Legal Name Change Options and Overview  

         Many change their name for a number of reasons like after they get married legally, after a common law marriage, after a divorce, to take over an ancestor's name, after an adoption or just because they do not like their name.In some instances, just using your new name constantly is sufficient for the new name to stick to you. However, for most legal matters, you would require proper documentation to show change of name.

          For instance, the name of your Social Security card and identification documents should be the same. Therefore, if you want to change your name on your Social Security card, you would need to present documentary evidence like a marriage certificate, divorce paper or an order to change your name from the court. 

         So, if you want to legally change your name, you would find to start court proceedings. This means that you would have to file a petition in court and then wait to receive the Order for Name Change from the court. Usually if the name is not misleading, does not contain a racial slur, or one that cannot be used fraudulently, the court usually has no objection in issuing the name change order. Once you have this, you can then apply for a Social Security card under your new name.

         Getting a new Social Security card means that you would have to take your current identification and a certified copy of the name change order to the Social Security authorities. You will then have to make a request for the change in name. There is no associated fee with this request.

         Once you get your new Social Security card, take it, your current identification and a certified copy of the court order to the Department of Motor Vehicles. This way you can get a new driver's license.

         Thereafter, you can inform your employer of the change in name so that they can also make all the changes in the documents present in the company so that you future paychecks are issued in your new name. Also, make sure you contact institutions and organization where you have accounts or memberships to execute the change of name. In most of these institutions and organizations you will require to show your new Social Security card and/or driving license. It is quite possible that you might have to show the court order in certain places especially when it comes to the IRS, voters' registration and getting a new passport. Of course, this would be a lengthy process because each institution like the IRS, bank, credit card company, investment companies, retirement plans or passport issuing office would have to be contacted individually.

         Once you have managed to change your name, make sure you start using it so that you can get comfortable with it. In addition, do not forget to inform your friends and family about the name change. Of course, they may take some time to get used to calling you by your new name.




Legal Name Change Options and Overview

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