Easiest Way to Change Your Name

By Dennis Masino

There are many reasons you might want to change your name. Whether your decision is for personal or business reasons, most states allow you to change your name without the time and expense of getting a court order. The usage method of changing your name does not involve the courts or formal applications. Its limitation is that government agencies, such as the department of motor vehicles, will not change official records without a court order.

Step 1

Select the name you want to use. You may select any name you wish, as long as you are not doing so to commit a crime, avoid criminal prosecution, avoid creditors, or intentionally mislead other people.

Step 2

Use your new name. It is important that you consistently use the new name in all aspects of your business and social life. Notify your family, friends and employer of your new name and ask them to begin using it when addressing you.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Step 3

Change your phone and other personal records to reflect your new name. Request that your telephone and other utility providers change their records to reflect your new name. Although most states allow you to change your name by usage, most government agencies will not change official records without a court order. Social Security, motor vehicles, Veteran’s Affairs, banks and schools usually require a court order or marriage certificate as proof of your new name.

Step 4

Obtain a court order to change your name. Most states have simplified procedures and paperwork for changing your name through the courts. The forms are available from the courts or from online document providers. If you are a divorced woman, most divorce judgments and decrees of divorce authorize you to resume the use any prior surname (last name) you were known by prior to your marriage.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Legal Name Change Options
 

References

Related articles

How to Change a Name After Marriage in Colorado

Colorado state law is based on English common law, which allows anyone to change his name without legal process. Colorado has modified this legal principle; in many cases, a court order is required to change your name. If you change your last name to your spouse's last name because of marriage, you avoid the need for a court order. You will have to comply with the requirements of various issuing authorities to replace your identity documents with new versions that reflect your new last name.

Divorce Laws During Pregnancy in Missouri

You might think that breaking up is the furthest thing from spouses' minds when they're expecting a baby. In fact, divorce rears its ugly head during pregnancy with enough frequency that some states – including Missouri – have special laws in place to deal with the situation.

Fastest Way to Legally Change Your Name

All 50 states allow you to legally change your name, regardless of whether it’s the result of a marriage, divorce or personal preference. The fastest way to legally change your name is to familiarize yourself with the laws of your state to avoid unnecessary delays due to oversight of the proper procedures. However, when your name change doesn’t relate to a marriage or divorce, the legal process is going to require more time and the filing of additional documents.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Resuming Use of Maiden Name Without Divorce

A woman often resumes the use of her maiden name after a divorce. However, you may choose to reacquire your maiden name ...

How to Change Your Last Name Without the Court

Whatever your reasons for changing your last name, state laws offer several ways for you to do it. Often people want to ...

Name Change Requirements in the State of Illinois

In Illinois, you can change your name when getting married or divorced, but you can also change your name for other ...

How to Change Your Last Name Back to Your Maiden Name After a Divorce

Divorce is stressful enough without having to make all the tough decisions involved at the time. If the divorce ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED