How to change your name on key documents and travel accounts 44

UPDATE 11/15/15: More detailed information provided below for how to change your name online with Delta.

We’ve been married over a year and a half and I’m finally, finally finishing changing my name. I was excited and proud to take my husand’s last name and I legally changed it right away. I got a new driver’s license and social security card and changed it in all the “easy” places. But for various reasons including upcoming international flights under my maiden name, my passport not expiring for another couple years, and there just being oh so many damn travel accounts to tackle, I held off.

My passport will be expiring during our next international trip so the time came to finally make the change. Changing my name on my passport was actually the easiest step. I completed the application online, and mailed it in along with my current passport, a check for $110, a passport photo and a certified copy of our marriage license. I got my new passport in the mail less than a month later, but am still waiting for them to return my original documents to me.

Precheck-logo-TMTSA Precheck
My maiden name was attached to my known traveler number, so once I started booking tickets under my married name the number wouldn’t work. A few weeks ago I had a bad run in with the TSA because my ID and ticket said two different names. Though this had accidentally happened a few times before without any problems, apparently trying to go through Precheck triggered a full ordeal. I was pulled out of line, asked several questions, they had to make some phone calls to ensure I wasn’t a terrorist, and they removed every item out of my bags. This resulted in me being paged for my flight and sprinting through the airport.

Anyway, I called TSA to officially make the change this week and was notified it would take one to three months. Seems a little ridiculous to me! I had a hard time finding the correct phone number, so here it is: 855.347.8371—press 3 for Precheck, then 4 for ‘all other inquiries.’  The agent said that someone would be in touch with the next steps, and a day later someone called me with an email to send my marriage license. Again, seems like an extra step to me. Good thing for A-List status since I won’t be able to use Precheck for the next few months.

name_changeAirline Accounts

United: By far the easiest! You can do it online by following these simple steps:

  1. Please make any necessary changes to the name on your MileagePlus account through your MileagePlus account profile.2. For a significant name change, locate and upload a copy of the required supporting documentation.

It says to allow two weeks for the change but mine went through the same day or very next day at least.

American Airlines: All last name changes, as well as any other changes that cannot be handled via My Account or AAdvantage Customer Service, require a written request and supporting legal documentation. Please submit these requests via FAX to the American Airlines AAdvantage Department at 817-963-7882.

Delta: Log in to your Delta Skymiles account and click “Comment/Complaint” in the top right hand corner. In the dropdown menu select ‘Skymiles,’ and in the second box select ‘Update Skymiles Account.’ In the text box write a short description requesting a name change, then upload a copy of your marriage certificate. If you need assistance contact Customer Service at 1-888-750-3284.

Southwest: Please forward your Rapid Rewards card, along with photocopies of legal documentation (old and new driver’s licenses or a marriage certificate) and an informal letter indicating your legal name, to Rapid Rewards, P.O. Box 36657, Dallas, TX 75235 or fax to 1.877.506.0154

I wrote a letter with my Rapid Rewards number, proof of old and new name, upcoming confirmations, account number for spouse (for our companion pass), and info on missing credits from flights traveled with new name and faxed it in. It was all changed and appropriately updated within a few hours.


We also have a spreadsheet template that can help you manage your accounts HERE.


Plus:  How we collected 2.5 million frequent flier miles



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44 thoughts on “How to change your name on key documents and travel accounts

  • Amanda Martinez

    THANK YOU for the phone number and instructions for pre-check!!!!!! I have been trying to figure out how to change that (and holding off because of upcoming travel), but my trips will be over this weekend and It’s time to make the call. I can’t believe how long they say it will take though – did it really take them that long, and how did they notify you that it was complete?

    • Caleb

      Glad it helped Amanda! A TSA representative actually called me to notify me that it was complete. I can’t remember exactly how long it was before I got that call but it was not the full length they had quoted.

      • Amanda Martinez

        I just called and definitely harassed them a little bit, they claim the wait is because there’s a “huge number of people making name change requests.” I tried to say “Well those same people are probably making that name change request to Social Security, their state’s DMV, etc, and all THOSE government agencies seem equipped to handle the request in approximately a week or less!” but, they were unimpressed with my facts. I’ll be calling them on Monday and will try to keep track of how long it takes.

  • Kimberly

    Ugh, this was very helpful for PreCheck- sadly I called them in early November and no one has even reached out to me yet.

    I just called back and was told the same thing as Amanda- basically they are very busy, etc. I was told I am welcome to re-enroll, which I’m debating doing at this point because I’m not actually confident this will be complete anytime soon. It’s especially ridiculous given that this is a service we PAY for.

    Amanda, have you had any luck yet?

      • MistiW

        I got tired of waiting. I called TSA and was told that I could re-apply. I made an appt for yesterday for fingerprinting again. I checked this morning and it was completed and approved. Too bad it cost $85 again, but it’s worth it!

        • Amanda Martinez

          I’m still waiting – I called on 1/11/16 and it’s now 2/26/16 and I jump anytime I get an unrecognized phone call but it’s still. not. them. I don’t travel a TON anymore so I’m trying to be patient on this.

          • Amanda Martinez

            FOLLOW UP! It’s two months to the day that I called the TSA the first time, and I just got an email to send them my marriage certificate! I believe I got an email instead of a call because when I first applied I would have indicated that was the best way to reach me. Hopefully it’s not too much longer now before I can use it again.

          • Cyndi

            What is the email address to send the marriage certificate to? I still haven’t gotten a call back from them with the damn address!! If I can at least get that sent in, maybe it will move quicker than waiting over a month just for the phone call with an address?? Thanks

          • Amanda Martinez

            Cyndi- It did take them nearly 2 months to the day to “call” me – what really happened was they emailed me asking for the certificate and what my new name was. I assume they emailed me because when I had originally applied that was my preferred method of contact?

            You really have to wait your turn for them to get back in touch with you otherwise the whole process for everyone is thrown off.

          • Inna

            I called today and SW said I had to fax a letter to 877-506-0154 with a letter requesting a change, my contact info (address, phone number), Rapid Rewards number and my upcoming reservation information will be updated in 72 hours. She said the email takes 30 days to update.

  • Katie

    This is a super helpful article! Does anyone also have Global Entry, and do you guys know if making a premature name change with TSA Precheck will make anything more difficult once the Global Entry membership/record is updated to reflect the new last name? Thanks!!

  • MistiW

    This was a great help when I changed my name. I have advice on TSA Precheck. I was told that they would not have my name changed for 30-90 days because it’s a different group that processes personal information changes and that they are of course understaffed. After 45 days, I called the service center and asked if I could just re-apply. I had to pay the $85 again, but my ITN was updated the very next day! Well worth the effort for someone who cannot wait 3 months for updates.

  • Laura

    I called on 3.3.16 and as of 5.9.16 I still haven’t heard a thing. I called back the TSA line and after about 20 minutes on hold the agent said she sees my request but she has no way to reach the ‘data corrections division’ to check on the status of my individual request. I was hoping to find somewhere to send my marriage license to directly instead of waiting 3 months for them to ask me for it. I had to get a new passport as mine expires within 6 months so it looks like I’ll be traveling sans TSA precheck for the foreseeable future :(.

    • Beth Post author

      Laura, sorry to hear you’re having problems with it. It can be such a pain and I feel your frustration. My only advice would be to keep calling and hope to get a more helpful agent next time.

      • Joanie

        Hi Beth,
        I am having major problems too! I changed my drivers license to my married name over a year ago but have not yet changed my passport. If I have this correct, I need to change my passport FIRST before trying to get a new Global Entry Card? It’s $110 for a new Passport in my married name using form DS-82 (along with sending my marriage license and old passport) and THEN once I have new passport I am able to get a new Global Entry Card? On the Global Entry FAQ it says you can not do a name change on their website through the GOES system. So where OH WHERE do you do this?!!? I am so confused!

        Thanks for any help,

  • Whitney

    Oh wow! I am so thrilled to see that others are feeling my pain with the TSA precheck name change. This is by far the worst thing about changing any names. I sent a twitter message to @AskTSA and have received private messages from both Bobbi and Mari who I suppose are customer service reps, in the same message string, telling me different guidance. I feel at a loss! I called TSA after work and was on hold for 90 minutes before they closed at 10pm. I understand the TSA has bigger customer service problems to worry about, but this is just crazy! If you’re able to share the email, that would be super!

  • Lori Rassati

    Thank you! I travel often for work and got married two months ago. As you said, changing SS card and driver’s license were easy peasy, but the rest of it, not so much. I changed with American by sending them a pdf of my marriage license and that was updated in a day or two, but then I couldn’t figure out why my pre-check number wasn’t working. It finally dawned on me, and I figured the process for that (and my passport) would be daunting. Thanks for leading the way and leaving the instructions for the rest of us. I’m going to call TSA as soon as I hit send on this comment.

  • V Davies

    Did it end up taking months for TSA to update, or did they do it more quickly than expected? I just called today, so am waiting for my call back.

    Thank you for posting this, SO helpful!

  • Eve

    Thank you – this was extremely helpful. I called TSA pre-check and they picked up right away, which was a surprise. She did indicate that it was going to take up to 3 months for me to get an email asking for my marriage license and updated Driver’s License (Oh- Gov’t!).

    I travel for work and there is no good time to do this so I’ve been concerned about changing my name. She said to continue booking flights with my maiden name (because my KTN is associated with it) and use my passport (with my maiden name) as my identification at TSA security. Once my name change has happened with TSA, then she suggested I change my name with Delta and book flights with my married name. It sounds easy if changing your name is done in this order, just a long time to wait. We shall see.

    • Joy

      I have been calling TSA PreCheck since April trying to get my name changed. I was told in April it would take 30 to 90 days for someone from TSA to call me and tell me what documents they need from me to change my name. I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what they need and who to send it to. I think that is information that they should provide to the customer service rep answering the phone. I called again this week and sent 2 messages through their contact me section on their website. I get the same information from the email system – will take 30 to 90 days for someone to tell me what they need. This shouldn’t be so difficult.

      Any Advice?

  • Inna

    this was incredibly helpful! A few updates:

    American Airlines- call customer service, they will email you and you respond back with your marriage license or old and new ID

    Jet Blue- call their customer service 1-800-538-2583 and they will update it over the phone

    United- it updated within 10 minutes of my submission

    TSA- sadly, they said it is now a 4 month delay…ridiculous

  • Robin

    Thank you so much for the number. I travel ALL the time and I agree, I am going to be loving A List status since my Pre Check is not going to be working for a while, wish I started THAT process BEFORE I changed my name on my airline info. I just got notification that SWA updated my name still waiting for TSA. So I have had to carry around my passport with maiden name on it, drivers license with married name on it and my marriage license to prove I am who I am…. men have no idea! 🙂

  • Mollie

    This was so helpful and I forwarded it to a good number of newly married friends. My TSA Pre email came through a little over 3 months after the request. As soon as I sent my marriage license copy, an assurance it would be complete in 3 weeks followed via mail. Should be good to go now. Just in time for Thanksgiving. 4 months total.

  • Cece

    Hi Beth. I know this post is old but it has been very helpful for me to update all my travel information. The last item of business for me is the Passport. I really love seeing all the places I have been through the past 9 years that I have had it. Did you get your old passport back after you sent it with the certified copy of your marriage license?

  • Hilary

    Hi I just got married and found your website to be EXTREMELY helpful! I was wondering if someone had any thoughts on my predicament… I just sent my passport, my only copy of my certified marriage license (I’m in the process of getting more), off to passport services so I can get a new passport for my new name. I already changed my DL, etc. We don’t have any immediate travel plans, but I payed the extra $$ to have my passport expedited anyways. My question is in regards to my TSA account, I just spoke with them today and they said it would take up to 3 months (uhh ok) just for them to send me the info to have my name changed.. I was wondering if it would be an issue if I went ahead and applied for Global Entry instead of waiting for them to figure out ( my husband has it, but I only have Precheck). Or would this fly a HUGE red flag? haha

    • Caleb

      Hey Hilary! To be honest I don’t know the answer to that, my recommendation would be to call Global Entry and ask if they would assign you a new number. Good Luck! bt

  • Kristin Castillo

    Thank you so, so much for this. Currently waiting for my new passport and have this article saved in my notes app to tackle PreCheck and airlines next!

  • Emily

    Thanks so much for posting this! It’s so helpful! I was told by TSA that it would be 3-6 months to get my name updated so I applied for Global Entry with my new passport and got a new pre-check number with my new name. Now I can travel under both names with pre-check until everything is straightened out with all the various airlines.