There are several reasons an individual may want to change his or her name. It’s mostly due to marriage, dissociation from a family/ religion or to make it more “catchy”. In United States, a person can adopt any name desired for any reason either formally or informally.

Most states in US allows you to change your name simply through usage by introducing yourself using the new name and telling your friends and family to only call using the new name. You can just choose a name and start using it in social settings but problems arise when it comes to government and financial agencies. Also, forms of identification such as passports, social security cards and birth certificates require formal and legal name changing documents. There are 3 reasons an individual can change his or her name:


After marriage, many people choose to change their last name. Some take the surname of their spouse, and some couples combine surnames. It is also popular for a woman to take the name of her husband, but for her maiden name to be her middle name. Marriage name changing is a fairly simple process, even though it mostly depends on law of where you reside. The first step to legally change your name after the marriage is to make your new name official on all your legal and personal documents. For this you need a number of certified copies of your marriage certificate and old identity cards (including your passport, license driving license and social security card). Once you have these documents together, you are almost close to legally change your name after the wedding. The most important document required for the name changing process is your marriage certificate. If the state where you were married has long and short marriage certificates, you can request the long form at the clerk’s office of the county.


The name change after the divorce is not something that is fixed. You can choose any the desired name. If you want to retrieve your maiden name or a previous legal name that you had, you should ask your divorce court to change your name. If you want a different new name after the divorce, a new maiden name or a new last name, you can request the court in your state of the new name of your choice. You can also petition your local Superior Court if you do not want use your divorce court to change name. Once your name change has been approved by the decision of the divorce court, you can get a certified copy to change name on your respective records.

Court Order

In United States, a legal name change can be obtained through a court order and every US citizen has the right to change name according to law or the judicial process. A person can change their name by submitting an application to the civil court with minimal fee. The name changer must provide a valid and reasonable explanation for the search of legal name change. Many Financial and Government institutions, such as insurance companies, banks and others do not require, per say, a certified notice of the court order to change the name of a customer in their data. Typically, each state has a different court order procedure to obtain a name change, and each institution or agency has different requirements to rule it official in their eyes.