Changing Your Name in California
It’s semi-complicated, but this will help
How to Name Change in California -Adult, Child or the Whole Family? It starts by filing a Name Change Petition in the Superior Court where you live. It ends with a Court Order in your hands. A Decree Changing Name (Court Order) is what all government agencies, schools, financial institutions and private organizations want to see before they will agree to change your ID and other important records.
How to Legally Change Your Last Name in California
Changing your last name in California is more common than changing other parts of your whole name. That’s because marriage and divorce have traditionally affected people’s last names only. And, because of the marriage and divorce connections to last name changes, there are additional ways to legally change your last name.However, filing a name change case in civil court is available for all types of last name changes in California.
Men or women can now also retake a former, or birth name, within a California divorce case. Likewise, one or both spouses can change your last name on your marriage license by writing in your new married name onto the marriage license before it’s turned in by the official. There are limitations for the changes you can get this way.
How to Legally Change Your First or Middle Name in California
Anyone can change your first or middle name in California by filing a Petition for Change of Name. There’s no difference, in a first or middle name change case, from a case where you want to change your last name. It’s the same process, and is just as legally valid upon approval.
Name Change Process in California
The following process to change your name in California is standard. Each state, and each county within each state, has its own rules for name change, but they will all have most, or all of these basic characteristics.
Steps for Legal Name Change California
1. Prepare and File a Petition
2. Do the Advertising – Notices
3. Get Your Court Order, Upon Approval
4. Change Your ID and Official Records
Step 1 – Petition For Name Change California
First, Prepare it. You must fill out and file in the correct court, all the required Name Change Petition forms. In addition to the standardized California Judicial Council forms, certain California Counties have additional forms they require. The standardized forms, depending on your particular Name Change situation, are:
- CM-010 Civil Case Cover Sheet
- NC-100 Petition for Change of Name
- NC-110 Name and Information About the Person Whose Name is to be Changed
- NC-120 Order to Show Cause
- NC-121 Proof of Service of Order to Show Cause [Used in some Child Name Changes only]
- NC-130 Decree Changing Name
- FW-001 Request To Waive Court Fees [USED when you can’t afford to pay for court fees ONLY]
- FW-003 Order on Court Fee Waiver [USED when you can’t afford to pay for court fees ONLY]
You also need one extra required form, for checking on criminal history, in 9 counties. Still other counties have additional forms to fill out for self-representation or consent. Some Counties also make you File a Civil Cover Sheet Addendum. The courts all change their Forms from time to time. You have to use the most current ones.
Next, File it. File the Petition in the County Superior Court. (see California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1276) Each court charges a filing fee. You can File a Fee Waiver Request if you can’t afford the Court Fees. The Court will assign a case number to your Petition and give you a Hearing date. You’ll go to court on the Hearing date and get your Court Order, upon approval. The hearing dates are usually 6-12 weeks or longer away, depending on how crowded the court’s schedule is.
EZ name Change is the only California Name Change Specialist that will, with FULL SERVICE, prepare and file your Petition, get your Hearing arranged, and handle all Advertising arrangements for you
Step 2 – Give Name Change Notice in California
You must advertise the particulars of your Name Change Hearing (see California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1277a). You choose a qualified newspaper and pay them for the required ad. The ads run once a week for 4 consecutive weeks. Your judge will want to see that Proof of Publication before approving your Petition.
If you’re a parent Petitioning for your Child without the consent of the other parent, you may also have to serve legal notice of the Hearing on the non-consenting parent. Any adult (not the Filing parent) can do the serving as can Private Process Servers, U.S. Mail, or a Sheriff’s deputy. The particular rules that apply to you are found in the California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1277 (a).
EZ Name Change Customers get the benefit of our list of the qualified Name Change newspapers in your county with rates and contact information. When we do the Filing and Advertising, you get the most cost-effective, qualified newspaper.
Step 3 – Get the Certified Copy of Your Court Order
Your judge will decide whether to sign your Decree Changing Name or not. Almost all Petitions we prepare are Granted. You get a Cerrtified Copy right away, upon approval. With your Certified Decree Changing Name, you can begin changing your important ID and records that same day. You get the Certified Copies in the very same courthouse.
Step 4 – Change Your ID and Records
A Certified Copy of your Decree Changing Name will let you get all your records changed. Social Security, DMV, Schools, Banks, Passports, Birth Certificates all honor that particular document. All US government agencies, State and Federal, and countries throughout the world, honor that document. Many people change Social Security, Driver’s License and Bank or School the same day you get it. Some people wait to change records until after planned travel or other obligations. It’s up to you.
EZ Name Change Customers each receive a Post-Decree Checklist with contact information and hints for quick and successful records changing once you have your Certified Decree Changing Name.
Name Change California – More Adult Information
Name Change California – More Child Information
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