Is "Usage" name change process valid in Illinois?

I changed my name in California in 1977 by the “Usage” process of doing so: I made a notarized statement of my intention to use a new name, got a valid new Social Security card (new name, same number), a valid driver’s license, etc. I have now used the new name exclusively for 26 years…and have never seen a court regarding the matter.

This morning, an immigration attorney where I am now living, in Illinois, said that she had never heard of this and that it probably wasn’t legal and might very well cause problems when my wife goes for her immigration interview next week.

The online research I’ve found says that the usage method is perfectly valid in “all but a handful of states” but won’t give more detailed info unless I sign up for their online services. I guess I’ll pay a lawyer for a consultation on the matter but I would appreciate the Dopers’ quick look at the matter:

Is the usage method of changing a name valid in Illinois and will it cause problems at the Immigration interview?

Eva Luna, I caught your thread in the Pit the other day and you have my heartfelt commiserations. You’re overworked and exasperated and I do hope you can find more pleasurable things to do with your limited spare time than responding to this question…but I wouldn’t mind if you did. :slight_smile:

Thanks, jpd, for the quick response. But that’s not what I’m asking.

I need some info about what I should do, if anything, between now and next week, when the interview which we’ve awaited for 27 months is scheduled. And, if I ask to reschedule the interview (which will delay the process for several months) in order to do the court name change, will that invalidate several of the papers that I have previously submitted to Immigration under my current name?

So…is the usage method legal and acknowledged in Illinois?