Ohio
Legal name change

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How to change names legally, Ohio

If your name change is not from marriage or divorce, then a court order is the only legal way to change your name. A private company cannot issue a legal name change order, although they may help you prepare the court documents for a fee. If you have a reasonable understanding of the court process you could manage your own application.

Easy Name Change only provides the name change petition for states listed below. If you live in a different state you will need arrange your own name change petition and filing before purchasing your name change notification kit.

Both parties must appear together at any Californian county registrar and show government issued photo ID. There are no residency requirements. Many counties also have an online ordering service, however you are usually required to pay the fee and show appropriate identification when collecting the license.

Fees vary between counties, but expect to pay around $91 for a marriage license or $85 for a confidential license. Licenses are valid immediately and can be used throughout California for up to 90 days.

The Californian Name Change Equality Act provides a range of name change options to both spouses on marriage. To avoid issues with an unusual married name change being accepted by organizations, your preferred married name must be included on your marriage license when applying. This name is printed on your marriage certificate, which you can order once married. Your certificate should be shown wherever proof of your new name is required. Once you have successfully applied for your marriage license it is not possible to request any changes.

Didn’t state your preferred name on your license? The SSA will allow you to take your husband’s name in place of your own even if this is not clear on your marriage certificate. You can then apply to the California DMV and ask your new driver’s license is updated to match your SSA records. Approval is often on a case by case basis. Some DMV representatives may allow your name change by showing a marriage certificate that does not include your preferred name. If the DMV and other organizations do not allow your name change you may have no choice but to apply for a court ordered name change instead.

The person conducting your ceremony has 2 weeks to file the completed marriage license with the registrar from the county where it was issued. You may then order a certified copy of your marriage certificate from the county clerk where filed.

Most counties allow for walk in service. Many also have online ordering systems. Fees vary between counties, but you can expect to pay around $15-$20 for the first copy. Locate your county registrar or recorder here. It is not recommended to order from California Dept. of Health Vital Records as wait times can be up to six months.

Most agencies will only allow you to change your name to what is currently recorded with the SSA. Ensure the SSA has updated your name before changing names with the DMV. Complete and return form SS5 ‘Application for a Social Security Card’, included in your Easy Name Change kit. The SSA updates their records within 2-3 days of receiving your request. There is no fee.

Once your name has been changed with the SSA, use the DMV online application to apply for a new DL/ID card with your new name. Standard license applicants will only need to show their official marriage certificate. If upgrading to REAL ID, you can do so in this application and will need to show various documents; proof of identity, proof of SSN and 2 proofs of CA residency. You must visit a DMV licensing centre in person to show original identification, your current license, have your picture and thumbprint taken and pay the fee. 

If you have a vehicle title, take it along with a statement of Facts form (available in your Easy Name Change kit) and your current license. Submit to the DMV by mail or in person. Fees are only applicable if you request a duplicate title.

If your passport was issued within the past 12 months you can apply for a free replacement with form DS-5504. Passports more than a year old should use form DS-82 and full renewal fees are payable (Passport books $130. Passport cards $30, fees subject to change without notice). No credit is given for unused time remaining in your passport.

If you have a large amount of time remaining in your passport, you may choose to leave your passport in your prior name while still updating all other records. It’s advisable to take proof of your name change should you need to prove your identity when travelling abroad.

If you are married in California, you must include your name change on the license at the time of application. Changes are only possible to middle and/or last names. Either spouse can elect to make the following changes, and spouses may have different surnames;

Last names

  • Take either spouse’s current surname
  • Take either spouse’s birth surname
  • Hyphenate both surnames
  • A single blended surname, where any part or segment of both spouse’s birth or current surnames are formed together to make a new surname
  • Leave your last name as is

Middle names

  • The current surname of either spouse
  • The surname of either spouse at birth
  • A hyphenated combination of the current middle name and current last name of the person or spouse
  • A hyphenated combination of the current middle name and the birth last name of the person or spouse
  • Leave your middle name as is

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INFORMATION HUB

Legal Name Change

You can be known by any name, but to get identification and records changed you need a court order. Fees and turnaround times vary significantly between states. Apply for your court order, then attach to our notifications and send. MORE
Legal name change petitions should be filed with your local court house. Turnaround times vary significantly by county and filing fees are set by your state. Companies generally do not charge to update your name unless a new credential needs to be reissued. MORE
If you’re legally entitled to reside in the USA you can change your name legally. There can be significant costs with your petition and immigration filings. If you are planning on becoming a US citizen it may be cheaper and faster to wait. MORE
This process is managed by your county court. We provide general information to get started on your child’s name change, but it’s always best to contact your local court directly. MORE
Once you have a court document proving your new name it’s then your responsibility to get your records updated. No records are linked, so you need to contact each organization directly and follow a separate process. MORE
If you’ve decided to file a legal name change application with the court we’ve got some information to help you along the way. MORE