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How a Name Change Can Impact Your Life

Your name is one of the core ways people in the world perceive you. Every time you change your name, you make an impact on your life, whether big or small. It could be as simple as changing one letter or as complex as going by a completely different name. Maybe you were born as “Linda”, but have always spelled your name “Lynda”. Or maybe you prefer to go by your middle name instead of your first name. Getting a legal name change can significantly improve your life, as it takes away some of the daily nuances of going by a different name than your legally given one.

Since you need your name to rent an apartment, open a bank account, or get a job, making sure your legal name matches your ID is essential. When you legally change your name to your preferred name, it has a positive impact on your life that you wouldn’t normally expect.

John Samuel Gibbons was born in San Bernardino, California. His birth was properly recorded with Vital Records, and he was issued a legal birth certificate. However, John was adopted into a troubled family where he faced years of abuse. At age 7, he was adopted into another ill-equipped family to deal with a damaged boy, and he was once again subjected to abuse.

John realized that the name on his social security card matched his name on his original birth certificate but didn’t match the name on his adopted birth certificate. His real birth certificate was sealed in the adoption and John had memorized his social security number from an early age. That left him unable to obtain his own original birth certificate or his own social security card without other identification to prove that he was who he said he was. The Social Security Administration couldn’t give him access to his own social security account. He couldn’t get anywhere with DMV because his Social Security Account name didn’t match his adoptive birth certificate name.

Growing Up Without His Name

John was able to register for school using his adoptive birth certificate, but growing up in an abusive household, he wanted to live out on his own sooner rather than later. When he tried to get his first job to get his own apartment, he realized that his non-government issued ID wouldn’t be enough to accomplish the things he needed to do. John quickly realized that he couldn’t get more than low-paying, under-the-table work without an official ID.

Without a real means of being able to get an honest job, John ran into his fair share of issues with the law. He realized that he was entering a vicious cycle of working for pennies and getting into trouble with the police.

Changing His Name So He Could Live a Normal Life

John looked for ways to legally change your name in California, and he was lucky enough to find people willing to help him on his way. After doing some research, John concluded that his first and middle names were the same on his legal birth certificate. He also found out that his legal last name was more than likely “Nevins” instead of “Gibbons”.

John received legal assistance from a California legal document assistant in petitioning for a new name. He learned that certain courts in the United States would accept name change requests through a process called a Legal Name Change. He learned that, if this was all done right,when that request was granted, he would get a court order, or decree, for a name change, and that he would receive a Certificated Copy of an Order for Name Change, or Decree Changing Name. This would allow him to update his official name records.

Despite a significant criminal history, he wasn’t seeking to evade accountability but rather establish a legal identity for official documentation. Due to incomplete information and notification requirements for law enforcement, the process took around 5 months.

In a hearing before a Superior Court judge, John presented his case with comprehensive records of his identity and criminal history. Supported by evidence of notification to law enforcement agencies, the judge granted his petition on December 21, 2023. With a certified copy of the name change decree, John obtained his own Social Security Card and a Real ID at the DMV, reclaiming his original legal name, John Samuel Nevins. This pivotal change enabled him to access essential documents like a US Passport and open a bank account, marking a transformative milestone in his life.

This young man now has a starting, junior management position in a growing company and was recently offered a promotion. Name change really can lead to big and positive life changes.

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