“The most important thing to keep in mind about any name change is that it`s a process, not a one-stop shop,” Anna Phipps, vice president of experience at HitchSwitch, told Mental Floss. State law regulates what you can call yourself. While you can call yourself pretty unique things, there are a few concrete rules for name changes that you need to stick to. Creativity is very personal, and some people may feel limited by the name they receive. Changing your name allows you to get creative and choose something unique that will help you stand out from the crowd, as long as it`s not a name change prohibited by your state. Depending on where you live, your legal name change process can be as simple as filling out an online form or as intense as attending a formal hearing and taking fingerprints by the FBI. You`ll also have to pay an application fee, which can range from $50 in Hawaii to $450 in California. 5. Couples who combine or separate surnames to form a new one If you legally change your name through the court, a fee and a notary are likely required, with some exceptions for name changes due to marriage, divorce or adoption. “I was born `Chelsea`.

When I entered the foster care system, my now adopted mom called me “Baby Doll” and “Dolly,” and it has remained a cute nickname. When I was 19, I opened a fashion store, which meant my name was published frequently. I decided to call her “Dolly” professionally so that my biological mother (who lived in the area) couldn`t identify me. When I started using it, I felt so good and I started using it in my personal life too. I wasn`t always called Tuck Woodstock. I legally changed my name when I had just graduated from university and changed it again seven years later. So I know firsthand how daunting the whole name change process can be – from choosing your new name to filing a court order, to updating your information with your bank, pharmacy, gym, library, various utilities. You get the idea, don`t you? In many cases, the legal process of changing your name might actually be the easy part. If you want to change your name because you got married, simply present your marriage certificate to request the change. Once you have your driver`s license or passport in the new name, you can use it to change your name elsewhere. “I changed my name for professional reasons. Believe it or not, foreign names are often discriminated against by recruiters – even though I`m American.

After changing it, I noticed that I had more interviews. I kept my original name as a middle name. – M.T. After receiving a court order granting a name change, you must update important identifying information, including your driver`s license or other government-issued ID, birth certificate, Social Security card, and passport. If you are married or divorced and your name has been changed, you do not need to update your birth certificate. The Registrar will review your application for a change of name and grant your application if the Registrar decides that you have a valid reason for changing your name. Some states require you to appear before a judge for a brief hearing to get your name change approved. It may take several weeks or months to receive your certificate via the name change, again depending on the state. Putting your personal happiness above the opinions of others can be liberating, and that`s true when it comes to changing your name. However, explaining your name change can be tedious, and some people find it not worth sending an announcement to family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. Of course, we are talking about a court, not the DMV, but the principle is the same.

Save time and learn about the documents you need before you start. These depend on a) your country of residence and b) the reason for your name change. If you got married and want to change your last name, you usually don`t have to file an application with the court. Instead, you should file documents with the Social Security Administration, including: “In most places, it`s doable without a lawyer if it`s a simple case,” says Charlie Arrowood, a New York attorney who offers assistance to transclients with name and gender changes. In addition to asking for help at your local court`s information center, they also recommend visiting the National Center for Transgender Equality Identity Documents, an online resource that explains current name change, driver`s license, and birth certificate policies in all 50 states.