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How to Legally Change Your Name: Steps by Step

Legal Name Change Steps

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.” There are many reasons why one might be be inspired to change their name. It happens relatively frequently at an estimated 50,000 name changes in the US in a year. Other estimates in the UK have been as high as 85,000 name changes annually.

1. Check Your State’s Name Change Requirements: Every state has its own set of requirements for legally changing your name, so be sure to check your state’s specific rules before you start the process.

2. Get a Petition For Name Change from The Court: You’ll need to get a petition for name change form from your local court. The form will need to be filled out completely and accurately, as this is what the judge will use to make a decision on whether or not you can legally change your name.

3. Submit Your Name Change Petition To The Court: Once you have all of your paperwork in order, it’s time to submit it to the court. This process varies from state to state, so again, be sure to familiarize yourself with your state’s rules and regulations.

4. Attend Your Court Hearing: After you submit your paperwork, you’ll need to attend a hearing in front of a judge. During this hearing, the judge will review your petition for name change and ask you questions about why you want to change your name.

5. Present Evidence in Support of Your Name Change Petition: You will need to present evidence that supports your petition for a name change. This could include things like birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees and other relevant documents.

6. Publish Your Intent To Change Your Name: Depending on where you live, you may be required to publish a notice in the newspaper that states your intention to change your name. This requirement varies from state to state, so check with your local court for more information.

7. Receive Your Court Order Approving The Name Change: After your hearing is complete, the judge will make a decision on whether or not to approve your name change. If they approve it, you’ll receive a court order approving the name change.

8. Get Certified Copies of Your Name Change Court Order: To officially change your name, you’ll need to get certified copies of the court order that approves your name change. These documents will be used to update your name on all official records such as your driver’s license and social security card.

9. Update Your Name Everywhere: Once you have the certified copies of your name change court order, it’s time to start updating your name everywhere – from banks, government agencies, employers, healthcare providers, and more.

10. Celebrate Your New Name!: Congratulations! You have successfully changed your name and you can now start introducing yourself to the world with your new name. Enjoy it!

Most Common Reasons For Changing Names

1. Marriage: One of the most common reasons for a name change is marriage. Many people choose to take their spouse’s last name when they get married as a sign of commitment and unity.

2. Divorce: Another reason for changing your name is after divorce. People who divorce sometimes choose to go back to their maiden name, or they may create an entirely new name.

3. Reclaiming Family Names: Some people choose to change their names in order to reclaim a family name that has been lost in recent generations. This is especially common among immigrants who want to join the rest of their family in having the same last name.

4. Fresh Start: For some people, a name change can be an exciting opportunity for a fresh start. Whether you want to make a break from your past or just want to feel like you’re starting anew, changing your name can be empowering.

5. Gender Identity: In recent years, many transgender and non-binary people have chosen to change their names in order to better reflect their true gender identity. Changing your name can be an important step in affirming your identity and making sure that the world sees you for who you really are.

6. Identity Theft: To combat identity theft, some people choose to change their name if they suspect that someone has stolen their identity and is using it for illegal purposes.

7. Private Reasons: Finally, some people choose to change their names for private reasons that are known only to them. Whatever your reason may be, changing your name can be a big decision – but it’s also an exciting one! Good luck on the journey ahead!

How to Change Your Name

Documents Required to Change Your Name

  1. A valid photo identification such as a driver’s license, passport or state ID card
  2. Your original birth certificate
  3. Documentation of any name changes you’ve undergone in the past (e.g., marriage certificates, divorce decrees)
  4. Proof of residency
  5. A copy of your social security card
  6. A completed petition for name change form
  7. An affidavit of publication (if applicable)
  8. Court filing fees

Process for Changing Your Name

1. Determine if you Need a Court Order: The first step in changing your name is to determine whether or not you’ll need to obtain a court order. If you’re changing your name for marriage, divorce, or other family-related reasons, then you may not need to go through the court process.

2. Complete the Necessary Forms: Once you’ve determined that you do need a court order to change your name, it’s time to start filling out the necessary forms. These will typically include a petition for name change form and an affidavit of publication (if applicable).

3. Have Your Forms Notarized: After you’ve completed all of the necessary forms, you’ll need to have them notarized. This is an important step and is required by law.

4. File Your Forms with the Court: The next step is to file your forms with the court. Depending on where you live, this can be done in person or online.

5. Wait for Approval: Once your forms have been filed, you’ll need to wait for the court to approve your name change. This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

6. Publish Your Name Change: Depending on where you live, you may need to publish your name change in a newspaper or other publication before it will become official.

7. Make Official Changes: Once your name change has been approved, you’ll need to make official changes to your records. This includes updating your driver’s license, passport, bank accounts and other important documents.

Changing your name can be a big decision – but it’s also an exciting one! Just remember to do your research and make sure that you

How to change your name online
How to change your name

Who Should be Notified When You Change Your Name?

Even though you just changed your name, you are still the same legal entity. This means you keep all your financial history and of course your social security number. But there are other places you need to update your new information with as well.

Here is a List of Places and Organizations you might need to notify after changing your name:

  • Social Security Administration
  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • IRS
  • Your Employer
  • Banks and Financial Institutions
  • Post Office
  • Insurance Companies
  • Schools and Educational Institutions
  • Professional Licensing Organizations (if applicable)
  • Healthcare Providers
  • Passport Office
  • Friends and Family
  • Government Agencies (if applicable)
  • Utilities Companies
  • Credit Card Companies

Make sure that you understand all of the legal requirements for changing your name in your state or country before taking the leap. With enough preparation and the right paperwork, you can make your name change official in no time!

Best of luck on the journey ahead!

Get it Done Faster with BlueNotary Online:

If you’re looking to make the process of changing your name easier and faster, then BlueNotary Online can help. With our easy-to-use platform, you can get all of the forms you need to change notarized. Our experienced team is ready to answer any questions you may have about your notarization. Instead of looking around for a notary and wasting hours of your day. You can your name change documents notarized in less than 10 minutes online. All you need to do is upload the forms, pay the filing fees and we will take care of the rest. Get your name change forms notarized quickly and conveniently with BlueNotary Online. Try it today!

Good Luck! And remember to be patient, as the process for changing your name can take several weeks or months. With the right preparation and filing of documents, your name change will be complete in no time!