Every year we have stupid laws our state legislature thinks we need. Not all of the laws are stupid. The No Texting while driving is a good law. But we do have our annual dumb one.
On January 1, 2009, the law went into effect that a bride MUST decide if she will take the groom's name, keep her name, or hyphenate her name when the license is bought. Once this is filled out her name is written in stone. The only way to change her mind is:
1. before the wedding
2. a court case after the wedding
If she changes her mind before the wedding, a new license must be bought ($85 more) and the old license then voided.
After the wedding if she changes her mind, it is a huge deal. She must go to court and apply for a name change. This will cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
This law is explained carefully by the clerks. The couple is given the information to read. Remember that, it is explained, they read the information.
A lot of our couples don't even know they are getting married that day. No thought has gone into marrying, let alone picking the bride's name. This does apply to grooms also. But how many men do you know who would change their names?
Wednesday we had the first couple who changed their minds on her name. Lucky me, it was my couple. I called their name and they immediately said they didn't want her to change her name. I counted to ten, and then said I would find out how to correct it. Cindy was not happy, said to go talk to a lead clerk. The clerk who did their license was busy and wasn't making eye contact. I went to talk to Shinnel and Lourdes about what to do. They said (as above) a new license. The couple gave me a little grief, it had only been 5 minutes, they want us to just redo it. I explained the law, gave them options: new license or a court case later. After a little more lip from them I told them they had read the law, it had been explained to them, and they had signed the license as correct. What did they want to do? They decided even though she didn't want to change her name, to do so. The $85 for a new license was the deal breaker. This little discussion added about 15 minutes to my time with them. Which made other couples wait longer.
We will have more of these. No one really reads what we hand them. Many times when handed the certified copy of the license , they say that's spelled wrong, that isn't my address, that isn't when I was divorced, etc. They supposedly read it, and then signed it. But they don't read it.
This law is a problem, it was easy to change your name when you married before. You just told the DMV and Social Security. It wasn't a legal issue. Now it is a mess.