To legally change your name, you just need to understand the Name Change Process. Every person’s name is very important and deeply personal. You can have a service help you to change names legally, or you can do it yourself. Either way, you can have the exact legal name you want. Just learn the Legal Name Changing Process, start it and do it all correctly. The Name Change Process is a little simple, and a little complicated, This will tell you how to handle it. There are 2 general steps. If you’ve already done step 1, start with step 2.
Name Change Process – Step 1
Everyone is born with a name. The name on your birth certificate is your legal name until you change it legally. Anyone can call themselves anything they want. But to require government or financial institutions to accept your choice of names, you need a Legal Name Change. A Legal Name Change document is a Court Order or Certificate, issued by a judge or other government official, that shows both your Present and New Legal Names on the document and comes after an Official review process. If you have one of these documents, you probably already have a Legal Name Change and can proceed to Change Your ID and Official Records:
- Decree Changing Name
- ORDER Restoring Former Legal Name
- Marriage Certificate
- Divorce/Dissolution Judgment/Order
- Citizenship Certificate
- Adoption Order
A Petition for Change of Name can be Filed in certain California Superior Courts. Upon Approval, you’ll get a Certified Copy of a Decree Changing Name at your Name Change Hearing. That document is immediately honored to change your ID and Official Records worldwide.
Legal Name Changing Process – Step 2; Change Your ID, Registrations and Records
With your name change document, go change your ID and Official records to match your New Legal Name.
- It’s best to start by changing your name on your Social Security Account Registration, and get a new card (same number). Social Security is an anchor ID and if you don’t have the right documentation, they will likely let you know.
- Your second stop would be to get your DMV Name Change for Driver’s License, State ID, and car registration.
- Then, change what is the highest priority for you next. If you’re traveling internationally or it’s time to renew your passport, get your Passport Name Change.
- It’s simple and quick to change your Account registration with your bank when you give them the Court Order or Certificate.
- A School will honor the Name Change Decree right away.
- Professional Licensing will want to see your Certified Court Order or Certificate, and that process may take a while so start early.
- Take everything else as it comes up in your life priorities. You will have all the really important ones changed in a few days or weeks. And, you will have everything else changed over in just a couple of months. Only the main ID and Official Registrations require you to give them a Certified Copy.
Name Change Process – How To Get Your Court Order and Change Names Legally
The Legal Name Changing Process in California, Generally (CCP 1275-1279.6)
- Adults can Petition for Change of Name for themselves or their children under 18.
- Name Change Petitions are processed in the correct Superior Court, based on your residence address.
- Each California Court requires between 5 and 15 different Court Forms to be properly completed and Filed in the right courthouse.
- Get your Hearing Date when it’s all done properly and make sure you can attend.
- While the court does a confidential background check, the Petitioner must publish notice of the Hearing in accordance with the California Name Change Laws (CCP 1277a)
- File Proof of Publication (Affidavit) at the court, before your Hearing.
- Your Petition can be denied for different reasons, but almost all Petitions are approved if done correctly (see Reasons For Denial).
- Before or at the Hearing, the judge can sign your Decree Changing Name upon approval.
- When the judge signs your Court Order and it’s Certified by the Clerk of that court, you can require all your ID and Official Records be changed to your chosen name.
- A Certified Copy of a Decree Changing Name is effective immediately.
Name Change Process Made EZ – Full Service Name Change or Ready-To-File
The difference between Full Service Name Change and Ready-To-File Name Change Service is time and money. Full Service costs $75 more and saves 3 to 10 hours, on average. So, if you’re busy or can afford the extra $75, Full Service is probably for you. With Full Service, we do the Filing at Court and all the Advertising arrangements for you. With Ready-To-File, you’ll do your own Court Filing and Advertising, with instructions. As our customers will tell you, we’ll make sure you’re successful. EZ Name Change is good either way.
Nothing will change until you begin the process. Full Service is the most user-friendly kind of help there is.