There are many reasons why someone would want to change their name. Regardless of what that reason is, it is unique to you. But how do you go about changing it?
This is a decision you should put a lot of thought behind before deciding to change your name. It is a process that requires effort and attention, so make sure it’s the best decision for you because once it is changed, it is a long process to change it again.
Being able to change their name is a constitutional right as long as you do this for a legal reason. If you want to change your name due to illegal or unofficial reasons you can face severe legal issues. We will be covering the steps you need to take on getting your legal name changed in Arizona.
Changing Your Name for Marriage
For marriage, this process is always looked to as the simplest way to change your name. Arizona has it where all you need to do is fill out your marriage license, go ahead, and fill in your new name.
Once the marriage has occurred and you receive your marriage certificate and are legally married, this certificate will serve as your first official proof of a name change. Not every state allows this process to take place like this, so always make sure you check with your local government to figure out how they process this.
This can be stressful enough for divorce, but Arizona does not need much for you to change your name legally. All you will need to do is work with the courts to get this process done by requesting a former name’s restoration. Either party can do this, but everything must be documented and complete before a divorce is finalized.
If neither of these scenarios apply, you will need to go through a more complex process to change your name legally.
Petition for a Change of Name
Arizona requires that anyone who wants to change their name needs to file a petition for a name change with their local superior court. This process will kick off by you filling out an application form stating various for the name change such as:
- Listing the main reasons you want to change your name
- Stating any felony convictions or pending charges with your current name
- Stating under penalty of perjury that you are not changing your name for the intention of committing any crimes
- State that changing your name is in no way for you to get out of any obligations
A judge will review the petition and decide whether to grant this request or not. Do not be surprised if there is a court hearing on your petition. Assuming everything is in order and no issues come up during the application process, you should receive approval.
Notify the Government
After your petition is approved, the real work begins. First, you will need to contact your nearest Social Security Administration Office and set an appointment to change your name with them. You will need to bring an official document showing this legal change, whether it be a court order, marriage certificate, or divorce decree. Make sure you complete this step before doing anything else to avoid the hassle. After that is completed, you will need to contact the state Department of Transportation about getting a new Arizona driver’s license.
You will also need to get a new passport, which can take quite a bit of time. It is recommended you not wait on this as getting a new passport requires you to fill out a lot of documentation and mail it to the US State Department, which can take up to six weeks to process in some cases. If a name change has occurred after marriage, you will need to make this a top priority if a honeymoon is soon.
Start Using Your Name
Once your name is changed, start using it! This is an important step that a lot of people don’t take seriously. The same legal issues can apply if you are not using your actual name and may appear fraudulent. You will need to share this legal change with friends and family. Here are some others you will need to make sure you notify of this change to save you stress in the long run.
Notify Your Employer
Your work may have a lot of documentation for you to update if you legally change your name. You may have a lot of personal information set up with the company that you will have to go in and change manually. If someone has you as an emergency contact with their work, they should go ahead and update that with an updated legal name for you.
Notify Your Banks and/or Financial Institutions
This is one of the most important people you will need to notify. The easiest way to go about getting this step done is to go to the nearest branch of the company you bank with and sit down with someone. Don’t forget to bring the official document (Marriage Certificate, Driver’s License, Court Order, etc.) and present this to them when you state you have legally changed your name. By visiting in person, you can get many things crossed off the list in one sitting with a professional. While updating your information, you can order new checks and order a new debit or credit card you have with the bank.
The same principle applies if you are notifying a Credit Union about a name change. Again, it is recommended that you do this in person to save you potential stress since they will need to see some form of official documentation. This is also a handy tip as some financial institutions can get you an updated card that day you walk in to get this done.
Notify Your Postal Service
To avoid the potential of not receiving your mail, you will need to notify the postal service of your name change to avoid any confusion when getting mail delivered to you.
Utility Companies and Insurers- Another important step in the process is notifying your utility companies of your updated information so they can have the most current legal information on file for you. The same applies to whatever insurance company you have at the time.
Others to Notify
You will need to notify several others that can include doctors, voter registration, VA for veterans, gym memberships, etc.
Some of the entities mentioned above always present a chance at giving you hassle when you are notifying them of this change. It is always important to remember this is a legal right that you have, and the court orders this. Reasons for pushback can vary, but it isn’t uncommon for Banks and Financial Institutions to push back as fraud and theft are common for them. Another reason why it is recommended doing some of these things in person to avoid issues. You may need to be pushy to get what you need in this circumstance. Still, as long as you can push through and get through the name change’s gritty legal details, you will eventually have no issues.
Hopefully, this article can guide you if you are about to start this, which sometimes can be a very overwhelming process. If you feel a lack of control in the process or feel lost at any time, there are options out there to help you. An experienced Family Law Attorney would be more than happy to walk you through every step of the process to make sure you go about this correctly.
Speak with a Lawyer
Cantor Law Group consists of 11 family law attorneys and 20 support staff members to ensure you get the support you need for your legal matter. You will be interviewed about your situation and treated with the utmost respect. Our team is your team. With over 70 years of combined experience, we make sure that every client is our #1 priority. Each case is handled with urgency, professionalism, and compassion.
Cantor Law Group is known for our hard, tenacious work. Please call our office at 602-254-8880 for a confidential consultation. We look forward to working with you.