How to Change the Name on a Pennsylvania Drivers License

A drivers license name change in Pennsylvania can be performed once your name has been legally changed with the Social Security Administration (SSA). While not legally required, it is highly recommended that you change name on driving license credentials, as a drivers license is a valid form of identification. Understanding how to request changing your name on driving license credentials is a simple task that is easily completed. For more information on performing a drivers license name change in Pennsylvania, including requirements, review the information provided below.

When is a DMV name change necessary in Pennsylvania?

You should perform a drivers license name change in Pennsylvania any time you make a change to your legal name. There are several reasons why DMV name changes are requested, including after a marriage, after a divorce, with adoption, due to personal preference, and even after gender reassignment surgery - in order to have a name that reflects your new gender. Whatever the reason for your name change, while not legally required in the state of Pennsylvania, you should perform a drivers license name change as soon as possible. Learn more about DMV name changes in our free, informative guide.

Reasons to Perform a Name Change on Drivers License in Pennsylvania

You should request a drivers license name change in Pennsylvania for a number of reasons. While not legally required, you likely use your drivers license as a primary form of identification. Additionally, if you do not perform a change of name on driving license in Pennsylvania, you are not going to be able to update the name on car registration documents and on your motor vehicle's title. This can quickly become problematic if you ever wish to sell your motor vehicle.

SSA Name Change Procedures Prior to Pennsylvania DMV Name Changes

Before you can perform a drivers license name change in Pennsylvania, you must first update the Social Security Administration and seek a corrected Social Security card that displays your new name. This is due to the fact that when you visit a Driver License Center with the intent of changing your name on a driving license, the center will run the information provided, compared to the Social Security Administration, in order to ensure accuracy.

Fortunately, updating your legal name with the Social Security Administration is a simple and free service. In order to apply for a Social Security card correction, you will need to visit your local Social Security Office. In order to obtain the corrected Social Security card, you will need to bring:

  • Proof of identity, such as with a drivers license or state identification card.
  • Proof of United States citizenship or lawful presence, such as a United States passport or a birth certificate.
  • Proof of your legal name change, such a court order, a marriage certificate, adoption papers or a divorce decree.

You can request a drivers license name change in Pennsylvania once your request has been successfully processed with the Social Security Administration. Learn more about name changing in Pennsylvania by downloading our complimentary guide.

How to Change Name on Drivers License Credentials in Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania drivers license name change must be done in person, as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) does not provide any additional DMV name change methods, online or otherwise. One important factor to note when changing name on drivers license credentials is that if your Pennsylvania drivers license is set to expire within the next six months, you will gain the ability to follow the steps to renew your drivers license with your new legal name, rather than simply replacing the old one. This can be especially helpful and convenient, saving you both time and money.

As outlined above, your drivers license name change request must be made in person at a Driver License Center where you will be asked to complete either a DL-80 or DL-143 application, depending on if the DMV name change will be for a renewal or a replacement drivers license. You can find both of these applications online, and if you choose to print out and complete the appropriate application, it will likely save you time at your Driver License Center visit. If you'd like to save even more time during your PA DMV name changing visit, consider calling ahead to schedule an appointment at the DOT office, or ask which days of the week you should visit in order to avoid a crowd.

When changing your name on drivers license at your local Pennsylvania Driver's License Center, be sure to bring the same documentation that you brought with you to the SSA office, whether a court order, a birth certificate, a marriage certificate or any other legal document that both displays your new legal name and previous legal name. All submitted documentation to change names on driver licenses must be original or certified copies.

Lastly, note that the fees associated with your DMV request for name change must be paid by either check or money order, as cash and card will not be accepted.