First name change

posted 3 months ago in Names
  • poll: what should I do?
    Just change last name : (0 votes)
    Change first name as well as last name : (16 votes)
    100 %
  • Post # 2
    912 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2019 - City, State

    I had this question also, and I’m glad I get to share my experience. I just changed my middle name, for similar reasons to you. It was tied to my mother, which bothered me so I switched it up. For example, instead of Donna Lee Pearson, I wanted to be Donna Magnificent Pearson, then changing to Donna Magnificent Morris after marriage (not my real name obv). Because the middle name change was not actually part of the marriage, I had to go through the court.

    When I decided that I wanted to change my middle name, I spoke to the city clerk in our serving district and officiant. Both said that if you want to change anything else, do it prior to marriage, as the marriage cert “solidifies” your new name. They BOTH said that if you change anything after the fact, they said it was pretty much guaranteed that you’ll have to have a copy of the name change documents with you wherever you go. I have no experience in that, but I figured I’d save myself the hassle.

    Yes, you have to go through probate court, but it was literally a matter of $225 and a trip to town hall for me. I changed a few critical documents (social security card, drivers license, and awaiting my new passport now) but everything else I will change after I get my new last name in 25 days. It really isn’t THAT bad, especially if it causes you daily headache. Best of luck, and I’m totally available if you have any questions.

    Post # 3
    8548 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: Dorset, UK

    I don’t how difficult it is where you are as in the UK it is really simple and you just fill out some paperwork and pay about £30. My husband had to change his name by deed-poll when we got married as he took my last night and couldn’t just change his last name like I would have been able to with just a marriage certificate because the world is backwards!  


    I think it sounds like you would be much happier being Kaycee Smith Miller on your paperwork etc so I would say go for it!

    Post # 3
    181 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2018

    This really depends on where you’re located as the cost/requirements vary widely by location (including state to state if you’re in the U.S.). You should be able to find information about the requirements pretty easily online on the court’s website – often it’s in the family court division.

    In my state you have to pay a fee, fill out a form, get fingerprinted, publish notice of the name change, and attend a hearing.

    It sounds like even if it’s a little tedious and difficult, it would be worth it to go through it – your name is for your entire life.


    Post # 4
    1152 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2019 - Tacoma, WA

    Filing for a name change is super easy, at least where I am (Washington State). Basically you just fill out a form, turn it in and pay the fee, stand before a judge and swear under oath you aren’t changing it for fraudulent purposes, judge signs it, you’re done. It was all done in one morning.

    However, I would suggest if you do that, you go ahead and change your WHOLE name (first and last) at the same time, through the court, rather than changing your first name through the court and last name through your marriage certificate. It’ll just be easier to do everything that way. Otherwise, you’ll have to present one document to update your first name on everything, along with your marriage certificate to change the last name, and have to explain to everyone exactly what you’re doing, every time, and I promise they’ll get confused lol.

    If you wait to do it after marriage, you can tell the judge you want to change both your first and your last name, and explain that you just got married (if asked). It’ll be WAY easier to do it with one piece of paper rather than two.

    Good luck and how exciting!

    Post # 5
    3420 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2016

    kaycee16 :  My husband and I both changed our last names to something entirely new when we married, so we both went through the court process. It truly was not that big a deal! I think the entire thing took us about 6 weeks in Texas. 99% of that was just waiting.

    My filing was processed within a couple of days, at which point I had to do a background check. I was busy so this part took ne awhile to get around to. Once they processed the background check, I was able to set an appointment for my court date. They gave me a paragraph script that I read for the judge. He stamped my petitions, and that was it. I went to the social security office and DMV the same day. 

    It was a hassle just because we both had to go to the courthouse a few times throughout all of this. And of course it cost a few hundred dollars each. But it was totally worth it, and I am sure it would be for you, too!

    Post # 6
    1220 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2019

    kaycee16 :  My situation was the same as yours, and I did a legal name change through the court to switch my first and middle names. There was a bit of leg work and of course a financial component, but overall it wasn’t that bad, and I’m really glad I did it. I’m not sure what state you’re in, but this is what I had to do where I live:

    1) Submit initial application to the court & pay associated fees

    2) Submit a publication to the local newspaper via a Notice of Hearing form announcing my name change at least 30 days prior to my hearing

    3) Attend the hearing — which was literally just me picking up my judgement entry from the probate court, I never even saw the judge

    4) Go to Social Securty Admin. and have SS card updated, then take new card and judgement entry to BMV to get new ID

    I needed to submit my birth certificate, my marriage license (I was married to my ex at the time and had changed my last name to his), and my ID. They also ran a background check on me, but I don’t think all counties do that. All in all, I think I paid between $200-$250. The process took two months from initial application to final hearing. It was definitely worth it.


    Post # 7
    132 posts
    Blushing bee

    It depends on your state but are you sure you can’t change your full name due to marriage? I would look into your state’s laws to make extra sure. Some states will be very easy. Other states will be very expensive and time-consuming. Do your research. Good luck. 

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