How to Legally Change Your Name in Iowa

By Contributor

People wish to change their names for many reasons. You may decide to change your name because of a marriage or simply because you wish to start using a new name. Fraudulent reasons such as benefitting from another person's name for monetary gain are illegal.

Pick up your Petition to Court form from the Clerk of Courts office at your local Iowa courthouse. On this form, you must give a physical description of yourself (height, weight, hair color and eye color), your current name, your new desired name, current residence, previous residences for the past 5 years, any real property you own in the state, your spouse's name and your reason for desiring a name change. After you have filled out the form, return it to the Clerk of Court with a certified copy of your birth certificate.

Wait 30 days. After the 30 days is up, a judge in your county will look over and approve or deny your petition. If granted, the court will mail you the stamped and signed decree of name change. You can go in and check with the Clerk of Court after the 30 days to see if your name change was granted. If so, he can give you the decree in person.

Obtain a new Social Security card, driver's license, birth certificate, and any other necessary legal document. You must also change your name with insurance providers, banks, employers, schools and other relevant agencies. It is best to make several copies of your decree of name change so that when you change your name on any documents or legal forms, the business can keep a copy for its records.

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