Name on drivers license

Hello! Dawn here...moved with the fam to Fajardo about a month ago, went through the wonderful procedure only to see my maiden name on my license...she indicated because that's what my birth certificate mind my SS card!
I have figured out the why, but can not seem to find a straight answer to how to get one with my married name and avoid having to change every other part of my financial and identity-life!
Is this even possible?
I'm a little panicked to be honest, and I speak very little Spanish at this time...
Thanks for any input!

Do you have to show your birth certificate in order to get driver's license or could you show your passport instead?

The island uses your name as in the birth certificate, you should consider going to social security and changing it to maiden name. If you wish to also use married name, you can add it by adding the (De) which means belonging to. Example: Jane Lillian Smith Hardin De Schwardz ( first, middle name, fathers last name, mothers maiden name, "De", husband last name

I could be wrong but to my knowledge there is no way around it, I will let others comment who are in the island and came from the states.

BTW: under NO circumstances use your "second last name"  just tell them you don't have one.... it will create more confusion later on... TRUST ME... DON"T DO IT..

and you need you physical Social Security card.

I just refuse... and have done so for many years.... they do however still think that my middle name is my last name.... can't fix stupid.... I had trouble years ago when they insisted i use a "second last name" for a car title then years later when to sell the car and GEE, GUESS WHAT??? not one document I had showed that SECOND LAST NAME....  and they gave me a hard time... but after a little yelling, i got my way.
SO my advise is JUST SAY NO!!!!!!

I had issues in the states, took a long time to switch everything to first name and fathers last name. Sometimes they used my mothers maiden as middle name, sometimes they hyphenated the two last name, sometimes they ran them together as one, many times it would not fit computers. Nightmare.

Even the governor wife uses the PR naming and not the husband last name.
LOL ... With so many divorces, easier to just use maiden name

Thank you everyone for the info!!😁

Dawndoro, when getting your license did they make you show your birth certificate or could you show your passport for identity instead?

I honestly think I am going to get a passport and just use that for identification needs.
Easier than changing everything else...??
Think that'll do?

Not sure if I'm replying twice...I don't see my other reply(?)
But... I showed my birth certificate and SS card-
No passport yet:)

Wish you luck on that, I would like to hear from others that been in the island at least a year and were married at the time.

The maiden name practice is common to Latin America, while married name is practiced in the US, but it is just a practice, in the US you do not have to use the husband last name, it is just a practice. For those that did not take the name, maiden name use is little to no trouble.

There may be a way to legally use the husband name.

Well I hope I can use my married name, it is on my passport, SS card, car title, bank accounts, etc., it would be ridiculous to have to change all those. I understand it is the Latin culture, but it is still the USA. I would understand having to do this if I moved to Costa Rica, Panama, etc. Hope there is a loophole.

In the US taking the husband name is a choice not a requirement, if chosen, then all those documents have to be updated in the states.

If women were single or not had opted to take their marriage name there would be no need to change the documents in the states and transitioning to PR would not have been an issue.
The natural state is to keep maiden name in the states and changing to husband name was an option.

Try License & co. In Condado !! Alberto or Richard ! They speak English and will take care of any auto issue you have ..they are above the Supermax

TravelingJ:  I have a friend who is going with us to the Dmv in Carolina next week so we can upgrade to the "Real Id" and she said we can fight them on it so I can use my married name..I'm in the same boat as you... I will update and let everyone know!:)

Dawndoro: Thank you!!!!! Yes, please keep me posted.

Hi Dawn, Welcome to Puerto Rico.  went through the same thing.Since I was born in NY, naturally my name on my SS card, drivers license has been in my married name for the past 47 years,  When I went to get my license, they told me that I needed a new SS card since mine was in my married name and laminated (which I did to protect it).

When I went to get my SS card, they told me that they couldn't put my married name on like Rey suggested because there was not enough room. so I said ok and left to go get my license with my new SS in my maiden name. So when I went to DTOP, I told them that everything I had was in my married name and I also took my marriage certificate to show this and I asked very nicely if they could put De with my married name after my maiden name which they did.  Now I have both names on my license and it makes life easier.

The only problem here is that everyone uses the maiden name and when I got medical insurance, go to the drs office, etc. everything is in my maiden name and my husband just says that we got divorce. ha ha.

It does get easier, I have the advantage of speaking the language so that may help some what but just try to speak Spanish even if it isn't perfect and people will appreciate it and help you.

Take care,


Tonie, hit it right on the head.
To those that plan to keep some documents with married name .... I don't recommend it.
There could be legal issues down the road like death, hospitalization of a love one that can not make decisions due to mental health or physical condition, taxes, wills, bank account of spouse, and others, where documents don't match and you may not be able to move quickly to solve the situation because you may need to go to a judge to get a disposition.

Real pain to change from married name, to maiden, and if you don't like PR after all, change it again when back in the states. But you don't have to change it back if you return to the states. Maiden name use is perfectly legal in the states.

When we move my wife will have the same issue with having to switch.
Thanks Tonie.

***** Remember all Federal laws apply, but anything regulated by the state is under PR laws. Living money or property to your kids goes by PR laws, which are absolutely different from the states.
******As a mater of fact you don't have a choice, when one of you dies, the kids get a portion even if the other partner is still alive.

Thank you Toni064 for your welcome and input!!:)'s the update:)

Went to Carolina. Was informed by the "top guy" that anyone who was not born in Puerto Rico will need a passport to get the "Real ID"

Calls Fajardo to see if they still have our Colorado Licenses.  They do.  He authorizes them to give them back to us. (Like I said: top guy)

Today we went to Fajardo with our friend. Long story short:  My husband got his license back (which as a side note we realized IS a real id...) and will be getting a resident ID card until he gets a passport. (Mainly for the golf discount lol)

After multiple consultations with various employees and supervisors, giving them my marriage certificate and expired passport which all showed my legal name as my married name... They changed my Puerto Rico license to my married name-it now matches my SS card and all banking and credit-yay!
So yes I kept my PR license and will be renewing my passport.  So yes it can be done!

Further information we received but not for sure yet...we were told the office at Humacao will issue. Real Id with an expired passport. Will update again to let you know if this is true.

I am seeing there is a lot of conflicting information on the web and obviously even within the system itself on these various issues. So lesson #1 keep asking and doing research when in doubt

Lesson #2 keep clarify by "fight" I meant in the sense to not to give up or give in when something is important to you.  I firmly believe in being calm and kind while doing any transaction...a smile goes a long way.

Also, I wanted to make it clear I have no problem with the way people decide to be named before/after marriage or what the culture is. I think that's great-&yes I know plenty of people who have kept their maiden name/changed even to mothers maiden name back in the states.  (Fun fact though-they didn't even put my mothers name-they put my fathers!?)
But my choice-my option- was to take my husbands name and make that my legal, government, banking, and credit recognized name. Has been for 26 years as of yesterday!
So I am very happy they worked it out.

Despite little frustrations like this -(that happen everywhere actually) I just want to be clear that I love it here! And I have found the people to be exceptionally warm and helpful. There are just a few kinks in the my advice is be informed, persistent, and bring a knowledgeable local:)

Thank you so much Dawndoro for your update!

I know this is an old topic, but I just wanted to agree with what another member said about NOT using mother's   name or father's  name, because this is so important. When I first came to PR I didn't understand that it was customary for a woman to use mother's and father's last name instead of her own married name. I use my husband's last name.
When agencies asked me to state my father's name and my mother's name, I ALWAYS refused.  As a result, all my PR documents are in my legal name, (same as my social security, passport, etc. ) and I have no problems in this regard.
So when they ask for your mother's or father's name, just say "no" and provide your legal name instead. Stand your ground.

Agreed! My wife was born in NJ, but raised in Mayaguez... and I'm a Gringo, and we both insist on this... it's on our birth certificates, and our Soc. Sec. cards.

Good morning,

     When it got to be the time to get my PR license, I was told that I needed a new ss card with my mother name, etc on it, so I went and got it, I asked if my husbands name could be on it since I have had my married name for many many years and everything from the U.S. was in my married name. The man said that there was not enough room since I had to have my mothers and fathers name on it.

      So then I went to get my license and asked them to put my married name on it and I showed my marriage certificate and they actually did it so my name is first name, mothers maiden name, fathers name and DE (of) my married name.  Now I have to get a renewal of my passport and I have to have them put my name as my PR license , since my old passport is under my married name.  This is ridiculous but since I am planning on staying here, my license will remain maiden name and then my married name.

Good luck in PR


Hey Tonie, I would have thought that the name would have been: first name, middle name if any, fathers last name, mothers las name, De and husband last name.
In your post you have mothers last name before fathers last name. I find that a bit odd.

My wife will likely use her married name since her marriage certificate, passport and current driver license are that way. Also her Banco Popular ATM card is also based on her married name.

If PR where to become a state, we will likely end up using the US format anyway.

I guess because me and my wife married in PR and then move to mainland this hadn't been an issue. All her legal documents are with my last name on it, even her ssn card is that way. I guess to us it never was an issue.

If you get care in a hospital they will register you with  both your parents last names.  Not your current legal name or the name written in your insurance card.

Justpeachyy, in that case maybe you do not have to pay the bill if you have no insurance, LOL, since they don't have your legal name.

I get all my care from the Veterans Administration, Caribbean Healthcare system... they use my legal name, my license and SS cards have my legal name, that name is on my birth certificate. They tried that with me, and I would not allow it. My mother hadn't used her last name, in 50+ years, so why would I? If some uneducated person, in a state government office, tries to make someone do that, just be politely insistant.

Puerto Rican Death Certificates use  your maiden name. Not that you need to know this, or if you will care after you die.

It could make a difference (don't know) when it comes to collecting life insurance, survivor SSN benefits and inheritance. Not sure how all these documents, each with their own naming format may affect timely resolution. Just something to keep in mind.

My insurance card is with my first name, middle initial and fathers name as is my drivers license and social security card.

I'd like to hear from some of the lawyers on this topic- anyone there?

ReyP,  Thanks for mentioning the inheritance laws.  I wasn't aware of that and it could impact my decision to move.

Vegascycler :

ReyP,  Thanks for mentioning the inheritance laws.  I wasn't aware of that and it could impact my decision to move.

I simply mentioned that I was unsure if there would be any delays due to paperwork having your name listed one way or the other.
To deal with inheritance law one needs speak with a lawyer. There are ways to control the inheritance that not everyone knows about.

You can always give it to me while you are still alive and I will make sure to spend it properly  :D

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