What documents do I need?
Proof of your name change is required when updating your name with government agencies and many other organizations. When going through the court divorce process, ask the judge for an order restoring your former name. Even if you don't plan on changing names now, it's still a good idea to request this document as you may want it some time in the future and it's not always issued after the divorce is finalized. If you didn't request a name change order when divorcing you it may be possible to change names in an alternate way.
Get a court ordered name change
It is best to ask the judge for an order restoring your former name while you are in the process of divorcing. If your divorce has already been finalized, some counties may allow you to request a name change order after the divorce is granted, but there may be a time limit. Contact your county court to learn more. (continued...)
A name change order states your full married and former names. We recommend asking the court to provide 2-3 certified copies or your name change order. This allows you to continue to change names with various organizations instead of waiting for your only certificate to be returned.
Or request a name correction
If your divorce is finalized and you didn't receive a name change order you are still able to change names without going through an additional legal name change process. In the event you did not request an order restoring your former name, you should request a name correction with the SSA.
The process is exactly the same as a SSA name change application, but may be lesser known by SSA staff. Complete the SS5 application for a Social Security Card form. The SSA allow a name correction where you have a subsequent name change following a relationship event such as civil union, marriage, or domestic partnership. Unfortunately many organizations will also ask for a court order to evidence your name change, in addition to the proof of your name change with the SSA. We recommend updating as many government IDs as possible so that you have multiple proofs of your current and former names before going onto update other records. There may be places that simply refuse your name change without a court order. In such cases you may find it easier to close your account and open a new one.
Then update your records
When changing names after a divorce chances are you'll need to get update your records with over 20 different organizations. An Easy Name Change kit will help. We'll provide all the paperwork you'll need to change names with over 1,000 organizations. We cover all state and federal agencies plus hundreds more companies. Wherever you can change names in writing, simply sign our notifications and send! Where an organization has does not allow name change by mail we explain exactly what to do so you're not left guessing.
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