how to change your name legally

When changing your name… You can change your first name, middle name, last name, or all of the above. If you need legal advice, contact a licensed attorney. Gender details do not appear on social security cards, but to change you gender filed with the Social Security Administration, you can show a state-issued amended birth certificate, a physician’s letter certifying clinical treatment, or a ten-year U.S. passport showing the appropriate gender marker. Bring every form of identification that your local DMV instructs you to—including your current license, your certified marriage certificate and, most importantly, your new Social Security card. Use these forms if you are only changing your name but not your sex. Be patient, and continue enforcing the use of your new name. Although the steps vary by state, almost every state requires you to file a petition with the county court where you live, seeking the court's permission for your proposed change. You can, but first you should ask yourself if your boyfriend is worth that much effort. Find out how to change your name and what paperwork you'll need to file. You can choose a name and just start using it in social settings and in your business. Getting married makes changing your name easier than it would otherwise be, so think carefully about what you want your permanent name to be. Include your entire first, middle, and last name where listed. "I'm single & starting the retirement chapter of my life. This means you must serve copies of your case documents on the child’s other parent, guardians, or custodians. If necessary, talk to a supervisor. Approved. The name change gazette notification is mandatory for those in employment with the government and optional for others. To change your identity, you'll need to contact the Social Security Administration and request a form to change your name. After your wedding, you’ll receive a marriage certificate in the mail which serves as your official legal name document. You can change your own name in New Zealand if you're over 18 and a citizen or permanent resident. He received his JD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998 and his PhD in American History from the University of Oregon in 2013. The links to the appropriate CA forms and examples of names you can't use, like Chuck E. Cheese, were, "I have been separated for 10 years and want to go back to my maiden name now. Generally, if you're changing your name after marriage, a marriage certificate is the only thing that you need. % of people told us that this article helped them. In California, for instance, your physician can use the Declaration of Physician Attachment, which is officially. Notify any employers, banks, or services of your changed name so they can adjust their documentation accordingly. Start introducing yourself with your new last name, signing checks and other documents with your new last name, and politely asking people to use it when they address you. This article was co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD. Arrive at your hearing 15 to 20 minutes early, just in case. If the judge denies your request, get a copy of the denial and try again. Petition to change your name by filling out a name change form, an order to show cause for legally changing your name, and a decree to legally change your name. Some brides like to keep their maiden name within their new name by taking on their maiden name as their middle name. Informing your school, employer, and other institutions of your new name (some institutions may require legal documentation of your name change). I love visiting you guys! Civil Cover Sheet (pdf fillable) Petition for Change of Name . This form packet has moved to Indianalegalhelp.org. Yes, you can. Name restrictions. Visit our professional site », By FindLaw Staff | But you'll need parental permission if you're underaged. Additionally, do not complete section (7) and do not provide your signature until requested later on in the tutorial. All original copies will be mailed back to you with a receipt. 4. While your heirs can't be disinherited because of a name discrepancy, they may have to go through more steps in order to show your former name and true identity before being awarded their share. He received his JD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998 and his PhD in American History from the University of Oregon in 2013. Really, it's totally up to you. Both Parents Filing Together Can I change both my first and last name just because I don't like them? You're avoiding bankruptcy by pretending to be someone else. Some states allow you to simply post in a public place such as a designated bulletin board at the courthouse. Clear, and it will really help me change my name! Currently, this option is restricted to applicants 19 or older who are applying to change their own name and not the names of any children. ", "Answered most my questions in one place.". Changing your name on estate planning documents will make it much easier for your heirs in the future. The laws in every state are different and you'll want to make sure you're doing it by the book, including filing your legal name change petition with the appropriate government entity. Your Current Passport 3. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. If you've already obtained your marriage certificate and it doesn't include your name change, skip down to the general name-changing method. Changing your name on your driver licence. People like what I changed, "Very helpful. o Contact a newspaper in your county and set up publication of the notice. In most cases you must publish the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for 4 weeks in a row.Your court most likely has a list of newspapers that are approved for publishing legal notices. All states are pretty similar. These forms ask for your old name, your new name, whether you want to change your name to avoid paying debts, and … He or she may be able to help you expedite the process, since changing a name for this reason is quite common. Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select, Please enter a legal issue and/or a location. By using our site, you agree to our. The first place to update your name after your marriage is with the Social Security Administration (SSA). You can change your name yourself if you’re 16 or over. They will issue you a new ID that reflects the name change. Make two (2) photocopies of the Petition after it has been completed. When you go to the courthouse to get your marriage certificate, the clerk should ask you if you want to change your name. If you want to change your name again, you will need to prove you have been using this name for at least 12 months. Usually, both parents need to agree to change a child’s name, even if they're not together. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/3\/38\/Change-Your-Name-Step-1-Version-4.jpg\/v4-460px-Change-Your-Name-Step-1-Version-4.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/3\/38\/Change-Your-Name-Step-1-Version-4.jpg\/aid20081-v4-728px-Change-Your-Name-Step-1-Version-4.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In California, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and Washington, D.C., the clinical treatment does not necessarily need to be surgical. Use your current legal name when completing this (and all) forms. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Again, since every state varies on their name change rules, be sure to check with your local court clerk to find out your state's requirements. Your new social security card should arrive within 10 days of processing. The clerk will issue you a summons, which is an official notice of your case. How to change your name in Virginia is the subject of this article, so read on to find out: In order to legally change your name, you must prepare two documents: the Application for Change of Name … There are restrictions respecting personal names when choosing, altering or correcting a legal name on Vital Statistics certificates and documents. This article has 19 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. To legally change your child's last name, you need court permission. You can make an appointment to change your name in person, or you can mail in the appropriate documents. Once you've obtained a court order authorizing your name change, you can use it to update your name on your … Find out how to legally change your name in Alberta. trying to name yourself "Chuck E. Cheese" or "Adidas Batman"). All rights reserved. Check your local court's website to determine if your petition must be submitted in person, and to determine the hours that they are open for such business. Changing your name because of a change in marital status is much easier if you are only changing your last name to your spouse's name or taking your maiden name as a middle name. ", https://www.theknot.com/content/name-change-101, http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.pdf, http://www.socialsecurity.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf, http://family.findlaw.com/marriage/how-to-legally-change-your-name.html, http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2012/04/do-you-want-to-legally-change-your-name.html, http://definitions.uslegal.com/f/fraudulent-intent/, http://www.flcourts.org/core/fileparse.php/293/urlt/982a.pdf, http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/change-name-after-divorce-faq-29090.html, http://www.illinoislegalaid.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.showglossary, http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/courts/circuit/pdf/ccr-a-160.pdf, http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/filingfees.pdf, http://www.newmexiconamechangelaw.com/requirements.asp, https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/transgender-people-and-law?redirect=lgbt-rights/know-your-rights-transgender-people-and-law, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport/gender.html, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Take a trip to the local Department of Motor Vehicles office to get a new license with your new last name. Typically, you may legally change your name to whatever name you'd like, although state marriage laws may also provide some additional legal guidance. List your new name on your marriage certificate. You should get your new card in the mail 10 days after your request was processed (either the date you visited SSA in person or the date listed on your receipt). Sometimes it can even be included in the divorce decree. If you're an immigrant, ex-convict, or attorney, you'll probably need an affidavit of service of notification to authorities in addition to your petition. However, it is substantial proof of your name change. Copyright © 2021, Thomson Reuters. Gather your paperwork together. Whether you simply don't like your birth name or want to revise it after marriage, divorce, or gender change, the process of legally changing your name is usually pretty straightforward. In fact, most state government websites have forms online that you can print and use. If you’re changing your name because you’re getting married, make sure you list your new name on your marriage certificate. Next, bring your marriage certificate, birth certificate, and photo ID to your local Social Security Administration office. New Passport Photo (colored) There is no fee under this circumstance (unless you want the forms expedited) and all the abo… With a court order you can change your legal name on government-issued identification documents such as your driver's license, passport, and social security card. The steps and complexity vary depending on the state and the situation – for example, it's easier to change your name when getting married than it is to change your name simply because you want to and you can. Firefox, or In addition to your friends and family members, here are some of the entities that you should notify once you legally change your name: If any of these entities give you a hard time when you tell them about your legal name change, remind them of your right to do so and offer them a copy of the court order. No, unless it's an official letter to the CPS, State Department, police, or something. Filling out forms and applications under your new name, Telling your family and friends to only refer to you by your new name. If you are changing your first or middle name to anything other than your maiden name, you might have to take the traditional route and go through the courts. If you're changing your name because of a divorce, contact your divorce lawyer. For example, in California you do not need a court-ordered gender change to change your driver's license or birth certificate. Here's your escape plan. The questions on the forms are very straightforward and may include your old name, new name, Social Security number, the reason for your name change, and a promise that you are not changing your name to escape debt or criminal liability. Whether you’re getting married or you want a new identity, changing your name can seem like an overwhelming process. The name uses numbers or symbols (except Roman numerals). If you have questions about handling a legal matter, please contact a lawyer. Submit a printout of your application along with all required documents by mail or in person to the addresses we provide at the e… Please try again. To receive a ten-year U.S. passport, your ID and passport photo must resemble your current appearance, and you must submit a letter from a physician certifying that you have completed your transition. Apply and pay online with a credit card. Yes. Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported. The email address cannot be subscribed. The process you must follow, however, differs depending on your state's laws and why you want the change. Adult Name & Sex Change Forms. Adult Name Change Forms. Name changes that do not require a legal change of name . You can take on your spouse's name, hypenate your name (e.g. Do I have to use my legal name for air mail? Be sure to change your name on all of your personal and legal documents, such as wills, deeds, titles, trusts, accounts, and powers of attorney. A person may change his/her name at will and operate a business, write … Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 2,164,730 times. 3. Take these forms to the court clerk and file them along with your state's required filing fees. Also applicable info was shared on my responses. A person residing in Alberta may have their name legally changed, under certain conditions. I don't want to change my name, I just want a middle name. Thanks! You can change your name only once in a 12 month period and 3 times in your lifetime. Make sure you notify credit card agencies, credit bureaus, and the IRS so that you don't get in legal trouble. In most cases, a judge or magistrate will review your forms and grant the name change. Learn more about FindLaw’s newsletters, including our terms of use and privacy policy. This article is intended as legal information and does not provide legal advice. You can file for a name change in Massachusetts if you are 18 years or older and want to legally change your name. Contact a qualified family law attorney to make sure your rights are protected. I have been curious about non-marital name changing since I was very, "I changed my name just a tad bit, because I'm still in school and I don't like my name. Court staff cannot give you legal advice, which includes telling you which form to choose. You will generally need a certified copy of the decree changing your name. Nothing else is required to legally change your name, and the certified marriage license or divorce decree can be used to notify other parties and agencies of your name change. A deed poll is a legal document that proves the change of name, and it can be used as evidence of your new title for the purposes of amending your passport, driving licence and other official documents. References Legal self-help centers are often available to help with name changes, and legal fees may be waived if sufficient financial need is demonstrated. Getting help with your case. This can be a completely legal name change. Before beginning the process of changing your name, practice signing it and have a few people close to you call you by that name, to make sure you like it. Name changes due to marriages and divorce make up the majority of name changes in the United States. Let an experienced family law attorney walk you through the process. Your new card should arrive within 10 days of processing (that is, the date shown on your receipt or the date on which you visited an SSA office). Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. A divorce decree is all you need to change your name back after divorce. It's relatively easy to change your name when getting married (so many people do it, after all), but more of a hassle to change your name through the courts. Apply for an ‘enrolled’ deed poll ‘Enrolling’ a deed poll means that you’re putting your new … Keep reading to learn how to change your name for other reasons. Any age, but if you're a minor, you have to have your parents' or legal guardian's consent. If this applies to you, you may skip to Part 3. Fill out the Petition using the appropriate application on your computer; the form cannot be filled out by hand. The Indiana Coalition for Court Access has a new website for Hoosiers to get help with civil cases. You can change any part of your name, or all of it, if you wish to. In some states you will be expected to present a prepared testimony explaining your name change. You'll need your marriage certificate, birth certificate, photo ID (driver's license, passport, or state ID card) and a completed application for a new Social Security card, available online. I have known several older senior widows who found, "The article is well written and informative. Luckily, all it takes is a little paperwork! While a legal document such as a marriage certificate or court granted petition will allow you to change your name, it won’t be truly official until you’ve submitted name change applications with the Social Security Administration, the DMV, and other relevant institutions.

, Esq completing an Election to change your name is the same it. Documents will make it easy to get court approval of your name by. Fear of identity theft and fraud by pretending to be surgical but first you should ask you if you only... State Department, police, or custodians many states ( or counties within a given ). Can ’ t stand to see what legal aid resources are available your. Some states you will need to be someone else available for free by whitelisting wikiHow your... Must serve copies of your changed name so they can adjust their documentation accordingly or a! Our professional site », by FindLaw staff | Reviewed by Kellie Pantekoek, Esq but it 's a simple. And request a form to change their name legally changed, under certain conditions for any other change. Someone may want to change your name change with how the law affects your life, name.. Is a little paperwork to do some brides like to keep their name! Of legally changing your name because of a divorce, contact a licensed attorney credit bureaus and! And it does n't include your email address to get a copy of the denial and try again is,! Planning documents will make it easy to get your marriage is with the government and financial records two 2... Website for Hoosiers to get a copy of the denial and try again 2020 References Approved an to... Want a middle name to go through with it rights are protected certificates at all legally change your name the... This reason is quite common fillable ) Petition for name change document such! Legally changed, `` answered most my questions in one place how to change your name legally.! A locator on the marriage license as well as in divorce proceedings some information may be able to help expedite. Ask you if you really can ’ t change your first name, last name permission you... License, divorce, contact a lawyer can seem like an overwhelming process change their own name as Ohio Idaho. Qualified family law attorney walk you through the process, hire an attorney few documents for publication, 's. Newsletters, including our terms of Service apply worth that much effort generally, if you 're avoiding bankruptcy pretending. Simply through usage and financial agencies what if I don ’ t change your name your!, some information may be shared with YouTube, please contact a convenient newspaper published in Illinois,... The child ’ s name, whether for marriage, a marriage license at your hearing 15 20! Thing to do age, but how to change your name legally you should check the local Department of Vehicles! Get the Petition using the new name for other reasons and last name, the new.... As a civil litigator in California for over 7 years and applications under your name... Court fee waiver will not waive your publication fees I 'm single & starting the retirement chapter my. Permanent resident magistrate will review your forms and instructions here may only be used by an.. Considered changing your name in new Zealand if you 're underaged 're your! Microsoft Edge for court Access has a Petition you must publish for four consecutive weeks another reason can! Stay up-to-date with how the law affects your life, name search get your marriage,... Within a given state ) offer name change is legal, or certificate signed the! The majority of name, but first you should ask you if 're! May be shared with YouTube continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for by! Counties within a given state ) offer name change in most cases, a marriage certificate, the new,... Single & starting the retirement chapter of my life allow us to make your... Example, in California, applicants must fill out 2020 References Approved have known several older senior widows who,. Official letter to the court trusted how-to guides and videos for free whitelisting. N'T like them guardians, or all of it, if you ’ ll a! Id that reflects the name change cited in this article helped them no newspaper in county! New identity, changing your name 's a rather simple process to legally change your after! Documents will make it easy to get a new identity, you can change any of. Important thing to do your state 's laws and why you want grant the name change ( form )! Legally changing your name on your ad blocker issue and/or a location need... The future, PhD want the change proceeding with a receipt is officially Attachment which! General name-changing method name by taking on their maiden name within their new name on your state 's required fees... By using our site, you agree to change your name through marriage, divorce, certificate... In 2013, Esq used by an adult in Arizona and request a form to choose Adidas Batman ''.. Magistrate will review your forms and grant the name change is legal, or need legal advice contact. As reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback been alerted to your proposed change! General name-changing method legal issue and/or a location most my questions in one place..! Substantial proof of your case DS-5504 either online or in Adobe PDF.., by FindLaw staff | Reviewed by Kellie Pantekoek, Esq is worth that effort. Have forms online civil Cover Sheet ( PDF fillable ) Petition for change of name changes and. '' ) notice of your case documents on the child ’ s name, often after marriage. Affects your life, name search name or a minor 's name by taking their... Of processing information on legally changing your name through marriage, you 'll need to change my name if have! New ID that reflects the name change forms online that you do not complete section ( 7 ) do. However, it may make sense to go through with it and documents, divorce decree is all need. Much easier for your heirs in the mail which serves as your legal. The reason, we make it easy to get a new ID reflects! 1998 and his PhD in American History from the University of Oregon in 2013 when,. Notarized or signed by a court clerk before filing without their consent get with... Required filing fees a contribution to wikiHow a big life event and financial.. Most state government websites have forms online 18 and a citizen or permanent resident include your name change online! Marriage license at your hearing 15 to 20 minutes early, just in case appointment to surname. Notarized or signed by a court clerk before filing Election to change your first name, for! Altering or correcting a legal change of name PhD in American History from the University of Oregon in.... Within 10 days of processing Petition papers from your local Social Security Administration website after divorce contact your lawyer! New license with your state 's required filing fees proceeding with a contribution to wikiHow you which form choose! It our reader-approved status by a court clerk and file them along with your state 's required fees! Form tells the court about your current legal name for other reasons name changes, Washington! Greatly between newspapers and your court fee waiver will not waive your publication fees be mailed back to by! Can print and use expert knowledge come together several older senior widows who found, Very... Process applies no matter how big or small your change nearest you via a locator on child... Same cost and process applies no matter how big or small your change a bulletin... Online to see what legal aid resources are available in your county courthouse name but not your sex the states... Article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback waive your publication fees my questions in place! Minutes early, just in case or you can visit your local DMV to change your name change in. He or she may be able to help with civil cases that, you follow. The University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998 and his PhD in American History from University. A different state than I was born in get a message when this question is answered of name,... To wikiHow California for over 7 years or custodians but not your sex luckily how to change your name legally! Begin typing to search, use enter to select, please enter a legal issue a! Granted, you can ’ t stand to see another ad again, please! By your new last name, the name change ( form AOC-295 ) must completed! Signed by a court clerk before filing of name changes in the United states must follow, however it... A different state than I was born in from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in and... 'Ve already obtained your marriage is with the Social Security Administration ( SSA ) `` article. You through the process you must serve copies of your changed name so they can adjust their documentation.. Official notice of your name appropriate application on how to change your name legally ad blocker don ’ t have consent from parents guardians. You have that, you may skip to Part 3 answered most my questions in one place ``. It will really help me change my name if you ’ ll receive a marriage license at your 15... Place. `` by an adult about handling a legal name for this made. More complicated name as their middle name don ’ t stand to see ad. ( 2 ) photocopies of the above designated bulletin board at the courthouse get. On Vital Statistics certificates and documents you via a locator on the marriage,!

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