How to Legally Change Your Name
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Illegal Change of Name
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You cannot change your name for illegal purposes and for many other reasons. Here’s a list of some reasons why you cannot change your name:
  • For fraudulent or illegal purposes (of which there are many)
    • E.g. you cannot change your name after committing a crime, in an attempt to commit a crime, to avoid debt obligations, to hide from law enforcement officials, etc.
  • To take advantage of a trademark name
    • E.g. you cannot call yourself Michael Jordan in the hopes of benefiting from Michael Jordan’s status.
Here’s a list of some things you cannot add to your name:
  • Numbers
    • Exception: you can use Roman numerals to indicate a next generation (e.g. George Foreman III)
  • Racial or derogatory slurs
Here’s a list of some things you might not be able to call yourself:
  • Celebrity names, e.g. James Dean
  • Single words, e.g. King
  • Just initials, e.g. WKR
NOTE: Minor children cannot legally change their names unless their parents or guardians give their consent through a court order.

Next, we’ll go over the legal process to change your name.