There are many reasons for which people can change their names. These include marriage, divorce, and religion change among others. Some even change their names since they do not like their birth names. There are laws that govern identity and they vary in different countries. Changing your name without taking the legal process to do so may lead to serious legal issues. It is therefore very important that you follow the laws that govern identity in your country when changing your name.
The first thing you need to do is to choose carefully your new name. You can change your first name, middle name or surname. You can also change your name to become a completely new name altogether. The name that you choose should not be deceitful or fraudulent in any way. It should not have any offensive words. If any symbols are used in your name, you should make sure that they comply with the rules in your country as some symbols may be rejected in court.
The second thing is to contact the local government office. This can be your local city hall or district court offices. The best thing is to visit the place yourself after you contact the government offices. This will enable you to get the rules required to change your name. You will enquire the steps involved in changing your identity. You will be informed of the requirements that you will need in order for the process to be approved by your government. You will also be given the relevant papers that you need to fill out.
The next step is to fill the paperwork and documents involved. These documents are usually petitions to the court, petition notices to the public and proclamation of consent. Make sure you feel all the relevant information needed in the forms. If you do not do this, the court may not grant you permission to change your name. Most name changing petitions require you to fill in the reason for which you are changing your name. This is important as the court evaluates your reason before giving you permission. Before you submit these forms, it is important to make copies in order for you to keep your own record.
The next step is determined with the court’s response. Sometimes the process may be immediate and you may be granted the permission to change your name days after submitting your forms. However, sometimes the court may summon you so that you can defend the reasons that have led you to change your name. Once permission is granted, follow the instructions given by the court to finalize the process. Sometimes you may be ordered by the judge to advertise the changed name in local newspapers especially if there are legal issues that you are involved in like old debts.
The final step is to change the legal documents that have your old name. This means that you need to visit the local departments that deal with such issues. These include legal motor vehicle departments, social security administration, administration of taxpayers and state records department among others. This helps you change legal documents like your driving license, birth certificate, passport or visa among others.