How to Change Your Name


  1. Can I change my name before I get married or divorced?
  2. When can I start the name change process?
  3. I am getting married in a couple months, we are going to honeymoon out of the country, do I need to change my passport?
  4. What if I want to hyphen/non-hyphen my maiden and married name, do I still need to make a name change?
  5. As a professional, I do not want to discontinue the use of my maiden name. I have established a reputation in my career, how can I change my name to my married name, but continue to use my maiden name in my career?
  6. What record do I change first?
  7. Can I change my name by mail?
  8. Do I have to change my name on everything?
  9. What is the time frame for changing my name after marriage?
  10. Where can we obtain a license to get married?
  11. Do I need more than one copy of my marriage certificate/Divorce Decree or court ordered name change certificate to complete the name change?
  12. How long does it take to get all the records change when I change my name?
  13. Can the Groom take the Brides last name?
  14. What if I just don’t like my name, can I change it and how?
  15. What if I just want to change my first name?
  16. Is there any reason I could not change my name?
  17. What if I am going to be naturalized as a US citizen, can I change my name?
  18. Once I get my Marriage Certificate, Divorce Dissolution Agreement/Divorce Certificate or my court ordered name change, is my name legally changed?
  19. I am getting a divorce, and want to go back to my maiden name, how can I do this?

Can I change my name before I get married or divorced?

No, you must have your marriage certificate/Decree of Dissolution to change your name, this comes after the wedding or after the divorce is final from the county or country in which you were married or divorced, these documents are issued by the county/country and have an official seal or recording number on the document. Do not try and change your name with a marriage license (this is issued before the marriage by the county or country you are marring in) this is not a legal document that certifies you are married.

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When can I start the name change process?

Once you receive your Marriage Certificate, Divorce Decree-Dissolution or Name Change Certificate (for legal name change process)

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I am getting married in a couple months, we are going to honeymoon out of the country, do I need to change my passport?

You will have to wait until you get back from your honeymoon to change your passport. Therefore, you will still be using your maiden name when traveling on your honeymoon. Make your flight reservations in your maiden name so your passport/ driver license match.

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What if I want to hyphen/non-hyphen my maiden and married name, do I still need to make a name change?

Yes, even if you are hyphenating/non-hyphenating your maiden with your married name you must notify the appropriate government agencies and your personal records to effectively change your name.

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As a professional, I do not want to discontinue the use of my maiden name. I have established a reputation in my career, how can I change my name to my married name, but continue to use my maiden name in my career?

Consider one of two options, first one is to continue using your maiden name with business cards, marketing, etc. but with regards to all official records, (i.e. Government Records, Human Resources, W-2’s, etc.) use your new married name. The second possible option may be to start using your maiden name and your new married name together, such as: Kimberly Gleason Martin, formerly Kimberly Gleason.

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What record do I change first?

The kit walks you through six steps and provides all the official forms and addresses of your area taking you through a complete name change process. Our recommendation is to start with your social security record (our 1st step).

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Can I change my name by mail?

Most all records can be changed through the mail. All forms and addresses are included in the kit to facilitate your mailing option. The record you must make a personal appearance for will be your State Driver License or State Identification Card.

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Do I have to change my name on everything?

Our recommendation is that you make a complete and comprehensive name change, the reason being there can be considerable confusion if you do not. Our kit is designed to take you through every conceivable record you may have and provide a name change form for those records.

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What is the time frame for changing my name after marriage?

Most agencies want to be notified within a reasonable period of time (one month) however, some brides find that an extended amount of time has passed before they actually have the time to devote to this process. We have helped many women who have waited up to 10 years to change their name.

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Where can we obtain a license to get married?

Contact the County Clerk or Recorder’s Office in the county where you will be getting married, ask for application for marriage license, all county’s have their own set of requirements.

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Do I need more than one copy of my marriage certificate/Divorce Decree or court ordered name change certificate to complete the name change?

One can accomplish the task, however an additional copy for your records is recommended. Order them at the time you apply for your marriage license, petition for Divorce or Name Change, or after through the same county recorders office.

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How long does it take to get all the records change when I change my name?

Allowing for mailing options, and turn around time for all updated documents to be returned to you, it takes approximately 4-6 weeks. Your U.S. Passport can take longer.

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Can the Groom take the Brides last name?

Yes, most states allow the bride, groom or both to change their name. Make sure you indicate this in your Marriage License Application if asked. Some states require a declaration of name change intention after marriage on the marriage license.

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What if I just don’t like my name, can I change it and how?

Usually a person can adopt any name desired for any reason; most all states allow citizens to legally change their name by usage only. Each state varies in its requirements, and a court order is the prevailing way to change your name, this paperwork is commonly known as “Petition for Name Change” (which would be applied for in your state/local court usually within the county records department). It is necessary to declare that your desired name change is not for a fraudulent or other illegal purpose (such as evading debt, lawsuit, criminal record, etc.)

The applicant will be required to give a somewhat reasonable explanation for wanting to change his/her name. A fee is imposed, and the applicant may be required to post legal notices in newspapers to announce the name change. The county judge has authority to grant or deny a change of name. A potential denial is possible, especially if the name change is for frivolous or immoral purposes. Our offered Legal Name Change Kit, by US Legal Forms is the kit that helps complete this process.

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What if I just want to change my first name?

The same answer from the previous question applies here.

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Is there any reason I could not change my name?

A potential denial is possible, especially if the name change is for frivolous or immoral purposes.

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What if I am going to be naturalized as a US citizen, can I change my name?

Under the federal immigration and nationality law, when aliens apply for naturalization, they have the option of asking for their names to be changed upon the grant of citizenship with no additional fees. This allows them the opportunity to adopt a more Americanized name. During the naturalization interview, a petition for name change is prepared to be forwarded to a federal court. The name change becomes final once a federal court naturalizes an applicant.

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Once I get my Marriage Certificate, Divorce Dissolution Agreement/Divorce Certificate or my court ordered name change, is my name legally changed?

Receiving the above referenced documents is just the first step in the name change process. What is required to follow are your individual steps to change each specific personal record you have. The name change is officially complete when you submit the proper forms and documentation to effect the change, for example, Social Security, Passport, Driver license, Vehicle Title, Banking Records, etc. all have their forms and documentation requirements to effect your change. Our kits are designed to take you through a complete and comprehensive name change process, providing the documents and identifying each record requirement.

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I am getting a divorce, and want to go back to my maiden name, how can I do this?

Make sure you indicate within your Decree of Dissolution/Divorce Decree that you want to go back to your maiden name. If you indicate this within the decree, you will be able to use your Divorce Decree as the legal document that allows you to change your name with all the Government agencies and your other records. Use the Divorce Name Change Kit for this.

If you do not indicate this within the decree, you will have to go through a Legal Name Change. Use our offered Legal Name Change Kit, by US Legal Forms is the kit that helps complete this process.

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