People change their names for a variety of reasons.
Whatever your reasons, there are a few things you should be aware of before you take the plunge. Here are the most important things to know before changing your name.
1. If you’re changing your name due to marriage, the first thing you need to do is contact Social Security.
Before you do anything else, you’ll need to get in touch with the Social Security Administration. Fill out the appropriate form, mail them a few different forms of identification and your marriage certificate, and wait for your new documentation.
After you receive confirmation that the name associated with your social security number has been changed, you can continue with the name-change process.
2. If you’re not getting married, you need to complete a court petition.
This sounds intimidating, but it’s actually pretty straightforward.
According to LegalZoom, you’ll first need to prove your residency in your state. Next, you’ll need to gather your supporting evidence: a current social security card, birth certificate, driver’s license, and photo identification.
You’ll then need to file a Petition for Change of Name. This is basically a form that you submit to your local court clerk. It includes your current and proposed name, your Social Security number, and sometimes a signed statement that you’re not a convicted felon or have any outstanding warrants. You’ll need to sign this form in front of a witness and a notary.
After filing the form, you’ll be scheduled for a hearing. At the hearing, the judge or magistrate will ask you questions about your reasons for the name change. Once the judge signs off, you’ll receive a certified copy of the Order, which you must present to anyone who needs verification of your new name.
3. It’s a long process. Be prepared to be patient.
Unfortunately, changing your name isn’t as simple as submitting a single form and waiting for your new social security card.
While a legal document such as a marriage certificate or court granted petition will allow you to change your name, it won’t be truly official until you’ve submitted name change applications with the Social Security Administration, the DMV, and other relevant institutions.
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Source: Business insider