Name Change Georgia – How to Change Your Name in Georgia
Changing Your Name in Georgia - We Can Help
Name Change in Georgia starts by preparing and filing a Name Change Petition in the County Superior Court where you live now. Upon approval, the legal process is over when you get a Final Order Changing Name from the Court. A Certified Copy of that Final Order (Court Order) is what you show to government agencies, banks, employers and financial institutions to update your ID and other Official Records.
How to Legally Change Your Last Name in Georgia
Legal Name Change commonly means getting a Court Order to legally use a name that’s different than the one on your birth, marriage or naturalization certificate. Legally changing your last name in Georgia is more common than changing other parts of your whole name. That’s because marriage, divorce, adoption and other family conditions have traditionally affected people’s last names only. There are additional ways, when you’re going through the Georgia marriage license or Georgia divorce judgment process, to legally change your last name. Still, filing a Name Change Petition remains available for all types of last name changes in Georgia, with or without marriage or divorce.
As specialists, we know about the options for changing your last name, and can help you with the process. Men or women can retake a former married, or birth name, within a Georgia divorce case. Likewise, one or both spouses can change their last name by writing in their new married name(s) onto the marriage license before it’s turned in by the official. There are limitations for the changes you can get this way. The Civil Court Petition process allows any type of last name change, without limits on prior married, birth or family names.
How to Change Your First or Middle Names Legally in Georgia
Name Change Procedures in Georgia
The process to change your name in any Georgia County follows a typical set of steps. Each state, and each county within each state, has its own specific rules for name change, but they will all have most, or all of these basic characteristics.
Steps for Legal Name Change Georgia
How to legally change your name:
- Prepare a notarized Petition
- File Your Petition with the correct Court, publish the required Notice (Advertise), schedule, attend and, upon approval, get your Final Order
- Get a Certified Copy(s) of your Final Order Changing Name
- Update Your ID and Official Records
Step 1 – Petition For Name Change Georgia
PETITIONFirst, Prepare it. You must fill out all the documents, have the Petition notarized and file it all in the correct court. Georgia does not have a unified court system, so certain Georgia Counties may have unique forms they require. The common forms, depending on your particular Name Change situation, are:
- Petition to Change Name of Adult
- Petition to Change Name(s)
- Verification of Name Change Petition
- Consent to Change Name(s)
- Notice of Petition to Change Name(s)
- General Civil Case Filing Information Form
- Final Order Changing Name(s)
- General Civil Case Final Disposition Information Form
- Pro Se Contact Information Form
- Affidavit of Indigency [USED when you can’t afford to pay for court fees ONLY]
- Order on Affidavit of Indigency
Step 2 – Petition, Advertising and Hearing Documentation and Process
Each court charges a filing fee. You must either pay the full filing fee, or submit a completed Affidavit and Order to request waiver of the fees, when you file your Petition. To request a fee waiver, you’ll need to complete and notarize a form setting out the details of your inability to pay the court fees.
Upon acceptance of your Petition Filing, the Court will assign a case number to your Petition and give you stamped documents to start your required Advertising. If the documents are incomplete, or completed incorrectly, the Filing can be rejected and you’ll need to refile correctly.
Once you have your stamped Petition and Notice of Petition, with Filing Date and Case Number, you must advertise the particulars of your Name Change Hearing. You pay the authorized newspaper for the required ad and affidavit, proving the publication was done. The ads must run once a week for 4 consecutive weeks before the Affidavit can be produced. Your judge will want to see Proof of Publication before approving your Petition. You get the Affidavit after the final publication of your Notice.
Once the Affidavit is ready and Filed, your Approval Hearing can be scheduled. The Hearing may be conducted virtually, depending on court policy at the time of your Hearing. If we’re helping you, we’ll provide you with all the details of your Appearance for the Hearing. We will also provide you copies of all your documents on file and information about what to expect. Hearings for adults are normally quite brief when everything has been done correctly. Hearings to change a child’s name can be more complicated, particularly if one of the parents objects.
The Hearing arrangements are like an appointment, with a specific date, time and place where you will be expected to Appear, for review and Approval or Denial of your Petition. Almost all Petitions are Granted, but some problems can delay or stop the Approval. Your Appearance is required, and not Appearing is one of the reasons why it can become denied. Also, you’ll need to have done everything correctly in the court process up to that point. At the Hearing, the judge is free to ask any questions of you that the judge believes to be relevant. In many cases, you may only be asked questions to be sure it’s really you, and not someone else trying to change your name. The judge may want to ask about your name change, your background, or other issues relating to your legal name change. The judge is free to ask no questions at all, too.
Upon Approval, your judge will sign a Final Order, authorizing your proposed Legal Name Change. After that Court Order is entered into the Court’s permanent records, a copy will be sent to you. This means your name has been changed, and you’re free to use it for every legal purpose. However, the main ID agencies won’t update your Official Records until you provide them with a Certified Copy of that Final Order.
Step 3 – Get the Certified Copy(S) of Your Final Order Changing Name
Once you get your copy of the Final Order, with your judge’s signature, you get Certified Copies of it from the Court right away. We recommend that you get 2 of them, but you can get as many as you want. And, you can get more even years later, if you need more, from that same Court.
The Certified Copies cost between $1 and $3 each, payable to the Court when you get them. If you are going to update a birth certificate, get an extra one. When you get your Certified Copies, you should bring your copy of the Final Order and some identification, so the court clerk can identify you and your case file.
Step 4 – Update Your ID and Official Records
You can start updating your ID the moment you have your Certified Copies of the Final Order Changing Name. Your first update should be with Social Security, unless your new name is already on your Social Security Card and Account. That’s because Social Security is an anchor ID, used to confirm your name and identity by other agencies such as DDS.
Core ID are: Social Security, DDS, Passport, School (if any), your main Bank, your employer/Income Source, and Professional Licensing (if any). The Official Records group includes: Credit Cards, Voter Registration, Doctors, Insurance, Stock/Retirement/Other Fund Accounts (if any). A simple verbal or written request to update their records for your name will usually be enough regular membership, shopping and less important relationships. Tax Returns will usually be that simple to update, since they track your Social Security Number.
The court process and travel processes aren’t connected, so your name change won’t be involved in travel, you can update everything, all at the same time, when you get back. That way all your ID will be consistent from then on.
EZ Name Change Customers each receive a Post-Decree Checklist with information and hints for quick and successful ID and Records updates. We also include the Social Security Application to update SSA.
Step 5 – Smile Time
You may find yourself smiling at the end of the Legal Name Change Process. It feels realy good to have Your Name, exactly the way you want it, on all your ID and Official Records. Smiling is the most common reaction:)
Georgia Name Change - EZ Name Change Service
We know that name change is deeply personal and very important to you. We give specialized attention to each person we help. You’ll see it in the communications and our attention to detail. Your success and impression of our help, at the end of this process, is deeply personal and very important to us too. We’ve helped many thousands of people with Legal Name Change since 2012. That’s all we do. You’re invited to see what some customers have posted about us over the years:
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