It’s official: I’ve changed my name. After spending the morning visiting the Social Security Office and the DMV, I’ve both changed my name and switched my driver’s license from New York to California. I’ve registered to vote out here as well. It was time-consuming to drive between the two offices (especially because—not surprisingly—I got hideously lost), but ultimately far less painful than my DMV experiences in NYC. In fact, I walked in at 11:00am, got a number, and was called immediately: no need to line up outside the office two hours before it opened. You might argue that this makes Sacramento superior to NYC. In this instance, I suppose you’d be right.
Well, perhaps not: California’s state-changing process required me to take a written driver’s exam of 36 questions. I passed. But if I hadn’t, it would have been really annoying.
So I’m now officially my new married self, though my credit cards, passport, and other sundry items still have my “maiden” name. I've made the name-changing choice, so, now that I'm a Matron, getting everything changed will be my first project for the New Year. (Trying to do it now is dangerous: my plane tickets for Christmas are in my former name, so I at least need my passport and frequent flyer information to match.)
Until today, I’ve been in a quasi-name-state, hesitant to give my new married name since it wasn’t really official. I’m still getting checks in my old name; my email is still my old name (I’ve set up a new one and may, at some point, try to switch—thank goodness for gmail’s automatic forwarding feature!). Now I can give my new name with abandon. Let the name-changing begin.