Do I Need A Legal Name Change?

Do I Need A Legal Name Change?

Marriage and divorce 

  • Taking your husband’s surname? You don't need a legal name change. For more info visit marriage name change.  
  • Divorced and want to revert to a name you held before marriage? You only need your court issued divorce decree, preferably listing your old and new names. If not you may have a name change order as part of your divorce proceedings. If not, click here.
  • If you are married and want to take a name other than your husband’s surname you may need a court ordered legal name change
  • If you are divorced and want a name you have never held before you'll need a court ordered legal name change. 

All other reasons

There are countless reasons why people legally change names;  

  • Having a name you have never liked
  • Switching the order of your names, or dropping a name
  • Disassociating with your existing family
  • Connecting with a new family  
  • Formalizing a nick name
  • State law varies for minor changes, such as spelling, shortening or changing the order of names require a legal name change. Contact your county clerk to check if your minor change requires a full blown legal name change process.

What are the benefits of legal name change?

Over recent years organizations have become very stringent with proof of identity. Therefore you can only have identification documents and accounts issued under a different name if you have a court order approving your legal name change.

What is 'name change by association' or 'common usage name change'?

You may already be commonly known by a name that is different from what is on you license or passport. For instance, you may be called by your middle name, or an abbreviated version of your name. You may even have a totally different name.  This is perfectly legal and is known as a ‘common name’. You may continue to refer to yourself by your common name without any issues.  

What if I have different records under different names?

If you are older and have used a common name for a number of years you may have a mix of identification, accounts and records under both your legal name and common name.  If you want to move all records to your preferred name you will need to contact each organization individually to ask their procedure and what documents they will accept.  Each organization sets their own policy on what they will accept.  If you don’t have the necessary proof and still want to get your accounts changed, you may find a legal name change is the only way forward.  

So I need a legal name change. What next?

There's 2 main steps in changing names. First petition the circuit court for a legal name change. Once successful you'll be issued a legal name change order. We explain how the process works, and the time and costs.

Next, you'll need to get all your records updated. We supply ready to send name change paperwork and information for all your companies and government agencies. All documents are personalized for each organization so you can just sign and send. It only takes minutes, and you'll save about 10 hours. 



Need more information?

Easy Name Change is a notification service.  If you’re legally changing names we recommend getting your court order name change approved first, then just add it to our notifications and send. Need more info? Check out these resources;

As we are not qualified legal professionals, we are unable to provide any further advice beyond what appears on this page.

You don’t need to legally change names if you’re taking or removing your husband’s name after marriage or divorce.  A legal name change is necessary if you want a new name for any other reason.

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