Some Things to Know Before Changing Your Name

Changing a person’s name, whether it is the last or the entire name, can be an easy process for some and a difficult one for others. Also, the reason to change your name can be due to getting married, a divorce, a sex change, or just because you don’t like the one you have. Regardless of the reason, there are some things to know before changing your name.

So, if you are thinking about the change, there is a process that will make it official. It is best to comply with it to avoid any problems later.

When To Change Your Name

The best time to start a name change is after getting married. Similarly, the next would be after getting a divorce. With these two events, you will have legal documents to provide proof of your name change. In either situation, you can submit your documents to begin the process.

Keep in mind the process can take some time. So, if you plan to travel outside the U.S., you should use your current passport until you receive the document with your new name. It will prevent any problem that may arise if you use the name change.

Dislike Your Birth Name?

If you are not pleased with your birth name and had to live with it until you can do something about it, now you can change it. However, you cannot just decide to give yourself any name. There are some restrictions on names you can use. For example, you cannot name yourself after a celebrity. Or use characters or numbers as a name. Also, no offensive or obscene names can be used.

Disliking your name and changing it is an option. But changing it to avoid paying a debt, evading law enforcement, or to commit fraud are not options. Keep in mind the process will require a background check to make sure you are doing it for the right reason.

Who Should You Inform?

Once you are over with the process and you receive your document, you should inform the Social Security Administration. There are other places to notify, but the SSA is the first to start with. At the SS office, you must provide the original document that may include a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or any notarized papers that will show proof of your name change.

Other places to notify are the DMV, banks, credit card companies, utility companies, and your mortgage company. Inform your post office, as well as your doctor and insurance provider. If you need to replace an existing passport, reapply with your name change document.

You Can Do The Process Alone

You can gather all the information to proceed with your name change. However, if you think the process will become overwhelming, you can hire a company to assist with the procedure. Many companies do specialize in helping individuals with a name change. By hiring one, you will pay a fee for the service. You will also pay for a name change.

So, getting a name change for a legal reason can be done. To complete the process, you must provide proof of your name change. The documentation can be your marriage certificate or a divorce decree. If you are changing your name for another reason, when you apply, you must submit any information and documents for approval. Only if you are given the okay will you be able to get a new name.

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