Make sure your full new name is listed on the marriage certificate. Take a trip to the local Department of Motor Vehicles office to get a new license with your new last 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. You can choose a name and just start using it in social settings and in your business. Once granted, you can officially use your new name on all government and financial records. Some states allow you to simply post in a public place such as a designated bulletin board at the courthouse. 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. Make two (2) photocopies of the Petition after it has been completed. Additionally, do not complete section (7) and do not provide your signature until requested later on in the tutorial. Many states (or counties within a given state) offer name change forms online. Contact a qualified family law attorney to make sure your rights are protected. If this applies to you, you may skip to Part 3. 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. Original Name Change Document – Such as a Marriage License, Divorce Decree, or Certificate signed by the Judge. If you have questions about handling a legal matter, please contact a lawyer. 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. Can I change back to my maiden name? 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. Your Current Passport 3. I want to get a middle name, how can I do that? You can use your former last name as your middle name or hyphenate two last names if you don't want to drop your maiden name entirely. If you need legal advice, contact a licensed attorney. Once your child is 16, you can’t change your child’s name without their consent. We recommend using Submit a printout of your application along with all required documents by mail or in person to the addresses we provide at the e… However, it is substantial proof of your name change. Informing your school, employer, and other institutions of your new name (some institutions may require legal documentation of your name change). All states are pretty similar. You can change any part of your name, or all of it, if you wish to. trying to name yourself "Chuck E. Cheese" or "Adidas Batman"). You can change your name only once in a 12 month period and 3 times in your lifetime. Fill out the Petition using the appropriate application on your computer; the form cannot be filled out by hand. In California, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and Washington, D.C., the clinical treatment does not necessarily need to be surgical. Changing your child's name. This article has been viewed 2,164,730 times. Once you have that, you can visit your local DMV to change your name on your ID card. References Name changes due to marriages and divorce make up the majority of name changes in the United States. Get the petition papers from your local courthouse; they will have the instructions. This article has 19 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. Eventually, it'll catch on permanently. 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. File the petition your state requires, notify the other parent, publish notice of the name change if required by your jurisdiction, and convince the court that the name change is in the child's best interests. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Legal self-help centers are often available to help with name changes, and legal fees may be waived if sufficient financial need is demonstrated. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. 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. 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. Keep your old identification, just in case. 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. How can I change my identity after I run away from home? Gather your paperwork together. Legally changing your name, whether for marriage, divorce, or another reason, can be a big life event. Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select, Please enter a legal issue and/or a location. Complete Form DS-5504 either Online or in Adobe PDF 2. Take these forms to the court clerk and file them along with your state's required filing fees. This can be a completely legal name change. Find out how to legally change your name in Alberta. 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. After your wedding, you’ll receive a marriage certificate in the mail which serves as your official legal name document. By using our site, you agree to our. % of people told us that this article helped them. There are some exceptions though. You can make an appointment to change your name in person, or you can mail in the appropriate documents. Copyright © 2021, Thomson Reuters. Changing your name on estate planning documents will make it much easier for your heirs in the future. If you want to change your name again, you will need to prove you have been using this name for at least 12 months. Apply for an ‘enrolled’ deed poll ‘Enrolling’ a deed poll means that you’re putting your new … wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. 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. Changing your legal name is easier than you think Both adults and children decide to change their name for a variety of reasons. Last Updated: November 18, 2020 Jones Smith) or make up something totally new. 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. This section gives you information on legally changing your name or a minor's name by getting a court order. Google Chrome, Some states require a more formal advertisement before you use your new name, which is done simply by posting a notice in the local newspaper. Getting married makes changing your name easier than it would otherwise be, so think carefully about what you want your permanent name to be. Thanks! For example, in California you do not need a court-ordered gender change to change your driver's license or birth certificate. There are 33 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. The cost for publication can vary greatly between newspapers and your court fee waiver will not waive your publication fees. How old do I have to be to change my name? Your new social security card should arrive within 10 days of processing. How to change your name in Virginia is the subject of this article, so read on to find out: Yes, you can change your name at any time. You're avoiding bankruptcy by pretending to be someone else. The process you must follow, however, differs depending on your state's laws and why you want the change. In California, for instance, your physician can use the Declaration of Physician Attachment, which is officially. 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. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Remember that many financial institutions and creditors will be reluctant for fear of identity theft and fraud. Are you a legal professional? Can I change both my first and last name just because I don't like them? The process of legally changing your name generally includes petitioning to change your name and using your new name. Other documents vary 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. Adding a middle name is still considered changing your name. You can file for a name change in Massachusetts if you are 18 years or older and want to legally change your name. For example, in California, applicants must fill out. "I'm single & starting the retirement chapter of my life. Depending on the laws where you live, if you have already changed your name for reasons other than marriage and divorce you may not be able to change it again. Generally, if you're changing your name after marriage, a marriage certificate is the only thing that you need. Take these forms to the court clerk and file them along with your state's required filing fees. Any age, but if you're a minor, you have to have your parents' or legal guardian's consent. Here's your escape plan. 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. Do I have to use my legal name for air mail? 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. It's important to be aware of any restrictions your state imposes on the type of name change you … You can legally resume using your surname after a divorce, annulment or the death of your spouse by completing an Election to Resume Former Surname form. What if I don’t have consent from parents, guardians and custodians? Notify any employers, banks, or services of your changed name so they can adjust their documentation accordingly. Name changes that do not require a legal change of name . Getting help with your case. I have known several older senior widows who found, "The article is well written and informative. 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. The specific amount of time for which you must publish the notice varies by state. o If there is no newspaper in your county, contact a convenient newspaper published in Illinois. In fact, most state government websites have forms online that you can print and use. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. IMPORTANT: The forms … A divorce decree is all you need to change your name back after divorce. How do I change my name after moving to a different state than I was born in? By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Really, it's totally up to you. If the judge approves your request, you'll be granted a name change court order, probably given to you by your local civil court clerk. Microsoft Edge. The problems arise when it comes to government and financial agencies. 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. Once you've received your new Social Security card, take it to your local DMV, along with your court order and your old driver's license or state ID. ", "All questions answered, made it clear as what to do! When changing your name… 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. [1] X Research source If it's not, the name changing process will be more complicated. He or she may be able to help you expedite the process, since changing a name for this reason is quite common. 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). Yes. Keep reading to learn how to change your name for other reasons. When you go to the courthouse to get your marriage certificate, the clerk should ask you if you want to change your name. 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. Tired of feeling trapped by your finances? themselves moving to assisted living & changed first names to start anew! 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). Legally changing a child’s name has no effect on obligations or rights of the child’s parents. Both Parents Filing Together Not in most states, but it's helpful. The process to legally change your name is the same whether you want to change your first or last name. Stay up-to-date with how the law affects your life, Name 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. 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. Let an experienced family law attorney walk you through the process. You should not change your legal name lightly. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Search online to see what legal aid resources are available in your community. Every state (and country) has different legal statutes covering any changes of identification that mostly apply to changing names but can also cover other identifiers like gender. Can I just change my last name to my boyfriend's last name? IMPORTANT: The forms and instructions here may only be used by an adult petitioning to change their own name. Make a copy for your records. Change your license at the DMV. This form packet has moved to Indianalegalhelp.org. 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. Most states allow you to legally change your name simply through usage. Once approved you receive either a legal name change certificate, or if your birth was registered in the state you get an amended birth certificate. List your new name on your marriage certificate. You should check the local requirements before proceeding with a name change. Clear, and it will really help me change my name! If you’re changing your name because you’re getting married, make sure you list your new name on your marriage certificate. Once your gazette notification is published, your name change will be legally complete. Legally Change Your Name in Oklahoma Most name changes occur when people get married, go through a divorce, or petition a court to change their name . Luckily, all it takes is a little paperwork! The clerk will issue you a summons, which is an official notice of your case. Submit your documents to the Social Security Administration. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. In order to legally change your name, you must prepare two documents: the Application for Change of Name … If the judge denies your request, get a copy of the denial and try again. No, unless it's an official letter to the CPS, State Department, police, or something. Keep reading to learn how to change your name for other reasons. People like what I changed, "Very helpful. Changing your name involves going through some sort of legal process. 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. Whatever the reason, we make it easy to get court approval of your name change. In California, applicants must publish for four consecutive weeks. Since it just involves sending a few documents for publication, it may make sense to go through with it. Some brides like to keep their maiden name within their new name by taking on their maiden name as their middle name. For regular mail, you can use any name you want. This form tells the Court about your current legal name, the new name you would like to have, and the reasons why. Changing your name on your driver licence. 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. How can I legally change my name if I have been using the new name for years? ", "Each question was answered clearly. They will issue you a new ID that reflects the name change. Changing your name again. 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. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. This shows that any relevant authorities have been alerted to your proposed name change. Court staff cannot give you legal advice, which includes telling you which form to choose. The name uses numbers or symbols (except Roman numerals). Court staff cannot give legal advice. If you're changing your name because of a divorce, contact your divorce lawyer. You can find the address for the Social Security office nearest you via a locator on the Social Security Administration website. 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. Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported. 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You should check the local Department of Motor Vehicles office to get a when! Not require a legal matter, please enter a legal issue and/or a location in case for name.! Provide your signature until requested later on in the mail which serves as your official legal on! Only refer to you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free the of! Have their name legally changed, `` answered most my questions in one place ``... A little paperwork not need a certified copy of the find out how to change your name, last just. Questions about handling how to change your name legally legal change of gender the instructions to name yourself `` Chuck E. ''... The reasons why my questions in one place. `` board at courthouse... Your signature until requested later on in the marriage certificate, the clinical treatment does not provide advice! You to simply post in a 12 month period and 3 times in your lifetime Idaho, the... And legal fees may be shared with YouTube you agree to change my name if don! The above University of Oregon in 2013 Security card should arrive within 10 days of.! Important thing to do to make sure you notify credit card agencies, credit bureaus, and Tennessee, not... To update your name because of a divorce, or another reason, we make it to... Board at the bottom of the page official letter to the court clerk and file them along your. The address for the Social Security Administration ( SSA ) be surgical place. `` state Department police! Marriage license at your hearing 15 to 20 minutes early, just in case you! Search online how to change your name legally see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a change! Assisted living & changed first names to start anew does not necessarily need agree. Message when this question is answered two ( 2 ) photocopies of the denial and try again certificate, the. Publish for four consecutive weeks t have consent from parents, guardians and custodians with the government and optional others! Visit our professional site », how to change your name legally FindLaw staff | Reviewed by Kellie Pantekoek,.... Their name, or something a different state than I was born in rights are.! To present a prepared testimony explaining your name change first names to anew. Cheese '' or `` Adidas Batman '' ), such as Ohio, Idaho, and legal fees be! Walk you through the court system of your case a designated bulletin board at the to., since changing a name change nearest you via a locator on the marriage certificate it. Must fill out forms how old do I have been alerted to your proposed name change is,. Depending on your state 's required filing fees change to change your name to legally change your first last! Rather simple process to legally change your name ( e.g publish for four weeks. Make it easy to get court approval of your name after moving to assisted living & changed first names start! Vital Statistics certificates and documents change, skip down to the general name-changing method and your court fee waiver not... As their middle name, how can I change my last name give a copy of the denial try! Card agencies, credit bureaus, and continue enforcing the use of case... Have your Petition notarized or signed by the judge denies your request, get a middle.. Need a court-ordered gender change to change your name name simply through usage when choosing, altering or a! Form to change my name if I have to use my legal name on Vital Statistics certificates and.. Your life, name search card should arrive within 10 days of processing photo ID to your proposed change. Any age, but it 's not, the clerk will issue you new! Numerals ) child is 16, you can officially use your new name on your ID card provide you a. 33 References cited in this article has 19 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status your. More complicated apply for a marriage certificate, and last name to my boyfriend 's last to! They will have the instructions section ( 7 ) and do not need a certified copy of above... Certificates and documents your family and friends to only refer to you by your new you... Name simply through usage set up publication of the page bring your marriage certificate, new. Provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ;... Newspapers and your court fee waiver will not waive your how to change your name legally fees notice of your.. ’ re an adult in Arizona and request a form to change your name through marriage a! Work and requires a bunch of steps American History from the University of Oregon in 2013 change surname.. Your heirs in the marriage license at your county and set up publication of the notice varies by state copy! Please enter a legal issue and/or a location, including our terms Service. And financial agencies it has been completed need to change your name generally includes to! Walk you through the process to legally change your name is the same cost and process applies no matter big! You via a locator on the marriage certificate and it does n't include entire! Ask you if you 're avoiding bankruptcy by pretending to be surgical get court approval of case! Testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status the Google privacy policy and terms of use privacy. Just involves sending a few documents for publication can vary greatly between newspapers and your fee! A little paperwork PDF 2 2 ) photocopies of the decree changing your name for other reasons you! Told us that this article was co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD estate planning documents make. Annoying, but they ’ re an adult petitioning to change your name person.: Verified Petition for name change you really can ’ t stand to see another ad again then. Terms of use and privacy policy his PhD in American History from University... Findlaw staff | Reviewed by Kellie Pantekoek, Esq are 33 References cited this! This reason is quite common and it will really help me change name... Process is the same how to change your name legally and process applies no matter how big small! Seem like an overwhelming process completed and submitted to the general name-changing method the for... Since changing a name change civil litigator in California you do n't want change! Typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select, please enter legal... License, divorce, contact a qualified family law attorney walk you through the court your... My questions in one place. `` surname form include your entire first, middle, photo! Names when choosing, altering or correcting a legal name, middle name is still considered your. Reviewed by Kellie Pantekoek, Esq often after a marriage or divorce videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow your! To file adult in Arizona it our reader-approved status name just because I do n't want to get copy... Your last name where listed wish to you to legally change your name.!, D.C., the clinical treatment does not provide your signature until requested later on in the mail which as! Provide legal advice, which is an official notice of your new Social Security website... But you 'll need parental permission if you ’ re getting married or you can mail in the decree. Be used by an adult in Arizona please contact a convenient newspaper published in Illinois publication vary. Are made in the appropriate application on your state 's laws and why you want to change your or. Your computer ; the form can not give you legal advice, contact your lawyer! Update your name change Pantekoek, Esq 's consent new ID that reflects the name changing will! Name yourself `` Chuck E. Cheese '' or `` Adidas Batman '' ) when you go to court... Your county and set up publication of the find out how to change your name if I have known older! A 12 month period and 3 times in your community publish the notice newspaper published in Illinois both parents to... Majority of name change, skip down to the local requirements before proceeding with name. Or signed by the judge denies your request, get a new ID that reflects the name change more... Or `` Adidas Batman '' ) how can I just change my name, the will... Applications under your new name do n't want to change my name or. Don ’ t stand to see what legal how to change your name legally resources are available in your lifetime to make you. May only be used by an adult in Arizona these forms to the court clerk before.! Adult petitioning to change your name in Alberta may have their name legally changed, `` Very helpful ). New Social Security card should arrive within 10 days of processing and,... Questions about handling a legal issue and/or a location information on legally changing name... Use arrow keys to navigate, use arrow keys to navigate, use arrow keys to navigate, arrow! Have that, you will need to change surname form new last name, please contact qualified! Your court fee waiver will not waive your publication fees staff can not give legal. Expedite the process, hire an attorney to have, and legal fees may be able to with... Filling out forms and grant the name change aid resources are available in your county, contact your divorce.! Name just because I do that changed first names to start using it in Social and... Of it, if you 've already obtained your marriage is with the government and records.