The Step-by-Step Guide to Changing Your Name

Looking to change your name when making things official with your partner or anticipating the birth of a baby? Here's what you need to know.

Many thanks to PSP member Eileen for sharing these helpful steps from her own name-change experience!

Government Documents

Step 1: File the request with your local court

  • Use THIS WEBSITE put together by pro-bono lawyers to create a name change request form to submit to the court. This form needs to be notarized. 
  • Bring that request, your birth certificate (or a certified copy) and a bunch of legit mail (utility bill, mortgage payment, etc) to court. Note- civil court is cheaper. Pay the fee. Die a little inside at how awful standing in lines at Court are. 
  • The judge will process your paperwork. This could take a few years (JK, but literally up to like 90 days). Buy a bottle of champagne for when it’s approved.
  • Once the judge processes it, you need to go back in person to pick it up. Purchase ~4 extra copies. 

Step 2: Notify Social Security

  • Complete the SS-A5 form.
  • Mail that form, an ORIGINAL/CERTIFIED copy of the court approval, and a photocopy of your license or passport to the nearest SS office.
  • Find the nearest SS office here: https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp.

Step 4: Update your driver's license

  • Reserve a time at your local DMV.
  • Fill out the MV-44 Application.
  • Bring the MV-44, an ORIGINAL/CERTIFIED copy of the court approval, new social security card, and your current license to the DMV.
  • **If you want to upgrade your license (here's the info about Enhanced and Real IDs) also bring 2 pieces of mail issued in the last 30 days (utility bill, pay stub, bank statement, etc), your new SS card, and your passport. 

Step 3: Update your passport 

  • Complete DS-82 Form and attach a new passport photo.
  • Mail that form, your passport, an ORIGINAL/CERTIFIED copy of the court approval, and a check to the US Department of State. 
  • $130 for regular processing time (8-12 weeks); ship to National Passport Processing Center: PO Box 640155 Irving TX 75064-0155.
  • $190 for expedited processing time (5-7 weeks); ship to National Passport Processing Center: PO Box 90955, Philadelphia PA 19190-0955.
  • NOTE: Costs above are current as of June 2022.

Step 5: Update your car title

  • Once again, reserve a time at your local DMV (you might not be able to book this and your driver's license appointment at the same time, but you can try).
  • Fill out the MV-44 Application (this time where it says “I want to,” check the “get a title” box).
  • Bring the MV-44, an ORIGINAL/CERTIFIED copy of the court approval, driver's license, and proof of insurance.
  • If the title is held by a bank or leasing company, you must notify the lienholder (lender) of your name change and follow their prompts. 

Step 6: Update your voter registration

  • Update your voter registration online HERE. 


All done!

 

pexels kelly 2928232 crop


Print