Changing your name in the state of Arizona is a relatively painless process. There are numerous reasons you may want to change your name. Perhaps you have just gotten married or divorced. Possibly you just don't like your birth name and want something different. In the state of Arizona you are allowed to change your name for any reason, provided you are not doing so for a fraudulent purpose, and you follow the necessary procedure. Here is what you need to know about changing your name in Arizona.
Pick a name
The first step is always deciding on your new name. You can essentially choose any name you want, as long as you follow a few basic guidelines. The guidelines for Arizona are set forth in the Arizona Revised Statues Section 12-601(c).
You cannot change your name to commit fraud--for example, in order to commit a crime. Further, if you have been convicted of a felony or have pending criminal charges your name change will not be approved.
You cannot change your name to avoid paying a debt. The statute specifically notes that a name change does not release you from prior commitments or obligations.
Additionally, there are some guidelines that are not specifically mentioned in Section 12-601(c) but are common law guidelines that would be a good idea to follow.
Your new name cannot interfere with the rights of others, meaning you can't intentionally choose the name of famous person in an attempt to create confusion or mislead people. The court is not likely to approve 'Tom Cruise' as your new name unless you can show a valid reason unrelated to the celebrity for picking the name.
Your new name can't be a racial slur, an obscenity or something intentionally confusing like a number or punctuation. Choosing the name 456! will not be approved.
Remember, the Court has final say on whether your name change is approved, so make sure you follow these rules when picking your new name.
Get a Court Order
Once you have decided on a new name, download and fill out the necessary form from www.supreme.state.az.us, or from the resource section in this article. The form requires you to state the reason for the name change, and to affirm you have not ever been convicted of a felony.
Submit the completed form and any necessary fees to the superior court for the county in which you reside. Courts in different counties in Arizona may have different filing fees and requirements, so it's a good idea to call the court ahead of time and verify exactly how they want the paperwork filed.
Once the paperwork is properly submitted, the court will enter a judgment declaring your new name is now your legal name.
You must notify everyone you deal with of your name change. Begin by notifying the Social Security Administration and the Arizona DMV to get a new Social Security card and driver's license.
Notify your bank and credit card companies next. Make sure to notify any business or organization you deal with on a regular basis. Make sure all of your financial records and accounts are transferred to your new name.
Notify any schools, hospitals and doctors offices with which you have dealings. Also, be sure to notify the post office and any utilities companies with whom you have accounts.
Finally, you have hopefully already mentioned your new name to your friends, family members and employer, but if you haven't make sure to notify them as well. Otherwise you will find them very confused the next time they see you.
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