- You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. Walt Disney
Legally Change My Name
People legally change their first, middle, or last names for a variety of reasons: Major life changes—getting married, divorced, or undergoing a gender reassignment—might catalyze a name change, or people might just hate the name they were born with.
If you don’t like your birth name, you can legally change it to whatever you want … with a few exceptions. You can’t name yourself after a celebrity (because that could be viewed as intentionally misleading), a trademarked name, a numeral (like 4 or 8), a punctuation mark (like ? or !), or something offensive or obscene. You also can’t change your name to commit fraud, evade law enforcement, or avoid paying any debts you owe.
Although it may be seem daunting to show up at court or fill out legal paperwork, you don’t need to hire a lawyer to change your name.
Filling out a Petition for Name Change can be fairly straightforward. But if you do feel overwhelmed by navigating the name change process yourself, consider outside help.