There are various reasons people want to go for a legal name change. It can be due to a marriage, divorce, to have a new identity or simply because you dislike your name. Though it seems like a challenging task with a lot of legal hassles, you can get it done with some easy paperwork. Listed below are a few things you should know before you change your name.
- Name change due to marriage: If you want to change your name after marriage, it can be done easily in the courthouse where you get your marriage certificate. Usually, the clerk will ask if you want the name to be changed and hand over an application if you decide to. If you already have a marriage certificate and you want to change your name now, you should follow the general method of the name change.
After receiving the marriage certificate, you should now apply for a new SSN card. An application form has to be filled and submitted with the necessary documents like birth certificate, marriage certificate, and photo ID proof. Post submission, you will get a new SSN card with the changed name. Once you have received your new SSN card, submit for a name change to DMV, bank accounts, Credit cards, insurance, etc.
- Name change due to other reasons: A court petition has to be filed if you are changing your name for anything other than marriage or divorce. It is an easy process, where you will have to submit your proof of residence, SSN card, birth certificate, photo id, and your driver’s license. A petition has to be submitted to the court clerk in your locality mentioning the current name and the name you propose to change it to. You may also need to sign a statement that you have no warrants in front of a notary along with a witness. A hearing will be scheduled where the judge will question the reason behind name change after which you will receive a certified order copy with your new name.
- Mention name change in a newspaper: Usually you will have to put up an advertisement in a newspaper stating that you have changed your name. This process has to be done before you get a court certified copy to announce the intention of the name change. It is to ensure that there is no objection from creditors or other parties on your change in name. Ensure that you check the requirements with the court clerk on the details as some states need it to be posted in specific newspapers.
- It is not cheap: A name change does not come cheap, it can set you back by a few hundred dollars. Apart from filing a petition in the court, there are additional fees to be paid for a notary, and you will also need to pay for the paper advertisement as well. Additionally, you will need present certified copies of your petition to be submitted to many organisations and not to mention the time spent on doing the paperwork.
Different countries have different procedures, so do your research, understand the procedure before changing your name.