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Information Found in Name Change Records

Many individuals may need to go for a name change for various reasons. The commonest reasons include adoption, a court order for witness protection program, divorce, marriage or even for religious purposes. But most people are not familiar with the process involved in a name change or how to obtain the name change records.


The Process of a Name Change


The process involved in a name change involves filing a petition with the court. This requires that individuals fill out specific forms and then submit them at a court of law. Once you have filled out the appropriate forms and filed a court petition there will be a court hearing to deliberate on the reasons behind the name change.

In general the laws in the United States permit individuals to change their name under common law name changes by filing a court petition unless it involves frivolous or fraudulent reasons. The acceptable reasons for name changes for most states in the United States are for marriage which is the most common reason along with, adoption and divorce.

As the process of a name change involves a court hearing, the name change records are considered as public records.  The records can be viewed by the general public unless there is a court order to seal the information contained in the name change record.

A request for a name change usually takes place in a courthouse situated in the county of residence of the requester. Depending on court system of that particular state, it is likely to be a court that has general jurisdiction such as the superior court or a district court. Once the petition for a name change has been approved by the court and signed by a judge, the name change record is filed at the office of the County Recorder. This is true for most of the states in the United States but it best to check if it is applicable to your state as well.


Accessing the Name Change Records


To access the information contained in the name change records you need to find out the jurisdiction or the city in which the petition for the name change filed. This can be done over the Internet or by visiting the office of the superior court clerk. Visiting the local court or the office of the superior court clerk is a good idea because not all jurisdictions have the facility of online search for the court documents. In addition a name change involves a civil procedure so you need to look at the civil division of the superior court.

To obtain the name change record you need to give the full name as well as the original name filed in the petition to the superior court clerk. If you have a record of the case number for the name change record or the date of disposition for the case it will help to narrow down the search.

It is important to ask for a copy of the name change record that is certified with the court seal as this will make it legitimate. A legitimate certified copy of the court order is also important when you need to apply for your university records or for other official documents such as bank loans or even for applying for a passport. Masking copies of the name change record may require a nominal fee.


Important Sources for Name Change Records


Important sources for the name change records include the social security office, the post office, the passport office as well as the local motor vehicles department, banks, credit card companies and the local newspaper. This is mandatory for individuals to post an advertisement with the local newspaper for notifying a name change before the final hearing on the case.

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