Can changing names change your identity?

Can changing names change your identity?

One of the most common questions we are asked is if changing names can change your identity.  While you probably didn’t want an answer like ‘yes and no’, the truth is that identity is a very subjective topic. It’s really up to you how far you want extend a new name into a new beginning. On the other hand is the law; a legal name change cannot be granted if it is to defraud anyone or to evade legal matters, such a looming litigation or financial matters. However only the minority of people legally changing names are looking to escape legal or financial obligations, the other motives for an individual to legally change names can indeed lend themselves to creating a new identity.

An identity is how we see ourselves, and a name is the label it’s given. Changing names is a small but significant step in changing identity. For some individuals, such as a new bride or divorcee, they may choose to leave the change there and keep on with their regular life. Their name is changed, and they may have picked up a new label of wife or ex-wife, but most will just get on with their life and feel their identity has not really changed.

Other individuals use a name change as a launch pad for a whole new identity. To spur on a change of identity they may move across town or cross country, start looking for a new job, make new friends and drastically change their appearance. All this can really help someone feel like they are making a fresh start with a whole new identity.

For anyone legally changing names, while the court makes it clear it can’t be to evade legal or financial obligations, this can often be an uncited reason to the courts.  While it may feel you are getting a fresh start, after a few months you may feel your past catch up to you and a sense of watching over your shoulder.  Of course there are legitimate reasons you may want a new name to lead a whole new identity. There are people escaping abusive relationships who need to put some good distance between their old and new lives. There are also individuals who want nothing more to do with their prior life, and a name change helps put you in the mindset to start perusing a whole new life.

With any name change comes the necessary to update your records. Driver’s license, passports, bank records; they all must be linked to your legally recognized name. These records form an important part of your identity, albeit an administrative identity. Even though you may not want any part of your past to follow you into your new life, you simply won’t be able to get a legitimate job without correct social security records and a bank account in the same name.  In today’s age of enhanced security it is more difficult than ever to have two legal names or 2 social security records, so you’ll just have to suck it up and let the government know of your change. Take peace of mind that third party access to your personal information, such as bank details, drivers license records or social security records, are strictly regulated so an abusive former partner would have great difficulty in tracking you down.

Whatever your motivation for changing names and getting a fresh start with a new identity, everyone must go through the same process to update their records. Easy Name Change are here to help make the process as quick and painless as possible. We don’t share your information with anyone, no matter what their reason. Simply purchase a personalized name change notification kit and you can be done with the administration to change all your essential records within an hour or two.

Looking for a fresh start? A name change is the first step in taking a new identity, but it doesn't stop there.

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