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Name Change Illinois – How to Change Your Name in Illinois

Changing Your Name in Illinois - We Can Help

Name Change Illinois is a court process that helps a person to get his or her name exactly the way you want it. Illinois Name Change starts by preparing and filing a Petition in the Circuit Court for the County where you live now. The end of the court process is when you have an Order for Name Change in your hands. A Certified Copy of that Court Order is what you need to update ID and Official Records with government agencies, banks, employers, etc. 

How to Legally Change Your Last Name in Illinois

Legal Name Change means using an Official Process, such as Court or certain Marriage and Divorce processes, to get authority to use a name, that’s not on your birth certificate, for every legal purpose.  Changing a last name, in Illinois and other states, is more common than changing your first, middle, or entire name.

Marriage, divorce, adoption and  family conditions are some of the major reasons for so many Last Name Changes. There may also be ways, through the Illinois marriage license or Illinois divorce judgment, to legally change your last name. However filing a Petition in Circuit Court remains available for all types of name changes in Illinois, including completely changing a First, Middle or Last Name…or all of them.

EZ Name Change is a Licensed/Bonded Legal Document Assistant company. We only do Legal Name Changes for humans, of all ages. We know what the options are for people Changing Last Names and offer Full Service to help you with the documents and process. You can retake a former legal name, whether it was a  married or birth name. Or, a person, or a couple, can take an entirely New Last Name for your life ahead.  Maybe you want Your Last Name Changed to honor an ancestor or the someone who raised you.  Some people want to restore a last name their family had in generations past. Whatever your reason, the Circuit Court Petition process, upon approval, will get you an Order For Name Change. A Certified Copy of that Court Order will let you update your name to your New Legal Name on all ID and Official Records.

How to Legally Change Your First or Middle Name in Illinois

You can legally change your first and/or middle names in Illinois by filing a Petition, Request for Name Change. Whether You Change a First, Middle or Last Name, the costs and process is the same. It’s the process that makes your New Name legally valid, upon approval and honored everywhere. The Order for Name Change will require the ID agencies to  update your Records with your legally authorized New First and/or Middle Names, just the same as would apply for a Last Name Change.

Name Change Process in Illinois

There is a standard court process for name Change in Illinois, although each person’s Petition information is unique. 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 same characteristics.

Steps for Legal Name Change Illinois

How to legally change your name:

  1. Prepare Your Petition-Request For Name Change, Publication Notice and Order
  2. File Your Petition with the correct Court and obtain Hearing Date
  3. Run the Ads, attend Hearing and, upon approval, get your Order for Name Change
  4. Get Certified Copy(s) of your Court Order
  5. Update ID and Official Records
  6. Big Smile

Step 1 – Petition For Name Change Illinois

All the Court Forms needed for your particular kind of Legal Name Change, in your Circuit Court, must be properly and completely prepared.  In Illinois, there are at least three different Court Forms and as many as 7 or more.  Illinois does have a unified court system, but certain Illinois Counties may have extra local forms they require. The common forms, depending on your particular Name Change situation, are:

  • Request for Name Change with Verification by Witness
  • Publication Notice of Court Date for Request for Name Change
  • Order for Name Change
  • Application for Waiver of Court Fees [USED when you can’t afford to pay for court fees ONLY]
  • Order for Waiver of Court Fees
  • Motion to Waive Notice & Publication (documented dangerous conditions)
  • Order on Motion to Waive Notice & Publication

Court Forms change from time to time, and the most current ones need to be used. Taking care of all this is one of the reasons our customers have reported such positive experiences with EZ name Change over many years.  BetterBusinessBureau,  YELP Reviews

Step 2 – File the Petition With the Correct Illinois County Forms

All of the required Court Forms and Filing Fees must be Filed and paid when you File. Upon acceptance of your Petition Filing, the Court will assign a case number to your Petition, schedule a Hearing Date and give you stamped documents to start your required Advertising. If the documents are incomplete, or completed incorrectly, the Filing can be delayed or rejected and you’ll need to refile correctly. 

Step 3 – Give Name Change Notice in Illinois

The required Advertising must run correctly for 3 consecutive weeks, following the Filing and before your Hearing. Proof of Publication has to be filed into your case so the judge has it before the Hearing. You get the Certificate of Publication after the final publication date of your Notice.

You must appear at your  Hearing and will be like an appointment, with a particular time, date, and courtroom where you will be expected.  If we’re helping you, we’ll provide you with all the details of your Appearance at 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.

Almost all Petitions are Granted, but some problems can delay or stop the Approval. Certain kinds of criminal history, such as Identity Theft, etc.,  can be a disqualifying. 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 an Order for Name Change, authorizing your proposed Legal Name Change. That Court Order gets entered into the Court’s permanent records, and then you can get Certified Copies of it whenever you want after that.  

Step 4 – Get the Certified Copy of Your Court Order

A Certified Copy of your Order for Name Change is a Name Change Document, and you can use it to update your Records with every ID Agency.  We recommend that you get 2 of them. You can get 5 or more it you want. And, you can get more later, if you need more or have a different need for one later on. 

The Certified Copies cost between $5 and $10 each, depending on your Courthouse. You pay the Court directly when you get them.  With a Certified Copy of your Order For Name Change in your hands, you can prove Your Legal Name to anyone, and for every legal purpose. 

Step 5 – Update Your ID and Records

To update your Name with the most important agencies, you must have a Certified Copy of Your Order For Name Change. You can start the moment you have your Certified Copies of the Order for Name Change in hand. If your name needs to be updated with Social Security, that should you first stop.  Social Security is an anchor ID, used by the Secretary of State, and others, to confirm your name and identity for Driver’s License and other ID.

Generally, for setting priorities, there are three groups of ID and Official Records to update:

  • Core ID,
  • Official and Important Records
  • Everyday accounts.

If you tackle the Core ID and the most important Official Records first, you can get them all done in a month or less. Everday Accounts, and the other places where your name is recorded, will generally get updated more easily after that. Some will just get changed routinely without your even noticing, and with some you’ll just need to ask for the change.

The Core ID are: Social Security, Secretary of State (Driver’s License/State ID/Real ID, Vehicle Registration), US Secretary of State (Passport), Main Bank, your employer/Income Source, School (if any) and Professional Licensing (if any). These are the ID that you must rely on most often and support your daily life most fully.

The Official Records group includes: Credit Cards, Voter Registration, Postal/Mail Delivery, Medical Services, Insurance, Stock/Retirement/Other Fund and Income Accounts (if any).

Everyday Accounts are the places where your name is registered but not often used. There are lots of them. They will get changed eventually, but it’s not a priority. Library Card, Gym Membership, Department or other Store Charge Account, Subscriptions, etc. A simple verbal or written request that they update their records will usually work. You can let the Tax Authorities know your name change when you next file with each of them. You can update your will or trust when you next make any changes. You can update your property deeds, rental contracts, trusts, or other long term documents when you next renew or change their terms.

We recommend you keep 1 Certified Copy in a safe place, with your other important records, for times when you may need to show it again later on.

EZ Name Change Customers each receive a Social Security Application and a CHECKLIST with  hints for updating ID and Records.


Illinois Name Change - EZ Name Change Service

Name Change is a big deal. Whether you want a real name change or just want to authenticate the name you’re already using in real life, it needs to be done right. It’s personal. And, important. We get it. As Specialists in Legal Name Change, we pay close attention to each person we help. You’ll see it in the communications and our attention to detail. We’ve helped many thousands of people with Legal Name Change since 2012. You’re invited to see how and why we’re so consistently 5-Star Rated over the years.

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