How to Legally Change Your Name Without a Lawyer

Legally changing your name without the assistance of an Attorney.
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A legal name change does not require an attorney and can be completed by yourself. You must follow some guidelines, such as, you cannot change your name to a famous person, you cannot change your name to avoid legal issues and you cannot change your name to one that is demeaning or has a negative connotation. By following your states requirements, you can legally change your name within a matter of weeks.

Step 1

Visit the website listed in the Resource section. Select your state. Access and print the name change forms.

Step 2

Read the instructions for filing a name change. Each state requires slightly different requirements. Some states will not allow a name change if you have been convicted of a felony. Some states require a fingerprint criminal history record. You must read and follow the steps outlined by your states law.

Step 3

Complete the name change forms and make sure you have followed all requirements. Fill out the Petition for Change of Name as well as the Final Decree for Change of Name. If your state requires the publication of your name change request in a local newspaper, attach proof of publication to your application.

Step 4

Submit the completed forms to your County Clerks office. Review the name change forms for exact address. Pay any fee as required by your state.

Step 5

Wait for your court date to arrive if you will appear in person. Most states require a brief court appearance where the judge will confirm you are requesting the name change and your request is not for any fraudulent reason. Following the hearing, the judge will sign your order. Before leaving the courthouse, purchase three additional legal copies of the order.

Step 6

Take the order to your local Drivers License office and Social Security office to update your legal information. Additionally, send copies of the order to your creditors and other business contacts to update your new name in their records.


  • In some states, they will allow you to have a brief court appearance the same day your turn in your forms if the schedule allows.
  • Some states do not require an appearance before the judge and will mail you the signed order.

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