Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 decade ago

What is the procedure to change your name?

I'm 18 and going to college in a month. I wanted to know how do you change your name, and how long does it take. Does it cost much?

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You can use any name you like, as long as you are not doing it for the purpose of fraud or deception.

    Several specific federal court rulings have set precedents regarding both court decreed name changes and common law name changes (changing your name "at will").

    * One may be employed, do business, and enter into other contracts, and sue and be sued under any name they choose at will (Lindon v. First National Bank 10 F. 894, Coppage v. Kansas 236 U.S. 1, In re McUlta 189 F. 250).

    * Such a change carries the exact same legal weight as a court decreed name change as long as it is not done with fraudulent intent (In re McUlta 189 F. 250, Christianson v. King County 196 F. 791, United States v. McKay 2 F.2d 257).

    Most states allow one to legally change one's name by usage with no paperwork, but a court order may be required for many institutions (such as banks or government institutions) to officially accept the change. Although the States (except part of Louisiana) follow the common law there are differences in acceptable requirements; usually a court order is the most efficient way to change names (which would be applied for in a state court) (except at marriage, which has become a universally accepted reason for a name change). It is necessary to plead that the name change is not for a fraudulent or other illegal purpose (such as evading a lien or debt, or for defaming someone).

    The applicant may be required to give a somewhat reasonable explanation for wanting to change his name. A fee is generally payable, and the applicant may be required to post legal notices in newspapers to announce the name change. Generally the judge has limited judicial discretion to grant or deny a change of name, usually only if the name change is for "frivolous" or "immoral" purposes, such as changing one's name to "God", "Superman", "Copyright", or "Delicious."

    In 2004, a Missouri man did succeed in changing his name to "They." The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that a name change to "1069" could be denied, but that "Ten Sixty-Nine" was acceptable (Application of Dengler, 1979), and the North Dakota Supreme Court denied the same request several years before (Petition of Dengler, 1976).

    If you want to go the official route, you can get the forms at:

    But since you are young enough not to have a lot of legal documents to change, why not just try out your new choice and see how you like it first?

  • 1 decade ago

    yah its expensive, you need to have power of attorney,

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.