Changing Your Name Without Going to Court
[Not to be confused with Changing Your Name in a Common-Law Marriage, this article covers the idea that one could change his or her name simply by using that name regularly]
The federal courts have ruled again and again that changing your name at will or, by “common law” is every citizen’s right under the U.S. Constitution. Using this “common law rule,” you can change your name without even going to court. Technically, you only need to begin using your chosen name to assume it – and can do so legally. However, there are some benefits to having your name changed “officially” through the courts.
The first of these benefits would be the ability to change various identifying documents to match your new name. For example, the Social Security Administration is not likely to change the name on your social security card without some legal proof such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree or court-approved name change request, regardless of what the federal courts say. This makes it difficult to function in today’s information-rich society where names must match on everything from your tax return to your driver’s license and bank account checks.
Additionally, while the states don’t specifically disallow common-law name changes, many do regulate them in a way that makes them all but obsolete. Arizona, for example, requires an updated social security card in order to change your name on your driver’s license. Other states require you to register your new name as an “assumed name”. So, while you are technically free to assume almost any name you choose, if you attempt a common-law name change these days, you will face some obstacles when attempting to obtain legal identifying documents that reflect your new name.
The solution is to get a court order granting your name change to satisfy any requirements by companies insisting that you use your “legal” name. This is a relatively easy process and doesn’t require any counseling, home studies or documented proof for approval. There are, in fact kits available online which can simplify the name change process.
Name Change Kits and Services
We have reviewed many of the name change kits and services available online. The ones that consistently receive the best reviews from our editors and our website visitors are from US Legal Forms.
Maybe the easiest way to make sure that your name is legally changed with all the important government and private agencies, is to use a name change “kit” which provides key forms and instructions for the name change process.
Because there are several steps involved in the typical name change, and because there are a number of agencies (private, state, and federal) that can require notification, the name change kit can save you time and effort. The kit contains virtually everything you need to change your name:
Instruction Guide; Checklist; All forms needed to change records for Social Security, IRS, Drivers License, Vehicle Title, Voter Registration, U.S. Passport, Bank Records, Credit Cards, Medical Records, Insurance, Employment, etc.
A professional name change service is also available if you wish to have a professional review the name change forms on your behalf. The name change service includes all the forms from the name change kit above, but helps ensure that forms are filed correctly because each form is reviewed by a US Legal representative. Each of the forms from the kit above will be checked for accuracy by specialists before paper copies are mailed out to you. If you want your name change to be handled right the first time, you will appreciate the accountability of US Legal Forms’ name change service.