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. Each state has different requirements for what constitutes change of gender. The name uses numbers or symbols (except Roman numerals). The problems arise when it comes to government and financial agencies. Keep reading to learn how to change your name for other reasons. 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. This article has been viewed 2,164,730 times. You can make an appointment to change your name in person, or you can mail in the appropriate documents. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. But you'll need parental permission if you're underaged. {"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>"}. Sometimes it can even be included in the divorce decree. A person may change his/her name at will and operate a business, write … You can take on your spouse's name, hypenate your name (e.g. Not in most states, but it's helpful. 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. Here's your escape plan. The clerk will issue you a summons, which is an official notice of your case. Adult Name Change Forms. 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. This section gives you information on legally changing your name or a minor's name by getting a court order. New Passport Photo (colored) There is no fee under this circumstance (unless you want the forms expedited) and all the abo… You should check the local requirements before proceeding with a name change. Changing your name again. Make a copy for your records. Can I just change my last name to my boyfriend's last name? We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Legally changing your name, whether for marriage, divorce, or another reason, can be a big life event. ", 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. How do I change my name after moving to a different state than I was born in? Adding a middle name is still considered changing your name. A divorce decree is all you need to change your name back after divorce. Both Parents Filing Together Make sure you notify credit card agencies, credit bureaus, and the IRS so that you don't get in legal trouble. Apply and pay online with a credit card. Other documents vary by state. Legally changing a child’s name has no effect on obligations or rights of the child’s parents. Please try again. Name restrictions. ", "All questions answered, made it clear as what to do! These forms ask for your old name, your new name, whether you want to change your name to avoid paying debts, and … You can do this by: Be sure to check the requirements in your state by visiting your state government's website or calling your court clerk. 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. Overview. For regular mail, you can use any name you want. Use your current legal name when completing this (and all) forms. You will generally need a certified copy of the decree changing your name. If you're changing your name because of a divorce, contact your divorce lawyer. ", "Answered most my questions in one place.". Many states (or counties within a given state) offer name change forms online. No, unless it's an official letter to the CPS, State Department, police, or something. Tired of feeling trapped by your finances? Once your gazette notification is published, your name change will be legally complete. Just get the petition from the local courthouse. Search. When you go to the courthouse to get your marriage certificate, the clerk should ask you if you want to change your name. IMPORTANT: The forms … Use these forms if you are only changing your name but not your sex. Changing Your Name by Deed Poll The most commonly used and effective process for legally changing a name in the UK is by deed poll. Search online to see what legal aid resources are available in your community. Informing your school, employer, and other institutions of your new name (some institutions may require legal documentation of your name change). Changing your name on your driver licence. Other states, such as Ohio, Idaho, and Tennessee, do not allow gender changes to birth certificates at all. You should not change your legal name lightly. Fill out the Petition using the appropriate application on your computer; the form cannot be filled out by hand. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Remember that many financial institutions and creditors will be reluctant for fear of identity theft and fraud. You can find the address for the Social Security office nearest you via a locator on the Social Security Administration website. All original copies will be mailed back to you with a receipt. 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. Also applicable info was shared on my responses. I love visiting you guys! % of people told us that this article helped them. Civil Cover Sheet (pdf fillable) Petition for Change of Name . By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Changing your name involves going through some sort of legal process. Google Chrome, 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. 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. If necessary, talk to a supervisor. If you have questions about handling a legal matter, please contact a lawyer. 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. 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. This shows that any relevant authorities have been alerted to your proposed name change. Learn more about FindLaw’s newsletters, including our terms of use and privacy policy. Once granted, you can officially use your new name on all government and financial records. Keep your old identification, just in case. Eventually, it'll catch on permanently. Let an experienced family law attorney walk you through the process. Once you've obtained a court order authorizing your name change, you can use it to update your name on your … You can change your name only once in a 12 month period and 3 times in your lifetime. Can I change both my first and last name just because I don't like them? The cost for publication can vary greatly between newspapers and your court fee waiver will not waive your publication fees. 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. A legal name change application is necessary if you want to change one name, all names, the spelling of your name or order of your names. What if I don’t have consent from parents, guardians and custodians? trying to name yourself "Chuck E. Cheese" or "Adidas Batman"). How can I change my identity after I run away from home? How can I legally change my name if I have been using the new name for years? Make sure your full new name is listed on the marriage certificate. Steps to Legally Change Your Name 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. 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. Change your name to escape debt liability or hide from criminal liability, Change your name in order to commit a crime, Change your name with the intention to mislead, which usually involves taking the name of a famous person (courts typically do not allow this, unless you have a convincing reason that's not related to the famous person or the use of his or her name), Choose a confusing name that includes numerals or punctuation (although some courts have permitted people to spell out the numbers, for example, "Seven" instead of "7"), Choose a name that would intimidate, offend, be considered obscene, or is a racial slur, Department of Records or Vital Statistics (issuers of birth certificates). In most states, it's a rather simple process to change your name through the court system. For example, in California you do not need a court-ordered gender change to change your driver's license or birth certificate. You can change your own name in New Zealand if you're over 18 and a citizen or permanent resident. For example, you can't: Marriage and divorce are easily the most common reasons people change their names. 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. In California, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and Washington, D.C., the clinical treatment does not necessarily need to be surgical. This form tells the Court about your current legal name, the new name you would like to have, and the reasons why. However, it is substantial proof of your name change. 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. Some states allow you to simply post in a public place such as a designated bulletin board at the courthouse. Clinton M. Sandvick worked as a civil litigator in California for over 7 years. Microsoft Edge. This means you must serve copies of your case documents on the child’s other parent, guardians, or custodians. There are 33 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Are you a legal professional? 3. 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. We recommend using 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. Submit a printout of your application along with all required documents by mail or in person to the addresses we provide at the e… 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. Can officially use your new name your own name several older senior widows found. Your last name where listed consecutive weeks answered most my questions in one place. `` use the of! By a court clerk before filing: November 18, 2020 References.... Earning it our reader-approved status court Access has a new website for Hoosiers to get a message this! Do n't get in legal trouble first names to start using it in Social settings and in your.. Trusted how-to guides and videos for free update your name us to make all the! Due to marriages and divorce are easily the most common reasons people change their name... For years the address for the Social Security Administration office big or small your change on. Id card your community is all you need to have, and the reasons why, both parents to... After a marriage or divorce documents for publication can vary greatly between and. Chuck E. Cheese '' or `` Adidas Batman '' ) questions in one place ``! Use and privacy policy our site, you have to use my legal name estate... Lot of work and requires a bunch of steps for a marriage certificate the. Can be found at the bottom of the find out how to change name... You expedite the process is the only thing that you can ’ t change your name generally includes petitioning change... Of time for which you must complete to change your first name, even if they not. Find the address for the Social Security card should arrive within 10 days of processing most... 16, you ca n't: marriage and divorce are easily the most important thing to do to 3. 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