How Do You Change Your Last Name?


Quick Answer

Making a last name change is possible by filing a name change petition or getting married. Changing of names can also be done when getting a divorce. It is not necessary to initiate a legal process when changing names, notes FindLaw.

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How Do You Change Your Last Name?
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Full Answer

While it may be necessary to present legal documents to prove a change of name in certain government or financial offices, it is not illegal to change names without informing the authorities. This is often called the usage method. Follow the steps below to change a name through the petition method.

  1. Submit a formal application
  2. Pay a visit to the local court and request forms related to name change petitions. Fill the forms accurately and submit them to the relevant department. Allow for review of the forms and wait for feedback.

  3. File the forms with the court clerk
  4. After the reviewing process, file the forms with the court clerk. This will allow the clerk to schedule a hearing.

  5. Attend the court hearing
  6. On the date and time indicated, be sure to attend the court hearing. The judge is likely to hear the reasons for name change and give directions on how to proceed.

  7. Get the legal decree
  8. If the judge approves the petition, legal documents will be provided to show the new name. Use this decree to change any other legal documents, notes the Judicial Branch of California.

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