Do You Need A Court Order to Change Your Name?

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In order to officially change your name on your state ID and on other official documents, you are going to need a Name Change Court Order. This order is normally issued by the Superior Court and must be signed by a Superior Court Judge. The order will also need to be certified by the Clerk of the Court who will then place the Seal of the Court on the document to make it official. All government departments such as Social Security, the DMV, the State Department, Passport Office as well as schools and banks will honor the official Decree Changing Name.

The Decree will reflect your new name and ensure that all relevant records are changed quickly without any hassle or fuss. Without this court order, you may face significant difficulty in changing your name with these and other government departments and institutions.

In California, EZ Name Change is the only provider of a full service name change with a 5-star YELP reputation. Although you can go through the name change procedure on your own, it can be a complicated and time-consuming task. Alternatively, you can allow one of their experienced name change specialists to take care of the entire process for you to ensure the correct procedure to get approval from a judge to issue the Decree Changing Name. All government departments and institutions will be required to adhere to the court order and change your name accordingly.

With EZ Name Change, the process is easy. Simply visit their website, click on “Start Now” and follow the step-by-step guide to complete the questionnaire. The entire process to get started should take only 5 to 10 minutes from start to finish. Once they have received your information and payment, they will start the name change process to get a Name Change Court Order approved. However, if you feel that you understand everything about the process and have the free time to see it all through, visit the Superior Court website to start the process.

Once you have received the official Decree Changing Name, you can start the process of changing your name at the various government departments and other institutions. Here’s how:

Social Security Name Change 

Changing your name with the Social Security Administration should be your first stop. Your social security card along with your court order will be necessary to change your name with other government departments and private institutions. You will need your court order along with the completed name change application form that EZ Name Change will provide to you in your Petition Package. There is no fee to change your name with Social Security.

Name Change at the DMV

The California DMV has made it a requirement that you visit one of their offices in order to update their records with you change of name as well as to issue you with an updated Driver’s License. Remember to first change your name with the Social Security Administration as the DMV will access these records in order to update their records. You can either pop-in to your local DMV or make an appointment. You will need to do the following:

  • Complete the relevant application form – either Form D L44 (the Driver License or Identification Card Application) or DL 44C (the Commercial Driver License Application form). This form will need to be completed and submitted in person and copies will not be accepted.
  • Provide a thumbprint.
  • Provide an ID photo.
  • Pay the required application fee.
  • Provide the Name Change Court Order, Decree Changing Name or other relevant name change certificate or document. Remember to take a certified copy and keep your original document.

Be wary of companies offering to complete the DMV name changing process on your behalf. It is required that you deal directly with the California DMV and visit your local office. Although online applications will not be accepted to complete the process entirely, it is recommended to visit the DMV website to find out exactly what you need and how to officially change your name.

Name Change on School Records 

It is important to make an official name change with a relevant school or education institution as a parent as well as for a child or as an adult student. While every school has different requirements for the name change process, they will all accept a certified copy of either the Name Change Court Order or Decree Changing Name. So, make sure to take this important document along when making a name change with a school.

Passport Name Change

You can either produce an original or certified copy of your Name Change Court Order, Decree Changing Name or official Marriage Certificate to change the name on your passport. Alternatively, you can prove Usage which is evidence that you have legally been exclusively using the name for a number of years. The Passport Office is one of the few government departments that make allowance for Usage in changing a name. In the era of Real ID, that policy may stop. In any event, it is far simpler to use a court order or decree which is accepted by the State Department and Passport Office as an official document to change your name.

Name Change on Birth Certificate

California’s Vital Records has a representative policy in place that requires a certified copy of a Court Order to change your name on your birth certificate. The State therefore needs the official court order or decree in order to change your name and send you an Amended Birth Certificate. You can apply for a name change on your birth certificate at the Department of Public Health in California. You will not be able to change the name on your birth certificate without providing a certified court order. While most adults don’t bother to change their name on their birth certificate, it can be done if you want. Parents usually get an amended birth certificate for an infant or older child to help fully establish the child’s name before college and adulthood. Ensuring this name change can prevent confusion or complications down the line. Visit the California Department of Public Health website to find out more on how to change your name on your birth certificate.

Anyone can change their name for a variety of different reasons. However, to make the change official, it is highly recommended to get a court order. EZ name change can assist in getting the necessary Name Change Court Order or Decree Changing Name so that you can update and amend all your records quickly and easily. Just click “Start Now” and get the ball rolling to get your official court order.