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Attorneys Vic Hill and Brad MacDonald

After divorce, change your name and ID by Election Day

With just under 100 days left until the 2012 presidential election, Georgia residents are likely to see a significant increase in campaign commercials, candidate emails and donation requests in the coming weeks. While there is still plenty of time to decide which candidate you would like to see in office, there is one task that recently-divorced women may want to tackle well in advance: changing your name and getting a new driver’s license or ID card.

Nationwide, about 90 percent of women change their names when they marry. With a divorce rate around 50 percent, this means that many women must once again go through the time-consuming process of changing their names after their marriage ends.

In Georgia, voters are required to show a photo ID before stepping into the voting booth. This means that recently divorced women who have not completed their name change process or obtained a new ID card may encounter difficulty when they get to the poll on November 6.

Because the process of changing your name can be such a lengthy one, it is important to start it early. When you go to the driver’s license bureau and the Social Security office, you will most likely need notarized copies of your divorce decree and related paperwork in order for your name change to be recognized. Another possible roadblock is timing. Many government offices are only open during normal business hours and have long waiting lines, so it can be difficult to get there if you work during those hours as well.

However, there is still plenty of time before the election to get this done. Start planning now, and you will walk into the voting booth in November with ease.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Women Voters: Are Your Photo IDs Up to Date?” Joanne Bamberger, July 31, 2012