Post Name Change Next Steps

TotalLegal Name Change Petition

What Should Happen After a Name Change is Complete?

Once your name change has been approved by the court, you can use the certified name change Order (signed by the judge) to change important legal documents and identification. Those should include:

1. Social Security Card

The Social Security Administration requires Form SS-5 to change information on your social security card. According to the Social Security Administration, a document supporting a name change must be recent and identify you by both your old and new names. If the name change event occurred over two years ago or if the name change document does not have enough information to prove your identity, you must also provide documents to prove your identity in your prior name and/or in some cases your new legal name.

2. Driver's License or State ID

To change the name on your driver's license or state ID, you will need to visit the local branch office of your state's Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), or your state's equivalent of the DMV (for example, it is the Michigan Secretary of State's office that issues driver's licenses). Most DMV offices will require you to present the certified Order for name change, as well as fill out an application for a new driver's license. It is important to note that if you are applying for a Real ID, the name on your social security card must be changed to show your new legal name first, before you are issued a Real ID.

3. Birth Certificate

Your state Vital Records office handles requests for updating birth certificates after a name change. The process for obtaining an amended birth certificate varies from state to state. Contact the vital records office in the state that issued your original birth certificate. Ask what documentation they need to issue you a new birth certificate with your new legal name. Most states will require a certified copy of the name change Order, a certified copy of your current birth certificate, an application, and a fee.

4. Passport

The U.S. Department of State allows you to update the name on your passport. If you are requesting the change less than one year after your passport was issued, you must complete Form DS-5504, and submit it along with your most recent U.S. passport, your certified name change Order, and a color passport photo. There are no fees required, unless you choose to expedite processing. If you are requesting the change more than one year after your passport was issued, you will need to complete Form DS-82 (if you qualify to file by mail) or Form DS-11 (if you must apply in person), along with your most recent U.S. passport, a certified copy of the name change Order, a color passport photo, and the renewal fee. Forms and more information can be found at your state's passport agency office.

5. Other Records

You may also want to update other records with your new name as well: voter registration, insurance policies, retirement and bank accounts, credit cards, and other accounts you may receive monthly bills for.