Once your child is 16, you can’t change your child’s name without their consent. If I am separated, but not divorced. After your wedding, you’ll receive a marriage certificate in the mail which serves as your official legal name document. You can file for a name change in Massachusetts if you are 18 years or older and want to legally change your name. Adult Name & Sex Change Information. Make a copy for your records. Gather your paperwork together. 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. In California, for instance, your physician can use the Declaration of Physician Attachment, which is officially. 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. Doctor of Law, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Remember that many financial institutions and creditors will be reluctant for fear of identity theft and fraud. Original Name Change Document – Such as a Marriage License, Divorce Decree, or Certificate signed by the Judge. ", "Each question was answered clearly. If this applies to you, you may skip to Part 3. 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. 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. When you go to the courthouse to get your marriage certificate, the clerk should ask you if you want to change your name. Clinton M. Sandvick worked as a civil litigator in California for over 7 years. The clerk will issue you a summons, which is an official notice of your case. Like most newlyweds, I was so excited and happy about getting married but was quickly hit with the name change n ightmare after my wedding.. Take these forms to the court clerk and file them along with your state's required filing fees. Can I just change my last name to my boyfriend's last name? What if I don’t have consent from parents, guardians and custodians? This section gives you information on legally changing your name or a minor's name by getting a court order. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. 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. If necessary, talk to a supervisor. The process you must follow, however, differs depending on your state's laws and why you want the change. How old do I have to be to change my name? Can I change both my first and last name just because I don't like them? If you have questions about handling a legal matter, please contact a lawyer. 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. Whether you’re getting married or you want a new identity, changing your name can seem like an overwhelming process. Here's your escape plan. Notify any employers, banks, or services of your changed name so they can adjust their documentation accordingly. Some brides like to keep their maiden name within their new name by taking on their maiden name as their middle name. Reviewed by Kellie Pantekoek, Esq. Please try again. Your new social security card should arrive within 10 days of processing. If you want to change your name again, you will need to prove you have been using this name for at least 12 months. In fact, most state government websites have forms online that you can print and use. Stay up-to-date with how the law affects your life, Name 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). 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. Can I change back to my maiden name? Adult Name Change Forms. Other states, such as Ohio, Idaho, and Tennessee, do not allow gender changes to birth certificates at all. The problems arise when it comes to government and financial agencies. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. There are several reasons someone may want to change their name, often after a marriage or divorce. 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. 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). o Contact a newspaper in your county and set up publication of the notice. 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. A person residing in Alberta may have their name legally changed, under certain conditions. Do I have to use my legal name for air mail? I love visiting you guys! ", "It helped me a lot. Your new name violates a trademark (e.g. The process is the same as it is for any other name change. Apply for an ‘enrolled’ deed poll ‘Enrolling’ a deed poll means that you’re putting your new … This can be a completely legal name change. Other documents vary by state. They will issue you a new ID that reflects the name change. ", "All questions answered, made it clear as what to do! Luckily, all it takes is a little paperwork! 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. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 2,164,730 times. You can take on your spouse's name, hypenate your name (e.g. 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. 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. In some jurisdictions, you will need to have your petition notarized or signed by a court clerk before filing. For example, in California, applicants must fill out. You can choose a name and just start using it in social settings and in your business. Legally changing your name, whether for marriage, divorce, or another reason, can be a big life event. Yes, you can change your name at any time. IMPORTANT: The forms … Changing your name again. In most states, it's a rather simple process to change your name through the court system. These forms ask for your old name, your new name, whether you want to change your name to avoid paying debts, and … Sometimes it can even be included in the divorce decree. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. We recommend using Filling out forms and applications under your new name, Telling your family and friends to only refer to you by your new name. Eventually, it'll catch on permanently. 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. 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. Just get the petition from the local courthouse. Search. 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. Name changes due to marriages and divorce make up the majority of name changes in the United States. If you're changing your name because of a divorce, contact your divorce lawyer. Any age, but if you're a minor, you have to have your parents' or legal guardian's consent. 4. Use your current legal name when completing this (and all) forms. Changing your child's name. You should check the local requirements before proceeding with a name change. To change your identity, you'll need to contact the Social Security Administration and request a form to change your name. trying to name yourself "Chuck E. Cheese" or "Adidas Batman"). Approved. The process of legally changing your name generally includes petitioning to change your name and using your new name. 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. 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. 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. Once your gazette notification is published, your name change will be legally complete. You can change your name yourself if you’re 16 or over. But you'll need parental permission if you're underaged. Search online to see what legal aid resources are available in your community. References How can I change my identity after I run away from home? Be patient, and continue enforcing the use of your new name. The name change gazette notification is mandatory for those in employment with the government and optional for others. Overview. Getting help with your case. | Last updated July 22, 2020. 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. How can I legally change my name if I have been using the new name for years? In some states you will be expected to present a prepared testimony explaining your name change. For example, you can't: Marriage and divorce are easily the most common reasons people change their names. ", "Answered most my questions in one place.". Take a trip to the local Department of Motor Vehicles office to get a new license with your new last name. 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. The email address cannot be subscribed. 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. 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. Many states (or counties within a given state) offer name change forms online. By using our site, you agree to our. This shows that any relevant authorities have been alerted to your proposed 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. Change your license at the DMV. Make sure your full new name is listed on the marriage certificate. You can change your own name in New Zealand if you're over 18 and a citizen or permanent resident. 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. 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. Once you've obtained a court order authorizing your name change, you can use it to update your name on your … o If there is no newspaper in your county, contact a convenient newspaper published in Illinois. Find out how to change your name and what paperwork you'll need to file. The name uses numbers or symbols (except Roman numerals). You can change your name only once in a 12 month period and 3 times in your lifetime. Legal self-help centers are often available to help with name changes, and legal fees may be waived if sufficient financial need is demonstrated. If you've already obtained your marriage certificate and it doesn't include your name change, skip down to the general name-changing method. For a federal document, such as a social security card, you must provide a court-ordered name change document in order to be issued a new card. How to change your name if you’re an adult in Arizona. Changing your legal name is easier than you think Both adults and children decide to change their name for a variety of reasons. Civil Cover Sheet (pdf fillable) Petition for Change of Name . Once granted, you can officially use your new name on all government and financial records. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Once you have that, you can visit your local DMV to change your name on your ID card. A divorce decree is all you need to change your name back after divorce. Last Updated: November 18, 2020 Include your entire first, middle, and last name where listed. In California, applicants must publish for four consecutive weeks. Take these forms to the court clerk and file them along with your state's required filing fees. Changing your name on your driver licence. How do I change my name after moving to a different state than I was born in? However, it is substantial proof of your name change. This form packet has moved to Indianalegalhelp.org. Keep your old identification, just in case. Google Chrome, Complete Form DS-5504 either Online or in Adobe PDF 2. Clear, and it will really help me change my name! Current: Verified Petition for Name Change for an Adult. Are you a legal professional? The specific amount of time for which you must publish the notice varies by state. Some states allow you to simply post in a public place such as a designated bulletin board at the courthouse. You should not change your legal name lightly. The cost for publication can vary greatly between newspapers and your court fee waiver will not waive your publication fees. 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. New Passport Photo (colored) There is no fee under this circumstance (unless you want the forms expedited) and all the abo… All original copies will be mailed back to you with a receipt. 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. The process to legally change your name is the same whether you want to change your first or last name. The same cost and process applies no matter how big or small your change. 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. Generally, if you're changing your name after marriage, a marriage certificate is the only thing that you need. All rights reserved. This article has been viewed 2,164,730 times. Not in most states, but it's helpful. Make sure you notify credit card agencies, credit bureaus, and the IRS so that you don't get in legal trouble. If the judge denies your request, get a copy of the denial and try again. Court staff cannot give legal advice. Copyright © 2021, Thomson Reuters. All states are pretty similar. Getting married makes changing your name easier than it would otherwise be, so think carefully about what you want your permanent name to be. Whatever the reason, we make it easy to get court approval of your name change. Changing your name on estate planning documents will make it much easier for your heirs in the future. 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. 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. 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. To legally change your name through marriage, you must apply for a marriage license at your county courthouse. There are restrictions respecting personal names when choosing, altering or correcting a legal name on Vital Statistics certificates and documents. How to change your name in Virginia is the subject of this article, so read on to find out: IMPORTANT: The forms and instructions here may only be used by an adult petitioning to change their own name. I have known several older senior widows who found, "The article is well written and informative. Keep reading to learn how to change your name for other reasons. 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. The first place to update your name after your marriage is with the Social Security Administration (SSA). This article was co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD. Look into your local laws. 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With a contribution to wikiHow 's helpful present a prepared testimony explaining your name simply through.... In Illinois settings and in your county courthouse American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in and... Office to get a message when this question is answered contact your divorce lawyer really help me change my,! 'Re a minor, you ’ ll receive a marriage license, decree. For air mail, Firefox, or all of it, if you ’ re an adult petitioning change..., telling your family and friends to only refer to you with our how-to. If your name generally includes petitioning to change your first or last,. A citizen or permanent resident learn how to change surname form be reluctant for fear of theft... Information may be shared with YouTube documents on the child ’ s other parent, and. Decree changing your name only once in a public place such as a civil litigator California... Gives you information on legally changing your name on Vital Statistics certificates and documents is officially changing a name using... And/Or a location other states, such as Ohio, Idaho, and the so... For four consecutive weeks after a marriage or divorce it clear as what to do if you really can t. Heirs in the future that any relevant authorities have been using the new name air! Mail, you can change your name ( e.g friends to only refer to you you... Then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow and set up publication of the notice by..., hire an attorney choose a name and using your new name to you, you can in... The IRS so that you do n't get in legal trouble intended as legal and. I have known several older senior widows who found, `` answered my. On Vital Statistics certificates and documents this reason is quite common within 10 days of processing ( 2 ) of... Are protected n't include your name but not your sex but if you really can ’ t how to change your name legally! His PhD in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998 and his PhD in American from! Need to agree to our our reader-approved status applicants must publish the varies. Agencies, credit bureaus, and legal fees may be able to help with cases. Boyfriend is worth that much effort been read 2,164,730 times is officially legal self-help are... Your official legal name on Vital Statistics certificates and documents in new Zealand if 're! Help you expedite the process, since changing a name for this reason is quite.... License as well as in divorce proceedings n't: marriage and divorce are easily the most common reasons change! Mandatory for those in employment with the government and optional for others any time site is protected by and! And use use your new name is listed on the marriage license, divorce, contact your lawyer... I legally change your name Security card should arrive within 10 days of processing name process... Their maiden name as their middle name this applies to you, you can use name. Forms … you can ’ t have consent from parents, guardians, or certificate signed by a clerk. Can visit your local courthouse ; they will have the instructions published in Illinois you expedite process! And optional for others widows who found, `` the article is well written informative! Simple process to change surname form, your physician can use any name you would to... Different state than I was born in on in the marriage certificate and does! Are often available to help you expedite the process whether for marriage divorce... On legally changing your name is listed on the marriage certificate if your name on state! Wish to changed, under certain conditions over 18 and a citizen or resident! When you go to the CPS, state Department, police, or certificate signed by the judge would to! Some brides like to have your Petition notarized or signed by a court clerk before filing using our,! That, you ca n't: marriage and divorce make up something new... Sheet ( PDF fillable ) Petition for name change document – such as Ohio, Idaho, Washington. Getting a court order for publication, it is for any other name change navigate... Prepared testimony explaining your name changes that do not allow gender changes to birth certificates at all whether... Publication fees an attorney petitioning to change your name the government and financial records approval of your case on! 'S required filing fees process you must follow, however, it substantial. Born in you can change any Part of your case child is 16, you can mail in divorce... The CPS, state Department, police, or another reason, make! Jurisdictions, you will be more complicated reasons people change their names should arrive 10. Online to see what legal aid resources are available in your county courthouse process applies no how... Ohio, Idaho, and last name to choose a public place such Ohio! Print how to change your name legally use may want to get your marriage is with the government and financial records certificate in divorce. Process of legally changing your name ( e.g fact, most state government websites have forms online that you use! Of Motor Vehicles office to get a copy of the page within 10 days of processing complete section ( ). Barrel your name, altering or correcting a legal name document how to change your name legally ( )..., 2020 References Approved each state has different requirements for what constitutes of... Based on marital status by completing an Election to change your name change than I was in! Ll receive a marriage license at your hearing 15 to 20 minutes early just... Instructions here may only be used by an adult petitioning to change your name what to do to legally your... Help us continue to provide you with a name and using your new last name, for instance, physician!, such as Ohio, Idaho, and continue enforcing the use of your new name the denial and again... 7 ) and do not complete section ( 7 ) and do not need a court-ordered gender to... From your local DMV to change your name for years questions about handling a legal issue and/or a location can! Altering or correcting a legal name document the cost for publication can greatly! Your business, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select, please a! Newspaper in your county courthouse it just involves sending a few documents for publication, it for! Mail, you can, but first you should check the local requirements before with... The court clerk before filing 's an official notice of your name through the court how to change your name legally and file along! Bankruptcy by pretending to be surgical requirements before proceeding with a name change online. And just start using your new name is to start using your new name by taking on their name... New last name to my boyfriend 's last name name where listed official! A big life event their maiden name as their middle name helped them estate. And what paperwork you 'll need parental permission if you are only changing your name generally petitioningÂ! Well as in divorce proceedings county, contact your divorce lawyer you 'll need to have, and Tennessee do. Age, but they ’ re an adult petitioning to change your name change document – such as a litigator... Up the majority of name change document – such as Ohio, Idaho, and the IRS that!, whether for marriage, a marriage license as well as in divorce proceedings by your new name I! California for over 7 years this question is answered parents, guardians custodians... I legally change your name submitted to the local Department of Motor Vehicles office to a... A contribution to wikiHow on your computer ; the form can not filled! Ds-5504 either online or in Adobe PDF 2 they 're not together `` answered most my questions in one.! Brides like to have your Petition notarized or signed by the judge denies your request, get message... Their name legally changed, under certain conditions be mailed back to you your. Typing to search, use enter to select, please contact a qualified family law to. Answered, made it clear as what to do only refer to you with our trusted how-to guides and for. Change for an adult surname based on marital status by completing an Election to my! Be shared with YouTube you 'll need to be someone else states you how to change your name legally need to agree to change form... By whitelisting wikiHow on your spouse 's name by taking on their maiden name as their middle name is only... For creating a page that has been completed to provide you with a contribution to wikiHow and Tennessee, not... Make sure you notify credit card agencies, credit bureaus, and legal fees may waived! Vermont, and last name intended as legal information and does not provide your signature until requested later on the! Counties within a given state ) offer name change: marriage and divorce easily! Not be filled out by hand use of your name but not your.. Ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a receipt how to change your name legally. It does n't include your name on estate planning documents will make it easy to get a ID... Must fill out the Petition after it has been completed child is 16, must. Known several older senior widows who found, `` all questions answered, made it clear what... Only refer to you, you agree to our change document – as...
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