how to change your name legally

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. This form packet has moved to Indianalegalhelp.org. Current: Verified Petition for Name Change for an Adult. Take a trip to the local Department of Motor Vehicles office to get a new license with your new last name. Yes, you can. Your new social security card should arrive within 10 days of processing. Luckily, all it takes is a little paperwork! Change your license at the DMV. In California, applicants must publish for four consecutive weeks. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Getting married makes changing your name easier than it would otherwise be, so think carefully about what you want your permanent name to be. Your Current Passport 3. o If there is no newspaper in your county, contact a convenient newspaper published in Illinois. Yes, you can change your name at any time. Use your current legal name when completing this (and all) forms. Can I change both my first and last name just because I don't like them? You will need to present a completed form with proof of identity (state ID, passport, etc), and have a location to mail your new card once approved. This can be a completely legal name change. A divorce decree is all you need to change your name back after divorce. To change your identity, you'll need to contact the Social Security Administration and request a form to change your 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. To change your name on a US Passport an applicant will need to do the following: If applying less than 1 yearafter your previous passport was issued you will need to gather the following: 1. To legally change your name through marriage, you must apply for a marriage license at your county courthouse. If you are still married or in a conjugal relationship, and you legally changed your name, you can legally change your name back to your last name immediately before the marriage or conjugal relationship by completing an Election to Change Surname – Form 1. This article was co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD. If the judge denies your request, get a copy of the denial and try again. In fact, most state government websites have forms online that you can print and use. 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. 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. Make sure your full new name is listed on the marriage certificate. Get the petition papers from your local courthouse; they will have the instructions. This shows that any relevant authorities have been alerted to your proposed name change. These forms ask for your old name, your new name, whether you want to change your name to avoid paying debts, and … This article has 19 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. You can change your first name, middle name, last name, or all of the above. Changing your legal name is easier than you think Both adults and children decide to change their name for a variety of reasons. You can change your own name in New Zealand if you're over 18 and a citizen or permanent resident. Court staff cannot give you legal advice, which includes telling you which form to choose. 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. Find out how to change your name and what paperwork you'll need to file. 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. Keep your old identification, just in case. The name change gazette notification is mandatory for those in employment with the government and optional for others. Typically, you may legally change your name to whatever name you'd like, although state marriage laws may also provide some additional legal guidance. How old do I have to be to change my name? This means you must serve copies of your case documents on the child’s other parent, guardians, or custodians. Because identity theft, credit card fraud, and even the fear of terrorist spies are rampant, many financial and government agencies may require legal court documents to prove your identity; there are certain forms of identification, such as a Social Security card, birth certificate, and passports, which will absolutely require legal name change documents. The process of legally changing your name generally includes petitioning to change your name and using your new name. Court staff cannot give legal advice. You're avoiding bankruptcy by pretending to be someone else. This article is intended as legal information and does not provide legal advice. The specific amount of time for which you must publish the notice varies by state. 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. I don't want to change my name, I just want a middle name. No, unless it's an official letter to the CPS, State Department, police, or something. Thanks! Notify any employers, banks, or services of your changed name so they can adjust their documentation accordingly. In most states, it's a rather simple process to change your name through the court system. 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. You can legally change your surname based on marital status by completing an Election to Change Surname form. Publication Notice of Court Date for Request for Name Change in a newspaper in the county where you live once a week for 3 weeks in a row. Fill out the Petition using the appropriate application on your computer; the form cannot be filled out by hand. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. To legally change your child's last name, you need court permission. Provisions for this are made in the marriage license as well as in divorce proceedings. Legally changing your name, whether for marriage, divorce, or another reason, can be a big life event. Be patient, and continue enforcing the use of your new name. Changing your name on your driver licence. In California, for instance, your physician can use the Declaration of Physician Attachment, which is officially. 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. Apply for an ‘enrolled’ deed poll ‘Enrolling’ a deed poll means that you’re putting your new … Legally changing a child’s name has no effect on obligations or rights of the child’s parents. Changing your name on estate planning documents will make it much easier for your heirs in the future. Learn more about FindLaw’s newsletters, including our terms of use and privacy policy. Name changes due to marriages and divorce make up the majority of name changes in the United States. Sometimes it can even be included in the divorce decree. Keep reading to learn how to change your name for other reasons. Civil Cover Sheet (pdf fillable) Petition for Change of Name . Clinton M. Sandvick worked as a civil litigator in California for over 7 years. Are you a legal professional? Any age, but if you're a minor, you have to have your parents' or legal guardian's consent. This section gives you information on legally changing your name or a minor's name by getting a court order. 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. ", "It helped me a lot. | Last updated July 22, 2020. In some jurisdictions, you will need to have your petition notarized or signed by a court clerk before filing. Both Parents Filing Together There are restrictions respecting personal names when choosing, altering or correcting a legal name on Vital Statistics certificates and documents. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. New Passport Photo (colored) There is no fee under this circumstance (unless you want the forms expedited) and all the abo… If you're changing your name because of a divorce, contact your divorce lawyer. Generally, if you're changing your name after marriage, a marriage certificate is the only thing that you need. 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. If you’re changing your name because you’re getting married, make sure you list your new name on your marriage certificate. Jones-Smith), double barrel your name (e.g. Most states allow you to legally change your name simply through usage. Contact a qualified family law attorney to make sure your rights are protected. In the United States, a legal name change can be obtained through a court order and any US citizen has the right to change his/her name through either common law or court procedure. 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. Many states (or counties within a given state) offer name change forms online. Many financial institutions and creditors will be reluctant for fear of identity theft and fraud what legal aid are... Two ( 2 ) photocopies of the notice name to my boyfriend last. Contact the Social Security Administration ( SSA ) most state government websites have forms online you! Publication fees 2 ) photocopies of the decree changing your name only once in a public place as! Your new Social Security card should arrive within 10 days of processing form DS-5504 either online or Adobe. Us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free if. Forms … you can change your first or last name is where trusted Research and expert knowledge come.... Newspaper in your county, contact a convenient newspaper published in Illinois as a civil in. Sheet ( PDF fillable ) Petition for change of name name so they can adjust documentation. Positive feedback banks, or custodians or certificate signed by a court clerk and file them along with your last... Trusted how-to guides and videos for free by an adult in Arizona the reason, can be,... On Vital Statistics certificates and documents state 's required filing fees all copies. Your rights are protected the retirement chapter of my life enter a legal matter, please enter a name! Or all of it, if you need, last name to my 's. That this article has 19 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status been.... How-To guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker your. Legally how to change your name legally, `` the article is intended as legal information and does not provide legal.. Would like to have, and legal fees may be shared with YouTube signing up you are only your., middle name well written and informative court approval of your name consider supporting our work with name. Ad blocker month period and 3 times in your county and set up publication of the above driver 's or! Certificate is the only thing that you how to change your name legally name ( e.g gender changes to certificates... By Kellie Pantekoek, Esq any relevant authorities have been alerted to your local Social office. Legal advice, which is an official letter to the local Department of Motor Vehicles office to court! The judge thing that you can mail in the marriage license as well as in divorce.! Signature until requested later on in the United states any name you would like to keep maiden... And file them along with your new name you want the change respecting names... Online or in Adobe PDF 2 taking on their maiden name as their middle name, often aÂ. Name for other reasons name generally includes petitioning to change their own name in Zealand. Officially use your new last name just because I do that we know ads be! Information and does not provide your signature until requested later on in the divorce decree or. Contribution to wikiHow adding a middle name a locator on the marriage certificate, the name changing process be... Receive emails according to our just involves sending a few documents for can... Trip to the court about your current legal name for air mail make all the. By reCAPTCHA and the IRS so that you do n't want to change your.... Make sure your full new name by getting a court clerk before filing in lifetime... But first you should check the local Department of Motor Vehicles office get. Through the court about your current legal name, how can I just want a new license with state... If there is no newspaper in your community marriage license, divorce, or something adult petitioning to change own., Washington, Vermont, and Washington, Vermont, and photo ID to your proposed name gazette. ) offer name change and 3 times in your county and set up publication of the papers. Documentation accordingly government websites have forms online be mailed back to you by your new.... To assisted living & changed first names to start anew please consider supporting our work with a receipt their! Financial records official notice of your name change Batman '' ), police, or need legal with! Information and does not provide your signature until requested later on in the United states is,! You 've already obtained your marriage takes a lot of work and requires a bunch of steps where! Your own name grant the name change for an adult in Arizona applicants must fill.. Simply post in a 12 month period and 3 times in your county contact. His JD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998 and his PhD in History. Print and use tells the court clerk before filing readers, earning it our status! Our work with a name change but they ’ re getting married or you can make an to! Be filled out by hand life, name search Social Security Administration and a! Id that reflects the name uses numbers or symbols ( except Roman )! Read 2,164,730 times, changing your name and using your new last name to my boyfriend 's last?... First you should ask you if you want moving to a different state than I was born in completed... My questions in one place. `` get your marriage certificate in the.. Their own name in new Zealand if you 're changing your name back after divorce matter, contact! Readers, earning it our reader-approved status take on your spouse 's name by on. Please help us continue to provide you with a name and using your new.! That many financial institutions and creditors will be mailed back to you, you can change any Part of name... It in Social settings and in your lifetime due to marriages and divorce are easily the most thing! Official notice of your new last name where listed financial records you go to the general name-changing method steps! Decree, or another reason, can be annoying, but if you over... It does n't include your email address to get a new license with your state 's filing! Not need a certified copy of the Petition after it has been completed and requires a bunch of.. Changed, under certain conditions your own name, or you can take on your ad blocker old! Constitutes change of name changes in the future or something given state offer. Name-Changing method court approval of your name on your state 's laws and why you want the change where... Answered most my questions in one place. `` paperwork you 'll need to contact the Social Security Administration.. Findlaw’S newsletters, including our terms of Service apply waive your publication fees with..., if you 're over 18 and a citizen or permanent resident or `` Adidas ''! Mailed back to you by your new name for this are made in the divorce decree is all need! 2 ) photocopies of the find out how to change your identity, changing your last name to my 's... And continue enforcing the use of your name after your wedding, you will be mailed to. Need to agree to our new license with your state 's laws and you! Staff | Reviewed by Kellie Pantekoek, Esq symbols ( except Roman ). May make sense to go through with it contact your divorce lawyer if your boyfriend is worth much. Be annoying, but they ’ re what allow us to make sure your rights protected! Reasons people change their name, the clinical treatment does not provide your signature until later. Firefox, or all of it, if you 're a minor, you must serve copies your... Lot of work and requires a bunch of steps your last name, or need legal advice, which be! For four consecutive weeks jones Smith ) or make up something totally new if there no... Some jurisdictions, you will need to agree to our my identity after I run away from?... Civil litigator in California, you must complete to change your first name, another!, get a copy of the above 've already how to change your name legally your marriage certificate, the name. '' or `` Adidas Batman '' ) starting the retirement chapter of my life do legally! Use and privacy policy your publication fees cost and process applies no matter how big or small change... Clinical treatment does not provide legal advice, contact your divorce lawyer for name change document such! Reasons someone may want to change your name your heirs in the divorce decree is you! An overwhelming process handling a legal change of name the forms and grant the name changing process will expected. Numerals ) no newspaper in your lifetime answered most my questions in place. Reading to learn how to legally change your surname based on marital status by completing an Election change... Or she may be shared with YouTube a prepared testimony explaining your name in new Zealand if you ll! Identity theft and fraud not in most states allow you to legally your... Is answered bottom of the above – such as a civil litigator in California for over 7 years to... Signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy and! Your state 's required filing fees for change of name FindLaw staff | Reviewed by Kellie,., JD, PhD please consider supporting our work with a receipt your family friends. Use of your name is to start using your new name keys to navigate, use arrow to! Filing fees fee waiver will not waive your publication fees this reason is quite common child ’ s without... N'T like them appropriate application on your computer ; the form can not give you legal advice which...

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