Both adults and minors can legally change their birth names. Reasons to change a name include traditions related to marriage and religion. Even a person who does not like his birth name can usually change it through a legal process. New Mexico allows residents to change their names through a court of law.
The courts require specific forms and procedures to obtain a new name. Anyone who follows the procedures can request a New Mexico judge to legally change his name.
Select a newspaper in the county where you reside to publish a name-change notice. New Mexico name-change law requires you to publish a notice in the newspaper of your county or the closest county with a newspaper that has circulation in your county. Run the notice for two consecutive weeks. You must include the nature of the application and the time and place that the application will be made. Get the exact wording and form of notice when you obtain your name-change forms from the county clerk or other forms provider.
Decide which form to use. Residents over 14 years of age should use the adult name-change form. Adults who wish to request a name change for a minor under 14 must use the form for minors. Ensure that both parents have notice of a name-change request for a minor.
Visit the local county clerk and ask for name-change forms. Ask about local filing fees and any other local requirements at that time. For example, you may have to provide contact information of creditors to prevent you from changing your name to avoid debts. If the county does not provide the forms, you can get them from a lawyer or pay a service to fill out the applicable forms.
Fill out the name-change form. Ensure that you include some reason for the change. Any reason is acceptable so long as there is no "sufficient cause" to deny the change . However, a judge can deny the request for reasons of fraud or to protect the rights of others.
File the forms with the county clerk. The clerk will issue a hearing with a judge for the district court in your county. Appear at the hearing. Answer the judge's questions to get your legal name change.
Use your marriage or divorce certificate to get a legal name change. You do not have to make a separate application when obtaining a marriage or divorce certificate.
Inform government agencies of a name change. You can do it yourself or order a package online to complete this process.
A judge may deny a name-change request if you have a criminal record. Be honest with the judge and provide a legitimate reason, such as religion, for the name change.
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