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How does one go about legally changing their name?
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How does one go about legally changing their name?

i want to get a full name change but i'm not sure where to go about doing it. i live in maryland in case that's helpful. no i'm not trying to hide from creditors or anything, more personal reasons. thanks =)


1. decide what name that u really want 2 b called 4 the rest of ur life
2. go to the local court house
3. b ready 2 pay a fee
4. enjoy ur new name

Ryan D
Just go to your county courthouse and talk to the clerk. They'll be able to direct you to the appropriate forms, etc. You'll need to make an appearance in court, pay a fee, etc., but it's not that complicated a process. You can hire a lawyer if you want, but most people don't.

Gunny T
Most states allow name change by court order. Go to your local court clerk and ask for the paperwork. This usually consists of an affidavit in which you state your reasons for changing your name, a motion for the court to consider the change, and an order for the judge to sign. Using the signed judges order you can then legally change your name on your drivers license, bank, IRS and Social Security accounts.

Ms. Frankie
I just went to the local court house. Paid a fee and got a name change.

You don't need a lawyer, and the Social Security office has nothing to do with it unless you want to change your s.s. number too(which is very expensive, and you have to have a good reason). Got to your courthouse and they will give you a paper to fill out and you pay them a fee, $10-$100 depending on your state. You have to notify the newspaper of your intent to change your name and come back with proof and they will set a date for you to got before a probate judge with your request. I'm in Ohio and it was $80 for me. I got mine changed last year. Good Luck !!

These might help too:

(not sure if those are official sites so check with your local probate court clerk to be sure)

Robert J
It varies. In some places you just go to the courthouse, fill out a form and pay ten bucks. In other places you have to petition the court, which is about as complicated as going to traffic court about a parking ticket. All a lawyer will do is cost you money. Stay away from them. You aren't charged with a crime.

Every state is different. In California, you must file a Petition at the local courthouse, publish a notice in the paper for several weeks, and then go to Court to talk to the Judge. You must then take the Court order to Social Security & DMV.

If you want to change your birth certificate, there are more forms from the Dept. of Vital Statistics to complete.

You need to go to your county court house, file the paperwork, pay the fee and wait to get an appointment with a judge. The judge will need to approve your name change, at which case, you will be given the proper paperwork, and can go about getting your name changed on all official documents, accounts, etc.

Don't hire a lawyer because that's a waste of money. I changed my last name in 2002 and it was a real simple process. I went to the courthouse, filled out a simple form and then waited to see the judge. It cost me $60 to file and I think $5 for each certified copy I needed. The judge asked me why I wanted to change my name and that was it. I then went to the local DMV and got my new license and then had to go to the Social Security Office and request a new card with my new name. This does not however change what you owe as far as credit or set you free from legal problems as some might assume. For a while it actually confuses people and it's hard to get a credit card because they think some kind of fraud is going on. That's how it was for me anyway. I hope this helps.


If you're in America, call the courthouse first to find out exactly where to go at the courthouse to pick up a packet of information so that you can do the name change by yourself (without an attorney). There might be a small fee for the forms. You fill out the forms, send them in with a specified fee and request a date for your hearing. On the date of the hearing you will be called in front of a judge and sworn in to tell the truth, tell him the reasons for your name change. The judge will ask you some questions, and will either grant your request or not.

It would be good (for yourself) that you make a list of everything your name is on at the present time so that you can change it all over to your new name when the judge approves it. You know, your new name will need to be changed on your birth certificate, marriage certificate (if you're married), social security card, on your credit report, drivers license, car insurance, car tags, on your resume, residential address with the post office, on all your bills (utilities, credit cards), taxes, with your employer and health insurance, passport, on any certificates or degrees you've earned, banking accounts, etc. It's a real mess getting people to change things and you'll need to send them proof from the court, plus your picture and ID when you ask. Once your name is changed you can no longer write your old name on anything (by law) so you won't be allowed to use your name on your checking account so you'll need to get over there and change it immediately, same for your drivers license.

Amanda SSS
My husband just changed his name....you go to the court and file a petition to change your name. Search on google and you can find an example. Then you have to publish it in a newspaper (depending on where you live decides how long) for a few weeks. Once you have had it published and people have had a chance to object to it, you will have a hearing. If it's just for personal reasons the judge will approve it. Then you apply for a new SS card and then a new state ID or driver's licence. My husband even got his birth certificate changed.

In most places, it's just a simple document you file with the local courthouse. You may have to go in front of a judge, but that's usually just a technicality (in my jurisdiction you do, ostensibly to explain your reason for the name change... mine was done in the process of a divorce and the judge basically said, "Honey, you can have any name you want" and signed my document.) There'll be a filing fee as well and maybe also a recording fee.

Brian_Lori B
I had done this in the past for my nephew - only the last name though - I was told you can do the first and last though if you prefer - All I did was go to the courthouse - clerk of court and fill out a paper and pay the filing fee - then you send it to the state capital - think it only cost about 45.00 ?? call them first and see - hope that helps ya - Lo

Go to the local courthouse. They will of course require many supporting documents and it is not an overnight process. My brother changed his name many years ago. The best thing to do is just contact your city hall and they will guide you from there.Good Luck

the most important part of accomplishing your name change is to let others know you've taken a new name. Although it may take a little time to contact government agencies and businesses, don't be intimidated by the task -- it's a common procedure

Mary S
you can go to your county court house and file for Name change, they usually charge so much for paperwork and also per letter in your name call and find out how much you need before going down.

sometimes you can find the correct forms at like Office Depot and then you fill them out, file them with the courts, you will get a court date before the judge and he will ask you some questions about why you want the name change. To make sure your doing it for the right reasons, you will have to swear that it is not for fraudulent reasons and then the judge will grant your request.

Usually it is pretty easy to do. The court fees are different in each state so call the county clerk and ask if they can give you some prices.

Hope this helps.

Dirty D
Basically just go to your local court and pay your fee they'll give you all the necessary paperwork. You'll also need to go to the DMV too to get a new driver's license with the new info.

In England nothing could be easier: http://www.ukdps.co.uk/ It costs £34. In principle one should be domiciled in Engalnd to use that service but the document might be accepted elsewhere.

In the USA one files an application in county court. Many courts have forms for that, sometimes online. It's cheap.

I know someone who just changed his name and he took a copy of his birth certificate to the courthouse. They gave him paper work to fill out. They set a date for a hearing and after that he paid a fee and it was done.

Local courthouse will have the details.

Call the probate judge's office in you county. They can direct you. You may have to pay a fee and see a judge to have it changed.

technical difficulties
you go to court and request a name change.. you'll be asked why and there'll be a fee.




I had a name change back in 1967. Personal reasons for me too. I went to Legal Aide. It was simple, done right the first time for a very reasonable price.

Tracy T
I think you have to go to a court. :)

actually u don't have to pay the big bucks to change it...i've been going by an alias ever since i was little--once i hit driving age i just had to sign a piece of paper at the dmv that this is the name i go by

Uncle John
YOu can go to the county court house or you can go online to Legalzoom. You choose a name, that you like and can identify with and reply to. You fill out papers. Notify all friends and relatives. I'd like to do it, but I'd have to recreate my bank account, and get a new SSI #. Also I'd have to change my car registration. That, plus the cost discouraged me. But maybe some day, I'll do it.

You need to check with any attorney. You need to petition the courts to legally change your name. You have to have a very good reason. Like changing you name back to the originally way it was spell before your parents put a different name on your birth certificate
. Or some one in your family drag the family name through the mud.
Your right you can not change your name to cover up any criminal activity.
If you have some good reason you will not have any problem in changing your legal name.
I had my name changed this way. And they change your birth certificate
right where you was born. It's all legal if you go through the courts.
Good luck.

May I help You?
1. Check out your county courthouse for their paperwork needed. Usually it's just 1 form, and your county law library has the form. You must do your own research.

2. You must research the name, as it cannot belong to anyone else.....and that's in all 50 states. So, try to pick a name that perhaps was in your family, generations ago.....maiden names of grandma and such..

3. Good luck, and I did this in Pennsylvania after I was divorced and went back to my maiden name.

4. Very happy that I did that in 1997, but all your phone company, utility company, credit cards, and don't forget your Social Security CARD must be changed at the Social Security Administration by legal filing.

5. You must change even your credit report...and there are 3 credit agencies.

6. Be careful as you put your new name out there, you're making it easier for identity theft.

go to the town hall with you birth certificate or the state hall.

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