How to Legally Change a Name in Georgia

By River Braun, J.D.

How to Legally Change a Name in Georgia

By River Braun, J.D.

Many life events trigger the need to change your name. Marriage and divorce are two of the most common. If you want to legally change your name in Georgia, complete the following steps.


1. File a Petition to Change Name of Adult

First, you will need to file a Petition to Change Name of Adult with the Superior Court Family Court Division in the county where you live. Most courts have copies of the forms available online or at the clerk's office. Alternatively, you can work with an online legal service provider to prepare your name change petition.

On the form, you must explain why you want to change your name and certify that you are not doing so to deprive anyone of their legal rights. For instance, you cannot change your name to avoid paying your debts, evade criminal charges, or deceive people for fraudulent purposes. The petition must be verified before a Notary Public.

2. Publish Notice of Your Request for Name Change

You are responsible for publishing your intent to change your name in your local newspaper within a week after filing your petition. The notice should include:

  • Your current name
  • Your desired name
  • The name of the court hearing the petition
  • The petition's filing date
  • A statement notifying the public that objections to your name change may be filed with the court

The notice must appear in the newspaper at least once a week for four weeks. You will need to file proof with the clerk of court's office that the notice was published for four weeks in a row.

3. Request and Attend Your Name Change Hearing

If no one files an objection to your name change after four weeks, you can request a hearing date from the clerk of court. The clerk will schedule a hearing and notify you of the hearing. If you do not receive notice of the hearing within a few days, you should check with the clerk's office. Your petition will be denied if you miss the hearing. At your name change hearing, the judge assigned to your case will review your petition and consider your reasons for requesting a name change. While this is a formal process, most name change hearings last only a few minutes. Provided no one objected to the petition and your request does not violate any laws, the judge should grant your petition for a name change. Be sure to request certified copies of your name change order so that you can prove your name change to government agencies, banks, creditors, and other interested parties.

4. Notify Government Agencies

Georgia requires that you update your name on your driver's license within 60 days of changing your name with the court. Take a certified copy of the order to the Georgia Department of Driver Services to complete the process. You also need to change your name on your Social Security card through the Social Security Administration. If you have a passport, you can contact the U.S. Department of State to change your passport. You can contact the Georgia Department of Public Health to inquire about changing your name on your birth certificate if you desire to do so.Changing your legal name in Georgia is not a difficult process if no one objects to your petition. In many cases, it can take longer to change your name on accounts and other documents than it takes to change your name with the court. Are you ready to start your name change process?

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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