Change Your Name

For various reasons, some persons may have a need for a name change. If you are one such person that is seeking to change your name, then here are some tips and methods that would be useful in going about this.

Think it Through

Name changes can be expensive and may not necessarily be what you want. Think it through carefully and analyze if this is the right decision. Do some research as well and ask the opinions of close friends and associates to help one to make the right choice.

Starting the process

Check out the laws of the jurisdiction in which you wish to do your name change. In the United States, name changing laws vary by state so a proper check of the relevant laws is required.

Research the name you want to use. Certain names such as ‘Jesus Christ’ are prohibited in certain US jurisdictions. Research the desired name to ensure there are no negative connotations associated with the name.

Having done this, liaise with your local authorities to verify what procedures will have to be taken and what paperwork needs to be done.

Forms that usually need to be filled out include:

  • a petition (sometimes called a ‘deed poll’) for change of name
  • an order granting change of name
  • a legal backer form
  • a notice of petition to the public
  • an affidavit of consent (if applicable)
  • an affidavit of service of notification to authorities (only if you’re an alien, ex-convict or attorney).

Normally one would need to get forms signed by the local court clerk.

Other Important Tips and Information to Change Your Name

Make copies of these records for personal filing. Note that here it becomes very important that you check the accuracy of the information.

Submit your documents to the relevant authorities and be sure to get a date when the process will be completed. If the process takes longer than this stipulated time frame, then be prepared to go in and do a check up and back up your basis to change your name.

You then need to place an ad in the local paper or in a prominent place where it can be seen. If anyone has an opposition to it then they can see the ad and raise the opposition. If you have an outstanding loan under your birth name for example, creditors may raise oppositions.

Fill out an affidavit and file it with the local court clerk.

Wait for the issuance of your new name as printed on an ID card.

Take these documents to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and the Bureau of Records or Vital Statistics in the state in which you were born so that a new driver’s license, social security card, and birth certificate can be issued. If your Social Security Number does not match your changed name, then when you apply for a new driver’s license, the DMV will not issue one to you.

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