How to Get Another Copy of a Name Change Certificate

By Bryan Driscoll, J.D.

How to Get Another Copy of a Name Change Certificate

By Bryan Driscoll, J.D.

After you change your name, it's your responsibility to also update your bank account(s), credit card(s), and anything else that bears your name. To do this, you can submit a name change certificate to each institution providing the updated name.

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If you've already changed your name, you'll need proof of such to update documents and identification like your driver's license, passport, and social security card. You'll need to update all identification documents to ensure you have the same name on each document. Having one name on your passport and a different name on your driver's license can cause serious problems.

Contact the Clerk

When you change your name, whether you did it when you got married or you filed formal paperwork at another time, the county clerk will need to update your records. This is the first step in the process of updating your name record.

When you contact the clerk, he or she will provide you with a form to complete. Make sure you request one certificate for each institution where you need to update your name.

Gather Your Documentation

After you have contacted the clerk and completed the form requesting a name change certificate, you must gather documentation to provide to the clerk along with the form. This is a necessary step to prove you are who you say you are.

Generally, you need to provide a certified copy of your birth certificate and a form of photo identification like a driver's license or passport.

Submit Everything to the Clerk

Once you have completed the form and gathered the required documentation, you must submit the form to the clerk for processing. Some county clerk offices will allow you to submit the form and images of your identification online or by mail while others require you to appear in person. You can find all of this information on the form but it never hurts to call the clerk and ask for clarification.

There will be a fee for processing your paperwork and providing you with a name change certificate. Generally, there is a flat fee to process the form and then another fee for each certificate you are requesting. If you need the certificate quickly, you may also be able to pay a fee for expedited processing.

But allow yourself plenty of time. Filing the form and expecting a name change certificate within a matter of minutes is unreasonable. County clerks are busy and they must check their records prior to giving you a name change certificate to ensure your name has actually been changed. That's why you should pay the additional fee for expediting your request if necessary.

Requesting a name change certificate is an important step in making sure your name is correct on all of your identification documents, including bank accounts, credit cards, formal ID documents, and more. While it may take you a few moments to complete the form and gather your documentation, this is a relatively quick and painless process that must be done to avoid potential problems in the future.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.

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