numbers he had the matter cleared up in 5 minuets. He verified that I did not need to send in any new documentation (including insurance and a W9). Once that was cleared up I asked again for a debit card to be sent to my house with my new last name. 3 minuets later I was home-- best use of my time all day long. So now I have new checks, a new credit card, my name changed on my mortgage, and hopefully my debit card will arrive in 7-10 days. (It arrived on day 10 and I had to listen to so much identity theft protection ads to activate it that I wanted to vomit.)

Current Problems:

Nationwide: I have a random work 457 account that earns 0.10% (yup, less than a percentage point) that was opened when I was 16 and a temp employee at the City gym... Well, I was told a while ago that I can't do anything with the account since i'm still technically an employee with the City even though I received a new hire date when I got my promotion 5 or so years ago. Turns out there may be a way around it now! When I was getting the info as to where to send my letter and marriage cert, I asked about investment options and the guy told me if i open another 457 account with a different institution i'll be able to roll it over and actually get it investing instead of earning $0.10 every 4 months (only option is a liquid savings account or a 1, 3, or 5 year CD all below 1% and are now new options that weren't there before when I called 2 years ago about the account). So I wrote out the letter and copied my marriage cert for the name change but i'm waiting to mail it until I get a call back from the place where my 401a is (ICMA-RC) to see if they can open me a 457 account even though open enrollment has already been closed so I can initiate the process instead of waiting a whole year to do so. If they give me the green light i'll just transfer the money to a new account there, close this one, and then fill out the name change paperwork at the other company.

ICMA-RC: They are sending me a form I have to fill out and mail back to them... but the representative I called about getting an account set up for a rollover ISN'T returning my phone calls.

State Farm: I thought my last phone call over there would have been enough to have sorted out the problem they had with changing my name (it dropped my multi-policy discount because my last names were changed at different times). Well, this week I got 2 new bills with my new last name on them. They never added in my discount so I had to call again and tell them the whole story to only be told they would make the fix again (and hopefully it would work since they finally got my last name changed on our auto policies). I'll have to call back at the end of November just to make sure I won't be not paying a bill.

American Express: Costco Card
After getting my Kohls card changed over the phone, I assumed the same thing would happen over at American Express. Sadly that's not the case. Apparently its "against the law" to change someones name on their card over the phone... (then why could Kohl's????) So, they are sending me a form to fill out and mail or fax back to their office. (I asked if I could email it in and they said no... apparently Sallie Mae is just more awesome then AMX is these days.)...  He also told me that I'd have to go into Costco to change my account there (which is funny because the Costco guy told me I had to change it with American Express)... So now i'm waiting for a form to come in the mail (and its been almost 2 weeks and still no form has arrived for me to fill out)

.... and i'll have to wait in another line at Costco to change my account card once the credit card is fixed.

The Dentist:
While getting my new last name into the computer wasn't an issue, apparently getting my correct insurance account codes were... Apparently they never bother to look and double check my policy so for 4 years we have been mis-filed... and it has led to our HUGE dental fiasco and insurance error which I'm sure you have ready about Here, Here, & Here. Were still waiting on the verdict.

Things I Still Need to do:

I tried to log in on-line to access my account and request to change my name, but they removed my user name and password since my work told them of my name change. So when I went to use their online thing to create a new profile, it told me I already had one, but it wouldn't work. I tried the 800 number but unexpectedly the offices are closed.

County Clerks Office:
I have my case still pending for petitioning my homeowners property tax increase this year, and the case is still under my old last name, plus for future tax years i'll have to make a trip down there to fill out some name change forms but this is on the back burner for now...

My 2% cash back credit card. Until I get the mess with AMX figured out, i'm not touching this one for now.

Costco Card:
Until the AMX is changed, i'm not fiddling with the Costco account... that's just a disaster waiting to happen.

AAA card:
I'm not too worried on this one, I just haven't had time to call and ask for them to send me a new card.


  1. Wow I never realized how much work there would be!

  2. I thought I was done with the hassle of changing my name, but it just came up again - nearly 2 years after we got married...

    I was at the library and forgot my card, so gave them my ID to look it up. My name wasn't in the computer. Dur, it was still my old name. They changed it for me, and I got my books, but I'm starting to feel the hassle of name changes will never really be over.

  3. Ya I hear you. Its like you do it in phases... and then you realize that you missed something completely...

  4. Good thing you immediately addressed the issue of changing your last name in all important documents! But I noticed that you haven’t included here any Title Deeds that are in your previous name. If you do have title deeds under your last name, it would be best to change them to your new name to avoid any discrepancies.

    1. I didn't even think about that.... I guess my condo is still under my old name with the county records office... and my car I'm not so sure... I'd have to look.

      Thanks for the awesome reminder!