How to Legally Change a Name in Georgia

By Deborah Ng - Updated July 23, 2018

Changing your name in the state of Georgia is a simple process that varies depending on the reasons for the change. Name changes outside of marriage or divorce require a petition in superior court and a public announcement to make sure no one objects. In most cases, a petition for a name change is approved within 30 days.

Tip

If a name change isn't due to divorce or marriage, you can file a petition with your county's superior court clerk. If no one objects after 30 days, a judge will hear the case.

Changing Your Name in Georgia

People change their names for different reasons. Marriage and divorce are among the most common as the wife takes a new last name or resorts to a maiden name. However, spouses might also wish to join their names with a hyphen.

Children, via their parents or legal guardians, can also petition for a name change. This usually happens in cases of adoption, divorce or remarriage when the minor wishes to take a different parent’s last name. Other reasons for name changes include transgendered people changing their names to suit their new gender; not wanting to be associated with a certain relative of the same name; or simply not liking a given name.

How to Change Your Name in Georgia

If you’re changing your name due to marriage, you can request your new name on your marriage certificate application. The impending marriage license is proof of a legal name change, and you can present it to the DMV and Social Security office to seeking to change your information on file at those agencies. If you file for divorce in George, a court order for a name change is part of the divorce proceedings. You’re not required to change your name, and you can revert to any previous name you desire. The judge will likely grant the divorce and name change at the same time.

For other name changes, file a petition with the superior court of the county in which you reside. List the reasons for wanting your name change and verify that the information you’re presenting is correct. After filing the petition, post a notice of your new name in the local newspaper once a week for four weeks. If four weeks go by and no one objects to a name change, you can schedule a final hearing and a judge will hear the case.

Once your name change is approved, you have 60 days in which to notify the DMV and Social Security office.

Changing a Minor’s Name in Georgia

A parent or legal guardian can petition the court to change a child’s name. If neither parent objects to the name change, it is usually granted after 30 days from filing. If one of the parents lives out of state and receives the petition through the mail, the judge will wait 60 days to hear the case. A child’s name change doesn’t change a parent’s legal status as custodian.

About the Author

Deb Ng is a freelance writer and published author with over 17 years of experience in creating content for the web. Prior to her freelance career, she worked for over 12 years in traditional (print) publishing. Deb's not a lawyer, nor does she play one on TV. However, she has an interest in legal matters and has been writing content for websites such as Legal Zoom, Wiley Publishing, and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals for over ten years.

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