Are you getting married soon, or are you going through the process of a divorce? If so, you might be thinking about changing your name. Here is a short guide on how to do so. If you have any questions about changing your name, please contact us for help.
When Can I Change My Name?
You have the right to change your name at any time, however name changing is more common when a person:
- Gets married
- Gets divorced
- Transitions to a different gender, or
- Wants to escape a dangerous situation
The process for legally changing your name can vary, depending on the reason for the change.
Changing Your Name After Marriage
If you would like to take your spouse’s last name as your own, there are 4 important steps to take:
1. Get a Copy of Your Certified Marriage Certificate
This will prove to the government that you have been legally married. The Marriage Certificate will be required when you visit any government agency to initiate the name change process.
2. Visit Your Local Social Security Office
You must visit your local Social Security office to formally change your name. You will be required to complete Form SS-5, which is an application for a new Social Security card. Present your certified Marriage Certificate, passport and/or driver’s license, and the completed SS-5. The Social Security Administration will review your documents and, if everything is in order, issue you a new Social Security card with your new name.
3. Notify the DMV
Your driver’s license will have to reflect your new name, so a trip to the DMV is necessary. Apply for a new license by providing your Marriage Certification, new Social Security card, and other identifying information.
4. Get a New Passport
When you change your name, you will be required to apply for a new United States passport. Provide your new documentation (Social Security card and driver’s license) to support your request.
Changing Your Name After Divorce
If you’ve recently gone through a divorce, and no longer want to use your ex-spouse’s last name, the process is a little more involved than changing your name after a marriage.
Once you decide to revert back to your old name you must contact the Clerk in the county in which your divorce was finalized. You must provide information about your divorce, including your case number, name, and the date the divorce was finalized. The Clerk will also want a copy of the Notice of Entry of Judgment that was signed by the judge.
You must also complete Ex Parte Application for Restoration of Former Name After Entry of Judgment and Order. This form will ask you to provide information about your relationship, your ex-spouse’s last name, and the date that your divorce was final.
Once the court approves your request, you will need to visit the Social Security office and the DMV to change your official documents.
Get Help Changing Your Name in California
Are you thinking about getting a divorce? Do you want to change your name to protect yourself from threats of domestic violence? Call the Law offices of Silky Sahnan for help securing your new (or old) name.