The first proviso here is that is is not necessary to change anything if you do not wish to in Spain. The practice in Spain is not for women to change their names to a married name, so by doing so, you are going against the usual protocol in the country, trying to impose another country´s usual practice, thus almost always leading to more complications and costs. It is perfectly fine for you to still legally keep your maiden name. However, if you really want to do it, this is how:-
1. The first step is to inform the authorities in the UK in order to get a new passport with your new name on it. This is very important.
2. If you got married in Spain, you need to take the paperwork you were given after the ceremony to the Civil Registry office in your area within 5 days of marriage, they will give you an official marriage certificate and a “libro de familia”. (Family book).
3. If you were married in the UK, you need to have the marriage certificate translated into Spanish.
4. Your bank needs to be informed of the change of name. If you have a Spanish bank account, all you need is to show them your new passport and possibly the marriage certificate.
5. If you have private health insurance, you need to inform them of the change of name and get a new certificate of cover.
6. Once you have your passport you need to re-apply for your NIE certificate. This is your Spanish national identification number. When doing this, you need to supply your marriage certificate (in Spanish), your new passport, a passport photograph and a copy of the old NIE certificate.
7. Once you have your new NIE certificate, you need to apply for a new residencia. When applying for this, you will need to supply all of the same paperwork as before. Health insurance, bank details etc, NIE etc.
8. At this stage, you are now ready to go to the town hall with your new documents, to get a joint padron with your new information on it.
9. If you have a driving licence you will need to go to Trafico and apply for a new driving licence with your new name and address if you are moving house.
10. If changing address as well you should go to the local medical centre and apply for a change of doctor’s surgery.
11. If either of you receive any type of financial help here in Spain such as child benefit or job seekers allowance, you need to take your marriage certificate and all of your new documents to the Social Security office so that they can update their system also.
12. You should speak to your Spanish accountant about whether it would be best to change your returns to a joint one rather than individual ones. It depends on different circumstances.
13. It may be necessary to change your Wills (not essential) but it is worth seeking advice on this.
Please, if we can help, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Post written by Jo Garcia Philips.