FAQ: Legal name changes

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Q: Why should I change my legal name?

A: People choose to change their legal names for an array of reasons and, sometimes, for no reason at all. If you have been researching how to legally change your name then you know better than anyone as to why you want to change your name. It's perfectly legal unless it is for fraudulent or deceptive purposes, in which event a court may not grant the request.

Q: Why should I change my legal name using your service and not through a local attorney where I live?

A: If you were to use a local attorney or self-file your name change in the state where you live, you may have to participate in the following processes: 1.) Undergo fingerprinting to determine if you have any arrest and/or criminal convictions; 2.) Publish a legal notice announcing your name change petition in your local newspaper for four successive weeks which also causes the name to be published online. 3.) Appear in court for a hearing on your name change petition 4.) Submit documentation to the court proving you have no debt and character reference letters. By using our legal name change service, you can forego all of those burdensome requirements without any additional hassles or concerns.

Q: Do I have to submit any documentation to support my name change petition?

A: No. The great thing about using our legal name change service is that the jurisdiction where we file our petitions does not require any documentation to complete your legal name change with the court.

Q: Should I change my entire full name or just first or last name?

A: This is your choice. Are you changing your name because of debt? To start your record fresh? Any other reason? The best name change plan is tailored to your unique situation, but we normally recommend that clients change both their first and last names in order to truly distance themselves from their old name. In order to create totally new credit reports using your existing true identifiers (e.g. DOB and SSN), you must amend your entire full name and avoid associating your new name with any prior reported addresses. Otherwise, your new name could be merged into your old credit report that contains your prior name. Our objective is to create a split credit file that separates your old and new names. Please contact us for additional questions about this if needed.

Q: How long does it take for my name change to be granted by the court?

A: Most name changes are finalized by the court within five to eight weeks after we file your petition. It may take an additional two weeks for us to obtain the certified court order granting your name change after a judge signs the final order. If you need it sooner we can provide you with your case number and the contact information of the Clerk of Court where your name change petition was filed so you can request expedited certified copies of your final order granting your name change.

Q: Do you file my name change documents with the court directly or use a third party?

A: We use reliable and dependable third-party professionals that are located in the name change-friendly state where we file all of our name change petitions. These third-party professionals are also notary publics who can notarize your name change petition without you having to travel.

Q: Will having criminal convictions on my record prevent my name change from being granted by the court?

A: This depends on the record, but it’s not likely. The state we use for name changes only checks their own in-state records to determine if you have any disqualifying conditions (e.g. convicted of a felony, being on probation or parole in that state, or being on any sex offender registries). Being that we don't accept clients from the state we use for name change filings, we don't expect any issues with your name change petition. The exception to this rule is that we do not file legal name changes on behalf of any client who has been previously convicted of any sex offense in any jurisdiction. If you are concerned that your prior criminal history may be a concern, we can have our third-party filer omit your criminal history from the name change petition and change your date of birth of the petition (which does not affect the final name change order that only shows your previous and new names on it). Should you request we go this route, we will also sign your name change petition so you will have absolute deniability with respect to the statements made on your name change petition which absolves you of any criminal liability.

Q: Is it possible my name change petition will not be granted by the court?

A: There is always a possibility, however in the hundreds of name change petitions we have filed since our inception, we have never had one denied by the court. Should your name change be denied by the court, we will re-file your name change petition in a different court at no additional charge. However, if we are required to re-file your petition in another court this will result in an additional five to eight-week delay.

Q: Will my name change be discoverable using public record searches online?

A: This is a great question, and under normal circumstances, that answer is no. The reason why our name changes are discrete is that we file your petition in a state jurisdiction where you have never resided. Name change petitions are treated like civil family court proceedings, not like criminal or civil judgment cases that are routinely sold to data brokers who purchase case data. Additionally, the state jurisdiction we use requires these types of cases to be searched using their own county's Circuit Court website. Someone would need to have existing knowledge of where you filed your name change petition to locate its associated case records online.

Q: Will my name change order be accepted where I live?

A: Yes. Your name change final order will be in the form of a certified copy that contains the court embossed seal. Since your name change will be granted by a state Circuit Court, is it considered a 'court of competent jurisdiction and your certified name change order will be honored in all fifty states and by the federal government for all purposes.

Q: Will it be easier to obtain credit in my new name if I have bad credit in my current name?

A: By changing your entire full name (e.g. first and last names) and combining it with your true DOB and SSN you will create a 'split' credit file at all of the major credit bureaus (e.g. Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, Innovis). A split credit file occurs when someone uses a completely different name not containing any of your prior first, middle, and/or last names and previous addresses but does include your actual true DOB and SSN. The credit bureaus think it is a different person and as a result create a split credit file or in more plain terms a credit file in your new legal name with no credit history initially. If you are interested in enhancing your new clean credit file that was split from the result of changing your name we offer comprehensive credit enhancement solutions to add tradelines to your personal credit history file.

Q: Can I get a driver's license in my new name?

A: Yes. Just present your certified copy of your name change final order to the clerk at the department of motor vehicles where you already have a driver's license and they will issue you a new license with your new name. Please note that most state DMV requires that you update the name on your social security card by visiting the Social Security Administration before they can issue you a driver's license in your new legal name. For those who would like to keep their existing driver's license in their old name while obtaining a driver's license in their new name, this can be accomplished by traveling to another state and obtaining a fresh license with the new name. You will have to retake the written driving test and the road test before being issued a new license. We have prior experience in assisting our clients as they obtain dual driver's licenses, and can aid you further after your name change is completed.

Q: Can I get a passport in my new name?

A: Yes. If you already have an existing unexpired passport book and/or card, all you have to do is go into a passport office or file a passport amendment by mail along with a certified copy of your name change final order and the required fees. You will be required to surrender your existing passports at the time of amendment (which will be invalidated and returned back to you with a hole punched through your existing passport). The great thing about obtaining a passport in your new name is that passports are considered primary stand-alone identification that proves identity, age, and citizenship, thus eliminating any need in the future to present a birth certificate when applying for a social security card or driver's license and having to disclose your prior name (which is listed on your original birth certificate). If you are truly wanting to start a new life with your new name with no cross-reference to your prior name having a passport book and/or card is a must-have.

Q: Can I get a new social security card showing my new name?

A: Yes. Just go into your local Social Security Administration office along with a certified copy of your name change final order and they will update the SSA records to reflect your new name and will automatically be issued a new social security card containing your new legal name.

Q: Can I get a new credit card or bank account in my new name?

A: Yes. In fact, if you have bad credit in your prior name, you will find it relatively easy to obtain starter credit in your new name and begin establishing a great credit history and credit file. We offer additional solutions to our name change clients that can enhance your personal credit file and provide you with a great credit score in very little time. Please contact us for more details if you are interested.

Q: How do I transfer the title of my existing assets to my new legal name?

A: This varies from state to state, but exercise caution doing this if planning on starting a fresh life in your new name and don't want a paper trail to your new legal name. Feel free to contact us for additional advice on this subject once we have begun your name change Process.