When Can You Legally Change Your Name in the Us
The problems arise when it comes to government and financial authorities. Since identity theft, credit card fraud, and even fear of terrorist spies are widespread, many financial and government agencies may require legal court documents to prove your identity. There are certain forms of identification, such as a social security card, birth certificate, and passports, that absolutely require legal name change documents. Many courts will seal your name change records upon request, preventing your old name and other personal information from becoming public. Some states also require petitioners to advertise their name changes in a local newspaper — a staggering concept for many trans people. If you`re starting a new business, you`ll need to choose a name that can be used in your state and doesn`t go against another company`s brand. If you revert to your old name after a divorce, be sure to keep the following in mind: The first question that may come to mind after completing your name change is probably how to change your name on your Social Security card, but that`s just one of the documents you`ll need to update to reflect your new name: You will then need to apply for a name change. This is essentially a form that you present to your local clerk. It includes your current and suggested name, your Social Security number, and sometimes a signed statement that you are not a convicted felon or that you do not have a pending arrest warrant. You must sign this form in front of a witness and a notary. Of course, we are talking about a court, not the DMV, but the principle is the same.
Save time and learn about the documents you need before you start. These depend on a) your country of residence and b) the reason for your name change. Since the United States is a federalist republic, we have two levels of government: federal and state. For most normal things, it`s the states that set the rules — meaning the answers to questions like “How can I legally change my name?” depend on the state you live in. Each state has its own laws and processes for implementing those laws. Once you receive your court order, you will still need to change the legal documents and inform businesses and individuals who should really know your new nickname. Here is a representative, but by no means exhaustive, sample: In most states, changing names through the court system is a fairly straightforward process. In fact, most state government websites have online forms that you can print and use. Questions on the forms are very simple and can include your old name, new name, social security number, the reason for your name change, and a promise that you won`t change your name to avoid debt or criminal liability.
Thinking about changing your name? This guide to legally changing your name will help you get started. If one of these entities prevents you from telling them about your legal name change, remind them of your right and offer them a copy of the court order. If necessary, talk to a supervisor. Keep in mind that many financial institutions and creditors will hesitate for fear of identity theft and fraud. Be patient and keep forcing the use of your new name. Eventually, it will prevail permanently. Legally changing your name is a fairly simple process that usually doesn`t involve a lawyer. However, this involves several steps, including sometimes publishing a notice in a local newspaper, as required in some states. Here we will break down the general process to get a name change. Check with your clerk for advertising details of your new name.
Some states require you to advertise in certain newspapers, while others require you to advertise in the county where you live. And yes, you have to pay a fee to the newspaper to publish your name change ad. Your last step after changing your name is to inform government agencies, businesses, family, and friends of your new name. The legal change of your name, whether for marriage, divorce or any other reason, can be a great life event. Each state`s laws are different and you should make sure to do so in accordance with the book, including filing your petition to change your name with the appropriate government agency. Let an experienced family law lawyer guide you through the process. According to LegalZoom, you must first prove your residency in your state. Next, you`ll need to gather your supporting evidence: a recent Social Security card, birth certificate, driver`s license, and photo ID. In the United States, we have a lot of freedom to choose a new name – but it`s not absolute. For this reason, before we start changing your name, we should determine if the name change you are proposing is legal.
Here are the restrictions for a name change: If you hire a lawyer, you also pay legal fees. You can also use an online legal service to help you complete the name change application.
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