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The United States Dedicated to general historical, social, linguistic, political and cultural topics pertinent to Americans.

How does one change their name in the US?

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Old Friday, August 6th, 2004   #1
Mac Seafraidh
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Post How does one change their name in the US?

This is a kinda common sense question, but what if you were to change your last name. There is a fee I believe and it is around a few thousand. If your last name has an original form, what are the chances of you winning a court case and not pay anything of the kind?
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Old Saturday, August 7th, 2004   #2
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Post Re: How does one change their first,last name,etc. in the United States?

Anyone over 18 in the USA has the legal right to change his name, unless he wants to change it to avoid criminal charges or debt and is stupid enough to tell this to the judge. It's not an adversarial process, like a "lawsuit".

I only know California law as it relates to this, but I assume it's similar anywhere...

1. File the court papers with your local Superior Court ($25-$250). If you are really low-income, you can apply for a fee-waiver.
2. Advertise your proposed name change in the local newspaper for 4 weeks($25-$100). The local newpaper usually costs a lot to advertise so look for a legal paper insterad. Most areas will have a legal newspaper that costs much less than the mainstream paper.
3. Show up to court on your appointed day & time and answer the judge's questions. He will ask why you want to change it, if you have any pending criminal charges, and if you have any debt collectors after you.

He will then either grant or deny your request (they are almost always granted). He signs your order and you get the signed, dated, and filed order in the mail or you pick it up at the court house. You can then use this order (bearing the judge's signature & date, the date & time of filing, and the county seal) to get your new ID cards, driver's license, passport, Social Security card, etc. You can also apply for a new record of live birth (birth certificate) using your new name, but that requires another court application and date.

In all, it takes less than 3 months (depending on the court schedule, of course) and generally less than $500 per person. Much, much less if you are granted a fee-waiver.

I hope this helps.
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Old Saturday, August 7th, 2004   #3
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Post Re: How does one change their first,last name,etc. in the United States?

I've done this kind of paperwork before so if you need help, just PM me.
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Old Saturday, August 7th, 2004   #4
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Post Re: How does one change their first,last name,etc. in the United States?

But for adding a name it's even easier, or so I have heard. Is that so? A lot Asians do it as their names are usually really hard to pronounce.
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Old Sunday, August 8th, 2004   #5
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Post AW: Re: How does one change their first,last name,etc. in the United States?

The only way to change your last name in a non-fucked-up country is to either get married or adopted. There is an exceptional clause that surnames can be changed if carrying it substitutes a serious burden. That means you need a psychological examination and a medical opinion that favours such a step. In this country of 82 million citizens the total number of such name changes per year runs in the low two-digit area. Oh, and you cannot simply pick a name you like. You get a few options and have to pick one. Normally only one syllable gets changed slightly.
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Old Sunday, August 8th, 2004   #6
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Post Re: AW: Re: How does one change their first,last name,etc. in the United States?

Two digit?

I've read in the newspapers yesterday that here in Serbia more than 400 people change their names every year. Usually Muslims and Gypsies changing to Serbian names and surnames.
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Old Sunday, August 8th, 2004   #7
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AW: Re: AW: Re: How does one change their first,last name,etc. in the United States?


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Old Sunday, August 8th, 2004   #8
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Post Re: AW: Re: How does one change their first,last name,etc. in the United States?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AWAR
Two digit?

I've read in the newspapers yesterday that here in Serbia more than 400 people change their names every year. Usually Muslims and Gypsies changing to Serbian names and surnames.
What's wrong with the Muslims changing their last names, though? Islam is not a nation, is it? Maybe they're secular Muslims and don't want to identified as "Muslims". If I were born a Muslim in Serbia, I know I wouldn't be. What a lame identity.
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Old Monday, August 9th, 2004   #9
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Post Re: AW: Re: How does one change their first,last name,etc. in the United States?

They just change their names for legal purposes, like registering a business etc.
So, an Adem or Muhamed will continue to be Adem and Muhamed to everyone, just the government will know them as Zoran or Milan.
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Old Monday, August 9th, 2004   #10
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Post Re: AW: Re: How does one change their first,last name,etc. in the United States?

Heywood Jablowme...
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