About Changing Your Name on Your Washington Registration
Unlike with many other states, there is no time limit or deadline to change name on car registration in Washington or to update other DMV documents. In fact, you do not have to submit a DMV name change in Washington after marriage unless you choose to. However, there are many reasons for a name change, and most drivers find it important or even necessary to have their name match on all their important documents.
For this reason, it is usually worth the time to submit a registration name change, update your driver’s license and more. Whether your name change is the result of a marriage, divorce, adoption or court order, the DOL recommends you change car registration information to reflect your new identifier. Read on to learn how to change WA DOL name records.
When is a Washington DMV name change required?
A DMV name change in Washington is not required after marriage. However, if you end up wanting to change your name more than one year after your wedding, you may have to provide more documentation than if you change it immediately. Additionally, if a divorce leads you to restore your name to a previously used version on your driver’s license, you should submit a name change on car registration documents as well.
Note that you can only change car registration info after updating your Washington driver’s license. Moreover, you must update the Social Security Administration (SSA) before getting your DMV name change on your license. Finally, if you have a loan or lien on your vehicle, you must change your name with the lending institution instead of the DOL.
Download our free comprehensive guide to get step-by-step instructions for updating your name with the DOL.
Changing a Name on Car Registration in Washington
The WA DOL prefers that you change your name on car registration documents in person whenever possible. However, if you cannot visit an office in person, you may submit your documents by mail. Follow these steps to properly change car registration name information.
After reviewing the name change checklist below, visit your nearest vehicle licensing office or Quick Title office. You will need to bring official documentation that proves your name change. You will also need to bring a credit card, debit card, check, money order or cash to pay any necessary fees.
Applying for a name change on car registration by mail involves sending the same information that you would present in person. However, you must pay your name change fee with a check or money order rather than cash. You can mail your application to the main DOL address or to your nearest vehicle licensing office or Quick Title office.
Note: After you update your car registration records, you may request a duplicate vehicle registration that displays the new information.
Washington Name Change Checklist of Acceptable Documents
This Washington name change checklist goes over which documents you will need to verify your new name, including:
- Your current WA vehicle title (not a copy).
- Affidavit of Loss/Release of Interest form (if you do not have the title).
- Completed vehicle title application.
You must also submit a copy of the court order authorizing your name change or an official department form signed in front of a DOL agent or notary public. Examples of court ordered name change documents include:
- A marriage certificate.
- A certified divorce decree.
- A certified adoption decree.
- Other certified court-ordered name change documents.
Other DMV Name Change Tasks
Submitting a DOL name change on one vehicle will not automatically update your registration for other vehicles you own, so you must update each vehicle or vessel separately. In addition, you must individually update your records with the driver’s license department and the Good to Go! electronic tolling pass office if you want all of your DOL records to match.
Download our free comprehensive guide for links to official forms, information on fees and a list of required documents to update your name in Washington.