In Washington State any person over eighteen years of age can choose and use any name he or she wishes as long as the purpose of the change in the name is not to defraud another. To get a court ordered name change, you must first file a petition in the District Court of the county or other judicial district in which you live. A petition for name change should state your current full name, your requested new name, and the reasons for the change. I’ll quickly mention that your name is legally changed on the day of your wedding when your pastor or wedding officiant signs your marriage license.
In addition, the steps I’ve listed below include as much mailing and as little person-to-person interaction as possible. This step is optional, because you can always use your original marriage certificate, which you will receive in the mail a few weeks after your wedding. The easiest way is to order it online here if you were born in New York City or here if you were born anywhere else in New York state. Here are the detailed instructions from the Social Security Administration but all you really need to do is fill out form SS-5 and mail it to your local Social Security office.
The form doesn’t specify where to mail in the application and supplement materials so you will need to find your local Social Security office via the Social Security office locator and mail it to that address. For step 4, unfortunately, you are required to appear in person at the Department of Motor Vehicles, known infamously as the DMV.
To change your name on your Passport if it was issued MORE than one year ago, you will need to fill out form DS-82 and mail it to the National Passport Processing Center. To change your name on your Passport if it was issued LESS than one year ago, you will need to fill out form DS-5504 and mail it to the National Passport Processing Center. If you liked this article or found it useful, feel free to share it with a friend, like on Facebook, or follow via Twitter.
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An example of defrauding another would be to change names to avoid paying bills or other creditors or the escape obligations such as child support.
The process to change the name of your minor child (a "minor" is a person under the age of eighteen years) is a little more involved.
However, there are often questions relating to notifying government agencies and others of the name change.
And while our experience is in regards to New York, these general instructions should be a good guideline regardless of what state you live in. If you’ve ever watched Parks and Recreation, you’ll know that government agencies are some of the most inefficiently run offices! Some people don’t want to lose the original marriage certificate in the mail or want to keep it in mint condition so they get a certified copy for changing their name. Some people don’t want to lose the original birth certificate in the mail or want to keep it in mint condition so they get a certified copy for changing their name. The cost is $15 to get a copy of your birth certificate, but you will be charged an additional $8.30 for ordering it online. Step 3 is when the previous steps come in handy, because you will need to include a certified copy of your marriage certificate (step 1), actual proof of identification NOT a copy, and proof of U.S.
In your mailing, you must also include your current Passport, a certified copy of your marriage certificate (step 1), and a Passport eligible photo. In your mailing, you must also include your current Passport, a certified copy of your marriage certificate (step 1), and a Passport eligible photo.
All of the ideas and writing are strictly the opinion of the author and do not reflect the position of the companies discussed. It is the purpose of this informational brochure to explain the procedure for changing a name, either your name or the name of a minor child.


If the marriage ends, a name change may be included in the divorce decree, or by filing a petition for name change.
If you have any questions not answered by this brochure, we will do our best to answer them or refer you to someone who can. My wife and I just successfully completed changing her name in New York so I’ll document the step-by-step process along with the cost to try and save you both time and hassle. The general rule is a short certificate can only be used domestically while a long certificate can be used internationally as well.
There is no additional charge for ordering a copy through the mail via this form, but you will need to include a photocopy of your ID and get the form notarized, which seems a bit annoying.
I didn’t specify the waiting time for each of the steps since it will vary tremendously. Prices described are not guaranteed to be accurate and may differ on a case-by-case basis or as time passes. So while you can substitute many of the mailing steps below with an in-person visit to your favorite government agency, I don’t know why you’d want to!
Hopefully, the above guide will provide a one-stop source of information that makes the process easier.
In addition, certain links may be affiliate links that provide the author a commission for the referral of business.
Even if you are the type to procrastinate, you should do step 1 as early as possible since it’s crucial for the rest of the process.



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