How to Legally Remove Your Middle Name

By Shailynn Krow
No matter how minor the name change, it must be approved by a judge.

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Removing your middle name is a legal process, but not one that requires the assistance of an attorney. You start the process by petitioning the courts to remove your middle name. Once the courts approve your petition, you must submit the court order to local agencies such as the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Social Security Administration to have your middle name removed from their records.

Visit the local civil court clerk and ask for the forms necessary to petition a name change. Each state has different requirements, so make sure to ask the clerk about any special instructions for your particular forms. Let the clerk know that you do not want to change names -- you want to remove your middle name entirely.

Make sure not to leave any fields on the forms blank, because this can delay the approval process. Most forms require a reason that you are removing your middle name. You cannot change your name for fraudulent purposes, such as avoiding debts or lawsuits, according to NOLO.com. Make sure that your reason is valid, because you will have to explain it to a judge. Write a statement explaining your reason for your court appearance.

File the completed forms with the civil court clerk. Be prepared to pay the filing fee, which varies depending on your state. Keep copies of your forms and make note of the court appearance date that the clerk gives you. Check with the clerk to make sure that you do not have to publish an advertisement in a newspaper regarding the removal of your middle name. Some states require this for name changes while others require it for removals as well. The clerk will have a list of newspapers where you should publish your request if required. Keep records of the date that the advertisement was published and take them with you to court.

Go to your court appearance. Be prepared to explain to the judge the reason for removing your middle name and to provide any necessary documents, such as the newspaper advertisements.

Get a certified copy of the judge's approval for removing your middle name. Contact federal and local agencies that have your middle name on file — such as the Internal Revenue Service, state tax commission, Department of Motor Vehicles and Social Security Administration — to request that they remove your middle name from their records. Be prepared to fill out name-change forms and provide copies of your certified court approval.

About the Author

Shailynn Krow began writing professionally in 2002. She has contributed articles on food, weddings, travel, human resources/management and parenting to numerous online and offline publications. Krow holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and an Associate of Science in pastry arts from the International Culinary Institute of America.

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