Anyone ever change their name?

After 33 years of marriage, my father has decided that he wants a divorce. My mom is thinking about going back to her maiden name, which I fully support. As a matter of fact, I’ve been thinking about changing my name, too, in order to express my commitment to and love for both of them. Anyone have any experience with this, have any suggestions?

It used to be a hell of a lot easier than it is now. When I got married back in '91, my husband and I decided to take a new last name, not either of the family names we had (yeah, there were/are some family issues). Without it being any sort of fuss, we went in to get our dirver’s licenses changed, filled out the new last names on the forms, checked off the box marked “marriage” on the question about the reason for the anme change, and got our new licenses - nobody asked to see a marriage license or anything. A couple years later we took the new licenses, old licenses, and old SS cards into the SSA and got our new social security cards, once again with no fuss at all.

I’m sure in the wake of all the new security there’s nore to it than that. An Act of Congress, a court date, DNA samples submitted, whatever.

Oh, if it matters, we lived in California then. I’m pretty sure if we had asked how to do it at the time, they would have required something much more complicated than what we did, but since no one said no, it has worked legally for us ever since.

It was pretty easy to change my name – go to the courthouse, fill out a little paperwork, swear before a judge that I wasn’t trying to defraud anyone, and out I walked with a new last name.

It was much harder to get other institutions to recognize my new, legal last name. Get several certified copies of whatever documentation your jurisdiction offers, because you’ll need them for credit card companies, etc.

Per Mrs. Cake’s point, I did this back in '98, so perhaps things have gotten more difficult since then. And things are probably different if you’re not in King County, WA, where I changed my name. But it wasn’t much of a hassle, honestly.

I just got married this year, and changed my name. I took a certified copy of marriage license down to the Social Services building, and they went ahead and changed it. Then to the DMV where I again showed my license, and the signed form from SS, and they handed me a new license. My bank accepted the driver’s license and I believe the other places either took my word for it(doctor’s, pharmacies, etc.) or accepted a copy of my marriage certificate.

I imagine if you go to the county court and fill out the Name Change forms, it will work the same way.

There are probably several boxes where you indicate the reason for a name change- marriage, divorce, adoption, and other. When you check “other” they will probably ask you about it.

It seems pretty easy in CA- a gay couple I know just did it, after their ceremony.

Not me, but a friend. His last name was Eastern European. No one could spell it or pronounce it.
He changed it to something much less unweildy, after his father died.

I heard people can change their names in California after they get married or register a Domestic Partnership, but what happens dealing with the Feds?

I was under the impression that the Federal Government refuses to recognize name changes by Gay couples because of DOMA… My partner and I got married and are living in Canada now, and I changed my name to his… But I was told I can’t get a new U.S. passport with my new name, or a new Social Security card because they don’t recognize our marriage… :mad:

My dad and I didn’t get along well at all. After his death I changed my name to my mother’s maiden name. Other than briefly appearing in court (2 minutes?) I had to put a notice in the local paper. Easy, cheap. When I moved to CA and applied for my CA DL there was a question on the form but was never asked to elaborate.

That was basically my experience as well. When I got married this year, I wanted to drop my middle name and use my maiden name as my new middle name, and it was pretty simple to do. So surprisingly easy it was scary. It was even easier getting my new name on my nursing license–I was supposed to send a certified copy of my marriage license and the actual old nursing license. I mistakenly sent neither, and ended up getting TWO new nursing licenses. Heh.

I did it twice. My birth last name is so hard to spell and pronounce.

I did at the age of 18. I was told I could ‘do it myself’, if I cared to tussle through the legalese. I didn’t care to tussle, so I hired a lawyer. He charged me 600 dollars (in 1992).

It was very simple from there. He took care of everything, including getting my NYS ID changed.

After using my fathre’s name, my stepfather’s name, my first husband’s name, my second husband’s name, and my almost husband’s name, I got rid of my first (weird) name, split up my bi-middle name and had myself legally declared to be tht person till I die.

I suppose you don’t have to tell them that it’s a name change as a result of marriage… :wink:

My best friend legally changed her name as part of her trans-gender process. The first judge she got was an old curmudgeon who thought such things were “wrong”. She went before another judge who had no issue with it and the legal name change was granted.


Easy when I did it. Circuit court sitting as a court of equity. Reason for change: Personal preference. I prepared the forms myself (I was 19), requested posting in lieu of publication, and 8 weeks later I had a shiny new name. It was $79, but that was in the 80’s.

Yep. I did it because my name, my father’s name and my grandfather’s name are identical (who’s dumbass name was that, huh, Pop?!) It was causing confusion because we all lived in the same small town, banked at the same bank, etc. So I legally changed my first name to my “nickname” (from George to Jeff) and dropped my middle name altogether. It was the byline I wrote for when I worked at the newspaper, it was the name I’d been known by all my life, it just made sense.

Easy to do. I filed a petition with the court explaining in 25 words or less why, went to court for an hour one day to swear I wasn’t trying to avoid debts or prosecution, paid a $25 fee and I was done.

Pissed my mom off something terrible, though.

I also changed my name legally without any problem; the clerk at the county court office was very helpful in providing the required forms and other legal requirements (I had to publish a notice in a local law publication, which presumably was monitored by lawyers watching for peope trying to avoid lawsuits). I showed up at the assigned court and the judge looked at me and the papers, asked me a couple of questions in a bored tone, then scribbled his signature on the order and passed it to the clerk, who stamped it and gave me a certified copy. I paid to get a few more certified copies made in case I had to send them out, and that was it.

I’m not sure what paperwork the Social Security Administration requires to change your name on their records now, but I think they no longer will issue a card with a name not on the official record with some legal paper establishing a reason for the change.

yeah, I changed my surname to my mothers maiden name in Jan of this year. It was as easy as a 10 minute visit to the deed poll website (i’m in the UK). I just had to send off my passport and my birth cerificate. 15 days later, I had a different surname. Was totally WEIRD after 23 years of my original name. I still sometimes forget, but not too often after 9 months. Not hard at all though, and DEFINITELY worth it.

Mars xx