California recognizes common law name changes through the “usage method” (simply using a new name exclusively). However, you will need a court order to alter any legal documents and government-issued identification, such as your driver’s license, Social Security card, birth certificate, and passport. Let the attorneys at R & S Law Group, LLP assist you with the process. We will prepare your documents, take care of you rpublication requirements, and represent you at the court hearing.
Petition for Change of Name
You will need to Petition for Change of Name with the court and publish your intent to change your name in an approved newspaper in your county for four consecutive weeks. An experienced attorney, such as those at R & S Law Group, LLP, can review your forms to make sure they’re filled out properly. When you file your papers, you will receive a hearing date where the judge will decide whether to not to grant your petition.
Petition for Change of Name and Gender
To qualify for a change of both in one hearing, you will need a declaration from a doctor telling the court you have undergone clinically appropriate treatment for change of gender. You may also petition for Change of Name and Change of Gender separately.
If you are in the process of getting a divorce and want to change your name back to your maiden name or other name you have previously used, you can usually do that in conjunction with the divorce proceeding. If you want to change your name to something other than a prior name, you will have to file a Petition for Change of Name.
If you are recently married want to take your spouse’s last name, you may not need to go to court. Some DMV and Social Security offices will accept a marriage license to change the name on your driver’s license and social security card, and not require a court order, so check with your local offices to see what their policies are.
Frequently Asked Questions
I would like to keep my name change confidential because I’m concerned for my safety – is there a way to do that?
Yes. If you are a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault, or in the State Witness Program, your current and proposed names may be kept confidential.
The information on this page is informational only and should not be construed as legal advice.