It’s Only a Name

Jordon and I just celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary this June (27th) and all I keep thinking is where has the time gone? It feels like only yesterday I was stressing out over seating charts and the perfect bouquet. But like so many women before me, once the “Big Day” is over, the stress doesn’t exactly end. That’s right, there is the impending paperwork nightmare that comes with your shiny new last-name. All of sudden you realize – “@#$*! everything needs to be changed!” There is your drivers license, bank accounts, bills, loans, social security card – the list goes on and on.

Thanks to the advice of a friend, I took advantage of a nifty website called MissNowMrs to help me with the process. The wonderful thing about the site is you only have to enter in your information *once* and it automatically fills out (most of) these forms for you. Print them directly from the website and you’re ready to send them off to the appropriate locations. It saved a ton of time and worry (thanks Jamie!).

But here’s where the twist in the road comes for those of us who happen to be legal aliens (green card carriers) in the United States. We also have to update our Passport and GreenCard. You can’t really do one without the other and {wouldn’t you know it} they both have a hefty price tag associated with the change (insert sarcastic gasp). I’m assuming “the powers that be” know people have to make the update so why not try to make some money in the process?

Consequently I’ve been avoiding these documents like the plague. Instead of starting the process like a good little wife, I have been traveling under my maiden-name during my trips abroad. My (American) husband didn’t love this by any means – but – he understood that it would cost us a good chuck of change to make the update(s).

Here’s the breakdown of cost if you’re curious:

  • GreenCard Fee: $365 plus a $85 biometric fee for a total of $450
  • (Australian) Passport Fee: $244
  • FedEx: $15 each way (for a total of $30)
  • New Passport photos: $10
  • Grand Total = $734

But, with my impending move across the globe, the urgency to actually have these items updated suddenly became apparent. I realized that if I did not make the change now, I would be known by my maiden for the next few years. When you’re overseas your passport is your identity (not your drivers license) and my Work Visa will also be based upon my passport information (ie. maiden name). It needed to changed and it needed to happen NOW.

{Insert absolute mayhem for the next few weeks}