Shop Parts keyboard_double_arrow_right
Need car parts? Select your vehicle
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Summary
  • The license number of your driver’s license will not change when you change your name.
  • The only time the driver’s license number can change is if the state that issued it adopts a new numbering scheme.
  • If you change your name or address, you must update the relevant information on your driver’s license and get a duplicate of the updated document.
  • After changing your name, you have 30 days to update your driver’s license at your local DMV office.
  • Bring your marriage license, a letter from the Department of State Health Services that verifies your marriage, divorce decree, and annulment papers.

Your driver’s license proves your identity and qualification to drive on the road. It also serves as the equivalent to the national ID of other countries. It contains critical information like your full name, address, and–perhaps most importantly–the individual license number assigned to you by the state government.

However, there are times when a driver has to change his or her name. For example, most woman who get married take on their husband’s surname as their own. Conversely, a divorce or annulment will revert the woman’s name back to her maiden name.

Name changes like this bring up a good question: Will the license number of your driver’s license change if your name changes?

close up shot of california driver licenses
No, the license number of your driver’s license will not change whenever you have to change your name or get a replacement.

Does Your Driver’s License Number Change When You Get Married?

You can put your concerns to rest. In one word: No, the license number of your driver’s license will not change whenever you have to change your name. The unique number was issued by the state government for recordkeeping purposes. Even if you lose your original driver’s license and get a replacement, the new license will keep your number.

The only time the driver’s license number can change is if the state that issued it adopts a new numbering scheme. The state of Washington started giving new driver’s license numbers to newly issued and renewed licenses in 2018. The previous numbering scheme used the driver’s name and date of birth as the basis for the license number. If the license was stolen or the number acquired, it would put the driver’s identity and security at risk.

Washington’s new scheme issued license numbers starting with WDL followed by nine letters and numbers chosen at random. This approach reduced the risk of identity theft and other threats to the driver’s security.

However, the law requires you to ensure that all information on your driver’s license is accurate and kept up to date. If you change your name or address, you will need to update the relevant information on your driver’s license. That means getting a duplicate–that is to say, a new copy–of your driver’s license with the changes. A name change associated with marriage, divorce, and annulment is one of the grounds for getting a new license.

filling out a driver's license application
If you have legally changed your name, you have a 30-day period to go to your local DMV office to update your record.

How to Change Your Name on Your Driver’s License

Once you change your name, you have a 30-day period to go to your local DMV office. You will need to ask them to make a duplicate driver’s license with your new name.

When you go to the DMV office, bring the original copies of any of the following documents:

  • Marriage license
  • Letter from the Department of State Health Services that verifies your marriage
  • Divorce decree
  • Annulment

The DMV needs this document as proof that you have legally changed your name. It will also charge you a fee to pay for the duplicate of your driver’s license. Depending on the office and state, there might be a waiting period before they release your new license.

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Automotive Features Reviewer at CarParts.com

Lisa Conant grew up in Canada around a solid contingency of gear heads and DIY motor enthusiasts. She is an eclectic writer with a varied repertoire in the automotive industry, including research pieces with a focus on daily drivers and recreational vehicles. Lisa has written for Car Bibles and The Drive.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

File Under : Lifestyle
headlights and components
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

View all Questions & Answers

expand_more
CarParts.com Answers BE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY: Share your knowledge & help fellow drivers Join Now