Change Your Name 0

Legal Name Change Options and Overview

Name Change Kit (from US Legal Forms)So you want to change your name? Well you’re not alone.  The most common occasion for changing your name is after marriage (or in a common law marriage), but people do often change their names for a wide variety of other reasons, including after divorce (to revert back to maiden or another name), for heritage reasons (to take an ancestor’s name), after adoption (for the child to take the adoptive parents or family’s name), or even simply because they don’t like their birth name.

Buy NowDownloadable Name Change Forms
(from US Legal Forms, starting at $27.95)

Some states and institutions find that simply using a new name consistently is acceptable, otherwise known as a common-law name change, however many other accounts and agencies will require more documentation in order to accept the name change. Because there are so many issues these days with securing one’s identity, the name on your Social Security card and other identification documents need to match. In order to change your name on your Social Security card, you have to present a court document (marriage certificate, divorce papers or Order for Name Change) that legally authorizes the change.

Overview:

  1. How to Change Your Name
  2. Name Change Forms and Services
  3. More about Changing Your Name

1. How to Change Your Name:

  • Initiate your name change with the Court. File a Petition and Order for Name Change with the Court and purchase a couple certified copies of the Order signed by the Judge.
  • Get a new Social Security Card. Bring current identification and a certified copy of your Name Change Order to the Social Security office (locations) to make the request. There is no fee associated with changing your name with Social Security.
  • Get a new drivers license or ID card from the department of motor vehicles (DMV) (locations).  Bring your new Social Security card, current identification, and a copy of your Court Order.
  • Tell your employerabout your name change so they can modify your email address, any internal and external company documents, correct future paychecks, and/or business cards accordingly.
  • Contact other institutions and organizations with which you have accounts and memberships. Once you have your new Social Security card and drivers license/ID (some institutions may also ask to see your Court Order), you will be able to change your name with other organizations (banks, credit cards, passport, insurance providers, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), voter registration, utility providers, post office, stocks/bonds/mutual funds, retirement plans, legal documents, etc. ). You will need to contact each institution individually, so be prepared for this process to take some time.
  • Inform old friends and family members of the change.  It may take some getting used to, and you may have to remind them time and again, but be patient and over time they will adopt the change.
  • Start using your new name. Once you have received your new identification bearing your new name, consistently use the name as your own. Once you are regularly and comfortably using your new name, others will follow.

2. Name Change Forms and Services:

Since it is a very time consuming process to change your name will all your institutions, there are companies that offer “name change kits” that help to make the process easier and more organized, while also significantly shortening the amount of time to get everything updated. We have reviewed some of the more popular name change kits and services available online and below are the ones that consistently receive the best reviews from our editors and website visitors:

Downloadable Name Change Forms – from $27.95

Change Your NameBuy NowThis extensive, easy to use, name change kit includes everything you need to effect a legal name change in your state.

It contains forms and instructions for notifying government agencies and others, and it also contains forms for changing contracts, wills, and other legal documents.

Professional Name Change Services – $129.00

Legal Name Change ServiceBuy NowYou can ensure an expedient name change process by having the professionals at US Legal Forms review your name change forms for you. They review all the forms for accuracy and mail you copies upon completion. This package covers the same aspects of changing your name as the kit above, but if you need your name to change to be handled right the first time, you may want the accountability and experience that US Legal Forms offer with their name change service.

3. More About Changing Your Name:

The most common scenario for a name change, by far, is when a wife chooses to take her husband’s last name (aka: surname) after marriage, but the reality is that you don’t actually need a reason to change your name. And the requirements to effect a change of name are quite similar for most name change scenarios – for adults as well as for minors.

There are some restrictions you need to consider when choosing your new name, such as wanting a name because of fraudulent or misleading intent (e.g. “Barack Obama”), choosing a racial slur, trying to be purposefully confusing (“?” or “2”), and more. As long as your desired name falls within the restrictions, you should be able to change your name with little resistance from the Court.

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