How to Legally Change Your Name

Changing your name is a simple legal procedure that doesn't require a lawyer. You can't just change your name though, you have to go through the appropriate legal procedure. If you feel uncomfortable handling your own paperwork you can hire a lawyer, but of course that would cost a lot more than handling the paperwork yourself.

Changing your name is a big deal, but that doesn't mean it's hard to do or even complex. When you decide to legally change your name you completely abandon your old name. You can however go back to your old name If you go through the entire legal name change procedure again if later on you decide you want it back. You can not just decide one day you want to change your name and start using it on your legal documents. You have to follow the appropriate procedure.

The first thing you need to do is choose a new name. Sit down and figure out which legal name you want to have. There's so many possibilities, so make sure you feel comfortable with the name you want before you proceed. Again, this is a very big decision, and it shouldn't be a split second decision. You should put some serious thought into a name that you really want.

Do not try to side step the law by using a new name without a judge first granting the new name to you. There isn't much required in order to petition the court to grant your new name. All you need to do in order to petition the court is to file your state's compliant name change forms at your counties clerk office. You can get the legal name change forms you need online. Once you have the legal name change forms you need all you do is fill in the blanks, grab a witness, date, sign, and notarize the name change forms. It's that simple. Officially changing your name is a very simple legal procedure, and you should not feel intimidated.

Once you've petitioned the court to grant your new name then you will get a court date to appear before the judge. At this court date the judge will either grant you your new name or deny it. If it's granted you will get the paperwork you need to use in order to change your name on your legal documents, such as your driver's license, birth certificate, social security card, etc. Once you have a copy of those vital identification documents with your new name then you can use those to change your name on your bills and bank account. Most banks will even accept the judge certified name change forms even If you haven't changed your name on your driver's license yet.

This article has been brought to you by, a database of do-it-yourself legal forms, books, kits, and other legal products. You can download a name change kit at their website that includes your state's compliant name change forms along with instructions on how to appropriately file them in your state.