What’s in a name? | Adventures in Bureaucracy

This morning I finally decided to bite the bullet and face the music. I decided to change my name. 

Having been married only a smidge over 6 weeks, I felt pretty good. I’ve heard horror stories of people who put off the big change for a year or more. Ugh. I’m still technically a resident of Maryland, despite my VA address (military weirdness) so I needed to head that way to make the switch, which meant a really wanted to get everything switched in one day to avoid multiple trips.

I had two main objectives:
1. New driver’s license
2. Update HR docs and new badge for work

I went to the Social Security Administration last week and applied for the name change. My new ss card showed up on Friday (only 5 days, what?!) and I took it, my marriage license, birth certificate, lock of hair, blood of a virgin, and incantation crystals to the Motor Vehicle Administration of Maryland, hoping for the best. 

imagesThe drive there was grueling as torrential rain made it hard to see and traffic had my nerves on edge. I finally made it to MVA around 10:30, trudged through the downpour, and found a place in the VERY long line for the information desk thinking if rain is the worst thing that happens today, I’ll be set.


I explained what I needed and presented my documents and talismans for sacrifice. That’s when I found out that I had the wrong version of my marriage license. I needed to take the version I had to the clerk’s office and get a certified copy.

Never mind that this one was signed by the officiant and bore the official seal of the county clerk’s office. Never mind that this was the version that the Social Security Administration accepted for my FEDERALLY ISSUED SOCIAL SECURITY CARD. It wasn’t a certified copy, so I couldn’t use it.

To add insult to injury, I was at the MVA in Charles County. I got married in St. Mary’s County. Which means that the courthouse I have to run over to isn’t even in the same county. Torrential downpour. Everyone closes at 4:30. Clock is ticking. Hmm….

It becomes obvious that I’m going to have to drive the 45 miles to the distant courthouse. I managed a win by stopping by my HR department and switching all of my work documents. New badge: check!

I arrived at the courthouse just after 2 and got the certified copy WHICH HAS EXACTLY THE SAME INFORMATION ON IT. I took it to the MVA location near the courthouse where I waited in line…again. All’s well that ends well though and my new ID is on its way. Soon I’ll be wildly identifiable.

By the time I headed home, the rain finally let up. What even ever.