Step 1 - Choose the name the you want your name to be changed. If you were just married or divorced, this process will be much easier for you as you may be able to skip a few steps. If you are changing your name because you for personal reasons, then you may have to attend a court hearing to explain the reasons for your change.
Step 2 - Fill-Out a Name Change Petition and make sure to have it notarized. A notary is very easy to find as every branch bank in the United States has a notary on duty and if you have an account they will most likely do it for free. If not, they will charge a small fee.
Step 3 - Submit your Name Change petition to the proper county clerk's office which will most likely be the probate court office. If you choose your state where you will be petitioning we have all the courts to submit to on the bottom of the page.
Step 4 - Wait to hear from the Court. This is a case by case situation, if for some reason the court wants to hear your case, most likely if you are changing your name for personal reasons you may be asked to represent yourself. Otherwise, if you have just got married or divorced this will most likely not be necessary.
Step 5 - Make a publication in the newspaper proving your name change has been presented publicly. Usually newspapers have a direct line for this and is very easy to do. The court will have an affidavit that you will need to sign upon publication in the newspaper that proves you in fact did make your name change puclic. If you have just been married or divorced you may not have to do this step as you have already made your marriage or divorce public, but this depends on your state.
Step 6 - Upon proper submission to the court of your name change publication you will be granted your order granting name change which will be your identification until you change your name on your driver's license, passport, and social security card.
Other Name Change Instructions: