How to Change the Name on a Virginia Drivers License

It is important that you perform a drivers license name change in Virginia after your name has been legally changed in order to update your records with the Virginia DMV and maintain a valid form of identification. Before you can change name on driving license credentials, you must first update the Social Security Administration with this modification. The Virginia DMV makes changing your name on driving license credentials a simple process, and provides easy-to-follow guidelines regarding a name change. For more information on a drivers license name change, including when, why and how to make this change, view the sections provided below.

Reasons for Changing Name on Drivers License Credentials in Virginia

You should complete a drivers license name change in Virginia as soon as possible after a legal name change. While there is no set time allotment to do so, the sooner you are able to change name on driving license credentials, the better, as your drivers license likely serves as your primary form of identification.

There are several reasons that you might need DMV name changing, such as after a marriage, a divorce or an adoption. You may have also have sought a court order for a legal name change for a preferred name or after gender reassignment surgery. Whatever your reason for your name change, it is important that you perform a drivers license name change as quickly as you can. Learn more about drivers license name change events in our free, downloadable guide.

Why to Perform Name Change on Drivers License in Virginia

Performing a drivers license name change in Virginia is important for a number of reasons. For starters, as mentioned above, you probably use your Virginia drivers license as a primary method of identification. Consider how often you are asked to provide this identification. A DMV name change will keep your information with the Virginia DMV current, and your valid form of identification may be able to aid you when you:

  • Are hired for a new form of employment.
  • Apply for a loan or a line of credit.
  • Obtain new health insurance.
  • Are required to provide proof of identification.

Additionally, performing a change of name on driving license is important if you own a motor vehicle, as you will not be able file a car title name change or a vehicle registration name change until you change name on driving license credentials. This can quickly make things tricky, should you ever want to sell your motor vehicle.

Updating the Social Security Administration Prior to a Virginia DMV Name Change

Before you can perform a drivers license name change at the Virginia DMV, you must first inform the Social Security Administration of your name change. This is due to the fact that the Virginia DMV name changing process includes verifying the information that you provide with the Social Security Administration database, and if you have not yet informed the Social Security Administration, you will likely be told that you need to do so, first.

Prior to a change name on driving license request, changing your name with the Social Security Administration is not only a simple task, but a free one. You will be required to complete an Application for a Social Security Card, and either visit your local Social Security Administration in person or by mailing the application to your local office. Additionally, you will need to supply the Social Security Administration with the following documentation:

  • Proof of citizenship, such as with a birth certificate or a United States passport. This is only required if you have not already established your citizenship with the Social Security Administration
  • Proof of identity, such as with your Virginia drivers license or United States passport
  • Proof of your name change, such as with a certified marriage certificate, a divorce decree, adoption papers or a court order approving the legal name change

Not only is it important to update the Social Security Administration of your name change in order to perform a DMV name change, but should you fail to update your name with the Social Security Administration, your taxes could be delayed when you file, and you could prevent your wages from being posted correctly to your Social Security record, which can consequentially lower the amount of your future Social Security benefits.

Download our comprehensive guide to read more about the name change process in Virginia.

How to Change Name on Drivers License in Virginia

In Virginia, a drivers license name change can only be done in person by visiting your local DMV Customer Service Center. When changing your name on drivers license credentials, you will be required to complete a Driver’s License and Identification Card Application, or a DL-1P, which can be done either during your visit, or you can complete the application and bring it to the DMV with you in order to save time.

A DMV name change will also require you to provide proof of your legal name change, such as whichever legal document you had used when you updated the Social Security Administration of your legal name change. Keep in mind that the documentation you submit must either be original or a certified copy, as photocopied or faxed copies are not accepted at the Virginia DMV. When performing a drivers license name change in Virginia, you will be required to pay the appropriate replacement drivers license fees, and you must surrender your previous Virginia drivers license. While you cannot completely change name on drivers license online, you can save time by starting the process online. Once you have completed your online request, bring the confirmation email with you to your DMV in order to have your pending application processed. Review more information about Virginia DMV name changes by downloading our complimentary guide.